Don’t leave the Gargano without having first done a boat excursion along its coast, where you will find one of the most precious treasures of this territory: the sea caves. Dug over the centuries from the sea and the wind, haunt of pirates and corsairs in past times, each of them is distinguished for something unique. Baptized by the ancient fishermen with the names more bizarre, according to their form, their colors or to the legends to which they are linked, they are very many in the stretch of coast between Peschici, Vieste and Mattinata: Due Occhi Cave (Two Eyes Cave), Pomodori Cave (Tomatoes Cave), Contrabbandieri Cave (Smugglers Cave), Sfondata Cave (Broken Cave), just to name a few. An inimitable spectacle of the nature, difficult to describe in words. During the excursion you will also see the famous faraglioni of Baia delle Zagare (Zagare Bay) and the suggestive Architiello di San Felice, that have become by now two of the symbol images of the Gargano in the world. The tour departs every day, from 1 April to 31 October, from the Vieste harbour on board the comfortable motorboat Desirèe. You will can also pair a visit of the Sea Caves with a grilled in the splendid Baia di Porto Greco (Porto Greco Bay). An experience to do absolutely.
The Gargano encloses some of the most beautiful beaches the entire Adriatic coast. Going down from north to south you part from the beaches of Foce Varano surrounded by green pinewoods that reach almost the sea. After the characteristic beach of Cento Scalini (Hundred Stairs Beach) you get to the long and pristine Baia di Calenella (Calenella Bay), dominated by suggestive Tower of Monte Pucci. It is then the turn of Peschici that with its namesake bay offers one of the most beautiful panoramas of the whole Apulia. In the territory of Peschici stands out even the beach of Manaccora, one of the most frequented bays of Gargano and of historical importance for the presence of an archaeological site that testifies to the overlap of civilizations since prehistory. On the border between Peschici and Vieste, between two rocky peaks that enclose it, there is the pristine Baia di Sfinale (Sfinale Bay), that for the exposure to the winds is the perfect for go windsurfing. From Vieste in then begins the show of the faraglioni starting from Pizzomunno, the monolith high 20 meters that dominates the homonymous and legendary beach, called also del Castello (Castle Beach), situated to the doors of Vieste center. Then you arrive at the Baia di San Felice (San Felice Bay) where you can admire another of the symbols of the Gargano, the Architiello di San Felice, the natural arch sculpted by the sea and the wind. Always continuing south, you arrive to Baia dei Campi (Fields Bay), beautiful pebble beach and pebbly, in front of which stands the homonymous islet that protects the sea by the currents and then to Cala della Sanguinara, a veritable jewel nestled between pine trees and rocky conformations of karstic origin. It is the turn of the marvelous Baia di Porto Greco (Greek Harbour Bay) that seems almost an oasis in the midst of the sea of Gargano immersed in the green of the Mediterranean maquis. To follow there are still the Baia di Pugnochiuso (Pugnochiuso Bay), a beautiful pebble beach, rather lonely, hemmed by a dense and perfumed vegetation, and Cala della Pergola, a very small cove of gravel surrounded by high rocky cliffs covered by Mediterranean vegetation, ideal for the lovers of the privacy and of the tranquility. The discovery continues in the territory of Mattinata, where before one meets Vignanotica, splendid beach of mixed sand to gravel and pebbles, all hemmed from evocative faraglioni of limekilns white overhanging the sea, and then Baia delle Zagare (Zagare Bay), or Baia dei Mergoli (Mergoli Bay), from the fluffy clear sand, nestled within an enchanted inlet, subject of inspiration for poets. Here stand out against the imposing and famous calcareous faraglioni overhanging the sea. In this variety of beaches there are not so many other splendid bays. And if these not are sufficient for the sea lovers, 12 miles off there are always the coasts of the enchanting Tremiti Islands.
The stretch of coast between Peschici and Vieste is one of the most picturesque of the Mediterranean for the presence of these giants of the wood, result of the ingenuity of the fishermen of Vieste and Peschici than once. Terraced by more than a century in the white rocks close to the pinewoods of Aleppo, the trabucchi are of the ancient fishing machines, in use already at the time of the Phoenicians, that in the past helped the fishermen to get good results from their job, even in adverse weather conditions. They are made of poles driven into the rock and of ropes that retain a large fishing net, which is immersed in water, called trabocchetto (hence the name trabucco) in which falls the fish. They are found generally where the sea is rather deep and are positioned in such a way as to exploit the currents. All different from each other, in appearance they seem fragile, but in reality they were able for centuries to withstand to the raging sea. One of the most ancient trabucchi is that of San Francesco that has more than 100 years: is located in Vieste on the peninsula of S. Francesco in the shelter of the homonymous convent and today is managed directly by the WWF. Between the oldest trabucchi there are also that of San Nicola, to the east of the promontory which houses the town of Peschici, that of Monte Pucci, in the homonymous locality of Peschici and that of Manaccora, located on the tip of the Bay of Manaccora. It’s famous also the Trabucco Punta della Testa in Vieste, the trabucco most eastern all over the Gargano. These are just some of all trabucchi scattered along the coast of the Gargano and today protected by the Park Authority. Do not miss the chance to visiting them during a holiday on the Gargano. They are 36 in the stretch between Peschici and Vieste.
If you are true lovers of the sea, you will appreciate certainly the idea of making a brief out of town excursion to the Tremiti Islands, a true slice of heaven all Italian. Located 12 nautical miles off the coast of Gargano, about 1 hour of navigation from Vieste, each year these islands leave thousands of tourists open-mouthed: small coves of rock, faraglioni, sea caves and a sea that has nothing to envy to those Caribbean. The marine reserve includes the islands of San Domino, San Nicola, Capraia, Cretaccio and Pianosa. San Domino is the most tourist, while San Nicola is the island most historic and also perhaps the most fascinating. The others are mostly large rocks and completely uninhabited, but no less interesting. A tour of the island by boat will allow you to discover the marvelous coasts of the Tremiti Islands and reach the bays most beautiful. To reach the Tremiti Islands is sufficient embark from harbours of Vieste, Rodi Garganico or Peschici on comfortable and fast ferryboats with daily departure from April to October.