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A Short Guide To Visiting Grotta Della Poesia – Puglia’s Famous Swimming Hole


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Corly Begley



Welcome to Grotta della Poesia, a hidden gem located in the beautiful region of Puglia, Italy. This enchanting natural swimming hole has gained popularity among locals and tourists alike for its breathtaking beauty and crystal-clear waters. Grotta della Poesia, also known as the “Cave of Poetry,” is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts, adventure seekers, and those looking to experience the magic of Italy’s stunning coastline.


Situated near Roca Vecchia, a coastal town in the province of Lecce, Grotta della Poesia is nestled amidst dramatic cliffs and surrounded by lush Mediterranean vegetation. It is a true oasis of tranquility, offering visitors a unique opportunity to commune with nature and cool off in the refreshing waters.


Legend has it that Grotta della Poesia was once a mythical place where gods and nymphs would gather to celebrate beauty and inspiration. The cave’s circular shape and pristine blue waters add to its mythical allure, making it a popular spot for those seeking a touch of magic.


Whether you’re looking to swim, sunbathe, or simply marvel at the incredible natural beauty, Grotta della Poesia has something for everyone. In this guide, we’ll provide you with all the necessary information to make the most of your visit, including how to get there, safety precautions, and the best time to experience this heavenly locale.


So pack your bathing suit, grab your snorkel, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure at Grotta della Poesia, where you can create your own poetic story amidst the beauty of Puglia.


Getting to Grotta della Poesia

Grotta della Poesia is conveniently located near Roca Vecchia, making it easily accessible for visitors from both nearby towns and those traveling from further afield. Here are a few transportation options to consider:

  1. By Car: If you have access to a car, driving is one of the most convenient ways to reach Grotta della Poesia. From Lecce, the provincial capital of Puglia, take SS16 towards Otranto. Once you reach Roca Vecchia, you’ll find signs directing you to the parking area near the entrance to the swimming hole.
  2. By Public Transportation: For those without a car, public transportation is an option. There are regular bus services that run from Lecce to Roca Vecchia. You can check the schedules and purchase tickets at the local bus station or online. Once you arrive in Roca Vecchia, it’s a short walk to Grotta della Poesia.
  3. By Bicycle or on Foot: If you’re staying in Roca Vecchia or the surrounding area, you can easily reach Grotta della Poesia by walking or biking. The scenic route will allow you to soak in the beautiful coastal views along the way.

Upon arrival at Grotta della Poesia, you’ll find a designated parking area where you can leave your car or bike. From there, it’s a short walk to the entrance of the swimming hole.


It’s important to note that Grotta della Poesia can get quite crowded during peak season, so it’s best to arrive early in the morning or later in the afternoon to secure a good spot and avoid the crowds. Additionally, parking may be limited, so consider carpooling or using alternative transportation if possible.


Now that you know how to get to Grotta della Poesia, let’s dive into the magical experience of exploring this natural wonderland and its surroundings!


Exploring the Surroundings

Grotta della Poesia is not only known for its mesmerizing swimming hole but also for its stunning natural surroundings. As you venture beyond the cave, you’ll discover a wealth of beauty waiting to be explored. Here are a few highlights of what you can expect:


Coastal Cliffs: The area surrounding Grotta della Poesia is characterized by dramatic limestone cliffs that line the crystal-clear waters. Take a walk along the rugged coastline and marvel at the breathtaking views. Don’t forget to bring your camera as there will be plenty of picturesque moments to capture.


Rock Formations: The natural erosion of the cliffs has created intricate rock formations that add to the allure of the surroundings. These unique formations provide a picturesque backdrop for your exploration and make for great photo opportunities.


Walking Trails: If you’re up for a bit of hiking, there are several walking trails that wind their way through the coastal landscape. These trails offer a chance to immerse yourself in nature and discover hidden gems along the way. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water for your adventure.


Local Wildlife: The area surrounding Grotta della Poesia is home to a diverse array of wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for birds soaring overhead and marine life swimming in the clear waters. It’s a fantastic opportunity for nature lovers to observe and appreciate the local flora and fauna.


