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Puglia, Italy

Torre Guaceto Marine Nature Reserve

Posted by Luci Ackers on Jun 29, 2015
Torre Guaceto Marine Nature Reserve
Torre Guaceto Marine Nature Reserve
  • Torre Guaceto Marine Nature Reserve
  • Torre Guaceto Marine Nature Reserve


Enjoy a peaceful slice of Puglian coastline

The Marine Nature Reserve Torre Guaceto is a protected area of coast in the east of the region of Puglia. While much of the coastline in this area has been devoted to the growing tourist trade, with restaurants and shops appearing, this little six km long haven is peaceful, unspoilt and lovely.

With its warm temperatures, the reserve harbours a range of Mediterranean micro-habitats that stretch from the clear sea, over rocky foreshore moving inland to include marshy areas and wetland; the intertidal zone is particularly important for molluscs, brown algae, sponges and sea anemones. The portion of coastline further to the north is characterised by rocky inlets with scrubland and trees and numerous gorges providing the perfect environment for octopus and sea bass. Beyond that the coast becomes sandy with dunes merging to shrubs and established olive groves. Torre Guaceto's terrestrial habitat, along with the wetland supports a range of Mediterranean ecosystem, making it high in biodiversity, supporting reptiles, mammals, birds and amphibians.

Some of the reserve is specially protected as an Area of Mediterranean Interest and therefore prohibited for human access. Of its three zones, however, two of them are accessible for visitors to explore and enjoy recreational activities. The clear waters of the Adriatic are great to swim and scuba-dive in. Alternatively you could take part in a nature walk or organised cycle route or snorkelling trips. One of the main attractions is the Torre Guaceto Beach. It is a wonderful, unspoilt beach with dunes and woods and warm, clear waters. Once you get past the slightly busier areas just past the car park, there are stretches of quiet, calm white sand to spend the day on. Remember though that this is a protected area with minimal developments and therefore limited facilities nearby. You'll need to bring all that you need with you, including beach chairs and parasols for shade!

Take a wander to the centuries-old olive groves that line the top of the reserve or follow the pathways through the vegetation and wind your way toward the sand.You'll see the Aragonese castle of Guaceto which was built in the 1500s and is situated on a headland overlooking the sea where it acted as a watch tower. It is now used by the WWF as an environmental education centre.

The main visitor centre for the reserve is in Serranova and here you will be able to find information for walks, bike rides, bike hire, excursions and even a small museum that details some of the history of the area and information on the various plant and animal species that can be found here. There is also a reasonably basic, informal restaurant at the visitor centre. Take a look at their website for more info.

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Luci Ackers
Author: Luci Ackers

Luci loves getting out and about for a good cycle ride or easy-going walks in the countryside, and thoroughly enjoyed the time she previously spent working for the National Trust. Her love of writing started from a young age and on rainy days nothing beats curling up in a secret corner with a good book.

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