By far the most rugged part of Corsica’s western coastline is the 200km stretch from the Revellata peninsula west of Calvi, down to Ajaccio.
Towns and villages including Galéria, Girolata, and Piana remain relatively quiet due to their restricted accessibility when compared to many other settlements of the island. In contrast, further south, Ajaccio Bay, stretching from Parata to Monte Bianco and next, La Valinco, running from Monte Bianco to Campomoro have more populated settlements including Ajaccio itself, Porticcio and Propriano and also, smaller villages such as Portigliolo, Porto Pollo and Belvedere-Campomoro. As everywhere in Corsica, there are many beautiful, sandy beaches interspersed with the sea cliffs and a clear, turquoise sea.
Porto is a particularly popular town with visitors to Corsica, with its many restaurants, harbour, and magnificent, forested mountain backdrop, along with being the host to the only aquarium on the island. Its small marina at the end of the road leading from the true town centre, is the focal point of the resort, overlooked by a rare, square Genoese watchtower. The deep, wide shingle beach is a short stroll from the marina over a small, wooden bridge and there are numerous operators offering boat trips to the nearby Scandola UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The enchanting village of Piana is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful in all of France. The road between Porto and Piana passes through the Calanches – 400m high steeples of granite rocks that change the depth of their hue of red as the sun moves round, towering above the surface of the azure sea. Situated nearly 450m above sea level, the village has stunning views across the Gulf of Porto towards the red cliffs of Scandola.
Ajaccio, with its palm-fringed promenade and boulevards, fashionable shops, elegant buildings, citadel and ports is a distinguished capital reminiscent of Nice and the French Riviera. There are numerous restaurants and bars throughout the city, along with beautiful long, sandy beaches on the road towards the Sanguinaire islands. Ajaccio is a fascinating mix of old and new, lively and peaceful, cosmopolitan and provincial.
Aside from its range of shops, bars and restaurants, the main attraction of Porticcio is the beautiful stretch of sand known as the Plage de la Viva. The town is also is an excellent venue for watersports enthusiasts and therefore can get extremely busy during the summer months, particularly as it is only a short drive from Ajaccio. However, Porticcio is also a very convenient location for those looking to travel further down the coast to quieter area such as Isolella and Portigliolo.
Overlooking the port town of Propriano and the Valinco Bay is the small, ribbon-like village of Olmeto An enchanting hillside village with true Corsican charm and with such breathtaking views, it was once a popular spot amongst artists and today is an ideal village for tourists looking to explore the small collection of shops and cafés and to immerse themselves in village life. Alternatively, the thermal baths of Baracci are at the bottom of the valley and Propriano itself is only 15 minutes drive.
Located midway between Bonifacio and Ajaccio and originally founded in 1640 by the Genoese at the innermost point of the Gulf of Valinco, Propriano has evolved into a busy town, port and pleasure marina, surrounded by maquis-covered hills and fronting a turquoise sea. Palm trees fringe the charming quayside with its inviting pavement cafés, bars and restaurants. There are numerous beautiful sandy bays and rocky coves to visit nearby such as at Porto Pollo, Abbartello, Cappicciolo and Campomoro. The pre-historic site of Filitosa along with its menhirs and dolmen are only a short drive away and Sartène (named as the most Corsican of Corsican towns) is just 13km to the south east.