Nearby Beaches: If you’re in the mood for some sun and sand, you’ll be pleased to know that Grotta della Poesia is conveniently located near several beautiful beaches. Take a short drive or walk to one of these beaches and spend a leisurely day lounging by the turquoise waters or exploring the rocky shoreline.


With so much natural beauty to discover, it’s easy to see why Grotta della Poesia is a favorite destination among nature enthusiasts and photographers. Whether you choose to explore the coastal cliffs, hike along the walking trails, or simply relax on one of the nearby beaches, you’re sure to be captivated by the charm of the surroundings.


Now that you’ve immersed yourself in the natural beauty of Grotta della Poesia and its surroundings, let’s delve into the legend behind this enchanting place.


The Legend of Grotta della Poesia

Like many ancient and sacred places, Grotta della Poesia is steeped in legend and folklore. According to local lore, the cave holds a mystical significance that dates back to ancient times. As the story goes, Grotta della Poesia was once a meeting place for gods and nymphs who would gather to celebrate beauty, love, and inspiration.


Legend has it that the cave was the birthplace of a beautiful nymph named Leucasia. She possessed an otherworldly allure and was said to radiate divine energy. Many brave warriors and poets were captivated by her beauty and sought to win her heart.


In an attempt to gain Leucasia’s favor, these admirers would gather at Grotta della Poesia and perform feats of strength, bravery, and creativity. They would recite poetry, engage in athletic competitions, or serenade her with songs of love. But Leucasia remained elusive, never choosing a suitor and instead disappearing mysteriously.


It is said that those who dove into the crystal-clear waters of Grotta della Poesia in search of Leucasia’s love would emerge forever changed. They would be infused with the spirit of poetry and inspired to create timeless works of art.


Today, Grotta della Poesia continues to evoke a sense of wonder and creative inspiration. It is a place where visitors can reconnect with their own inner poet and immerse themselves in the beauty of the natural world. Whether you believe in the legend or not, there’s no denying the magical atmosphere that surrounds this enchanting place.


As you explore the cave and swim in its waters, imagine the whispers of the gods and nymphs who once gathered here, and let the legend of Grotta della Poesia ignite your own sense of creativity and poetic spirit.


Now that you’re familiar with the legend of Grotta della Poesia, it’s time to dive into the crystal-clear waters and experience the joy of swimming in this captivating natural wonder.


Swimming in Grotta della Poesia

One of the main attractions of Grotta della Poesia is the opportunity to swim in its stunning turquoise waters. The clear and pristine nature of the cave’s pool creates an inviting oasis for swimmers of all ages. Here are some key points to keep in mind for a memorable swimming experience:


The Blue Paradise: As you descend into the cave and catch your first glimpse of the water, you’ll be astounded by its vibrant blue hue. The transparency of the water allows you to see the pebbly bottom and the colorful marine life that call this cave their home. It truly feels like swimming in a secret paradise.


Jumping Platforms: For the more adventurous swimmers, Grotta della Poesia offers a unique feature – jumping platforms. These platforms are strategically placed along the cliffs surrounding the pool, allowing visitors to dive into the refreshing water from different heights. It’s an exhilarating experience that adds a touch of excitement to your swim.


Snorkeling and Underwater Wonders: Bring your snorkel gear and explore the underwater realm of Grotta della Poesia. The clear waters offer excellent visibility, allowing you to discover the fascinating marine life that inhabits the cave. Observe colorful fish, fascinating rock formations, and perhaps even glimpse the occasional octopus or seahorse.


Swimming Safety: While swimming in Grotta della Poesia is a delightful experience, it’s important to prioritize safety. The water can be deep in certain areas, so it’s crucial to exercise caution, especially if you’re not a confident swimmer. Additionally, be mindful of underwater currents and choose your swimming path wisely.


Respecting the Environment: Grotta della Poesia is an incredibly beautiful and fragile natural space. It’s important to respect the environment and preserve its pristine condition. Avoid leaving any trash behind, refrain from touching or damaging any rock formations or marine life, and always follow any regulations or guidelines in place to protect this natural wonder.


