If you have planned your summer holidays in Salento and you are a true nature lover, Porto Selvaggio will be a must for you. It is a Regional Natural Park in the province of Lecce. More precisely, Porto Selvaggio is part of the territory of Nardò and is a protected area included in the FAI list of the 100 places to save.
As its name suggests, it is an area where wild nature reigns supreme: large rows of trees, red earth and rocks, wild flowers and spontaneous aromatic herbs will accompany you on your 15-minute walk to the sea. You will have to walk through a beautiful pine forest, in the shade of ancient pines, with the spectacular soundtrack provided by Mother Nature of birds and cicadas singing. Enjoy in silence the primitive and pure atmosphere that this route will give you. Our advice is to cross the pine forest on foot, obviously wearing sneakers to avoid unpleasant falls, as the ground is rocky and uneven. If, on the other hand, you are travelling with children or are not at all athletic, it is possible to reach the beach by shuttle bus/train.
Once you get to the sea, you will be greeted by a breathtaking landscape: jagged rocks that frame waters of surprising colours ranging from green to deep blue. If you like wide beaches and comfort, this place is not for you! The sandy areas are small and you will have to patiently search for a comfortable place to sunbathe with easy access to the sea. If you like diving, you've come to the right place! There are higher rocks that will allow you to perform your best sporting feats. Snorkelling is another sport to enjoy: this area offers surprising seabeds and rich marine life. There are also beautiful natural caves for you to explore.
Alternatively, you can relax in the sun and cool off in the clear water. A curiosity: if the water seems colder in some parts of the sea, it is not just an impression. There are currents of fresh and cold water that flow directly into the bay, making the water cool and pleasant, especially on hot August days.
We recommend spending the whole day in Porto Selvaggio, perhaps avoiding Sundays and Ferragosto (August bank holiday) to avoid too much confusion (that's what the locals do!).
Bring your lunch from home: you can eat it in the shade of the pinewood equipped with tables, benches and waste bins. Be careful, however, remember that you are in a protected area, so respect the environment and try not to make too much noise so as not to disturb other tourists or frighten the animals. After lunch you can rest in the shade of the pine trees and then return to the beach until evening to wait for the sunset. The sun and the sea will not disappoint you and offer you an unforgettable spectacle.
The last piece of advice concerns accommodation. Porto Selvaggio, in fact, is located in a rather inaccessible area where there are no hotels, but it is enough to move a few kilometres to find any kind of solution. For example, you could choose to stay overnight in Lecce or Gallipoli or Porto Cesareo and then move to Porto Selvaggio just for one day. In the nearby villages there are many hotels, B&Bs and holiday homes. You could also opt for a camping, to experience a holiday totally immersed in nature. In Salento there are also wonderful Masserie (farmhouses) and other accommodation solutions suitable for every budget.
To get to Porto Selvaggio you could rent a car or use the buses that take you directly to the entrance of the pinewood.
All that remains is to wish you a happy holiday in Porto Selvaggio and to remind you to respect the nature of this magical place in order to preserve it over time.