With incredible beaches and breath-taking mountain scenery, Corsica never ceases to amaze. With both French and Italian flavours, fantastic cuisine, and a friendly atmosphere, this island will capture your heart. Corsica makes the perfect yacht charter destination, with remote and unspoiled corners that have barely been explored, and perfect to discover on your own private boat.
I have created a sample itinerary to include some of the most popular and beautiful places to visit on this amazing island.
Day 1- Ajaccio to Girolata
Board your luxury yacht at Ajacco, the capital of Corsica. Famous for being the home town of Napolean Bonaperte, you can visit his ancestral home which is now a museum. With its pastel-toned houses, numerous cafes, and the trendy waterfront promenade, there is more than just a whiff of the Cote d’Azur.
Port of Ajaccio
Cruise up the west coast, and admire the many 16th century citadels that adorn the steep cliff tops, as well as the stunning multi-coloured cliffs that spill into the sea. As you approach the Gulf of Porto you will be mesmerised by the spectacular landscape. The remarkable Calanches at Piana, which are classified as a world-wide interest of UNESCO, are without doubt one of the most beautiful sites in Corsica. As you cruise past, its like you have entered a surreal world, with unusually shaped red figures, and weather-carved pink granite that make-up this unique seascape. With rocks dramatically suspended at heights of over 300 metres, while others plummet spectacularly into the turquoise sea, it is a bizarre but beautifully captivating vista. Having your own private yacht is undoubtedly the perfect way of appreciating this breath-taking location.
Calanches, famous for their unusual rock formations
If you enjoy snorkeling, then this is the place to immerse yourself in the refreshing turquoise sea. The crystal clear water provides the perfect backdrop for you to enjoy the beautifully coloured fish, and the fascinating shaped coral that thrive in these pristine waters.
After a day of exploring this stunning landscape, head up to Girolata while sipping your favourite cocktail. With the sun setting, showing the unique red rock formations off at its best, it’s a perfect way to end the day.
Calanches at sunset
Day 2- Girolate to Calvi
The village of Girolate is relatively inaccessible by land and the best way to explore this region is by boat. Falling within the Corsican Natural Park, it is the perfect chance to see the wildlife that has benefitted from this protected environment. With a wide range of sea birds, including cormorants, osprey and giant gulls, and established seal and dolphin colonies in the clear sea water, the landscape is simply stunning. Explore the spectacular coastline via tender, kayak or paddle board and be wowed by the strange rock formations, jagged inlets and caves that populate this beautiful location.
The beautiful village of Girolate
Enjoy a sumptuous lunch aboard your luxury yacht before lying back and enjoying the stunning coastline as you cruise onto the northeast coastal town of Calvi. Perched on a rocky headland, it overlooks a popular crescent shaped bay that stretches for over four miles. Calvi is a magnet for the super-rich yachtsman, who cruise down from Nice and Cannes to enjoy this fantastic location. It is certainly the place to see and be seen.
The spectacular Calvi
With a bustling port and marina, there are numerous waterfront cafes and restaurants to sit back, relax and take in the surroundings. To escape the lively atmosphere of the waterfront enjoy the glorious beaches, or stretch your legs and explore the imposing 15th century Genovese citadel tower that dominates the Calvi skyline.
The picturesque medieval town of Calvi
Wandering around the winding cobblestone streets and shops in the Citadel is a perfect way to spend an afternoon or quiet evening. If you are visiting in June, enjoy the jazz festival that is held in this area every year. The remains of the house that is rumoured to be the place where Christopher Columbus was born can be seen, as the original house was destroyed by Nelson’s troops in 1794. Today a statue stands on the site, commemorating the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ birthday. In fact, Nelson lost his right eye here in the same year during battle.
Marina restaurants in Calvi
The marina in Calvi is very pretty and has a large array of fantastic restaurants to choose from. Spend the evening ashore and enjoy a delicious meal appreciating the fabulous local cuisine, while soaking up the charming atmosphere.
Day 3 – Calvi to Bastia
Enjoy the passing scenery as you cruise north towards the pretty town of St Florent. Like many of the Corsican towns, St Florent has a Genoise citadel, with which the town grew around, and it provides stunning views across the gulf below. With the historic cathedral of Nebbio to explore, quaint shops to browse, cafes to relax in, and a charming port, St Florent is the perfect place to spend a pleasant morning.
