Located at the tip of Italy’s “boot heel”, Santa Maria di Leuca is an atmospheric, whitewashed village. It lies at the meeting point of the Ionian and Adriatic seas, with crystal clear waters, fascinating sea caves and delicious regional cuisine to discover.
Stroll along the Lungomare Leuca as it hugs the village’s rocky coastline and soak up the sweeping panoramas from the Punta Ristola Leuca. If you walk in the other direction, you’ll arrive at the 47-metre-high Capo Santa Maria di Leuca lighthouse. Nearby is the elegant Santuario di Santa Maria de Finibus Terrae, which was constructed from stone in the 18th century.
Sea caves have been eroded over thousands of years into the coastline surrounding Santa Maria di Leuca and are best explored during boat cruises. Peer into the Lover’s Cave and discover the legends of the Dragon Cave before photographing the aptly-named Cave of the Three Doors.
Santa Maria di Leuca is around 40 minutes’ drive from Gallipoli and an hour from Lecce. Brindisi Airport is 1.5 hours away and has flights to destinations across Europe. Buses travel to Santa Maria di Leuca and the village is small enough to explore on foot.