Holidays to Otranto offer a taste of Italy's best bits – the glittering sea, rolling green hills and a sprinkling of local spirit.

Bundles of culture

The elegant cobbles of Puglia's Otranto, down in the heel of Italy's boot, host a bundle of cultural goodies. Shop around for locally produced wine, art and artisanal jewellery, or pass the night with a drink and a song in a local joint. Look out though, the Castle of Otranto's creepy spires inspired the first works of Gothic fiction.

Full-up coastline

There's a bunch of beaches here and plenty of ways to enjoy them. Tourist favourite Lido dei Pini's got all the creature comforts of a resort beach. For something quieter, paddle in the crystal-clear waters at the natural rock cove of Spiaggia Porto.

Lovely landscapes

In from the sea, the electric blue lake at the Bauxite Cave is a high-colour photo opp. Drive 14 minutes north of town and stroll along nature walks around the Alimini Lakes – keep your eyes peeled for migratory birds among the greenery.

Active Adriatic

It's not all low-key days in Otranto. Whether you're into horse riding through the hills, scuba diving below the waves or skimming above them via kitesurfing, there's plenty to do on and off the water. You can also take a chartered boat out to explore the briny blue.

At a Glance

  • Feast on Mediterranean fare at seafront eateries
  • Check out the Cathedral of Santa Maria Annunziata
  • Retrace old pirate routes on a sea kayak adventure