Explore the caves and coves adorning the spectacular coastline of this marina district at the foot of Castro’s dramatic cliffs.
Marked by the sails of countless white boats and tired fishermen at work, Castro Marina is the stunning portside district of Castro. It is the traditional hub of the area, with a fishing culture amid picturesque cliffs, verdant hills and the sapphire hues of the Adriatic Sea. Sunbathe on the scenic rocky coastline at the foot of the dramatic cliffs.
Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy while sitting on the rocks and cool down with a swim in the crystal clear water. Rent a boat to take out on the Adriatic Sea and discover some of the caves in the rock formations, such as the Grotta Palombara and Grotta Azzurra. Grotta Zinzulusa is full of stalactites, stalagmites and an internal lake, among other fascinating natural features. Go diving or snorkeling through the subaquatic caves of the region.
Stroll through the main port for a glimpse into the local culture of Castro Marina. Find the old port near the marina’s plaza and pick out your favorite boats. Paddleboats, canoes and wooden fishing vessels are usually docked here. Enjoy seafood from the restaurants of the marina and relax with a cappuccino in a café.
Make your way to the upper part of Castro for the quaint alleys and piazzas scattered throughout this charming village. Capture aerial photos of the Castro Marina district, incorporating the cliffs and the sea. Among the best viewing platforms is in the Aragonese Castle, which dates back to the 1500s. Make sure to visit the ruins of the nearby 12th-century cathedral and 10th-century church.
Enter the marina area for free. It is open at all times. The Castro Marina is in the southern end of Castro at the southeastern tip of Italy’s boot heel. It is part of the Salento coast in the region of Puglia, on a promontory separating the Adriatic Sea from the Ionian Sea. Drive south from Lecce for about 45 minutes to get here. See nearby towns, such as Gallipoli, Maglie and Otranto.