The Zagare Bay, one of the Top Ten beaches in Italy
The Zagare Bay, also called Mergoli Bay, is located after the Pugnochiuso Bay, 15 Km far from Mattinata, in the Gargano Promontory. This beach can be reached by sea, through daily boat trips leaving from Mattinata, or by land through two hotels, the Baia delle Zagare Hotel and the Baia dei Faraglioni Hotel, going down straight to the beach with an elevator built into the rock.
Considering that the access by land is private property of the hotels and the beach can only accommodate a maximum of 30 visitants per day to protect the site, if you wish to visit Zagare Bay, without being a guest of the hotel, it is recommended planning your visit ahead and getting a personal pass from the Mattinata City Council (see more info at the bottom of the page). The pass allows you to access the free area of the beach, which runs just beside the private area destinated to the guests of the hotel and equipped with sunbeds.
Another way to reach the Zagare Bay by land, without passing through the hotels, is through a steep path that starts from the Strada Provinciale (SP) 53, towards Vieste, just about 500 meters after the entrance of the two hotels. The narrow road, marked by a bar, begins under the bridge of the SP53, where you can park your car. Proceed for about twenty minutes down the trail in the pine forest, until you reach the beach.
Despite these restrictions, Zagare Bay’s is a beautiful place that is definitely worth a visit. The beach’s name takes after the flowers of Zagare (the lemon flowers) that, according to the tradition, where donated to the brides to decorate their dress on their wedding day.
Zagare Bay is about 1 Km long and has soft white sand, nestled within an enchanted cove. Bordered by massive limestone cliffs overlooking the sea, the beach looks wild and pristine, with two huge rocks, so called Faraglioni, emerging from the sea a few miles from the shore. One of these Faraglioni is spectacularly shaped as an arch, indeed is called the Magic Arch.
The sea is crystal clear, with shades from turquoise to emerald, and has sandy bottom, ideal for swimming and bathing.
Zagare Bay has been declared one of the ten most beautiful beaches in Italy, according to Skyscanner, company leader in the online flight search.
The pass for Zagare Bay is free, daily and non-transferable, and allow access to the free area of the beach. The pass is issued by the Office of the Public Relations of Mattinata (Ufficio Relazioni con il Pubblico) for a maximum of 30 passes per day. The office is located in Corso Matino 70 (open Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 11:30 am). Passes can be also issued by the Municipal Police Command (Comando Vigili Urbani) located in Corso Matino 90 (during public holidays, Saturdays and Sundays from 8: 30 to 11:30).
For more info you can call (+39) 0884.559097-550310.