Away from the typical tourist trail lie the small towns of Propriano and Olmeto, nestled in Corsica's rugged western coast. We sent Kerry from our sales team to explore the area...
It had been a long time since I last visited the west coast of Corsica, my recent trips to the island being focused on the more touristy areas of Calvi, L’Ille Rousse and Porto Vecchio.
So I was excited to spend some time in Propriano and Olmeto, and ended up being happy to discover that they didn’t disappoint!
I vaguely remembered the west coast being wild, rugged and generally more suited to those who were already familiar with Corsica, due to its winding mountain roads. My memories were correct – the area was still raw and largely undiscovered by UK tourists.
The roads, although winding high up into the mountains, are all safe and there are lots of lay-bys where you can stop to take photos of the views. The scenery is truly jaw-dropping: mountains, forests, valleys, quaint villages and the inviting blue ocean – every view is more stunning than the last.
Nestled amongst all this beauty is the town of Propriano – a typically charming Corsican seaside town. It has a good mix of locals and holidaymakers with plenty of shops, restaurants, bars, cafes and lovely beaches to discover.
As with most seaside towns, the life and soul of the area is the marina: a mixture of modern, glossy yachts, beautiful people drinking tiny coffees, fishermen coming in and out and locals offering samples of their cured meats and strong wines. It's also a lovely place for families – kids wander around with crabbing nets, excited to visit the beach and spend their pocket money in the little gift shops.
While I was there, I also visited a few properties. A stand-out hotel for me was the Hotel Bartaccia. Perfect for honeymooners or a couple wanting somewhere special – it’s elegant, relaxed, classy and family-run, so the senior staff in particular really care about the hotel and their guests.
Looking up from Propriano towards the hills and mountains, your gaze naturally falls upon the town of Olmeto. It’s a tiny, ancient hamlet built high into the hillside, where traditional Corsican life goes on each day with little to no interruption from tourists. There’s a small selection of restaurants, cafes and bars (although not much English was spoken), and in keeping with the authentic nature, rather than a large supermarket there’s a charming array of bakeries, delis, greengrocers and a wine shop.
The church stands in the centre and the views down across the hills and forests towards the beach are spectacular. Next to the church lies hidden gem Casetta Peretti - an ideal villa for a couple looking to experience typical Corsican local life. The villa has a private secluded entrance and access to a lovely garden area with some shade.
I was lucky enough to stay at Villa Bumortu which is my now my new favourite property! It was so luxurious, with the best views on the island. On the same hillside, and also offering wonderful views, is Villa Kallisté. These three villas are all completely private but work wonderfully for groups who want their own space, while being close enough for evening get-togethers.
Bergerie Olivella also caught my eye due to the vast gardens and lawns - my kids would love to run around here – it’s a perfect family villa especially for young children.
All in all, I really enjoyed my time in Propriano and Olmeto. The locals were so friendly and welcoming, and it reminded me that the less commercialised areas of Corsica are definitely worth exploring!
Villa Bergerie Olivella
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