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Bays, beaches and caves among the cliffs of the Gargano

Updated: May 22, 2021

High white cliffs and dense green pine forests, which sometimes overlook the overhangs and sometimes slope gently towards the sea, characterize the coasts of the Gargano, especially the stretch between Mattinata and Vieste. But the rocky walls also hide other natural spectacles….

There are numerous inlets with sand or gravel that can be found in the stretch of coast between Mattinata and Vieste, some are accessible from land and well protected by pine forests and others can only be reached by sea. To complete an enchanting scenery in itself, there are about twenty sea caves. Cliffs, pine forests, beaches and caves, in the splendor of their colors that are reflected in the sea, appear in a single picture in the eyes of those who choose to take the boat tour to visit the sea caves. But do you know who the "discoverer" of the caves is? We tell you about it.

One day Enrico Mattei, a well-known Italian entrepreneur, is on board the fishing boat of the Trimigno brothers from whom he proudly heard about the beauty of the coast. And in fact Mattei, literally kidnapped by the scenarios he encounters, immediately senses their tourist potential and in 1963 favors the construction of the first tourist complex in the Gargano, Pugnochiuso, and urging the fishermen who had accompanied him on his trip to make boats available to fishing to accompany the first visitors who arrive on the Gargano. This episode marks the birth of the boat tour to the sea caves of Vieste.

To enrich the historical interest of these places there are the coastal towers, now closed and not open to visitors, even if work is being done to encourage their recovery and enhancement. These are watchtowers, fundamental in the past to prevent pirate attacks. They were built in such a way that they were visible to each other, even if they were kilometers apart. As soon as the lookout man on the roof saw an enemy on the horizon, he sent signals to the other towers by lighting a fire, so that the smoke by day and light by night would be visible. Each man on the lookout on the towers proceeded to light the fire until the alarm was visible in the fortified center where the population took safety inside the town walls by closing the access doors. The San Felice Tower taken from the sea together with the homonymous Architiello explains in an image the union between coast and towers.

Architiello San Felice

Baia delle Zagare

Baia delle Zagare belongs to the territory of Mattinata, we like to show it from above, photographed from the suggestive "path of love", which leads from the state road on foot to the Vignanotica beach. 

Very beautiful and worthy of mention are the bay of Portogreco and the bay of Campi both accessible from land and the last beaches made up of gravel. Then the coast becomes sandy, ideal for welcoming families with children as the seabed increases very gradually, and we meet the Portonuovo beach ...

... to continue almost to the village with the beach of the Castle, which takes its name from the Swabian castle that dominates from above and which houses the famous Pizzomunno monolith.

Spiaggia Pizzomunno
Spiaggia San Lorenzo

And these are the beaches on the south side only! Crossing the town and continuing on the opposite side we meet. The beach of San Lorenzo, from which you can enjoy the view of the town, always with the castle that dominates but with the new part of the town that extends at its feet.

Spiaggia dei Colombi

Very particular, because it is small and because of the presence of pigeons that nest in the cave on the beach, is precisely the beach of the Pigeons.

Spiaggia di Scialmarino

The Vieste territory "ends", if we can say so, with another three kilometers of beach, known as Scialmarino beach which from Porticello reaches as far as Chianca, on the border with Peschici.

As you can see, there is no shortage of choices, whether you like the holiday that flows quietly under the umbrella or whether you like movement and adventure. And speaking of movement: if you are a sports lover and you like the idea…. Why not visit the coast by canoe or sup 🙂?


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