Puglia by beach | Grotta del Cavallo gay beach

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Porto Selvaggio, situated in a nature reserve, is a popular local beach with rocks | Photo © the Puglia Guys for the Big Gay Podcast from Puglia guides to gay Puglia, Italy’s top gay summer destination

Porto Selvaggio is a nature reserve filled with thick, pine forest, covering an area of 1100 hectares in the comune of Nardò. A little less than 20km north of Gallipoli, Porto Selvaggio is one of Puglia’s most beautiful nature reserves.

The naturist and gay section is located at Grotta del Cavallo a little distance away from the main bay at Spiaggia della Sorgente | Spiaggia di Porto Selvaggio

Porto Selvaggio, situated in a nature reserve, is a popular local beach with rocks | Photo © the Puglia Guys for the Big Gay Podcast from Puglia guides to gay Puglia, Italy’s top gay summer destination

There are no facilities at the Grotta del Cavallo, and its a rocky bay with jagged rocks into the water – so ciabatte rubber soled sea shoes are a necessity.

Porto Selvaggio gay beach, situated in a nature reserve, is a popular local beach with rocks | Photo © the Puglia Guys for the Big Gay Podcast from Puglia guides to gay Puglia, Italy’s top gay summer destination
Porto Selvaggio gay beach, situated in a nature reserve, is a popular local beach with rocks | Photo © the Puglia Guys for the Big Gay Podcast from Puglia guides to gay Puglia, Italy’s top gay summer destination

Our opinion | Porto Selvaggio is beautiful. But getting to the gay beach is hard work, and it is some of the rockiest, most jagged coast, with fewer flatter shelves to lie out on comfortably. If you really love nature at its most authentic and a sense of isolation by all means try it out. But if cruising trumps nature, and prefer a more comfortable option, you might have more fun staying in Gallipoli.

Porto Selvaggio, situated in a nature reserve, is a popular local beach with rocks | Photo © the Puglia Guys for the Big Gay Podcast from Puglia guides to gay Puglia, Italy’s top gay summer destination
Porto Selvaggio, situated in a nature reserve, is a popular local beach with rocks | Photo © the Puglia Guys for the Big Gay Podcast from Puglia guides to gay Puglia, Italy’s top gay summer destination
Porto Selvaggio, situated in a nature reserve, is a popular local beach with rocks | Photo © the Puglia Guys for the Big Gay Podcast from Puglia guides to gay Puglia, Italy’s top gay summer destination

How to get there

Most Italian gay destination guides suggest parking at Torre Uluzzo by the Ficodindia bar and to take the steep path on the far left of the tower down towards the sea to the Grotta del Cavallo.

This is the path that lies to the left of the Baia di Torre Uluzzo. This takes you down to the rocks then you climb back up into the forest. But that’s very hard work, and the path is at times hard to find and follow.

We suggest using parcheggio del curvone car park on the SP286, before Torre Uluzzo. From there it’s a short walk to the navettes that navigate the nature reserve. The navette costs 2€ per person per journey. Take the navette to Grotta del Cavallo. From there it is a much shorter walk to the sea.

Alternatively you can use the car park at the side of the Ficoindia bar. The walk is a little further but on your return you can congregate with the crowd from the gay beach at the Ficodindia bar around sunset.

More | we take a Porto Selvaggio trek and tour | Grotta del Cavallo, Porto Selvaggio’s gay and naturist beach.

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