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Picturesque Castro sits on a precipitous cliff high above the Adriatic, with its jumble of buildings almost cascading into the shimmering waters below. Once a sleepy fishing village, it’s now referred to as the ‘pearl of Salento’, thanks to its old-world charm, medieval old town and bustling yet stylish marina. The setting is spectacular, all white-washed buildings, brilliant blue seas and bright green surrounding hills, hills which hide plenty of luxury Castro villas. Castro, in Puglia,  is a great place to enjoy a villa holiday, with lots going on in the town and plenty of beaches and attractions nearby.

Things to do in Castro

There's plenty to do from your villa in Castro, from wandering the Castro Marina with its seafood restaurants and exploring the old town with its Byzantine churches, to heading out to the nearby beaches and hiking in the lush hills. From your Castro villa, it's an easy journey into the town itself, to see its Byzantine churches, narrow lanes and get fantastic views over the Adriatic from the citadel. Most of Castro's most enticing sights lie just outside the town, with highlights being the many beaches, caves and grottos that pepper the nearby coastline. Top sights include the Grotta Zinzulusa – a dramatic seafront cave with colourful rock formations and marine life – and Grotta Romanelli (with its Palaeolithic history).

Families will want to head to the tiny yet pristine beach of Cala dell'Acquaviva while couples will enjoy the seclusion off Porto Miggiano Beach – framed by towering limestone cliffs. Dining in Castro is superb, and from your villa in Castro you can head into town to indulge on the freshest seafood, sweetest sundried tomatoes, saltiest olives and fluffiest pizza.

History buffs will love the Greek, Roman and Byzantine history, while families will relish in the peaceful and verdant countryside filled with olive groves – especially when staying in one of our Castro villas with a private pool.

Pizza, Puglia
Traditional houses, Puglia

History and culture in Castro

Castro was founded by the Greeks, before being taken over by the Roman, Byzantines and Romans, so as you’d expect there’s a lot of history in the town. Start your Castro adventure by exploring the town’s defensive walls and towers before heading to the Castello Aragonese e Museo Archeologico, housed in an imposing fortress and detailing the long and fascinating history of the town. Next, visit the enchanting old town with its 12th-century cathedral and the remains of a 10th-century Byzantine church. Other top historical sights you can’t miss when enjoying a Castro villa holiday include the Palazzo Vescovile Castro and the ancient archaeological site of Mura Messapiche.

Family holidays in Castro

Our Castro family villas are superbly located, set within the verdant Castro countryside and a short journey into town itself. Nearby Porto Miggiano Beach is a safe bet for families and groups with children, offering a compact stretch of sand protected from winds by towering cliffs, and with warm shallow waters for paddling. Kids will also love exploring the myriad of nearby caves and grottos, especially when jetting out to explore by speed boat. The beaches near Castro are mostly wild, rugged and with small stretches of sand, so it’s recommended to hire a Castro villa with a private pool – allowing you to spend easy days by the pool enjoying the Pugliese sun.

Head into town to the main square for an easy family lunch or supper at one of the many charming Italian eateries, serving family favourites like pizza, pasta and lots of fresh gelato.

Polignano a Mare, Bari, Puglia
Speed boat excursion, Puglia, Italy

Adventurous activities in Castro

Castro is a hub for lovers of snorkelling, swimming and scuba diving, and the craggy coastline near your Castro villa is riddled with caves and coves. Jump in a chartered boat and head to these caves to explore the mysteries beneath the waves, with the grottos a popular and safe diving spot. Also reachable only by boat, the impressive Grotta Zinzulusa with its stalactites, stalagmites and even an internal lake. The cave is teeming with marine wildlife and has a cavern so big it's nicknamed 'the cathedral'. There are plenty of boat tours to take you to the caves and grottos, but you can also hire your own or even take a boat lesson. Head to Castro Marina on your Castro villa holiday for boat lessons and courses to get your scuba certification. There are also some great coastal and cliff-top hikes all within reaching distance of your large villa.

Romance in Castro

For an uber-romantic date night on your Castro couple's villa holiday, head to the twinkling Castro Marina, which comes alive during the summer with charming restaurants, bars and seafront cafes. Watch the fishing boats bob in the peaceful harbour as you sip on spritzes and local Pugliese wine – try the juicy Negroamaro – before heading to the old town to enjoy dinner at the trendy seafood 'Tuna Restaurant'. Castro's beaches are also perfect for a romantic villa holiday and are well-suited for couples, being small, rugged, secluded and protected from winds and prying eyes by dramatic limestone cliffs.

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