Cruising the Corsican Coastline

December 19, 2022

Corsica, sometimes know as a mini-continent, has 385 miles of coastline, more than 200 gorgeous beaches, snow-capped mountains and even UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Rich evergreen forests have been maintained by the mild Mediterranean climate, which also protects the wide variety of bird species. The French island is located in the Mediterranean Sea, southeast of the mainland. Corsica is the most mountainous region of the Mediterranean, formed by destructive volcanic eruptions. It is known as the “scented island” due to the enticing scents that fill its wilderness areas.

The elegant, exciting and dramatic Corsica attracts food lovers and wine enthusiasts with a vast variety of delectable treats. The gifts of Corsica fascinate tourists from all over the world, from the stunning coastlines and pristine beaches to the quaint villages and exquisite cuisine. You’ll fall in love with Corsica and want to return again and again, whether you come for the beaches, the scenery, or for enjoying the local food and wineries.

Corsica is an amazing island for a yacht charter, with endless itinerary opportunities for both sailing and motor yacht holidays. Below is just one of the many you could choose from.

Day 1 – Bastia to Saint-Florent

Begin your Corsican yacht charter in Bastia, the former capital of Genoese. Sfter exploring the port town, enjoy a beautiful cruise around Cap Corse, with its truly breathtaking cliffs and rock formations, . End this wonderful day in the stylish and protected port of Saint-Florent.  The port’s star highlight is its location, sitting in the heart of the village at the base of the citadel, allowing for leisurely strolls along the quays while enjoying a glass of wine and some antipasti.

Most of St Florent’s restaurants, bars and cafés are located around the marina. Two recommended spots include Restaurant de l’Europe and Le Grill, both perfect places to relax in the sunshine and watch the world go by.

To the south-east of the town you’ll find the main beach, Plage de la Roya. Scuba diving, windsurfing, sailing, kayaking, jet skiing, and other water sports are very popular here! After taking in all the beautiful sights of the marina, head one street back to visit the quaint, independent stores of the old town, selling anything from flip-flops to local delicacies. Follow the road as it winds its way up to the citadel, where steps from the citadel car park lead down to a pretty beach. The Cathedral de Nebbio can be found around half a mile in the opposite direction along the Chemin de la Cathedrale, as it heads east out of town.

  • Stroll along the water
  • Walk up to the Citadel
  • Eat ice-cream!
  • Walk to and relax at La Roya beach
  • Just sit down and admire the views of the gulf

Day 2 – Saint-Florent to Calvi

Day two takes us across the north coast of Corsica, via L’ille-Rousse and over to the charming port of Calvi, which is renowned for its crescent bay and gorgeous sandy beaches. Calvi features a stunning old citadel, long ramparts and a delightful marina below, ideal for a drink stop at a local shop. If you’re keen to explore, the chapel of Notre-Dame de la Serra sits on a hill a short distance inland, offering beautiful views of the ocean.

In recent years Calvi has established itself as Corsica’s capital of culture. The town hosts a number of music festivals during the summer, such as “Rencontres de Chants Polyphoniques” in September and “Calvi on the Rocks” in July. An impressive art exhibition is also hosted in the Citadel from June to September.

Port of Calvi – During your walk on the Quai Landry, you’ll find a number of trendy bars and restaurants, where you can enjoy a meal on a terrace while admiring the yachts and beach in the distance.

During your stay in Calvi, you will definitely want to visit its large sandy beach. This 4.5 km stretch of golden sand, bordered by a lush green pine forest, starts at the port’s entrance and reaches all the way to Calvi Bay. Calvi beach is also ideal if you’re on a family trip to Corsica as it has more than fifty meters of shallow water!

Day 3 – Calvi to Girolata

Day three is a 33-mile cruise along Corsica’s rugged and beautiful west coast to the small, protected harbour of Girolata, which is part of the Scandola Nature reserve. This port is a little village with rocky inlets, and a superb anchorage. With incredibly clear water, this is the perfect stop to have a swim before unwinding for the evening aboard your yacht.

Girolata, one of Corsica’s iconic locations, is located at the southernmost tip of the Scandola Nature Reserve and frequently appears on the front cover of Corsica travel guides due to its natural beauty. This little slice of paradise is the perfect place to get away-from-it all, with its turquoise bay, eucalyptus trees, Genovese fort, houses clinging to the steep cliffs and nearby mountains. In the summer months it is very popular with tourists!

Day 4 – Girolata to Ajaccio

From Girolata, we continue south down the beautiful coast, until we enter the Gulf of Ajaccio, which is known for its gorgeous bay surrounded by mountains. Historically significant as the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte and also as the capital of the stunning island of Corsica, Ajaccio is a diverse and intriguing destination. indulge in an authentic Italian meal at one of the restaurants in the old town or enjoy a lovely dinner aboard your yacht.

Famous as the birthplace of Napoleon, you can discover much about the his life by visiting Maison Bonaparte, the ancestral home of the Bonaparte family which is now a national museum. Blessed with striking architecture and attractive landmarks like the Cathedrale Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption, it’s definitely worth taking a stroll to experience the atmospheric streets of Ajaccio’s old town. Make sure to head to the pretty harbour where you’ll find a variety of inviting restaurants close to the water’s edge; enjoy some delicious seafood and pizza while soaking up the gorgeous view of the harbour.

Day 5 – Ajaccio to Propriano

Continue down the west coast; an area of outstanding and varied natural beauty, cliffs, rock formations, and mountains. Enter Propriano in the narrowest part of the Golfe de Valinco. Despite being an old town, Propriano was renovated in the 1990s and has since developed a bustling marina and port culture. Propriano is well known for its beautiful beaches, perfect for swimming and beach activities, charming villages and rugged scenery.

For a taste of traditional Corsican life, head to one of Corsica’s most enchanting towns, Sartène. Orange rooftops and a backdrop of tooth-like peaks create a fairy-tale impression, and its narrow cobbled lanes invite discovery. This area of the island is likely to intrigue wine connoisseurs, with 40 acres of vineyards spread across the countryside, and the opportunity to sample the local reds.

Propriano itself dates mainly from the early 19th century, and has an attractive centre of sand-coloured buildings with terracotta roofs, all overlooked by the Church of Notre Dame de la Misericorde. The scenic harbour has a variety of fishing boats and exclusive yachts, while there are some superb beaches nearby.

Day 6 – Propriano to Bonifacio

Where has the time gone? On your final day continue to the southernmost major port in Corsica – Bonifacio – a striking town perched on limestone cliffs. Here you will get the chance to explore the old citadel and relax in the café and restaurant-lined harbour while admiring the incredible views.

From Bonifacio, you can cruise to La Maddalena’s National Park, a gorgeous set of protected islands between Corsica and Sardinia. If you have time, continue down the coast of Sardinia where you will be in awe of the breathtaking scenery.

If you have fallen in love with these beautiful French destinations and want to explore them on your own luxury yacht, get in touch with Lizzie at to book your charter and customisable itinerary now!