A complete and detailed guide about 10 things to do and to see in Policoro
The town of Policoro dominates the Gulf of Taranto near the Agri rive, a few kilometers away from the sea. Its 16,000 inhabitants live mainly in the historic center, but the area most loved by tourists is the Lido bathed in crystal clear waters. This is the perfect destination for a holiday by the sea, full of history and fun.
One of the main attractions of Policoro is the Baronial Castle, for its architectural beauty and for its high position that lets you admire the sea from above. Built around the year 1000 as a monastery, it was transformed into a noble palace in 1791 and became the center around which the village developed. After a careful restoration, the Castle can now be visited, as well as its internal courtyard, full of bars and restaurants.
2. Talk a walk through history at the Siris Archaeological Park – Herakleia and at the National Archaeological Museum of Siritide
Policoro stands close to the ruins of the ancient city of Herakleia, a settlement of the sixth century BC, the remains of which can still be seen. Take a walk in the Siris – Herakleia Archaeological Park to admire the Sanctuary of Demeter and the Temple of Dionysus, and then go to the National Archaeological Museum of Siritide. Here the artifacts found in the area of the Agri and the Sinni rivers are collected, to be discovered in a fascinating journey on the traces of the history of these places.
With just 5 minutes by car you can reach the Policoro beach, a seaside area that has made the town a popular destination during the summer. This is thanks to the sandy beach with shallow waters, the Mediterranean landscapes and the clear waters. You will find several well equipped beaches, but also large stretches of free coastline in the area between the mouths of the Agri and the Sinni rivers. This is a quiet environment for relaxing days.
The Lido di Policoro is the perfect place for a tasty meal of fresh fish: the area is full of restaurants, bars and inns which serve fresh local fish. One of these is La Rosa dei Venti, a restaurant and a fish market famous for its marine-style location, loved for its home-made environment and popular for its rich dishes based of fresh local fish. Another one is Al Chiosco da Tonino, where you can enjoy fresh fish and house wine in a rustic and pleasant setting looking at the sea.
Thanks to its proximity to the sea, Policoro is the perfect place to practice water sports. If you love physical activity, you can go sailing, canoeing, windsurfing, water skiing and kitesurfing booking a session in one of the many facilities along the seafront. Even seabed enthusiasts will be satisfied, thanks to the possibility of organizing dives to discover underwater views that take your breath away.
One of the major natural attractions of Policoro is Bosco Pantano, a WWF oasis characterized by dense and intricate vegetation, marshy areas and what remains of the ancient deciduous forests. The oasis is a true treasure trove of biodiversity, where sea turtles and monk seals live, but also foxes, wolves and more than 170 species of birds. If you want to explore the more than 1200 hectares of the oasis area you can book a guided tour, a trekking route or bike excursions.
Policoro is known for its excellent fruit and vegetable crops, in particular for the Candonga Top Quality Strawberry, very juicy and delicious. Also excellent are local table grapes and cauliflower, fennel and salads, aubergines, tomatoes and peppers. You can enjoy these delicacies by going to dinner at L’Alto Impero – Trattoria da Ciccio, a rustic place where you will be warmly welcomed and where a delicious homemade cuisine based on fresh local ingredients awaits you.
The center of Policoro is Eraclea square, a city living room enclosed in a characteristic architecture of arcades. All white and closed to traffic, the square is distinguished by the bronze statue of Hercules, the symbol of the city, and by the Chiesa Madre which dominates the landscape. It is also the ideal for a quiet afternoon walk, a coffee with sweets and for shopping under the arcades of the nearby via Siris.
Lush gardens, villas and apartments suspended over the water, squares, narrow streets and pedestrian paths: the Marinagri Hotel Resort does not seem like an accommodation facility, but a small seaside village. This luxurious and peaceful 5-star resort is a true refuge for those who want to treat themselves with the spas, swimming pools, restaurants and cocktail bars. Marinagri is an exclusive location to stay in when in Policoro, where to hide away from the chaos in summer, when the town is visited by more than 300,000 tourists.
Policoro is the ideal destination for those looking for a lively and sparkling town, full of fun that goes on all night long. In the summer, the beach is filled with discos and clubs for those who want to let loose to the rhythm of music. The rest of the year, you will find fun in the streets of the town, in places such as Dompapa Rhumeria Cocktaileria, loved for quality drinks and excellent snacks to accompany them. Mirror – Speakeasy is also very popular, ideal for eating and drinking with friends, often to the rhythm of live music.