TG Tips – Corsica

So oh my goodness did Corsica turn out to be beautiful.

As a Brit my feelings towards Napoleon have always been at best a reluctant admiration mixed with a degree of national pride over the manner of his demise. After my all to brief visit to the Belle Ile, I now have to add a dose of ‘how mad was he extacly?!’ to that. By far the most beautiful part of France I have ever been to (and I have now visited most of his ‘departements’) why would anyone leave that place for Paris?! Bonkers.

Even if this trip did not take me to Ajaccio, where the Emperor was born, I am sticking to my guns on this one. We travelled with Corsica Ferries from Livorno to Bastia, overnight one way and back the other in just four hours. Having only two and a half days we had originally decided to explore only the Northern Cap Corse part, however we even cut this down to only the more rugged Western coast from St Florent up to the Cap – and still we could have stayed much longer.

Sunset Over Centuri, Corsica (Lisa Melani Photos)

In a nut shell, before any recommendations, why go? Amazing scenery, unbelievable sea and beaches (or if you prefer rocks from which to snorkel or dive), friendly people (by French standards that is for sure), great sea food, peace and quiet (we went in August and although accommodations were full, beaches and secret bays are so plentiful it never felt crowded). I cannot wait to return to discover whether the rest of the island is as beautiful.

So, my tips…

Accommodation

Camping Isulottu, Morsiglia – Centuri 20238 Cap Corse. It has been a long long time since I stayed in a camping in a real bonefide tent. But times have changed and new travel partners bring new interests, including an awakening of an old passion for camping. This site really has everything you need, shade, not too full even in August, showers (also warm), a washing machine, a bar and a restaurant and very very useful, somewhere to freeze cooler bottles. The location is five minutes from a beach and ten from Centuri with many good fish restaurants. Don’t think there were bungalows though. Camping Isulottu.

Wine

I didn’t appreciate just how much and just how good wine is made on Corsica. I don’t recall ever seeing a Corsican wine in a shop or even restaurant, but from now on I will pay more attention to wine lists. Rumour has it, the islands’ wines are being ‘discovered’, so who knows. They make white, red and especially Muscat, the latter of which, if you get it right, as we did from the second vinyard listed here is simply heaven. Two vinyards we visited and enjoyed (including being greatful for the rather rather large boot of the car we brought) were…

Domaine de Pietri – 20238 Morsiglia-Muchieti. We bought very good ‘gris’ Rose from these chaps. In addtion we tried and quiet liked their Malvasia white. Their highlight is the roof-dried Muscat probably. I was later to discover that I prefer non-roof dried muscat wines, but drying the grapes on the characteristic slanted roofs of this part of the island is the tradition and certainly does change the taste quite considerably. Domaine de Pietri.

Domaine Stephanie Olmeta – Patrimonio. This was pure chance. We knew on the way back to the ferry we wanted to make a quick stop in Patrimonio and get some red wine to add that to the collection. I was navigating and happened to glance out to my right just before entering the little town. The vente house was so cute, set back from the road, Mexican style with agave plants and simply oozing a good vibe. Let your heart or sixth sense or whatever decide, so we did. We were not disappointed. Good white, very good red for ageing (which we were looking for) and simply an incredible Muscat (not roof dried). Just go! Doesn’t seem to be a website, but here is an article in French about the place.

Beach

The black, soft, rounded stones of the long, long beach below Nonza was our pick by far.

The secluded bay must stretch for about a kilometer on which we saw about ten people (even in August). The 260 steps down (and then up!) to reach the Southern end of the beach puts off 99.9% of tourists – I love that that is still case the anywhere in the world I go – but make the effort, bring food water and some way to create shade (I was fortunate enough to be sharing the beach with my own personal MacGyver).


One Response to “TG Tips – Corsica”

  1. Just about the best holiday of my life – I’ll never forget – thank you

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