The Otranto coast has long beaches on the northern side. There are important habitats there like coastal dunes, and the Laghi di Alimini, ponds that have formed behind the beaches. South of the city there are carbonate rocks that rise in high cliffs above the sea. Here you’ll find small inlets and beautiful beaches that you can only reach by boat. The Karst landscape means that the coastline is dotted with caves, both above and below sea level. The seabed in the area has very important habitats like sandy and pebbly areas with Posidonia Oceanica meadows and huge fan mussels (Pinna nobilis); you can spot sea horses marina swimming through the gracefully waving fronds of algae and many newly born fish that feed and seek shelter here. The rocky areas have underwater rockslides where divers can observe coralligenous colonies and violescent sea-whip, several kinds of sponges and sea squirts and watch large tuna, amberjacks and dolphinfish. La Palascia, Capo d’Otranto, la Grotta, la Parete del Serpe and la Grotta di Punta Facì are the names of just some of the most interesting diving spots.
Capo d’Otranto is high and has a construction with black and white squares on it so it’s easy to recognise. The port is large and protected by a breakwater. There you’ll find floating piers run by Circomare, LNI and Assonautica that are almost always full. You have to be careful of submerged obstacles in the south-western part of the port.