Whitewashed Mattinata is like a giant butterfly among olive groves in the southern part of the Gargano Peninsula. Its coastline proudly displays her long, blonde beaches and artistic, reflective chalk cliffs overhead.
It is medium in size and on a flat area but with a scenic mountainous backdrop. As the mountains flatten out a little towards the town, you can find vast plains of olive groves and an impressive coastline.
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The town itself has an authentic local feel and is not overcrowded by tourists. It is 20 km away from Manfredonia where lively festivals are held in the summer, and the historical Monte Sant'Angelo is about 25 km away along an interesting hairpin road. Mattinata town is really quite quiet, although you will find all the usual necessities here including a butchers, grocers, pharmacies, petrol stations, bakery, a pizzeria and a few restaurants, most of which are on the main street Corso Matino. The towns population was last tallied at 6500. The locals celebrate their saint Santa Maria della Luce every year on the 15th of September.
Below Mattinata (about 2 km) is the town's wide beach Spiaggia di Piana di Mattinata . This beach, which is the area's largest and most serviced (with restaurants and lidos), consists of chalk-white limestone and in certain places there is a sandy seabed - note that it becomes deep quickly. In the north end of the approx. 2 km long beach is Mattinatas marina, while the southern end is dominated by rock- Monte Saraceno (260 metres), where many choose to spend the day hiking on the rocks. Another beach in the area worth a visit is Mattinatella (or Fontana delle Rose) , which is approx. 10 km from the Mattinata towards Vieste. These two beaches (one of which is accessible only from the sea) has a particularly characteristic form with huge limestone cliffs that rise above the sea. You will also find beach services (3 lidos) and parking facilities. The beach is made up of a delectable mixture of sand and pebbles. Here it is also possible to rent boats.
Mattinatas municipality boasts that it contains the largest concentration of wild orchids, namely 70% of Europe's orchid species. Over 60 different orchids grow and flower here, some of which only grow in this area. It is therefore recommended to visit the region in April - June, when most of the flowers are in full bloom, specifically between 15/4 and 15/5.