This week Marinanow takes you to Puglia, to the Salento Peninsula, to discover one of the most beautiful marine areas in the region and its cozy harbor: the Darsena Riviera di Ponente in Porto Cesareo.
A Protected Marine Area
Porto Cesareo is located on the Ionian coast of the Salento Peninsula, 26.9 km from Lecce.
The old fishing village, redeveloped recently, over time has turned into in a seaside resort and into a cultural center, becoming an important tourist area in Salento.
The territory, a small peninsula stretching for about 20 km of coastline, is known for the crystal clear Ionian sea, and hosts about 90,000 tourists a year.
Many of these visitors are diving enthusiasts and lovers of nature and the seabed, attracted by the Protected Marine Area here, a paradise of dense white dunes, emerald water and the warm sun of Puglia, bordering towns like Nardò, Leverano, Veglie, Copertino that are famed for their art.
The Protected Marine Area (AMP) of Porto Cesareo is a State marine reserve, the third largest in Italy and the only State Reserve in Puglia.
Since 2011, it is also among the Important Specially Protected Areas of the Mediterranean (ASPIM).
The AMP extends for 16,654 hectares and 32 km along the Salento coast, including the territory of Porto Cesareo and Nardò, in the eastern part of the Gulf of Taranto, north of Gallipoli (Northern Ionian Sea).
The protected area is bordered to the North by Punta Prosciutto and to the South by Torre Inserraglio and has sandy shapes alternating with rocky areas with islets and reefs.
Established by the Decree of the Ministry of the Environment of December 12th, 1997, the AMP provides mapping of the backdrops, with valuable information on the typology, distribution and extension of the habitats (up to 15 different ones).
The main purpose is to manage the anthropic activities of the area, in order to improve the environmental and social quality in the tourism sector, to increase the awareness and competence of stakeholders and, above all, to protect the environment, safeguarding its biological and geomorphological resources.
The Dockyard and its Services
The Darsena Riviera di Ponente enjoys an enchanting position, immersed in a “natural harbour” overlooking the Grand Island of Porto Cesareo, commonly known as the “Island of Rabbits”
Active in the pleasure boat sector since 1960, it was founded by Cosimo Peluso, a man of great maritime experience who, thanks to his passion for sailing and fishing, was able to create a harbour capable of meeting all the needs of tourists.
The Riviera Ponente dock is in the centre of the promenade of Porto Cesareo and has about 200 berths.
Among the numerous services offered by the dock are: mooring spots, boat hire, nautical taxis for the island, storage, boat launch, boat transport, new\used boat sales.
Open all year round, it guarantees 24-hour security, withday lighting, water, electricity and ample parking.
The Riviera Ponente dock offers a half day, daily or weekly nautical service, with 5 to 8 metre long open or cabin boats.
By hiring a boat, you can explore, either by yourself or with the help of a skipper, the waters, the islands and the coast of Porto Cesareo, immersed in a protected and enchanting nature. In particular you can reach the nearby Isola Grande, that is wrapped in breathtaking scenery.
Completing the beauty of the place and the comfort of the services is the reception of this land and this marina where you can enjoy delicious dishes and enjoy beautiful sunsets surrounded by the passion and warmth typical of this so loved and well-known region of Puglia.