In the South East of Italy, you can find a region full of history, stunning landscape, superb nature and – of course – delicious food. I’m talking about Puglia. But not so many are aware of the fact that Puglia has the longest coastline of any region in Italy and approximately 140km belongs to the Gargano’s promontory: a mountain spur of land that sticks out into the Adriatic sea.
Gargano’s coastline is a variety of different views: swampy areas where dunes separate pools or brackish backwater, there are long sandy and golden beaches, bays, sea caves and white cliffs. In this fantastic area, tourists can play sport, get the adrenalin going, relax or build sand castles with kids. No matter what you do love. Just choose one of these Puglia beaches, and you’ll find the right place for your holidays with kids!
Best Puglia Beaches: where to go with kids
In Puglia, along Gargano’s peninsula, families will find the best beaches for babies, sandy destinations that toddlers will love and adventurous caves for the eldest children. South Italy has so much to offer that you can’t get bored nor disappointed.
Foce Varano Puglia beaches
5.5km from the town of Rodi Garganico, in the small village of Ischitella, you can find this long beach marked up by coastal dunes that stretch from the mouth of river Varano, till Rodi Garganico. It’s a fine, gold and sandy beach, marked by pure and shallow water. Furthermore, a superb wood of maritime pines runs along the beach, and for all these reasons this is one of the best beaches in Puglia for babies and toddlers: they can play safe in the warm foreshore, have a nappy in the shady wood and find some comfort thanks to the recreation facilities on site.
San Menaio Puglia beaches
San Menaio is a friendly and small village in the middle of Rodi Garganico and Peschici (7km far) that has grown up since the fifties. The beach is sandy, large and perfectly equipped with bars, beach resorts and many facilities. Choose this beach if you prefer comfort rather than unspoiled nature.
Cento Scalini Puglia beaches
If your idea of “perfect beach” goes hand in hand with relaxing, silence and no people, you’ll have to choose Cento Scalini beach (which means a hundred steps beach)… guess what? You’ll probably make some extra effort to get there, but the reward is awesome. The stairs can be taken following the path on Road 89 or merely walking along the shore from San Menaio. Unless you walk along the coast, do not choose this beach with babies or toddlers: the chance to hold them in your arm – tired, at the end of the day – is extremely high!
Baia Jalillo puglia beaches
This is absolutely our favourite one! The best beach in Puglia! Narrow sandy beach, pure crystalline water and an extraordinary kiosk where we tasted the best mussels soup ever! Try and let us know!
Like many other Italian best beaches, Baia Jalillo (meaning little beach in the local dialect) is hidden by big rocks, giving this place more privacy and relax. You can quickly get there from the gangway of Marina di Peschici. We recommend going there early in the morning as the shore is very narrow and in the afternoon, as soon as the tide rise, the beach grips. Moreover, the beach is sheltered from the winds and has fantastic afternoon shade.
Manaccora puglia beaches
Since past times this beach was attended and thanks to restoration works, now it one of the most important archaeological site. Manaccora is one of the most famous of Peschici and stands between two haunting rocky peaks. You can get there through a secure, asphalted road that leads both to the beach and to the Grottone di Manaccore (a stunning cave that dates back to the XVII Century). The beach is divided into two sections: one for those who prefer all kinds of beach facilities (with plenty of Italian beach resorts) and one that is entirely free and wild.
Sfinale Puglia beaches
We loved this place because it’s one the wildest beach we met during our holiday in Gargano. Sfinale beach is placed on the boundary between Peschici and Vieste (11km far from both towns) and can be reached through an asphalted road that becomes sandy close to the shore. The beach is enclosed by two spectacular rocky peaks, where on the left side tourists can take pictures of the ruins of a Saracen warning tower that stands still, in front of the bay. The vegetation that runs along the shore is vibrant: mastic tree, rosemary, juniper and saffron blossoms. Kids comfort at the beach, two typical beach resorts from Puglia with a lovely restaurant and yummy food. An unforgettable day at Sfinale beach!!
Sfinalicchio puglia beaches
This beach was separated from the Sfinale by Grotta dell’Acqua (water cave English translation). It is marked up by a long fine sandy beach, gently sloping down the sea. Water is clear and green, and this place can be easily reached through the coastal road where there are many free parking areas. Sfinalicchio offers families all kinds of facilities, including boat renting, sail and surf schools, beach volley, restaurants and bars. Sfinalicchio is the ideal beach for families with children in tow of different ages, as you can find fun for everyone there!
Castello Puglia beaches
This is THE beach, the most famous beach of Vieste and the first that the dawn enlightens every morning. Thin, golden and sandy with shallow water, Castello beach is known mainly for its white stack “Pizzomunno” (the cape of the world in the local dialect) that looks like a sentinel towards pirates coming from the sea. Monolith tale tells about fishermen in love and jealous sirens who unchain the beautiful city of Vieste.
The beach is well equipped with modern resorts and many facilities for families and people of limited ability as well.
Portonuovo Puglia beaches
For kids safety and fun, this beach is marked up by white dunes and sandy sea bottom. Many beach resorts, boat rental, playground and restaurants can be found here as well as intense Mediterranean vegetation that cools kids nappy after lunch. Portonuovo is just 3.5km far from Vieste, and you can reach it by car and parking there easily. As many other sandy beache in Italy, it is divided into two sections: one with many beach resorts and one public and free.
Baia delle Zagare
Zagare are orange blossoms and “Baia delle Zagare” is one of the most beautiful beaches in Puglia and of the entire peninsula as well. Doubtless! The bay is composed of three different beaches, each facing East and because of this reason, Baia delle Zagare is in the shade in late afternoon. The scenery here is breathtaking: superb vegetation, high white cliffs over crystalline green water and narrow golden beach that can be reached through steep stairs. While the third beach is only achievable by boat (as we did), North Beach and South beach are longer and separated by nearly 150 mt. of white rocks. These two offer more facilities for families, but you have to climb up again as the kiosk is on the top of the cliff. For these reasons, this is not the ideal shore for babies or toddler, and we highly recommend this bay to families with children +6y only.
Italy has so many beaches, and Puglia cost is an ideal destination for families travelling in the Southern area that you’ll regret leaving.