Salento, a picturesque region located in southern Italy, is known for its rich cultural heritage and breathtaking landscapes. Nestled in the heel of Puglia, Salento is not only famous for its stunning beaches and vibrant towns but also as the birthplace of our beautiful traditional arts. We are filled with immense pride for this remarkable region and are delighted to guide you on a journey to uncover the most authentic part of Puglia. We have curated a selection of the most captivating destinations and accommodations to make your visit truly memorable.
When deciding where to stay in Salento, there are four breathtaking destinations that should be at the top of your list: Lecce, Gallipoli, Otranto and Santa Maria di Leuca are the most beautiful and famous locations in Salento. These beautiful places each have their own unique story that is definitely worth exploring. But besides these stunning places, there are also numerous lesser-known locations to discover. Our guide will assist you in creating the best travel itinerary for Salento, the most captivating region of Italy.
One of the reasons why Lecce is so popular is its lively and vibrant atmosphere. The city comes alive with restaurants, bustling markets, and a thriving café culture, creating a captivating ambience. There are plenty of excellent restaurants to be found in the city, and in the evening, it becomes a gathering place for locals with a lively atmosphere. Lecce is a fantastic city where you can easily spend several days, so one night is definitely not enough. There are also a number of beautiful accommodations in the city. These are the most stunning hotels in Lecce:
The best hotels in Lecce
Hotel LuLeccio in Lecce is a charming and elegant hotel that offers a memorable stay in the heart of the city. With its central location, you can easily explore the centro storico and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere. The hotel boasts comfortable and stylish rooms, designed with attention to detail and equipped with modern amenities. Additionally, the hotel features a delightful rooftop terrace where you can relax and enjoy panoramic views of the city.
Masseria Caretti Grande – Casalabate
Masseria Caretti Grance is a hidden treasure nestled in the idyllic countryside close to the city of Lecce. This charming farmhouse combines rustic beauty with authentic hospitality, providing a serene and memorable experience. Surrounded by picturesque landscapes and olive groves, Masseria Caretti Grance offers a peaceful retreat where guests can unwind and savour the beauty of nature and tradition.
As you wander along the charming streets of Galatina, prepare to be amazed by the beautiful churches adorned with stunning details and colourful paintings, like the Basilica of Santa Caterina d’Alessandria. The town’s magical ambience takes you on a journey through time, inviting you to embrace its rich heritage and genuine Italian culture. Galatina is also home to a vibrant local scene, with lively markets and cozy cafes where you can treat yourself to mouthwatering local dishes including the famous pasticciotto from Andrea Ascalone. After a long day of discovering the beautiful town these are the best accommodations in and around Galatina to come home to:
The best hotels in Galatina
Palazzo Garibaldi – Galatina
Palazzo Garibaldi is a magnificent historical building located in the heart of Galatina. This beautifully restored palace dates back to the 16th century and showcases the architectural grandeur of the era. With its elegant facade and intricate details, it offers a glimpse into the town’s rich history. Outside the high season, this accommodation is surprisingly affordable, without losing any of the high quality.
Masseria Critabianca – Cutrofiano
Masseria Critabianca in Cutrofiano, close to Galatina, is a charming farmhouse surrounded by picturesque olive groves and vineyards. This traditional Puglian retreat offers a tranquil and authentic experience, where you can relax and soak in the peaceful countryside. The masseria features beautifully restored rooms, showcasing rustic elegance and modern comforts. With its stunning swimming pool, delicious cuisine, and warm hospitality, Masseria Critabianca is the perfect place to indulge in the beauty of Salento
If you have to describe Nardò in one word, it would be elegance. In the region, this is one of the favourite places, and that has also resulted in many beautiful accommodations. This destination has charming streets, stunning buildings, and a very cozy main square. Once a month, you can find a lovely market here with vintage and antique items. In Nardò, you will feel right at home.
The best hotels in Nardò
Relais Monastero Santa Teresa – Albergo Diffuso
Relais Monastero Santa Teresa – Albergo Diffuso is a unique accommodation that offers a charming and authentic experience in Nardò. Set in a renovated monastery, it exudes a serene atmosphere that transports you back in time. The rooms are beautifully appointed, combining modern comforts with historical charm. In addition to the suites, beautiful apartments and flats are also available.
Palazzo Muci is a beautiful historic building in Nardò that combines history and luxury. The palazzo features a tastefully designed interior that blends modern comforts with the grandeur of its historic architecture. Guests can enjoy the elegant rooms and luxurious facilities like the stunning swimming pool that is surrounded by lush greenery, creating a private and peaceful atmosphere.
