13.8 C
London
Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Beach bars, sand spits and hot tub-style shallows: 10 of the best beaches in Corsica – in pictures

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
  • Best for the good life: Palombaggia

    Previously voted France’s best beach and located close to posh Porto-Vecchio, Palombaggia sure is pretty. Its lush green backdrop cedes first to a mile of fine demerara-hued sand; then comes shallow, bright blue water and smatterings of red rocks. The Palm Beach club’s waiters will serve food or drinks to your sun lounger; elsewhere are water sports providers, lifeguards and shaded restaurant shacks. Palombaggia’s main, northern parking area is free, but its secret southerly road (look for a wooden ‘acces plage’ sign) is less busy.

    Couple of people walking along Palombaggia beach with restaurant building in background, Corsica island, France

  • Best for toddlers: Santa Giulia

    Close to Palombaggia, this half-moon bay extends south as a toffee-toned sand spit between the Tyrrhenian Sea and a narrow lagoon. Access roads serve both ends (spectacular views at the north), with pop-up water sports booths, bistros and shops peppering the pine tree backcloth. Parasols or loungers can be rented from Bar Plage. Tending to be quieter, Santa Giulia’s northern section abuts a village with chi-chi hotels or self-catering. Together with shallow, calm waters and lifeguards in the summer, this is a great option if you’re travelling with little ones.

    Corsica Island - Santa Giulia Beach, Porto-Vecchio, France

  • Best for a boat trip: Saleccia

    Saleccia is a curving kilometre of stark white sand that crowns the north coast’s Agriates Désert. If you don’t fancy an epic hike or 4×4 drive from Saint-Florent, board one of Popeye’s water taxis. You’ll find other vessels moored in the turquoise waters, but little development inland: just a hut and a campsite. So, be sure to pack everything necessary. All is wonderfully wild: cicadas make a fizzy din, and long-horned cows occasionally show up. Hard to believe that Saleccia once witnessed resistance submarine missions, or that The Longest Day was filmed here.

    France, Corsica, Mediterranean sea, Haute-Corse, Saleccia beach

  • Best for wallowing: Cupabia

    Cupabia’s extensive shallows allow for hot tub-style slumber; once the tide comes in, its smooth boulders provide a seating option. Those rocks also support many crustaceans, and snorkellers will love the clear waters. Though July and August can be crowded, the lengthy access route – more long-winded than for other south-western shores between Ajaccio and Propriano – mostly puts off the hordes. Those who do make it are rewarded by an ice-cream and beer-selling cafe, and the option of paddleboarding, pedalo rides, surfing or jet skiing from Waterplay Cupabia’s office.

    France, Corse du Sud, north of Propriano, Cupabia Beach

  • Best for dreamers: Roccapina

    One of the rocks framing this small shore south of Propriano is reckoned to resemble a lion – supposedly a noble whose amorous advances were spurned – while the same maroon granite supposedly hides lost Indian gemstones from a 1887 shipwreck. But while legends abound at Roccapina, facilities are entirely absent. While that means you’ll need to bring gear, it does deter large crowds outside of August. Below a ruined Genoese watchtower, the pearly sand and gently-grading water are reached via tracks from two bijou car parks. If possible, stay for the superb sunsets.

    France, Corsica, Mediterranean sea, Corse-du-Sud, Golfe de Roccapina

  • Most luxurious: Pinarello

    In an ideal combo for luxury travellers, this beach neighbours swanky Hôtel le Pinarello, whose facilities include a large spa and rooftop pool. North of Porto-Vecchio, the half mile of golden sand is lapped by warm, shallow seas. There are lots of restaurants and parasol providers, and a refined, relaxed air pervades. Fancy some activity? Borrow a kayak and paddle towards Pinarello island and its 17th-century Genoese tower; then return to the attractive village for a pizza. Cementing that sophisticated vibe, an annual jazz festival is held in late August.

