Santa Maria di Leuca Travel Guide

Towns and cities in Puglia

Santa Maria di Leuca Travel Guide

Santa Maria di Leuca is a captivating town that has been a popular resort for wealthy Puglians since the early 1900s, due to its eye-catching Art Nouveau villas that line its seafront. Whether you're exploring its historic sites, enjoying the local beaches, or experiencing its vibrant festivals, Santa Maria di Leuca delights in its historical significance, natural beauty and Mediterranean charm.

Santa Maria di Leuca Travel Guide

About the area

Santa Maria di Leuca, Puglia

Santa Maria di Leuca sits on the southernmost tip of the Salento peninsula where the waters of the Adriatic Sea mingle with those of the Ionian. The name Leuca derives from the Greek "Leukos," meaning light or luminous, and refers to the religious sanctuary built on a site high above the town’s harbour. Santa Maria di Leuca also hosts a variety of nearby sandy beaches, and its seafront promenade is equipped with lidos, bars and restaurants - ideal for a quintessential Mediterranean holiday.

Santa Maria di Leuca Travel Guide

Things to do in Santa Maria di Leuca

Things to do in Santa Maria di Leuca
  • Explore historic sites: Visit the Basilica De Finibus Terrae, a significant religious sanctuary with a rich history. It has long been a place of pilgrimage and is particularly busy around the middle of August each year. Not far from the sanctuary is the impressive lighthouse, built in 1864 on the site of a 16th-century watchtower. Its octagonal form rises 47 metres into the sky (over 100m above sea level) and contains a winding staircase of 254 steps. Still in function, it is one of Leuca’s most impressive landmarks.
  • Discover local beaches: Relax on the sandy beaches at Felloniche, Posto Vecchio, Torre Vado, and Pescoluse. These family-friendly beaches are well-equipped and perfect for a day by the sea.
  • Take a boat tour: Explore the dramatic surrounding coastline featuring rocky cliffs and 30 Karstic grottoes. The best way to truly these fascinating geological formations is by boat and there is no shortage of local sailors ready to take you out to sea off the coast where the world ends!
  • Visit the monumental waterfall: Witness the grandeur of the Puglia aqueduct's end point with its man-made waterfall, featuring a cascade flanked by 300 steps and a Roman column. The cascade is opened only a few times a year, so is not to be missed if you’re lucky enough to be in the area at the right time.
  • Enjoy the festivals: Experience local culture the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 15th. The statue of the Virgin is paraded through the streets and taken out to sea, followed by fireworks and celebrations.
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