Swimming in Grotta della Poesia is an unforgettable experience that allows you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of this enchanting place. Whether you’re diving off the platforms, snorkeling among the underwater treasures, or simply floating in the tranquil waters, you’ll create memories that will last a lifetime.


Now that you’re ready to take a dip in the magical waters of Grotta della Poesia, let’s explore some safety precautions to ensure your visit is enjoyable and worry-free.


Safety Precautions

While Grotta della Poesia is a stunning natural swimming hole, it’s important to prioritize safety during your visit. By taking a few precautions, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:


Swimming Ability: Assess your swimming ability before entering the water. While Grotta della Poesia is suitable for swimmers of all levels, it’s important to be aware of your own capabilities. If you’re not a confident swimmer, consider staying in shallower areas or wearing a life jacket to ensure your safety.


Water Depth and Underwater Hazards: Be mindful of the water depth in different areas of the swimming hole. Some sections can be deeper than expected, so it’s best to exercise caution. Additionally, watch out for any underwater hazards such as rocks or submerged objects. Take your time to familiarize yourself with the surroundings before diving in.


Jumping Platforms: If you choose to use the jumping platforms, always exercise caution and adhere to any posted rules and regulations. Evaluate the height of the jumps and only proceed if you feel confident. Make sure the water below is clear of any swimmers or obstacles before leaping.


Underwater Currents: While Grotta della Poesia doesn’t typically experience strong currents, it’s important to be aware of any subtle currents that may exist. Swim parallel to the shoreline to avoid being carried away unintentionally. If you ever feel uncomfortable or unsure, exit the water and seek assistance if needed.


Sun Protection: Don’t forget to protect yourself from the sun’s rays. Apply sunscreen before entering the water and reapply regularly, especially if you’re staying for an extended period. Wear a hat, sunglasses, and protective clothing to shield yourself from harmful UV rays.


Respecting the Environment: Show respect for the natural environment by not littering and leaving the area as you found it. Ensure that any trash or personal belongings are properly disposed of in designated bins. Avoid touching or damaging any wildlife, rocks, or vegetation, as they are integral to the ecosystem.


By following these safety precautions, you can navigate Grotta della Poesia with confidence, ensuring a safe and enjoyable visit. Remember that safety is paramount, and it’s essential to prioritize your well-being and that of others around you.


Now that you’re prepared with safety tips, let’s explore the best time to visit Grotta della Poesia to make the most of your experience.


Best Time to Visit

Grotta della Poesia is a popular destination, so choosing the right time to visit can greatly enhance your experience. Here’s some guidance on the best time to fully enjoy the beauty of this enchanting swimming hole:


Spring and Autumn: The ideal times to visit Grotta della Poesia are during the spring (April to June) and autumn (September to October) seasons. During these months, the weather is pleasantly mild, and the number of visitors is generally lower compared to the peak summer months. You’ll have a better chance of finding a peaceful spot to swim or explore the surroundings without the crowds.


Early Morning or Late Afternoon: If you prefer a quieter experience, consider visiting Grotta della Poesia early in the morning or late in the afternoon. These times of the day tend to be less busy, allowing you to fully appreciate the natural beauty without distraction. The soft lighting during these hours also creates a magical atmosphere that adds to the overall charm.


Weekdays vs. Weekends: If your schedule allows, try visiting Grotta della Poesia on a weekday rather than a weekend. Weekdays tend to be less crowded, giving you more space to enjoy the swimming hole and explore the surroundings at your own pace. On weekends, especially during the peak summer season, the cave can attract a large number of visitors.


Weather Considerations: Check the weather forecast before planning your visit to Grotta della Poesia. While the cave is a beautiful destination regardless of the weather, it’s best to choose a day with clear skies and pleasant temperatures for your comfort and enjoyment. Remember to pack sunscreen, hats, and other sun protection essentials for the sunny days.


Off-Peak Season: For a more immersive experience, consider visiting Grotta della Poesia during the off-peak season. This typically includes the winter months (November to February) when the weather may be cooler, but the area is less crowded. You’ll have a chance to appreciate the serene beauty of the place and may even have it all to yourself on quieter days.


