Situated north or Porto Vecchio, Lecci is a small village with a laid back feel and a handful of amenities. The beaches of Pinarellu and San Ciprianu are nearby whilst the mountain village of l’Ospédale is also within reach. Lecci is renowned for its vineyards at the Domaine de Torraccia.
This exquisite bay more than worth a visit and was recently included in The Times' list of the best 20 beach holidays in Europe. While you're there you can check out the near perfect Genoese tower which dominates the peninsula. It has a long sweep of soft white sand and is backed by a pine forest, ideal for any members of the party who need shade.
A beautiful half-moon of white sand and turquoise water close to Lecci and that has several water sports facilities.
A beautiful bay of reddish sand and turquoise waters. Fantastic to explore with its many tiny coves and because the area is not accessible unless you are a resident, it is never crowded. The perfect way to relax and appreciate the area.
Arguably the most famous beach on the island, the beach at Palombaggia is one of Corsica's finest and therefore one of its most popular. It was recently voted one of Europe's top 20 beaches in a poll in the Times and as such it can be very crowded in peak season - and it's easy to see why. An exquisite blend of fine white sand guarded by huge red granite rocks and fronted with gorgeous blue seas, and lined with beautiful pine trees.
Santa Giulia is another very popular beach and arguably the most photogenic of all the beaches in L'Extrême Sud - it sits in a magnificent horseshoe bay with its shallow and translucent water making it the perfect swimming spot for the little ones. Around 10-15 minutes drive from Porto Vecchio, this beach has a good selection of shops and restaurants and it is also very popular with water sports enthusiasts.
Foire de Porto Vecchio - Porto Vecchio, June
Traditional artisan fair.
Lumières de Toscane - Porto Vecchio, June
Lyrical concerts, parades, theatrical representations, art exhibitions, arts and crafts, cinematography and workshops for school children. This event is held in three places: cultural centre, bastion de France and the narrow streets of the town.
Journées Médiévales - Bonifacio, June
A variety of medieval entertainment and exhibitions.
Fête de la Nativité de la Vierge - Bonifacio, September
Stuffed aubergines ‘à la Bonifacienne’ are prepared and distributed amongst the people attending the ceremony of this religious feast.
Defi Inter-Isles - Bonifacio, September
Supporting the Corsican windsurf championships, this competition will see some hundred windsurfers from all corners of the world participating.
Le Tour de Corse à la Voile - Bonifacio, October
The Tour de Corse à la Voile is a regatta from Bonifacio to Bonifacio, 250 nautical miles non-stop, organised by the Bonifacio Yacht Club, under the auspices of the Fédération Française de voile and the Ligue Corse de voile.
THINGS TO SEE & DO
Domaine de Torraccia
This vineyard is best known for its red, rosé and white wine but also produces marc brandy, olives and olive oil. The owners will share their passion and knowledge with you. You will learn how to taste wine and recognise aromas. Plus get a full explanation of the certain elements which make a good wine… the soil, the climate and the workmanship, and of course there is an opportunity to purchase a bottle of some of their fine wines… or 2!
The old Genoese walled town still seduces visitors with its picturesque narrow streets and the austerity of its high stone houses that are set within the Citadel's ramparts. Wander the ancient streets, the Borgo, where you can see the enormous twisted tree of the Place de la République, the 19th century church of St-Jean Baptiste and the gallery housed within the Bastion di A Funtana Vechju. Experience live Corsican music and soak up the local atmosphere. Amongst the best venues is 'la Taverne du Roi', which is tucked away in the citadel of Porto Vecchio. Many restaurants also host a Corsican night once a week featuring a local band - look out for posters or ask your representative for up-to-date information.
Go horse riding on San Ciprianu beach early morning, a truly memorable experience.
There are a few places on Pinarello beach where you can practise sailing and windsurfing. You can also rent out a catamaran or a kayak – what better to explore the spectacular coastline of Southern Corsica?
L'Ospédale and Col de Bavella
Drive inland more than 1200m up to the spectacular Col de Bavella, one of the most dramatic passes in Corsica with stunning views across extensive forest, ocean and mountains. Also visit the surrounding mountain villages in the area. Try canyoning or take a dip in a rock pool in the rivers of the Bavella massif. There are many walks through the forests to the hidden waterfalls of the Alta Rocca, including Piscia di Gallo, or Cockerall falls. A short drive inland from Porto Vecchio will bring you to the Ospédale forest, and some great spots for a picnic.
Explore the prehistoric settlements of Casteddu d'Araggiu, just north of Porto Vecchio above the hamlet of Palavesa - a well-preserved site dating back from 1500BC. The views from here over the Gulf of Porto Vecchio are truly spectacular. Should you wish to venture further afield, the prehistoric sites of Cucuruzzu and Capula near Levie are also worth the detour.
At Corsica's southernmost point, the fortress town of Bonifacio sits in an isolated location perched high on a limestone plateau and surrounded by an expanse of maquis. Mentioned in Homer's Odyssey, the precipitous white cliffs overhang the turquoise waters below and are honeycombed with old watery grottoes. Established in 833, the old town is rich in history with its dramatic Citadel, ramparts and maze of narrow cobbled streets. The newer harbour has a more Italian flair with an abundance of cafés and restaurants dotted along the Quai Comparetti – the perfect spot to watch the yachts set sail.