If you’re thinking of visiting Corsica for the first time this summer, or maybe you already have your trip booked, Jake from our sales team may just have the first-time insight you need.
After growing up in France, I had heard a lot of great things about the beautiful island of Corsica from my family and friends, however I have only recently had the opportunity to visit - and I’m glad I did!
We flew into Bastia, where we picked up our hire car and drove straight down to the south of the island. It was about a two and a half hour drive along the coast, which was very easy and beautifully scenic. We were lucky enough to stay at Villa Bicu Rossu, which was simply excellent: a charming two-bedroom villa with a picturesque, rustic style. Breakfast was on the balcony overlooking the orchard and mountains, and a swim in the private pool was the perfect way to end the day. I would more than happily stay here again.
The south of the island is famous for its stunning scenery, and as we drove around, it was clear why this is such a popular destination. Lush mountains topped by vast granite formations, leading down to long sandy beaches is a description that certainly doesn’t do it justice. I really loved the proximity between the mountains and the sea - they are almost on top of each other. I will definitely be returning in the future for a jam-packed holiday of cycling, hiking and climbing as this part of the island is perfect for that. It’s important to note, however, if you are after a more relaxing beach holiday, then Corsica ticks that box too. The crystal clear waters, laid-back approach to life and fascinating history reminded me a bit of some Greek islands that I have visited in the past.
When it comes to local towns, Porto Vecchio is a hub for the well-heeled Corsican yacht set and is great for people-watching! Enjoy a coffee in the marina, although prices are fairly expensive in the area due to this being a sought-after destination. The citadel that overlooks the marina used to be a pirate haven, however nowadays the most pillaging you can expect will be your other half’s shopping spree in all of the local artisan shops and restaurants. In the evenings there is a real buzz, along with an array of excellent restaurants that offer my favourite food, Italian.
Due to Corsica’s long history of invasions, the island has a mix of cultures, and in particular an Italian influence. This influence, along with the close distance to Sardinia, means that you are spoilt for choice when it comes to Italian food and the pizzas are made to my high standards! However, Corsica’s food and drinking options will definitely appeal to all foodies. You have the benefit of French wines and cheeses along with fantastic pizza and pasta, and whilst I’m not a fan of seafood myself, many of the restaurants are supplied every day with fish caught nearby.
The next stop on our trip was West Corsica, via Bonifacio, and this town was by far the highlight of my trip. Driving down we passed some great windsurfing and kitesurfing spots, as well as quality mountain biking and road cycling routes. As a whole, but especially in the south, Corsica is great for outdoor activities and those looking for a more energetic holiday.
Bonifacio itself is a sheltered marina, surrounded on each side by cliffs, creating some stunning views. Home to the Foreign Legion for many years, the citadel now caters much more suitably to tourists and offers a lovely spot for lunch in the sunshine. After we’d eaten at one of the local restaurants, we strolled through the narrow streets, past boutique shops and treated ourselves to one of the best ice creams I’ve ever eaten!
Driving on from Bonifacio, we then came to Propriano and stayed at one of our premium collection villas: Villa Bumortu. Spectacular views dominate this modern luxury villa and no matter where you are in the property, you’ll be spoilt with incredible sights of the Corsican hills rolling down to meet the clear-blue sea. The village of Olmeto is only 4km away from the property and is perched up on the mountainside. Think classic Corsican village with a surprising number of authentic restaurants and old streets to wander around. It goes without saying that I was extremely impressed by this villa, and surrounding area, and I’m already jealous of anyone that is staying there this summer!
Without a shadow of a doubt, I will return to Corsica as it ticked every box for me: great beaches, fantastic weather, fascinating history and old-world charm. Visiting the west of the island was actually a first for our whole group and it’s safe to say, we were all really impressed. Corsica: offering something for everyone.
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