Places to visit in Corsica
With incredible beaches and breath-taking mountain scenery, Corsica never ceases to amaze.
Porto-Vecchio is a really charming town, with lots of streets to walk around and explore. There are many designer clothes shops, some of which can only be found in Corsica. Red coral and special shell jewellery are a popular item here, as well as beautiful leather handbags. There are also a lot of shops that sell traditional Corsican fare including cheeses, charcuteries, and jams and chutneys. Fig confiture is lovely with the Corsican ?Brebis? cheeses, cheese made from sheep milk. Porto-Vecchio also has a marina with lots of beautiful boats to go and have a look at while you are strolling along the water front. At night the town comes alive with lots of places to have a drink or have something to eat. During the summer season, Porto-Vecchio is known as the St
Tropez of Corsica and boasts some fantastic cuisine and chic bars to have a drink at.
A beautiful town and definitely worth visiting during your stay at Villa Luna. The fortified hilltop old town has many narrow cobbled streets with acclectic luxe boutiques, excellent restaurants and numerous bars. There is also a marina, with many beautiful boats to admire. We reccomend you choose one of the lovely wine bars or restaurants to sit at and watch the yachts, and World, go by.
You can also hire boats to take you out to see the ‘Bouches de Bonifacio’, stunning cliffs and caves with views of the old town, best viewed from the sea. You can hire a boat with a skipper to personalise your journey, stop and have a swim, head off to a deserted island for a picnic lunch and make a day trip of it. Followed the adventure with dinner in town. You can also hire canoes, surf boards and wind-surfers, or try kite-surfing down on the beach. Much of the old town dates back to the 14th and 15th Century, and is really is quite unique. Allow 40 minutes driving time from the villa.
Things to see and do in Bonifacio
There are a variety of historic buildings to visit in the ‘Haute Ville’ of the town. Bastion de l’Etendard, a remnant of the fortifications built in the aftermath of the town’s siege in 1553. The 14th century Eglise Ste-Marie Majeure is worth a visit, as is the gothic church Eglise St Dominique. There is a legendary 187 step staircase running down from the citadel to the sea, the Escalier du Roi d’Aragon.
There are many lovely restaurants in Bonifacio, all offering a variety of seafood and local cuisine. Most have menus that are around 25 Euros, or mains are between 12-18 Euros. The restaurants get very busy, so if possible, it is worth trying to book a table, for example if you go for dinner and arrive to Bonifacio about 4.30pm/5.00pm, book your table in your restaurant of choice then, so you will not have to worry about it later
Pinarello is a picturesque beach side town with lovely restaurants, trendy boutiques and a variety of water sports. It even boasts an open air cinema! The beach is a stretch of wide sand and crystal blue waters, it’s the perfect place to visit for the day. You can hire jet skis, catamarans and have kite-surfing lessons. There are boat trips from the harbour to see the surrounding area and the historic Genoese tower. Finally, enjoy a relaxed cycle ride alongside the Cavu River with bikes available to hire in the town centre. About 45 minutes drive from the villa.
You can hire jet skis, catamarans and have kite surfing lessons as well as partake on a boat trip from the harbour. We can help you arrange any of these activities, but in the height of summer, they will need to be booked ahead. On Pinarello beach itself is Sportsica (06 24 26 51 83) offer guided kayaking excursions around Ile de Pinarello. A half-day tour costs €30 per person (there are tri-yaks for 3 people available). The company also offers relaxed cycle rides alongside the Cavu river.
There is a historic Genoese tower in the horizon of the beach, which you can also go out to get a closer look on a boat, often trips can be arranged from Porto-Vecchio to take you all the way up the coast line so you can admire Corsica from the sea. A good restaurant on the Pinarello beach is Le Rouf, which offers a wide range of different dishes, from shell fish to pizzaz. There is a whole row of places to eat overlooking the bay.
Escape into the hills to the charming little town of L’Ospedale surrounded by beautiful forests and waterfalls. To get there, turn left out of the drive and follow the road to the first roundabout, turning right as though you’re heading to PortoVecchio. At the next roundabout, take the left exit as though you are heading toward the Geant Casino (N198); cross the roundabout after this and then turn left at the next roundabout, onto the D368 and follow this road all the way to L’Ospedale. If you reach the Geant Casino you have gone to far! Journey takes a good 40 minutes from the Villa, but it is well worth the drive.
The town itself is small and charming. If you park in the car park in front of the small church you can easily walk to either of the restaurants on the winding main street.
If you continue to follow the D368 past the town, you will come across a huge number of spots to stop and look at the breathtaking views of PortoVecchio. But there is also the Foret de L’Ospedale to explore. There are a variety of walks through the forest, and with plenty of places to park along the road, make sure you check some of them out.
If you’re feeling adventurous, the company Xtrem Sud (04 95 72 12 31) have set up an adventure parc in the middle of the forest, just before the large lake, Barrage de L’Ospedale. It costs €22 for adults and €18 for children to enter the park full of high rope courses, zip wires, canyoning, tree-walking and hiking, with 3 different levels of difficulty. There’s also a baby park for children over the age of 3.
Barrage de L’Ospedale
A few kilometers further along from the town, is the vast lake of the Barrage de L’Ospedale (Dam of Ospedale), a man-made reservoir supplying Porto-Vecchio with water. Encircled by dramatic mountains and pines, this is a beautiful location and well-worth a stop. There are parking areas all along the lake, although the best views are from parking at the furthest end of the reservoir.
The coastal town of Propriano has a beautiful marina with a wide promenade lined with bars and restaurants. To get there it takes at least an hour, but you can stop over at the historic, extremely ?Corsican? town of Sartene along the way. The journey maybe long, but the views of the coastline are spectacular and well worth the drive. There are 2 little beaches in the town that are perfect for swimming. Also, the Plage de Portigliolo is 7km down the road, on the way to Campomoro. It?s 4km long with little shade, so take water and a parasol with you. The coastline is beautiful to explore from the water there are several companies offering boat excursions from the marina:
Promenade en Mar Valinco (06 12 54 99 28)
This company offers a ?pique-nique convival?, a 3 and a half hour excursion on a catamaran for up to 12 people (€38 for adults, €19 for children). Take a picnic with you and your swimming costumes, as there is a swimming stop.
Decouvertes Naturelles (06 03 77 42 56)
Their day trip explores all of the coves and inlets down to Tizzano. It includes a 3 hour swimming stop, with the option of a guided walk up to the Senetosa lighthouse. It costs €45 per person.
This secluded beach lies at the end of a long and winding road in a beautiful little cove. Tizzano is a hub for kayaking and boating, owing to the large number of beaches and coves that can only be accessed on water. Stintu Marinu, in the harbour, rents out both kayaks (€35 for half a day) and small motor boats (€60 for half a day), you do not need a licence for these.
Sainte Lucie de Tallano & Zoza Rockpools
A popular sleepy little village in the heart of Corsica, with its grand old granite houses grouped around a picturesque square – La Place du Monument aux Morts – looking over the valley of the Rizzanese River. From here it’s only a short distance to the fabulous rockpools at Zoza. The sides of the river have flat rocks which are excellent for sunbathing, and the rock pools along the length of this stretch of the river provide tranquil and crystal-clear (if sometimes a little chilly) water in which to bathe. About a 90 minute drive through absolutely stunning Corsican mountain scenery.