Ultimately, the best time to visit Grotta della Poesia depends on your personal preferences for crowd levels, weather conditions, and the overall atmosphere you seek. Regardless of when you go, this captivating natural wonder promises to leave a lasting impression and provide a memorable experience.


Now that you have an idea of the best time to visit Grotta della Poesia, let’s explore some nearby attractions to complete your itinerary.


Nearby Attractions

While Grotta della Poesia is a stunning destination in itself, there are several other attractions in the area that are worth exploring. Here are some nearby highlights that you can add to your itinerary:


Roca Vecchia Archaeological Site: Just a short distance from Grotta della Poesia lies the Roca Vecchia Archaeological Site. This ancient site boasts remnants of a prehistoric village, including cave dwellings, tombs, and defensive structures. Explore the site and discover the fascinating history of the area.


Otranto: A visit to Grotta della Poesia wouldn’t be complete without exploring the nearby town of Otranto. Known for its charming old town, stunning cathedral, and picturesque harbor, Otranto offers a perfect blend of history, culture, and coastal beauty. Take a leisurely stroll through the narrow streets, enjoy a meal at one of the local restaurants, and soak in the relaxed atmosphere of this coastal gem.


Torre dell’Orso: Located near Grotta della Poesia, Torre dell’Orso is a popular beach destination known for its crystal-clear waters and fine sandy beaches. Spend a day relaxing on the shore, taking a refreshing swim, or enjoying water sports such as kayaking or paddleboarding. The beach is lined with bars and restaurants, perfect for grabbing a snack or a refreshing drink.


Otranto Sea Caves: Embark on a boat tour from the port of Otranto to explore the mesmerizing sea caves dotting the coastline. Marvel at the intricate rock formations, hidden coves, and turquoise waters as you navigate through these natural wonders. It’s a unique opportunity to witness the coastal beauty from a different perspective.


Torre Sant’Andrea: This small seaside town near Grotta della Poesia is known for its picturesque watchtower perched on the rocky coastline. Take a walk along the promenade, admire the views of the Adriatic Sea, and if you’re up for an adventure, go for a cliff jump into the inviting waters below. It’s a thrilling experience for adrenaline enthusiasts.


These are just a few of the many attractions that await you in the vicinity of Grotta della Poesia. Whether you’re interested in history, coastal beauty, or simply enjoying the Mediterranean lifestyle, there’s something for everyone to explore and enjoy.


Now that you’re familiar with the nearby attractions, it’s time to wrap up your visit to Grotta della Poesia with lasting memories of this enchanting place.



Grotta della Poesia truly encapsulates the natural beauty and charm of Puglia, Italy. From its breathtaking turquoise waters to its surrounding coastal cliffs, this hidden gem offers visitors an extraordinary experience that combines adventure, relaxation, and a touch of magic.


Whether you’re diving into the crystal-clear waters, exploring the nearby attractions, or simply basking in the serene atmosphere, Grotta della Poesia is a place that will leave you in awe. The legend of this mystical cave adds a sense of wonder and creativity to your visit, allowing you to immerse yourself in the enchanting ambiance.


While enjoying the swimming hole, it is essential to prioritize safety and respect for the environment. By following the recommended safety precautions and taking care not to disturb the delicate ecosystem, you can ensure a safe and unforgettable experience for yourself and future visitors.


Choosing the best time to visit is crucial for a more serene and enjoyable stay at Grotta della Poesia. Consider the lower crowd levels during spring and autumn, and the tranquility of early mornings or late afternoons. Exploring nearby attractions like the Roca Vecchia Archaeological Site or the charming town of Otranto will add depth to your trip and allow you to discover more of the region’s captivating beauty.


As you make your way to this natural wonder, remember the legend of Grotta della Poesia and let it inspire your own creativity and poetic spirit. Capture the moments, embrace the serenity, and make memories that will last a lifetime.


So, embark on your journey to Grotta della Poesia, where the beauty of nature and the legends of the past converge to create an experience that is truly unforgettable.