Last summer we spent a week in Corsica, Corse in French, a French island in the middle of France and Italy and to the North of the Italian island called Sardinia. It was such an easy breezy holiday and we had the best time. I didn’t blog a few of our holidays last year but still have the itineraries saved on my Google drive [yes I write itineraries for our holidays ok, I’m a researcher and a planner] so I thought I’d write about Corsica the best I can 4 months later and share it.
We traveled to Corsica with another couple and got to do a lot together so that was a really nice way to spend the holiday.
We spent 4 nights in Corsica exploring only a snippet of the south. We hired a car and that is a must to get around. The island is big and has a lot of different areas to explore. We stuck to the south for its clear blue water, mountains and hikes but definitely hope to visit again and head further up north.
We stayed all 4 nights at Le Roc e Fiori. Its a beautiful hotel! The grounds are filled with lovely gardens, its well spread out, has a medium sized pool, the room was spacious and clean and the staff are friendly. We stayed in a Junior Suite and from the room we were in, we could see Sardinia on a clear day which was incredible! We ordered breakfast to the room a few times and ate it on the terrace over looking the hotel pool, the surrounding mountains and out onto the ocean. Blissssss.
The nearest supermarket is SPAR, 4kms away and we stopped there to stock up on some snacks and water to take to the hotel. Theres a pizzeria just down the road from the hotel, Pizzeria Bocca d’Oro, that we ate lunch at once and was good.
Once we had settled into the hotel, we headed to the quiet side of Plage de Santa Giulia to watch the sunset. Tip – in maps put the restaurant “U Santa Marina Plage” and that will lead you to parking spaces, a handful of restaurants and some nice spots to watch the sunset. Theres a little bunker type thing around the water side of U restaurant that you can get up on the roof and get a nice view of the sunset from there. We sat down for dinner at U restaurant but be careful of eating on the waterfront because of the mosquitoes! We had to move to a restaurant further back to protect ourselves against the bites.
On our first full day we were up at 6.30am to drive about an hour to the mountains of Quenza to hike to Cascades de Purcaraccia. Its worth the Google search or Instagram location search because the cascades are stunnnnning. The drive from where we were staying further south was really nice along the coast but windy up the mountain.
I thought I had done my research on this hike… I wrote down some tips from another blog I read on where to park and some direction tips for the hike and spoke to a friend who had also done it before but wow we were in for a riiiiiiide…
We got there early enough to be one of the first few cars and got a park right outside the entrance where we started the hike [theres a few options on where to start this hike. I don’t have the location where we parked saved still unfortunately so sorry I can’t be more specific with this]. To reach the cascades it took us about 2.5 hours and it was tough! The path isn’t marked or straight forward. We navigated over tree trunks, scaled huge rock walls, walked through water and there were some steep uphill bits. We also took a couple of wrong turns before we found the cascades. When we finally found it, there were about 10 people there already and more arriving by the minute from a few different directions.
The cascades are beautiful, really stunning fresh cold water pools nestled in the mountains. Theres 3 levels of pools being filled by a waterfall at the top. We had a swim and took photos but we didn’t stay long or eat the food that we’d bought with us as there were a lot of wasps there?!? Lol. So unfortunately we turned around and started our way back to the car and thankfully that took us less time at 1.5 hours and was easier getting out. I prefer uphill to downhill and I slid down a little bank on the way back that resulted in mud all over the back of my yellow shorts and then I was too scared to walk in front of anyone else on the track as it looked like I’d just shat myself hahaha. A bug also flew in my eye on the way back and I had to douse my eye with water to get the bug out hahaha the hike life is not for me.
When we got back to the car, the carpark bit we’d parked in was full and there were so many more cars driving by trying to find parks so the earlier, the better is my advice. We both hiked in our swimmers and Birkenstocks that did us just fine and had a bag with towels, camera, sunscreen, food and water in it.
We ate a late lunch at the pizza place just next to our hotel, Pizzeria Bocca d’Oro, and then went and had a big nap back in our room.
