There are so many interesting places in Corsica to explore but my absolute favourite has to be the spectacular north east of the island, from the chic St Florent to the rugged splendour of Cap Corse.
Basing myself in the chic harbour town of St Florent, the first thing on the list is a wander down to the quayside to check out the very expensive mega yachts that are moored up alongside the quay wall. Many of them power over from Italy and the South of France during the night whilst their guests are sleeping so expect new arrivals in the mornings. If they are too big you will see them bobbing about in the bay where they will use their more modestly sized tender to zip over to town, some have helipads if you use your binoculars, not quite so modest!
St Florent Marina
St Florent happens to be duly placed right next to the wine trail of Patrimonio. An afternoon spent trundling between the vineyards is a fine afternoon indeed, especially at the start of your holiday as you will need to stock up the fridge. Apparently, it is something to do with the Vermentino grape and the chalk and clay-based soil…too much detail for me I just like buying and drinking the local offerings!
A day in Bastia is a lovely contrast to St Florent as you can spend all day walking around and not see half of it…my favourite place to meander is the old (Vieux) port surrounded by restaurants and little shops, and back into the narrow streets and alleyways and up to the citadel. You will need comfy shoes on as there are some long and some steep streets (and bigger shops if that’s your thing), and if you can make a Sunday there is the market too.
Place St Nicholas, Bastia
So now a day on the beach is required – luckily there are two beautiful beaches (Plage de Lotu and Plage de Saleccia) that you can catch a boat to. They sail from the harbour and make sure you check out the sailing times the evening before and plan your set off time via the supermarket to get some drinks and a sandwich. When you are there you can chill out all day in the sun, go for a dip in the turquoise bays, or go for a walk along the sands to break up the day.
Speaking of beaches, Nonza is a charming village just at the base of the Cap Corse, where the beach has black sand! Park up at the top of the village and climb up the Genoese tower to be rewarded with a stunning view across the Gulf of St Florent and beyond. There is a little café halfway up to stop for a drink, or perhaps on the way down as it’s a bit of an effort going up there in the heat.
The Cap Corse is the peninsula on the north tip of Corsica, covered in maquis and winding roads if you fancy a full day meandering. You can go either way round (start at Nonza or Bastia side) and stop off at the little towns and fishing villages enroute. I liked Centuri-Port and Erbalunga, but so many sleepier ones to discover I think the Cap Corse needs a blog of its own…
Back in St Florent, I do love wandering around the streets there in the afternoon for an ice cream and watching the daily game of boules…and in the early evening with the buzz from the restaurants and the under lights of yachts glowing in the water, the lovely sound of glasses and cutlery chinking makes a charming atmosphere while browsing around the little craft market that appears on the harbour side at sunset.
Joanne and her husband in Corsica
Joanne is one of our product executives and has worked for Corsican Places for nearly 19 years - she really is an expert on all our destinations!
Inspired to learn more about the north east of Corsica? view the full range of accommodation we have in this charismatic corner of this beautiful island.