Corsica has long been known as the 'Island of Beauty' and, if this nickname isn’t enough to entice you, here are five reasons why the French island is a must-visit superyacht destination.
Located to the south of the Côte d’Azur and to the west of Italy, Corsica is renowned for its magnificently diverse landscapes, charming port towns and shrewd ability to avoid the trappings of tourism. Read on to find out five reasons why you should visit this Mediterranean hideaway on a private yacht charter.
The Med’s most dramatic harbour entrance
Teetering atop creamy limestone cliffs, which plunge down into vivid blue waters, Bonifacio is a sight best enjoyed from the sea. Enjoying an isolated location on Corsica’s southern tip, the ancient fortress town draws an international yachting crowd to its glittering marina every summer.
Restaurants, shops and bars line the elegant quay while, up above, the old town’s maze of narrow streets are flanked by tall citadel walls. Sun-bleached houses, charming chapels and a cemetery make this Haute Ville, or Upper City, an atmospheric place to wander.
Just eight miles from Sardinia, Bonifacio has a distinctly Italianate feel. It retains Renaissance features found only here, and inhabitants have their own dialect based on Ligurian, a legacy that dates back to the 12th century when the town was Genoa’s first Corsican stronghold.
Europe’s only desert
On Corsica’s north coast, between St Florent and Ile Rosse, there is a barren stretch of coastline known as Desert des Agriates. Stretching across 5,000 hectares, the dense scrubland of the interior is off-limits, but it’s possible to reach the bone white sand beaches by superyacht tender.
The beaches are, in fact, some of the island’s most beautiful, particularly Plage de Loto and Saleccia. Turquoise waters lap the shore and, a protected area, the land is free from any sort of development. Come here for an idyllic beach day, just remember to bring plenty of water ashore, it is a desert after all.
In 1769, Napoléon Bonaparte was born in Ajaccio, a fact that is impossible to go unnoticed when visiting the city. From seafront statues and street names to museums and his childhood home, sites relating to the French emperor are found across the Corsican capital ensuring his legacy lives on.
But, a good-looking city on Corisca’s west coast, Ajaccio also holds much superyacht appeal. With pastel-hued buildings, pretty squares, bustling cafés and a beautiful marina, its sophisticated aura is reminiscent to that of the French Riviera and it's certainly worth stopping off here on your superyacht vacation.
The old town holds much interest with sights such as the cathedral, Place Bonaparte and Rue Cardinal Fesch, while the palm tree-lined promenade is a good place to stroll, enjoy a coffee and people watch while being looked over by the city’s citadelle.
A dreamy island paradise
Located in the Strait of Bonifacio, between Corsica and Sardinia, the remote Lavezzi Islands are something of a paradise. Crystal clear waters lap sun-kissed beaches and colourful wild flowers bloom between lunar-like boulders of granite.
Classified as a nature reserve since 1982, the small archipelago is a top snorkelling and diving spot, with a friendly colony of grouper fish just one of the highlights of the marine-rich waters.
Unfortunately, such a place of beauty fails to go unnoticed with day-trippers arriving from Bonifacio on a daily basis. But, those on a luxury yacht charter will be able to have the place to themselves in the early morning and at sunset once the crowds have departed.
Otherworldly rock formations
Two hundred and fifty million years ago, epic volcanic activity from Corsica's highest peak, Mount Cinto, created an otherworldly coastline of towering red cliffs, jagged inlets and gnarled granite pinnacles.
Now known as Scandola National Park, the area in the northwest of the island is a Natural World Heritage Site and protected nature reserve. As it’s virtually inaccessible by foot, superyacht-goers are in a prime position to take in the dramatic scenery and spot the seals, dolphins and seabirds that breed here.
The vivid rusty hues of the rock formations contrast spectacularly with the bright blue skies and sea and, as the sun sets, light reflects off the ragged outcrops for an even more striking effect.
Corsica is renowned for its magnificently diverse landscapes, charming port towns and shrewd ability to avoid the trappings of tourism