A Guide To Corsica
Not sure what location to choose for your luxury summer villa vacation this year? Are you looking for something different? A new and exciting destination you have never been to be before?
Corsica is truly deserving of the words ‘breath taking’. With a mix of spectacular scenery, thriving culture, deep historical roots, fabulous cuisine, beautiful villas, apartments and hotels and a unique blend of Italian and French flavours. It will capture your heart.
A brief history of Corsica
Corsica is an island with a turbulent and fascinating past. Most famous as Napoléon Bonaparte’s birthplace, its strategic position has meant invasion and resistance have been recurring themes in the island’s history.
The earliest Corsican inhabitants date from around 3000BC; they left impressive menhirs or standing stones, carved with staring faces, which can still be seen at Filitosa. Centuries later in 540BC the Greeks colonised the island, they were succeeded by the Romans and it was then that the pattern of conflict and battle began.
The island suffered under harsh rule by successive Mediterranean kingdoms before, with British backing, declared independence from France in 1970; Nelson lost his eye at the siege of Calvi and British forces captured a number of coastal towns. Independence was short-lived though; the British withdrew in 1796, Paoli departed to live in London and Napoléon (who was born in Ajaccio) moved in his army. Corsica has been a department of France ever since.
Compared with mainland France, Corsica is very sparsely populated. None of the towns on the island are large; even the capital, Ajaccio, has a population of only 55,000.
Flights to Corsica
During the summer months direct flights are available with EasyJet from London Gatwick to Figari airport. Figari is the closest airport to Amazon Creek’s luxury villa, Villa Luna. The journey taking approximately 30 minutes by car.
Direct flights from London Gatwick to Figari are available between May and September with EasyJet.
- Every Sunday from 27th May until 30th September
- Every Thursday from 19th July to 13th September
Alternatively you can reach Corsica by taking a direct flight to France with any airline, then a flight to Figari with Air Corsica from Paris Orly, Paris CDG, Lyon, Marseille, Nice or Toulouse.
We recommend hiring a car on arrival at Figari airport, this is the best way to get around the island. In terms of pricing, when booking well in advance you can expect to hire an average family car for around £400. Prices for car hire vary depending on the duration of hire, the driver’s age, the type of vehicle, and your choice of car model.
If you’re looking for elegance on the road, prices for more luxurious cars such as the Mercedes E-Class cost approximately £900 for seven days. Using Rentalcars.com you can browse the rental car companies and available cars on offer to ensure you get the best option suited to your needs. Hertz, Europcar, Enterprise are all based out of Figari airport.
Driving and Ferry
There are several options to travel by Ferry from France and Italy. One suggested route is Nice to Ajaccio with a crossing time of 6 hours and a drive of just over 2 hours to the villa. Some ferries do travel to Porto Vecchio which is 20 minutes to the Villa.
Take a look at www.directferries.co.uk to investigate your options.
Choosing your accommodation
Here at Amazon Creek we have our beautiful Villa Luna on offer, overlooking Palombaggia beach, close to the trendy town of Porto Vecchio, it sits on a quiet hillside, surrounded by stunning scenery and unrivalled sea views. Villa Luna sleeps up to ten guests in five en-suite bedrooms, finished to the highest standards and offering five star facilities including a heated outdoor swimming pool, modern gymnasium, cinema room and two hot tubs. There is an outdoor activity area in the shade of centuries old olive trees, which includes children’s play area, boules pitch and bar.
The vast living spaces are refreshingly modern and offer a wonderful open plan lounge area and a superbly equipped modern kitchen and dining area, perfect for family and friends to gather in. A fabulous collection of paintings and vintage model aeroplanes and boats just ooze class and charm throughout the property.
The large outdoor pool with stunning views creates a real ‘wow’ factor. Carefully designed to work within the natural surroundings and complete with comfortable loungers it may well be as far as you wish to ever travel from the villa! However, should a day soaking up the endless Corsican sunshine at the beach be what you are looking for, just a short walk from the villa is one of Europe’s most secluded and stunning beaches; ‘Palombaggia’. Previously named by The Sunday Times as one of the Top 10 beaches in Europe, the beach is praised for its clear turquoise waters and outstanding scenery.
What sets Amazon Creek and Villa Luna apart from a luxury hotel stay in Corsica?
From the moment you book your luxury vacation with Amazon Creek to the moment you leave our team are at your disposal providing both pre arrival and in resort concierge services!
Take advantage of our excellent pre arrival concierge service to help plan all aspects of your bespoke vacation with Amazon Creek. Meaning that once you arrive at the stunning Villa Luna you can just simply sit back and relax knowing that everything has been taken care of.