As you round the peninsula of Cap Corse, make your way to Bastia, located on the north- east of the island. It is the second largest town in Corsica, and the principle port of the island, so there is much to see and do here. The old town is charming and is a great place to stretch your legs after an afternoon at sea. With plentiful restaurants, bars and shops lining the streets, it makes the perfect place to spend the evening.
Day 4- Bastia to Porto Vecchio
As you cruise down the east coast of Corsica on your luxury yacht, enjoy the stunning scenery as the crew ensure that your every need is met. Just south of Bastia it is possible to spot flamingos at the Etang de Biguglia, a wildlife reserve that is teeming with bird life. With dramatic cliff faces falling into the sea, gorgeous white sandy beaches, sparkling azures seas and the cooling breeze on your face, you won’t need reminding of why chartering your own private yacht is the perfect way to discover this beautiful island.
Explore the beautiful town of Porto Vecchio, with its network of narrow, meandering streets. Discover charming hidden restaurants in the hills with stunning views, and tucked away quaint boutiques, it really is a delightful town. The marina has a great atmosphere in the evenings, with a wide range of delicious restaurants to choose from.
Day 5 Porto Vecchio to Ile de Lavezzi
Southern Corsica boost some of the best beaches on the island, so a visit to Palombaggia Beach is a must. With crystal clear waters, golden sandy beaches you will feel like you’re in paradise.
The spectacular Palombaggia Beach
After a morning enjoying the beach head back to the yacht for a delicious lunch whilst cruising to the Lavezzi islands, which form an archipelago of granite rocks and boulders, with beautiful shell sand beaches and azure-coloured sea. Positioned between Corsica and Sardinia, they are the hidden gem of the Mediterranean. Ile Cavalo is the only inhabited island of the group and boosts a small port which can cater for boats up to 35m. Alternatively, you could anchor in one of the permitted areas overnight. Take the tender and explore these beautiful islands and find a secluded beaches away from the tourists that can become overwhelming from the day ferries. These remote islands and crystal-clear waters are reminiscent of a Caribbean paradise, and with their abundant marine-life they make a great place for both snorkelling and scuba diving. With large grouper, rays, moray eels, red scorpion fish and barracudas to name but a few, you will be amazed at the copious marine life on offer that has thrived since given protective status in 1982.
Day 6- Ile de Lavezzi – Bonifacio
After a refreshing morning swim, followed by a delicious breakfast in this idyllic location, take the short cruise back up towards Corsica and visit the ancient citadel town of Bonifacio. Perched on the edge of a rocky peninsular on the southern-most tip of the island, it is protected on three side by sheer limestone cliffs and sea, and seems to defy gravity. It is one of the most perfectly preserved medieval fortified towns in Europe, dating back to 824, and is definitely worth exploring, if only to enjoy the spectacular view over to Sardinia.
The impressive Bonifacio
The narrow streets, enormous fortifications and incredible views, make this place truly unique. The harbour area is bustling with fishing boats, cafes and bars, and provides the perfect place to soak up the ambience of this fabulous place. Enjoy your last evening dining at one of the many top restaurants that Bonifacio has to offer, admiring the view of the citadel that looks stunning when lit up at night.
Bonifacio at night
Day 7- Bonifacio to Ajjacio
Before completing your circumnavigation of this fantastic island at Ajaccio, spend the day anchored off at one of the many sheltered coves that are located between these two places. Propriano has a stunning beach, and a bustling port should you want to go ashore for lunch. Alternatively, enjoy your last day aboard your luxury yacht and try out some of the water toys onboard. After spending the day unwinding, head back towards Ajaccio to disembark at a time that suits you, for your return flight home, ensuring that have a relaxed end to your incredible holiday.
One of the gorgeous beaches at Propriano
When you charter your own private yacht you have the freedom to create your own itinerary. This ensures that you get to visit all the place you’ve always wanted to, and that you get to discover places off the beaten track. During peak season popular marinas can become booked up fast, so book your charter early to ensure that not only that you get the yacht that you want, but that you also get to be in port at the marinas that you decide. With so many fabulous yachts available to charter, contact your broker to begin planning your perfect luxury yacht charter.
By Laura Barber