Covering the area south of a line running south west from Solenzara along the spine of the Alta Rocca mountains, the Extreme South of Corsica encompasses many of the attributes for which the island is best known.
These include beautiful beaches, turquoise seas, lush countryside, vast forests and rugged mountains, all interspersed with towns and villages typically Corsican in their architecture. This part of the south of Corsica has a rich history and a reputation for being one of the most beautiful places in the Mediterranean.
Standing at the southernmost tip of the island atop the sheer white chalk cliffs is the old town of Bonifacio. An intriguing maze of narrow, cobbled streets and tall Genoese tenements leading down via steep steps to the chic, buzzing marina that attracts yacht owners from around the world, the town has a unique allure. The Haute Ville – the original part of the town – is certainly well worth exploring with its selection of shops, cafés, bars and restaurants. There are also a number of beautiful beaches within easy driving distance, and a range of watersports at the nearby Plage de Piantarella. For golf lovers, the Sperone golf course is only a 10 minute drive from the town and boat trips around the caves and grottos, or to the Lavezzi islands are available from the marina. The stunning island of Sardinia is only 50 minutes away by the regular ferry which runs daily between the islands.
This elegant, cultured and energetic town – the third largest on the island - overlooks the magnificent Gulf of Porto Vecchio and is a favourite with those seeking a more cosmopolitan resort whilst still retaining an underlying Corsican charm. Chic and stylish while retaining its authenticity, the town is in two elements; the old town, which offers a vibrant buzz with its numerous shops, cafés and the marina lined with restaurants and home to impressive yachts. With its reputation for being the liveliest town on the island and spectacular beaches within easy reach it has seen visitors including Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni, Kate Moss, Lewis Hamilton and Paris Hilton. The town was the starting point for the 2013 Tour de France and consequently attracts keener cyclists from far and wide.
Palombaggia is widely considered to be the most beautiful beach in all of Corsica. Situated just a few kilometres south of Porto Vecchio, this beach boasts white sand, translucent waves and a beautiful backdrop of pine trees.
Pinarello is a small resort by the sea renowned for its splendid white sand beach. Pinewoods fringe the beach, which is overlooked by a Genoese watchtower. Unlike the other beautiful beaches of Porto Vecchio, the resort area is immediately on hand. There are a few pizzerias, bars and shops as well as an excellent fish restaurant overlooking the beach adjacent to the Hotel Le Pinarello. It will appeal to those seeking a small, unspoiled resort with a superb beach.
Sainte-Lucie de Porto Vecchio
The small town of Sainte-Lucie de Porto Vecchio is 21km north of the town and port of Porto Vecchio and 45km from Figari airport. It is ideally located on the south eastern coast of Corsica with many stunning beaches within a short distance and stunning scenery provided by the Bavella mountains and forests. There are watersports available on Pinarello beach (4km) and white-water canyoning, ‘terra-trekking’, canoeing, climbing and other activities available in Zonza (50km).
This spectacular white sand beach is nestled in a secluded bay, backed by a maquis and flanked by mountains and pines. The beach is a paradise for watersports enthusiasts yet is also an ideal beach for families with the gently sloping sand, lifeguards and boat trips and, with a number of restaurants and bars in the vicinity it is and extremely popular location amongst tourists.
Situated between Porto Vecchio and Aléria, on the south east coast of Corsica, Solenzara is well situated to discover the beautiful beaches and spectacular mountain scenery in this part of the island. It is accessible from both Figari and Bastia airports being around 1.25hrs drive from each. The town has a lively atmosphere in high season with an array of restaurants, bars and shops and the marina is a great place to ‘watch the world go by’. Whilst Solenzara is on the coast, the villages of the Alta Rocca and the forests and gorges of the Bavella mountains with its waterfalls and rock pools are 35km away and the cosmopolitan town of Porto Vecchio is 46km away.
Situated in the heart of the Alta Rocca mountains, Zonza is popular with walkers and those seeking a typical Corsican village, away from the hustle and bustle of seaside towns. On the edge of the Rizzanese valley in the heart of the Ospédale forest and overlooked by stunning granite shards of Needles of Bavella, it offers a superb opportunity to sample the more remote part of the island, yet in a friendly village which has some excellent restaurants and welcoming bars. Visitors can swim in the rockpools in the crystal clear waters of the nearby rivers and waterfalls, yet the white sand beaches of Santa Giulia and Palombaggia are within an hour’s drive. Incredibly, despite its relative remoteness from other towns and villages, it has the highest horse racecourse in Europe!
The island of Cavallo is part of the Lavezzi archipelago, close to the Bocche di Bonifacio, eight miles from the coast of Sardinia and two miles from Sperone, the southern tip of Corsica. The island is also famous for its granite and rich vegetation of bay, myrtle and juniper. Cavallo can be accessed via Figari airport in the south of Corsica, transfer to Piantarella and from there either public or private boat out to the island (10/15 minutes). Or via Olbia airport in Sardinia, transfer to Santa Teresa and to the island by the Hotel des Pecheurs boat (30 minutes).