West of Propriano towards the extremity of the Gulf of Valinco, lies the pretty line of beaches and a handful of cafés, bars and restaurants known as Olmeto Plage. The area can get busy in high season however out of holiday time it is common to get these beaches all to yourself!
There are a number of town beaches including the main beach Hotel du Phare by the Hôtel de Valinco and the Plage du Lido which is supervised in July and August. The busiest of which is the Plage du Phare which has golden sand and a selection of cafés and restaurants. It can get very crowded during peak season. There are several other beaches along this stretch which are less accessible but worth the venture.
The stretch of coast here has a number of secluded bays, coves and larger beaches, with varying degrees of accessibility. Fringed by granite boulders, bordered by crystal clear water and with superb views across the Valinco gulf, they all offer a superb setting for swimming, snorkelling or simply whiling away the hours relaxing on the beach. Take a picnic in the evening, the sunsets here are spectacular!
Continue along the coast past Capicciolo and you'll find more beautiful coves and beaches in the Abbartello area. There are several good pizzerias and restaurants along the coast to stop for a drink or a bite to eat. The paths are easy to find as the beaches are only 25m or so from the main road.
This is a busy little resort set on a gorgeous bay with a lively marina and a sheltered sandy beach. The gently shelving bay is lapped by very clear water, making it ideal for families with young children. The water sports here are excellent and it boasts some of the best diving in the region.
Plage de Cupabia
A beautiful beach, beyond Porto Pollo, which is fairly crowded during high season but quiet during lower season. There is a café which sells ice-creams and drinks on the beach and a windsurfer hire operator.
Located in the pretty village of Campomoro, this beach has fine sand and turqoise shallow water making it an ideal choise for children and for snorkelling. There are a couple of restaurants on the beach and a water sports centre. Venture further afield along the coastline past the Genoese tower and you'll find a string of smaller coves amid spectacular scenery (4h / 5h circular walk).
A wonderful, sandy beach only about 20 minutes' drive from Propriano. To get there follow the road out of town towards Sartène and turn right heading towards Campomoro. After 3km you should park and take the small path towards a long sandy beach greatly appreciated by children as the water is shallow – at least on the first part of the beach. If you go further to the right, take care as the beach shelves steeply into the water.
Fêtes de Pâques: U Catenacciu - Sartène - March
The most famous of the Good Friday processions - A chained and hooded penitent bearing a cross, follows a steep route across the town and only the parish curate knows the identity of the penitent.
Jazz in Aiacciu - Ajaccio - June
Ajaccio hosts a jazz festival every year, showcasing some of the most exciting artists of the international and French jazz scene today.
Fête de la musique - All Corsica - 21st June
Numerous free live music events are held each year across the island and indeed the whole of France.
Bastille Day – 14th July
Formally known as la Fête Nationale, this is a National Holiday in France commemorating the anniversary of storming the Bastille fortress prison in 1790. Fireworks and celebrations take place throughout the country and can be best appreciated from the mountainside.
Les fêtes Napoléoniennes - Ajaccio - August
Ajaccio celebrates the August birthday of Corsica's most famous son with period processions and a firework display.
THINGS TO SEE & DO
With its array of tempting restaurants and buzing café terraces lining the marina, Propriano is a popular resort oozing a real traditional feel and relaxed atmosphere - the perfect place to lounge, indulge yourself with a lazy lunch or simply watch the world go by. It is an important departure point for boat trips and water sports.
Inland from Propriano, you will reach the peaceful hamlet of Olmeto. Remaining close to the sea yet still retaining a quaint atmosphere, the village boasts stunning views across the countryside over to the coastline below.
Rock pool swimming and canyoning
Head for the hills behind Propriano and discover a natural playground of waterfalls and natural rock pools. It's also a great spot for canyoning.
Sartène, said to be the most Corsican of Corsican towns is a brooding place of tall buildings and narrow, cobbled alleyways. Famous for its local wines you can experience the culture at first hand.
Experience the magical landscape of Filitosa, one of the most fascinating Prehistoric sites in the Mediterranean with 8000 years of history set in a truly magnificent surroundings.
At the tip of Campomoro bay, an old Genoese watchtower overlooks the pretty seaside village and golden sandy beach of Campomoro, beyond which lay ahead to the south one of the wildest coastlines in Corsica. Venture on foot and discover an extraordinary landscape of granite outcrops, secluded beaches and perfumed maquis (4h / 5h circular walk).
The blood-red of les Iles Sanguinaires aflame at sunset and the sweeping silvery strands of beaches make the Ajaccio gulf a real beauty. Corsica's capital sparkles with a Mediterranean buzz, bustling squares, daily market and cafés on every corner with ample culture and many places that celebrate Corsica's famous son - Napoléon Bonaparte. Visit a museum of his family home 'Maison Bonaparte' or the Musée Fesch which holds one of the largest collection of Italian art in France.
Visit a vineyard
Southern Corsican wines are some of the best on the island with vineyards spreading between Figari and Ajaccio, and throughout the Sartenais. Several of the better known vineyards are Domaine Mosconi, Domaine Sant'aArnettu and Castellu di Baricci.
Walk on the Capo di Muro
A walk to the cliff-top of Capo di Muro, which separates the gulf of Ajaccio from the gulf of Valinco, with reward you with outstanding views of the bay and beautiful hidden coves along the way (a 3h / 4h circular walk from Cascionu).
Venture into in the Alata Rocca by car and discover some of the most stunning forest and mountain scenery on the island. Drive through an area of sleepy perched villages, pink granite pinnacles and archaeological sites whilst taking in the breathtaking views of the coastline below. There are ample opportunities for outdoor pursuits here including walking, canyoning, rafting or even 'Via Ferrata' climbing.
Have dinner in a ferme auberge
Want to try the regional specialities in a typically Corsican setting? Head to one of the local fermes auberges such as Ferme Auberge San Ghjuvani near Olmeto or Auberge Santa Barbara near Sartène for succulent wild boar stew, veal with olives, charcuterie and chestnut cake.