Puglia is a region that boasts a rich biodiversity and a crystalline sea that attracts tourists from all over the world. To preserve its natural beauty and protect marine life, Puglia has established several marine protected areas. Here is a journey through the most important marine reserves in the region:
The Tremiti islands
The Tremiti Islands represent a real environmental paradise of Puglia. Since 1989, the islands have become a Marine Reserve and since 1996 they have been the responsibility of the Gargano National Park. The surface of the islands is only 300 hectares, but this does not prevent divers from being able to admire the pristine seabed, the sea caves and the coves of the area. The archipelago is easily accessible byhydrofoil to the Tremiti islands departing from Termoli, all year round, while in the summer the lines from Vieste and Rodi Garganico are also active. San Domino and San Nicola are the main and inhabited islands, while the nearby Capraia is an ideal place for scuba diving. Diving enthusiasts can book diving excursions to visit the most suggestive points, such as Punta Secca and Cala dei Turchi in Capraia, Punta del Diavolo and the Grotta delle Rondinelle in San Domino. In addition to diving activities, the Tremiti Islands they are also appreciated by the less experienced who can take boat trips, rent a dinghy, visit the Abbey of Santa Maria a Mare or simply take a dip in the most beautiful waters in Italy.
The Marine Reserve of Torre Guaceto is a protected area located on the Adriatic coast of Salento, in the stretch of coast that goes from Ostuni to Brindisi, not far from Carovigno and San Vito dei Normanni. The reserve owes its name to a 8th century Aragonese tower and extends for 2000 kilometers between Punta Penna Grossa and the rocks of Apani and includes coastal dunes, clayey and rocky cliffs, inlets and sandy bottoms. The denomination Guaceto comes from the Arabic "Gawsit" which means "fresh water". This name comes from the presence of a small river that flows in the area and contains fresh water. This river still exists today and runs through the entire wetland before entering inland. The Torre Guaceto Management Consortium, established at the end of XNUMX, takes care of the preservation of this wild natural environment, where it is possible to spot numerous species of birds and crabs as well as coastal vegetation such as glasswort, Apulian limonium and sea fennel.
The Porto Cesareo Marine Protected Area is located on the Ionian coast of the Salento, with 32 km of rugged coastline between Punta Prosciutto to the north and Torre Inserraglio to the south. With a protected marine area of 16.654 hectares, it is the third largest in Italy. The coast has a variety of landscapes, including white beaches and rocks that enhance the beauty of the clear waters of the Ionian Sea.
Porto Cesareo, so called because it represents a "natural port", overlooks Isola Grande, also called "Island of rabbits", a wild gem covered with pine trees and acacias. The seabed here is full of life. The coast presents a diversity of landscapes, from limestone esplanades to coastal dunes. It is not uncommon to spot young specimens of the Caretta Caretta turtle in the area as well as numerous species of birds such as the gray heron.
These are just some of the protected marine areas of Puglia, but each of them offers a unique experience for sea and nature lovers.