    France, Corse du Sud, Zonza, Sainte Lucie de Porto Vecchio, Pinarello hotel beach

  • Best for couples: Petit Sperone

    Some good old physical labour is required to enjoy Petit Sperone: a 15-minute walk from the windsurfer hangout of Piantarella beach, not far west of Bonifacio. After passing an excavated Roman villa, you’ll discover a 100-metre cove romantically crammed between a lagoon and leafy hillsides. If it’s reasonably empty, settle on a patch of white sand and gaze at Île Piana. If not, amble another 15 minutes to Grand Sperone: marginally less lovely but wider, equally undeveloped, farther flung and thus, here’s hoping, totally deserted.

    Plage Le Petit Sperone - Corse - France

  • Best for photographers: Calvi

    When beaches are so long – almost five miles – and so scenic, who cares if they’re busy? Calvi beach’s wide crescent comes with views across a bay to its namesake town’s medieval citadel, which dominates an isolated headland. Other perks include powdery alabaster sand that gradually shelves upon meeting minuscule waves, and the option of hiring catamarans, kayaks or paddleboards. Beach clubs, cafes and restaurants shelter under maritime pines.

    Calvi Beach and Citadel of Calvi, Corsica

  • Best for exclusivity: Cala Rossa

    Legally no French beach can ever be private; but a few on Corsica are, unofficially. That’s the case with Cala Rossa, where the Grand Hotel’s beach club envelops this wisp of buttery sand. That’s one reason to stay there; a spa by Corsican beauty brand Nucca and acclaimed restaurant La Table are others. The beach itself also backs on to parasol pines shrouding celebrity-owned villas. A daring scramble around its low northern headland will reveal Cala Rossa cove: 100 metres of white sand that’s almost certain to be deserted.

    Sun Loungers on the beach at the Grand Hotel Cala Rossa near Porto Vecchio, Corsica

  • Best for the intrepid: Ostriconi

    Parking along a deteriorating road west of the beach, paths to Ostriconi involve fording its shallow river. Eventually materialising, the beach too feels adventurous: though lifeguards attend in summer, an absence of amenities and the walk discourage many. You’ll need to lug water, an umbrella and everything else, but it’s worth it. Why? It’s not just the 700 metres of white-sand beach, dotted with driftwood or kelp, and the aquamarine surf that seduce one’s eye; there are also great, craggy mountains and a vivid green floodplain behind.

    Ostriconi beach with the Desert des Agriates behind in the Balagne region of northern Corsica

  • - Advertisement -
    Latest news

    Wildfires, deforestation and global heating turn 10 Unesco forests into carbon sources

    Forests in at least 10 Unesco world heritage sites have become net sources of carbon since the turn of the millennium due to wildfires,...
    - Advertisement -

    Blackhawks’ ‘John Doe’ revealed as Kyle Beach

    Speaking in an emotional interview with TSN Wednesday night, the player referred to as John Doe in the investigation into sexual assault allegations involving...

    French presidential election: Who’s who in the race to replace Macron?

    The list of people hoping to create an upset and unseat Emmanuel Macron is quickly growing with six months to go before France's presidential...

    Head-to-head shows there’s still a gulf between MLS, Liga MX

    1:28 PM ETKyle BonaguraESPN Staff Writer CloseCovers the Pac-12.Joined ESPN in 2014.Attended Washington State University.The Seattle Sounders were in their third season in Major...
    Related news

    Wildfires, deforestation and global heating turn 10 Unesco forests into carbon sources

    Forests in at least 10 Unesco world heritage sites have become net sources of carbon since the turn of the millennium due to wildfires,...

    Blackhawks’ ‘John Doe’ revealed as Kyle Beach

    Speaking in an emotional interview with TSN Wednesday night, the player referred to as John Doe in the investigation into sexual assault allegations involving...

    French presidential election: Who’s who in the race to replace Macron?

    The list of people hoping to create an upset and unseat Emmanuel Macron is quickly growing with six months to go before France's presidential...

    Head-to-head shows there’s still a gulf between MLS, Liga MX

    1:28 PM ETKyle BonaguraESPN Staff Writer CloseCovers the Pac-12.Joined ESPN in 2014.Attended Washington State University.The Seattle Sounders were in their third season in Major...
    - Advertisement -

    LEAVE A REPLY

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here