Itinerary: Vieste, Palude Mezzane, Paglianza, Torre di Calalunga, Peschici, Rodi Garganico
Gargano, along its astonishing coastline from Vieste to Rodi
The Gargano Peninsula is an amazing region washed by the Adriatic Sea, located at "the spur" of the boot-shaped Italy. It belongs to the province of Foggia, in the region Apulia, and its territory is almost entirely part of the National Park of Gargano.
This Gargano tour will start from Vieste (pic n°1), the main city of the Peninsula, an ancient town that dates back to the Bronze Age. Nowadays it is a very popular and beloved seaside destination among sealife lovers, thanks to the crystal clear waters and its beautiful long sandy beaches such as the 4 kilometers long Pizzomunno Beach (pic n°2) with its limestone rock (pic n°4), and the almost 1.5 kilometers long San Lorenzo Beach, both are perfect also for families with kids.
The legend of the huge limestone rock on Pizzomunno Beach tells a romantic story, according to that in very ancient times, in the small fishing village that once lay here a handsome strong young fisherman called Pizzomunno and a beautiful girl called Cristalda, were in love. Every day, while he was fishing the sirens tried to seduce him with their singing but as he had true love with Cristalda he had always refused to become the sirens' lover. So, the angry sirens decided to punish him, taking Cristalda away from him forever and dragging the young girl into the depth of the sea. Because of the enormous pain of losing his beloved Cristalda, the body of Pizzomunno had turned into that big limestone rock you can see on the beach.
Do not miss the Bay of San Felice, located 8 km south of Vieste, considered to be a small paradise with an amazing beach and the famous natural arch called Arch of San Felice (pic n°3).
Also, we suggest visiting the coastline especially from Vieste to Mattinata by boat where you can enjoy countless beautiful marine caves (pic n°6) such as Grotta Dorata, Grotta Sanguinaria, Grotta Sfondata Grande, the almost 40 meters high Grotta Campana Grande, Grotta del Serpente, Grotta dell'Arco Maggiore, just to mention a few and some superb white sand beaches such as Baia delle Zagare (pic n°5)
In the town of Vieste, you might want some cultural insights, so you can visit here the eleventh-century Cathedral of Assunta, featuring an interesting wooden statue of Santa Maria di Medino, and the imposing triangle-shaped Castle, with its strongholds. Enjoy the amazing views from the castle overlooking the whole bay!
Peschici is located northwest of Vieste, about 23 kilometers away from it. The town and the nearby villages are renowned for the beauty of their pristine waters, and their beautiful beaches. Take some days and relax on Beach Jalillo, Beach San Nicola, Beach Marina di Peschici, Beach Zaiana, or Beach Calalunga where you can also enjoy beautiful views from a sighting tower that dates back to the 16th century.
Peschici, founded in the 10th century, still now preserves some impressive towers along the coast like that near Calalunga Beach, built in order to protect the villages from pirates and other invaders.
Finally, you can move west to Rodi Garganico, another seaside village appreciated for its crystal-clear waters. It rises on a high cliff nestled in the lush green of olive groves and citrus orchards and it is the closer mooring port to the Tremiti Islands.
Rodi Garganico is a cultural destination as well, so you can visit there:
- the Baroque-style Santuario della Madonna della Libera;
- the seventeenth-century Church of Santissimo Crocifisso;
- Church of San Nicola di Mira;
- Church of Santa Barbara, a very ancient church that had already existed in 1091, according to some evidence.
Rodi Garganico is also famous for its production of citrus fruits, as evidenced by the wonderful citrus groves in Giardini di Agrumi.
Arrival: Rodi Garganico
Some pics of Gargano:
Vieste (pic n°1); View over Pizzomunno Beach (pic n°2); Arch of San Felice (pic n°3); Pizzomunno Beach and the limestone rock, Vieste (pic n°4); Baia delle Zarage (pic n°5); Marine caves (pic n°6)