The Astonishing Nature of West Corsica
Probably less popular than other areas of the island, the West coast offers a more intimate and often less crowded experience of Corsica. With lovely family-friendly beaches and plenty of space in summer. The back country is truly unique with the green oak forests of Castagniccia or the stunning views from Mount Renoso and the valley of the Fiumorbu. So if you are looking for a more intimate experience of the island, somewhere along the West coast might well be the place for you.
1. Girolata (star one on the map) is part of the Scandola Nature Reserve. This port is a little village with rocky inlets, and a superb anchorage. With stunningly clear water, this is the perfect stop to have a swim before relaxing for the evening aboard your yacht.
2. The Gulf of Ajaccio (star 2), is an amazing mountain-encircled bay. Stroll through the old port of Ajaccio, a distinguished town that also boasts the birthplace of Napoleon. Treat yourself to an authentic local meal at one of the restaurants in the old town or stay to enjoy a lovely dinner aboard your yacht. In Ajaccio, find a place in the old harbor and enjoy the Corsican way of life at the terrace of a café, reading your favourite book. After a night in Ajaccio, you can sail South. A first great anchor is available in the “Anse de Cacalu”, a beautiful cove in which to have a swim, and contemplate the bay of Ajaccio.
3. Continuing down the West coast; an area of outstanding and varied natural beauty, cliffs, rock formations, and mountainous vistas you will arrive in Propriano (star 3). The narrowest part of the Golfe de Valinco. Propriano is an ancient town, but was redeveloped in the 1990's and now has a thriving marina and port scene. Propriano is well known for it's excellent beaches, perfect for swimming and activities. Propriano is a great place to stay when the Mistral is blowing too heavily, a good place to rent a car and discover the amazing landscapes of the inland.
6. At 12 Nautical Miles South West from Propriano stands a really wonderful mooring, called “Scoglio Bianco” where you can anchor in 7m of turquoise water, in the middle of a tiny creek surrounded by incredible white granite rocks, to which the sea has given surprising and graceful shapes. This is one of the most amazing Mediterranean wild anchorages.
7. Bonifacio (star 4), is a striking town, perched on limestone cliffs. Here you will want to explore the old citadel and relax in the café and restaurant-lined harbor while you admire the views. In between Propriano and Bonifacia is Roccapina cove, the most famous mooring in Corsica. This cove gathers all the elements for a typical picture of a mooring in Corsica: granite rocks, white sand, a Genoese tower overlooking your mooring.
8. From Bonifacio, you can go diving or snorkelling in the Lavezzi. The natural, protected reserve offers a fabulously rich aquatic fauna and flora. You can then cruise to La Maddalena's National Park, a beautiful set of protected islands between Corsica and Sardinia. Depending on how much time you have, continue on toward Sardinia if you can!
We can put together a personalised itinerary include any or all of these beautiful locations along the West coast of Corsica. If you have any must see location on your list just let us know and we can make sure to ad it to your itinerary.
La Dolce Vita of North Sardinia and the “Costa Smeralda”
1. Alghero is a splendid walled city from the 12th century with a strong Spanish influence, even today. The setting is a perfect representation of what you would expect in a great Mediterranean destination: green hills, sandy beaches and a quiet walled town with an inner harbour. Probably the best destination in Sardinia. Alghero is alone a good reason to go sailing in Sardinia, if only for 2 or 3 days. The centro storico (old town) is a genuine wonder.
2. Castelsardo is a beautiful old fishing village, with 6,000 inhabitants, that stands on a rocky face in the North of Sardinia. The village lies under the protection of a Genoese Castle built in the 12th century that is now a museum. A 20-minute walk separates the village from the Marina but once in the village you’ll get a real taste of “La Dolce Vita". Offering splendid views over the Golf of Asinara. Walking in the narrow streets of the old town, you’ll see women weaving baskets and other objects …very traditional! Once you’ve enjoyed the delights of Castlesardo, let’s sail North East to the “Costa Smeralda” (Emerald coast), the Island’s chic hot spot.
3. Cala Coticcio, also known as Tahiti Bay, is actually two coves, quite deep with crystal blue waters. It’s a very popular anchorage for jet-setters in summer.
4. The next step is the small village of Cannigione; its green environment is in sharp contrast to the usual rocky landscape of Sardinia. Cannigione lies in the Golf of Arzachena (the largest inlet in Sardinia). This is a very pleasant destination, full of life although not as “prestigious” as Porto Cervo. Don’t miss the street market if you are in Cannigione on a Friday. Many operators offer excursions to the Maddalena archipelago, so it’s an excellent occasion to go diving in the marine reserve. The beaches in the North of Cannigione are really beautiful.
5. The next stop is Porto Cervo (or Porto Rotondo e Cala di Volpe). Get ready for stars, millionaires and paparazzi. In early June the Loro Piana Superyachts Regatta opens the Mediterranean Superyachts calendar. Porto Cervo is the most famous destination on the Costa Smeralda. It goes without saying that you’ll find an abundance of excellent restaurants, fun bars and lots of luxury shops to visit.