Your villa manager will also offer a comprehensive concierge service to ensure all your needs are catered for, and is on call for any of those last minute needs throughout your stay.
We believe that dining is one of the most important elements of your holiday with us. Taking it very seriously we carefully hand pick our chef to provide you with personal and seasonal menu’s to best suit you, your families and your friend’s requirments. Simply let us know your requests and we will put a bespoke dining menu together to perfectly complement the luxurious experience of a vacation with Amazon Creek. From sun soaked BBQ’s on the terrace to delicious four course Corsican inspired menu, your chef will be in touch with you personally before your arrival so no matter what style of dining you prefer they will not disappoint! With breakfast also taken care of all you have to do is decide between a day on one Europe’s most stunning beaches ‘Palombaggia’, a day by the pool or a day exploring the enigmatic island that is Corsica!
There are some lovely beach front restaurants to try, all of a very high standard. All of the beach front restaurants have sun loungers to hire and waiter service.
Restaurant ‘Il Pini’ – Restaurant ‘Il Pini’ has a really good menu and is situated right on the beach front. It has a wide range of local cuisine and fresh fish, meats and salads. Open throughout the day and for dinner.
Palm Beach – This restaurant has a good range of local food and fresh fish, meats and salads and is right on the beach. Relaxed atmosphere, open throughout the day and for dinner, with loungers to rent for the day.
Tamaricciu – If you are looking for a good pizza, then this is a nice place to try. The restaurant has a trendy atmosphere and is situated next to Palm Beach. For lunch they have a lighter a la carte menu and pizzas and in the evening the menu is notched up a level to a sophisticated a la carte menu with steaks, fish and salads. Our classy pick!
Take a look at our full restaurant guide here for more details of restaurants in Porto-Vechhio and the surrounding area.
During July and August, Porto-Vecchio’s nightlife really takes off, transforming the town into a hip and stylish place to be seen. Dressed-to-impress Italians flood the town for pre-clubbing drinks, prior to partying at the famous Via Notte open air nightclub south of Porto-Vecchio. Bars usually open until 2am, clubs until 5am.
The Via Notte, Europe’s largest outdoor night club, is the hottest and most sophisticated place to party in Corsica. World famous DJs in July and August attract over 3000 party-goers a night, the majority of them immaculately dressed, including the European jet-set, and the occasional celebrity. With an open air swimming pool, themed bars, lounges, a restaurant and a huge dance floor, this glamorous venue is the place to party the night away in style.
Activities in Corsica
Corsica is home to some of the most stunning beaches in the whole of Europe. This presents the opportunity to either relax or have a coastal adventure, or even both! For the thrill-seekers in the family, there is the opportunity for adrenaline filled activities such as speedboat trips, helicopter rides and yacht charter.
Speed boats, Jets skis, Scuba diving, Snorkelling and Sailing dinghies are all available to hire from Palombaggia beach.
There are several companies that offer horse riding near to Palombaggia. Early morning canters along the beach, swimming with the horses in the sea, a leisurely stroll in the evening in the eucalyptus and pine forests or a more challenging hack into the mountains. These can typically arranged during your stay. Private or group horse riding lessons can also be arranged, although group lessons, particularly for children, are best booked prior to your arrival.
Canyoning and Via Ferrata
Constant erosion of granite by raging torrents over the millennia has formed beautiful canyons in southern Corsica in the mountainous area of Alta Rocca. Canyoning is a popular sport involving traveling down creeks or streams within a canyon by a variety of means including walking, scrambling, climbing, abseiling and swimming. It requires skills in navigation, rope-work and climbing.
Via Ferrata is a mix of walking and rock climbing, using a combination of ladders, metal brackets, chiseled footholds and even bridges to allow progress on steep vertical cliffs. Steel cable, acting a both a handhold and security, is bolted to the rock at waist level, with walkers clipping onto it with a dynamic rope and a karabiner system. Via Ferrata is Italian and translates as ‘iron road’.
There are some absolutely stunning walks you can do, from the Foret de l’Ospedale. So if you fancy escaping the heat of the coast, then it’s worth the trip. The Foret de l’Ospedale is 20km away from Porto-Vecchio which takes around 45 minutes, the route up has some of the most breathtaking views of Porto-Vecchio, with some photo opportunity stops on the way.
It is a hiker’s paradise with excellent trails for all abilities. There are many clearly marked paths in this vast forest, set amongst laricio pines interspersed with huge granite boulders. There are easy, flat walks along the Sentiers des Rochers (Rock Path), also known as Sentier des Tafoni. A lot of the forest was destroyed by fires earlier this century, however the scenery (especially on the higher terrain) is still stunning.
For a full guide to all the activities on offer in Corsica please visit our destination guide here!