Masseria Galeta is a hidden gem that embodies the essence of simplicity and traditional elegance. With its traditional architectural elements and charming design, this farmhouse offers a unique blend of rustic beauty and comfort. Masseria Galeta promises an unforgettable stay, where you can experience the authentic charm of Salento’s countryside.
Gallipoli, a charming port city in Puglia, offers a unique blend of raw coastal beauty and authentic historical charm. As you wander through its narrow streets and gaze at the picturesque harbour, you’ll feel the vibrant energy of a bustling port city. Especially in the evenings, the city comes alive. Gallipoli is the place where locals and tourists gather to party, but it’s also perfect for a peaceful evening stroll along the promenade.
Best hotels in Gallipoli
Palazzo Presta is a charming accommodation that offers a unique experience. Our favourite places are the cocktail bar on the terrace with a stunning view over the city and the completely blue library. The boutique hotel is filled with rich colours and materials you would expect from a luxury hotel. And the best part is that it is very affordable without missing out on luxury.
Casa Galateo 20
Casa Galateo 20 is a hidden gem in the heart of Gallipoli. The stylish rooms and cozy atmosphere of this boutique accommodation create a truly memorable stay. One of the highlights of Casa Galateo 20 is its central location, allowing guests to easily explore the vibrant streets of Gallipoli. Also good to know: the price-quality ratio is excellent.
On the east coast of Salento, you will find another amazing coastal town. Otranto is a beautiful place with crystal-clear waters and a charming historic centre. The town’s picturesque harbour offers breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea. The nearby beaches are the favourite relaxation spots of the locals and there are also several stunning coves to discover. With its relaxed atmosphere, cultural attractions, and natural beauty, Otranto is a must-visit destination for those seeking a memorable coastal getaway in Salento.
Where to stay in Otranto
Casa Pizelli – Uggiano la Chiesa
Casa Pizzelli in Uggiano la Chiesa is a luxurious whole-house rental that offers an unforgettable stay for up to 8 people. This stunning property features 4 spacious bedrooms, each elegantly designed and furnished to provide maximum comfort and style. From the moment you step inside, you’ll be greeted by impeccable attention to detail. Whether it’s relaxing in the beautifully landscaped garden, taking a dip in the private pool, or enjoying a meal in the spacious dining area, at Casa Pizzelli you will experience the ultimate feeling of relaxation.
Discover Santa Cesarea Terme
Santa Cesarea Terme is a beautiful coastal destination known for its stunning beaches. One of its highlights is the hidden Porto Miggiano beach, with its clear turquoise waters and scenic surroundings. It’s the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Another great place is nearby Bagno Marino Archi. There, you can swim and relax in natural pools formed by rocks. Santa Cesarea Terme offers a delightful escape for beach lovers looking for a serene and unforgettable coastal stay.
Discover Tricase and Tricase porto
Tricase is a beautiful town in Salento known for its charm and beauty. It has plenty of cosy cafes and interesting shops to explore. Along its coastline is Tricase Porto, where you’ll find a hidden beach and one of the best restaurants in Salento. Tricase Porto is a must-visit place for those seeking a delightful coastal retreat away from the tourist, surrounded by locals.
Ca’SaLentu in Spongano is a small private house that embodies the essence of cosiness and authenticity. Tucked away in the charming village of Spongano, this enchanting retreat offers a tranquil escape amidst picturesque landscapes. With access to a swimming pool, you can enjoy refreshing dips while enjoying the serene atmosphere.
Discover Santa Maria di Leuca
Santa Maria di Leuca is one of my favourite places in Salento, Italy. It is a charming coastal town that holds a special place in my heart. With its crystal-clear waters and cute small beaches, it offers a truly magical experience. Nearby, you’ll find the equally beautiful towns of Gagliano del Capo and Castrignano del Capo, which add to the region’s allure. Spending the day at the beach in Santa Maria di Leuca with dinner at Boccaccio is the perfect way to end this road trip trough Salento.
Where to stay in Santa Maria di Leuca
Palazzo Daniele is a captivating gem in the heart of Gagliano del Capo, Italy. This historic palazzo-turned-hotel showcases exquisite design and luxurious accommodations, seamlessly blending old-world charm with contemporary elegance. With its opulent interiors and attention to detail, Palazzo Daniele offers a truly refined experience.