Later that afternoon, we headed to Plage de Santa Giulia for a swim and to find a beautiful secluded cove I’d been told and read about. Tip – Put Hotel Moby Dick into map, park at the parking lot there and walk alllll the way to the end of the beach to where the big rocks in the water are to swim in a secluded lagoon. If its low tide you might just be able to walk on sand there the whole way. It was high tide when we went so we had to wade through the water to reach the rocks but once you’re over there its worth it and very private. We put our towels and bag on top of a rock and spent about an hour swimming around. When its low tide you can set up on the patch of sand and swim between the rocks and further in the clear warm water.
We walked back through the water to the mainland and had a drink down the beach at Bar Plage, a nice drinks bar on the sand.
We then drove to Porto Vecchio and had Sushi Bar for dinner that was delicious and a perfect meal to finish a full on day.
We spent a day at Bonifacio, the town right on the southern tip of Corsica that hangs off the cliff edge and wow what a stunning town! We drove up to the top and parked at the back of the town. There are a few parking lots around. At the top of the town it gives epic views out onto the ocean, over to Sardinia and down to some bright blue water beaches. Its filled with cute shops, restaurants and cafes. I brought some Fig/Figure jam from a shop there that I still think about it to this day it was so good.
I wanted to walk the staircase of Aragon [have coins – 3.50euro entrance each] but it was too hot to wait in line so we skipped it. I also wanted to go to the beach of Saint Antoine where a swim hole in the rocks is [I have in my notes “Walk to the right at the bottom of the path”] and the Petit & Grande Sperone beaches but we saw them from where we parked and were opposite from the side of Bonifacio that we were on.
We walked a short way up what I thiiiiiink was the Bonifacio Cliff Walk which is a very popular walk that looks back over to the town hanging off the cliff. I don’t remember what its called and can hardly explain how to get there but I’ll include a photo for reference. It’ll be hard to miss the trail up if you’re looking for it.
We then walked down to the bottom of the town and ate sushi for lunch at the same Sushi Bar place as we were at in Porto Vecchio last night.
After exploring Bonifacio we headed to Palombaggia beach for a swim and ice cream before dinner on the port at Porto Vecchio.
Boat day! We hired our own private boat with a driver. You can just Google “boat hire Corsica” and theres a few websites that pop up. Our driver was… interesting! He said and did whacky things that made us laugh all day. I think he came into the day with his own agenda but if theres certain things you want to do and places you want to see then definitely push for it like we did so that you get what you want out of the day. We had a good day on the water, we docked at a couple of beautiful beaches [Plage de la Folacca being one of them] and swam and snorkelled. We could also bring our own food on board and as it was my birthday in a few days time, our friends put on a cake and candles for me in the middle of the mediterranean sea that I still love to replay in my head! Once off the boat we headed to a near by beach for an hour of laying out and swimming before heading back to Porto Vecchio for dinner at A Pergola. We enjoyed eating there. Porto Vecchio has a lot of restaurants to choose from both in town and on the port.
On our last morning we were up and at Plage de Santa Giulia by 7.00am for sunrise and its one of my favourite memories from the trip. Ihaia and I lay out a blanket and the tripod and captured the most beautiful sunrise in paradise.
We flew out at 1pm.
The beach choices are endless, you’ll be spoilt with crystal clear waters and a backdrop of luscious green mountains.
Theres plenty of food options, the roads are manageable, theres so much to explore but equally enough places to chill. I would go back to Corsica again and again in a heartbeat.
Quick re-cap of places mentioned –
We stayed all 4 nights at Le Roc e Fiori. The nearest supermarket is SPAR, 4kms away. The pizzeria just down the road, Pizzeria Bocca d’Oro, is also nice.
Hike to Cascades de Purcaraccia.
Plage de Santa Giulia. Both the Hotel Moby Dick and U Restaurant sides as they have different vibes. Bar Plage also nice for a sunset drink.
Plage de la Folacca.
Porto Vecchio town to explore and for good eating places. A Pergola, Sushi Bar and the other restaurants around in town are nice. Porto Vecchio port also has lots of restaurant options.
Bonifacio town, upper and lower.
Bonifacio Cliff Walk.
Walk the staircase of Aragon [have coins – 3.50euro entrance each].
Beach of Saint Antoine where a swim hole in the rocks is [I have in my notes “Walk to the right at the bottom of the path”].
Petit & Grande Sperone beaches.
Hired our own private boat with a driver. You can just Google “boat hire Corsica” and theres a few websites that pop up.