I’m guessing you’ve never heard of the Baia del Mulino D’Acqua, which translates to Water Mill Bay, located near Otranto? I’m not surprised.
This “beach” located near Otranto is very much a local kept secret. It’s not as known as it’s neighboring bays of Baia dei Turchi and Torre di Sant’Andrea. Why? Maybe it’s because it requires a bit of a hike to get there and a swim to make it out to the heavenly grottos. But once there, you’ll find yourself away from the crowds that have rushed to the other more well-known bays and have this slice of paradise all to yourself.
What is Baia del Mulino D’Acqua?
The bay got it’s name of Baia del Mulino D’Acqua because an actual water mill used to be here. It no longer exists, but the bay kept it’s name. The small fine sand beach is protected by cliffs that wrap around it on both sides. From the beach you can see 4 grottos each within swimming distance of the beach. We’ll get into those a bit further down the page. The sea water is a crystal blue that fluctuates from turquoise to emerald.
Of course the day we chose to go to Baia del Mulino D’Acqua it was windy and overcast, not making for an ideal beach or swimming day. But we took the trek out there to see what the talk was all about anyway.
How to get to Baia del Mulino D’Acqua and where do you park?
If you’re lucky enough to get there by boat, then it’s an easy trip from Otranto. However, if you prefer a bit of a trek, here is how to get there on foot. Like many treks in Italy, the parking and hiking isn’t intuitive or called out anywhere. I’ve pinpointed the location where you should park on the map below. Park your car on the side of the road and start walking out towards the fields.
From here follow the gravel road out towards the sea. From here you can either take the long way and walk along the perimeter of the coast, pass the top of la grotta sfondata, and see the beach from the opposite side. Or skip the scenic cliffs and cut through immediately to the beach. You then descend down to the beach and walk across a wooden bridge to get to this idyllic paradise. The hike takes anywhere from 15-30 minutes depending if you go the long or short way.
What Do The Grottos Look Like?
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The first grotto you will come across is la Grotta Sfondata, which translates to the fallen grotto. The first time you encounter this grotto won’t be from the water, but from the top. While hiking to the Baia del Mulino D’Acqua beach you will come across a hole in the ground. Don’t get too close, but that’s the Grotta Sfondata from the top. Once you reach the beach, you’ll have the opportunity to swim to this grotto that has formed a natural pool and see it in all it’s glory.
The other 3 grottos are Grotta dell’Eremita, lo Scoglio di Sapunero’, and Grotta della Monaca. They are all connected to one another via small tunnels that you can reach by boat and swim in and out of.
>> Next: 7 Things To Do In Lecce, Italy: A Lesser Known Travel Guide
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