London lifestyle & travels with kids and babies
From secluded coves to stretches of golden sandy dunes to charming pebbles, best beach clubs in Puglia lie both Adriatic and Ionian side, diverse and endlessly alluring with crystal sea, casual nibbles and sophisticated dinners, vibrant aperitivos and long summer evenings. Here are our favourites after weeks of long due diligence: laid back sandy spots, glamorous bars, restaurants and party places for all tastes.
1. Coccaro Beach Club, a rather exclusive affair and sandy bay with crystal sea, where one can chill by sun chairs or the wooden teak terrace with lounge beds, get pampered with cocktails or great fish and sushi.
For parents there is a mini club with babysitters, complimentary SUP and a trendy boutique in case you are missing anything!
2. Guna Beach Bar on a beautiful stretch of sand dunes, perfect setting for kite surfing. One can walk up to the Torre Guaceto Oasis, a Marine Nature Reserve or eat and chill on Guna’s lawn or terrace by the gazebos or sunchairs. The music is cool, the crowd is funky and kids allowing there’s a spa area for massage and jacuzzi. We tried the fritto mixto, salmon ceviche, burrata and the kids had a blast by the sea.
3. For sunset aperito, the vibrant G beach bar. Located inside the Natural Park of Punta della Suina and surrounded by lush greenery, this is a great spot for crystal sea, sunset and drinks and bites. Swimming in the sea looked like too much of an adventure through the rocks, this is not a bring your toddler splash place but rather older kids and party people.
4. Giro Di Boa Beach, for lunch by the sea: the food was some of the best, great tartar ceviche, out of this world pasta and a funky dessert with coconut milk concoction and fruit within dark chocolate. The setting is funky but relaxed and one can also simply grab a snack at the bar if there’s a rush to get back to the beach.
5. One of the best stretches of sand sits by Ethra reserve. Closer to Taranto and truly unspoilt, with a little beach bar serving aperitivos, icecream and coffee. We’d get the little train shuttle from Kalidra and Alborea for a 10min scenic ride through the pine trees forest and coming back, most days we’ve been treated with amazing sunsets.
6. Marza beach bar : loved by solitude-seeking Italian celebrities, Marzà does low-key lounging on a tiny, secluded Monopoli beach, surrounded by fragrant lavender and chamomile. Splash, swim, snorkle and thereafter sink into a hammock for the afternoon .
7. Cala Maka: a Mediterranean-Asian restaurant and club, daytime beach house that serves healthy platters with a great sushi menu, fresh shakes, Acai bowls, and all-day snacks and cocktails.
Asia meets Puglia at this seafront beach club, where one can lounge day to night in beachwear with a fab music agenda.
8. Archeolido : chilled and tranquil, sunbeds within reasonable distance, nice background music, good mix of sand and rocks on this beach; a cute beach restaurant and even a hotel for insects !
9.Lido Porto Ghiacciolo is a lovely beach by medieval Castello di Santo Stefano (St Stephen’s Castle). The small beach is partially a lido, with sunbeds and parasols to rent, whilst the sea is beautifully clear and on the cold side (hence the name/ Ghiacciolo is afterall an icicle). The food is also great and creative in here, while by sunset the place is buzzing aperitivo time and by night, the whole place gets lit up: more summery cocktails and chilled music.
11. Not overlooking the sea but what a great place for an aperitivo (and/ or dinner) after a stroll in the ancient white citadel of Ostuni and its medieval labyrinths by the coast : hotel Paragon 700, a stunning 18th-century mansion converted into an intimate boutique hotel, walled gardens, an outdoor pool, spa and gourmet restaurant.
The grassy walled gardens with a sunken swimming pool, orangery and shady colonnades and pergolas for al fresco dining are spoiling all senses.
11. Coco Bay Beach Club by Salento: the beach is gorgeous (next door to Baia dei Turchi), sandy and perfect for swimming, strolling and playing. We had to rush for aperitivo and dinner with our friends staying at Baglioni Masseria Muzza but we can have easily spent a whole day enjoying it!
12. Mare Mosso Beach Club: for gym by the sea, Italian dishes and more cocktails nearby Fasano: a hit with our kids!
Savvy travellers escape the crowds of Amalfi or Tuscany for something a bit less frenetic and commercially polished. We loved Puglia for its beach clubs, dining and wining, soaking in the white city of Ostuni, strolling Matera’s caves and wandering at Alberobellos trulis, partying with friends and chilling.
We have also loved our stay at Trulli Casalina: the villas, pool, fig trees in the garden and massages under the olive trees in the orchard pleased all parties; perfect pied a terre to explore Ostuni, Monopoli, Polignano Al Mare, Mattera and Alberobello.
For more of Puglia, head to our favourites over the years with kids in here; for our best of Italy by the sea (we tested over 20 years!) head here; for more unspoilt Italian gems in the area, read about our articles on Procida and Ischia, just a ferry away from well known Amalfi.