Go kiting to Italy’s Deep south: Salento.

Summer in Europe: with low-cost air company on one of Italy's most remote regions becomes handy and it is a great kitesurfing area.

The Italian region called Puglia, in the heel of the Italian "boot," ends in Italy's extreme south, and its southern-most province is called Salento. In the local dialect the Salentini (local people) use this expression:

 

“Salentu: Lu sule, Lu mare, Lu ientu” 

 

which literally means “Salento: the Sun, the Sea, the Wind.” For kiters this can be enough to have a good reason to pay a visit to this Mediterranean enclave, but before we talk about kitespots and winds, let us mention the cultural richness of this beautiful region.

 

sracen tower

 

This land has always been a frontier, or rather a confrontation ground, between Europe and the Middle East: it has been conquered by Greeks in ancient times and became part of "Magna Grecia," and in more recent times it was taken over by Spanish (the Aragons) and the  Ottoman Turks: during the famous Otranto’s Christians massacre in 1480, 800 Otrantini were beheaded, because of the refusal to convert to Islam. This  cultural crucible can be considered unique in the Mediterranean and it is now expressed through the richness in food, arts and music. 

 

salento hot pepper

 

The region’s capital is Lecce, located right in the center of Salento. It's a majestic baroque city, which is alive late into the night,  and has an amazing historical center, where you can find countless local restaurants and lounge bars. Other beautiful towns which absolutely deserve a visit are Otranto, Gallipoli, Nardò, Galatina and Maglie, but don’t miss all the small villages that host local ‘Sagre’ (typical feasts and theme events that are all about food, art and music) on different days of July, August and September.

 

salento gallipoli

 

Salento's typical cuisine is a must-try: vegetable dishes (based on eggplants, tomatoes, olives, ‘fave’…) play a big role in the local recipes and are absolutely delicious, but so are local fish and meat dishes. Talking about wine, we are in the region of Negroamaro and of Primitivo di Manduria, world-famous red wines. 

 

salento delicious food

 

So if all this sounds good to you, the best is yet to come: Salento is a perfect location to go Kiting. It is basically a small peninsula facing two seas: the Adriatic and the Ionian. This leads to countless combinations of spots and wind conditions: the most appreciated winds by local kiters are the ‘Tramontana’ (North) and the ‘Scirocco’ (south-east).

 

salento kitesurfer

 

You can choose your perfect spot for the day depending on the type of the wind. For the Tramontana wind, the best area is the north Adriatic coast from San Foca to Otranto: the best spots are San Foca, Frassanito and Alimini (these last two are also great with the south-east wind).

For the Scirocco wind, the best kitesurfing spots are on the Ionian Sea: close to Gallipoli we have the sandy beaches of Baia Verde in the south of the town, and Padula Bianca in the north. A little further north you can find the best spot: Porto Cesareo, with its crystal clear and shallow waters.

 

salento kitesurfer

 

The best periods to take advantage of this incredible kite/cultural paradise are spring and autumn: during the summer all the beaches are a bit crowded by people on holiday, especially in August, and often the kitesurfing activity on all the Gallipoli and Porto Cesareo beaches has to be supervised by coast guards. You might still kite on Frassanito and Alimini beaches, but sometimes the authorities come and heavily fine kiters performing tricks and maneuvers close to the beach.

 

salento kitesurfer

 


For these reasons, you can enjoy Salento in the summer for great weather and local village feasts, but if you happen to go kiting here the autumn is the top: the weather is still pleasant and warm and the beaches start to become empty: in this period kiters become the owners of the spots and enjoy great wind days!

 

alimini kite beach

 

If you are a beginner, there are a lot of kite schools around, but in our opinion, considering the quality of teaching (the only IKO center in the area) and safety, the best one is AK school, operating in the Alimini spot in the summer and in Porto Cesareo in autumn/spring.

Sep 15, 2014 by Kitesurf Culture ( edited on May 29, 2020 )

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