Landscape and culture

Otranto is a town with a rich history and culture, surrounded by a beautiful and varied landscape. It stretches from the lush area of the protected natural wildlife oasis of the Alimini Lakes, where the Agriturismo Cuti Mari is situated 8km from the town centre, as far as the Lighthouse of Punta Palascia. This overlooks the Adriatic sea near the road sp87 that reaches Santa Maria di Leuca.



The lakes Alimini – from Byzantine Greek “Limne” meaning lake or marsh – are a protected natural oasis next to the sea. The two lakes, Alimini Grande and Alimini Piccolo, are connected by a channel called “Lu Strittu”.

The landscape is very suggestive: the two lakes are surrounded by a luxuriant pine wood and Mediterranean scrub.

The oasis has a rich vegetation, including some rare endangered plants, as the marsh orchid (Anacamptis palustris).

It is the ideal place for bird-watching lovers, as the pine wood is home to a rich birdlife. The protected area of the Alimini Lakes is an important habitat for many migratory species as well as water birds, birds of prey and nocturnal birds of prey, that here find an ideal place to live.

Discover more about the walking and biking itineraries around the Alimini Lakes >




Situated on the Adriatic coast, Otranto is an ancient town enclosed by Aragonese walls and fortified by towers and ramparts; it is crossed by narrow alleys that date back to the medieval period. Especially known for its Aragonese castle, protected by a moat, and for its cathedral, where the remains of the 800 martyrs killed by the Turks in 1480 are kept.

The mosaic floor of the cathedral, dated XII century, is of incomparable artistic value.

Less known is the Byzantine Basilica of Saint Peter that preserves wonderful Byzantine frescoes dated X-XI centuries.

The town of Otranto offers all visitors many free services and guided tours with the Otranto Card.



This is the eastern point of Italy, approximately 6 km south of Otranto. From the costal road (sp87), a path goes down to the sea; visitors that arrive here breathe the scents of the sea and of the Mediterranean vegetation at every step. Time flows slowly here marked by the surf of the sea. The lighthouse of Palascia looks over the landscape and often hosts temporary exhibitions. Sometimes in summer music and songs may be heard in the distance.

Every New Year’s Eve people meet here and wait for the first dawn of the New Year.

For trekking lovers, there is an itinerary along the coast that starts from the bauxite quarry in Otranto and ends at the lighthouse of Punta Palascia.




In the bay of Otranto there are two small beaches close to the town, but the most suggestive places are north and south of the town,off the coastal road 366. Among these are the Beaches of Alimini Lakes, Sant’Andrea, Baia dei Turchi Beach, Torre Sant’Emiliano and Porto Badisco.