The wild, solitary island of Corsica in the French Mediterranean is a charter yacht paradise. Sitting strategically between the French Riviera, Sardinia, and Tuscany, Corsica blends the flavours and customs of all of these to form its own unique culture, offering some of the most pleasant cruising grounds, something for everybody – beach lovers, divers, culture buffs, hikers, history enthusiasts, epicureans.
If you love France and would like a change from the hustle and bustle of the Riviera, Corsica is the perfect antidote to the glam Riviera.
Luxury charter guests visiting Corsica will behold landscapes that are varied and awe-inspiring: from the mountainous terrain of Cap Corse, inlets lined by glowing red rocks on the Western coast, steep chalk cliffs and deep fjords in the South, to long sandy beaches on the East coast between Bastia and Solenzara.
Protected natural marine parks, beautiful bays and historical ports, not to mention the dramatic inland mountains, forests, rivers and waterfalls. The Italian influence is apparent in the food and the passionate personality of the locals.
Corsica offers the charter yacht guest a dizzying array of landscapes and attractions, natural and man-made. Romanesque chapels in Castagniccia, baroque churches in Bastia, the fortifications of Bonifacio, or the citadel of Calvi; history has left its imprint everywhere.
Prehistory gave Corsica with the Menhirs of Filitosa; the Romans taught the people the cultivation of grapes and the raising of oysters. Starting in the Middle Ages, Christianity inspired the construction of Romanesque and Baroque churches, and the Genovese built fortresses, citadels and ramparts for protection against invaders. This ancient and fascinating island is separated from Sardinia to the south by the Strait of Bonifacio.
The Capital of Corsica is the birth place of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1769. Ajaccio is situated on one of the most beautiful gulfs in the world, surrounded on three sides by mountains that protect it and make it an excellent sheltered charter destination. Ajaccio is attractive for its old town, relaxing cafés and the views of its glorious bay.
The ageless port of Bastia, on the North East coast of Corsica just below Cap Corsica, is the commercial center of Corsica – a bustling city of 44,000 inhabitants. The main attractions are the place St-Nicolas, Terra Vecchia, the old quarter, and Terra Nova, the area surrounding the Citadelle.
One of the most beautiful bays in Corsica is Girolata, a beautiful fortified sanctuary found at the southernmost end of the Scandola Nature Reserve. It is one of the emblematic destinations of Corsica, often seen on the cover of many Corsica guide books. The dramatic setting with the small village on a peninsula surrounded by the sea and running up the high mountains in the famous red rock of the region, make for a very impressive and scenic location
Scandola Nature Reserve
Created in 1975, this World Heritage Site on the South west of Calvi is an extraordinary sight. Unreachable by car and by foot only reachable by crossing very high mountains, the best way to visit this stunning area is by boat! Striking rock formations emerge from the sea to create idyllic scenery along the coastline packed with jagged inlets and caves. The Scandola reserve has established seal and dolphin colonies and after great efforts by conservationists, Ospreys are becoming established in this area!
Bonifacio is a narrow peninsula of white limestone that is ideal if you’re looking for a picturesque anchorage. The beautiful haute ville offers winding streets with Genoese architecture, and rises out of sheer, weathered cliffs. Its natural port offers plenty of restaurants and shops. Being on the southern tip of Corsica, Bonifacio is also an ideal location to explore Sardinia and the beautiful La Maddalena National Park.
When you approach Calvi by boat, you are immediately struck by the beauty of this impressive port – the monumental 13th century citadel with three bastions and long ramparts, rugged mountains and gorgeous pine forest.
L’ile Rousse (Red Island) was founded by Pasquale Paoli in 1758 whose wish was to create a port not controlled by the Genoese. The well laid out streets lined with boutiques and restaurants are a great attraction for tourists throughout the summer. The centre of the town is home to Place Paoli, which has a market place and is covered by the abundance of plane trees which keep this area cool in the height of summer.
Porto-Vecchio is near the most beautiful Beaches of the South of Corsica, the most famous being Palombaggia. Often called the “city of salt” because it was built on dried salt marshes, it is a beautiful port nestled between mountains and crystal clear waters. It is a charming destination as well as a great base for exploring both the neighboring islands and the wild back country of Corsica.
Propriano is a fishing harbor in the narrowest part of the Valinco Golf. The majority of buildings in Propriano date from the early 19th century, when the port originated and most of the town was built. Its natural harbor was once frequented by the ancient Greeks, Carthaginians and Romans, but became a key target for Saracen pirate raids in the 18th century, when it was largely destroyed. It is a thriving tourist town and close to excellent beaches, including plage de lido.
Madalenna National Park
The unspoilt national park made up of 7 main islands and numerous small islets. La Maddalena’s crystal clear waters are the perfect anchorage for an afternoon snorkel or to discover the beautiful beaches which can only be reached by your yacht, the best being The Spiaggia Rosa or Pink of Budelli whose exclusive pink sands made of crushed coral make this the pearl of the Maddalena.
A stunning old fishing port backed by breathtaking mountains, St Florent was built around the 15th century Genoise citadel, which is used for various art exhibitions during the summer months and home to Saleccia beach. Saleccia is one of Corsica’s most picturesque beaches, a kilometre of soft white sand with a dramatic backdrop of high dunes.