Torre Guaceto is a nature reserve close to Ostuni in Puglia. Named after its eponymous torre (tower), we were looking forward to exploring it on foot. Last Sunday morning, bright and early, we donned our walking gear and headed off to see it for ourselves.
It was a perfect winter’s morning: sunny, clear and – when out of the chilly Tramontana – quite warm too. Parking the car in a sandy car-park close to the main road, we set off on foot.
As it is winter, the beaches are currently deserted, bar a few walkers such as ourselves, and cyclists on trail or mountain bikes. I can only imagine that things will be different in summer, but how different I do not know, as, being a nature reserve with limited access, there is a long walk to get to many of these isolated beaches.
Torre Guaceto is close to the ‘White City of Ostuni’ and the busy town of Carovigno, about half an hour north of Brindisi. Between the torre itself and the visitor’s centre are several coves dotted with rugged sandy beaches. Between the beaches we walked through Mother Nature’s garden; there is no other way to describe the wonderful natural flora we walked past on the sandy paths as we threaded our way from beach to beach.
Medieval watchtowers, such as Torre Guaceto, are dotted along the coast of Puglia. I have read that they were built by the Emperor Charles V in order to keep an eye out for possible invaders.
Torre Guaceto is a large protected nature reserve and, as such, is completely different to other beach areas close by where bars, restaurants and holiday homes jostle for position along the shoreline. Apart from a visitor’s centre, there is no development here and in winter is wild and unspoiled.
In the summer season, though the visitor’s centre runs a shuttle bus to an area near the tower, you would have to be prepared to walk quite a distance to find your spot on one of these perfect beaches.
Being a nature reserve, it is full of wonderful plant life and I have read that there is, apparently, a turtle sanctuary there too. Details can be found on their website, click HERE.