From Cap Corse to the crystal clear waters of the South with Original Travel
Plenty more secrets lie behind the picture-perfect scene of a turquoise cove lined with pine trees. Mountains and rivers, cliff-top villages, historic and lively cities: from north to south, Corsica offers a variety of landscapes and atmospheres galore. From the winding paths of Cap Corse, to the forests and summits in the heart of the island, to the emerald waters of the south, there are three legs to this trip so you can really get to grips with the island's beauty. Three home ports - Oletta, a few miles above Saint-Florent, Corte in the heart of the island, Bonifacio and the Gulf of Santa Manza. Three intimate hotels in perfect harmony.
Everything is 100% tailored to you
DAY 1 FLIGHT TO BASTIA - OLETTA
Pick up your hire car at Bastia airport. Take a short drive to Oletta for a three-night stay at the foot of the village. The property is quintessential Corsica with its golden stone walls, lavender, distressed wood, vaults, tiles, palm trees and olive trees. The 'hammam' (steam room), lanterns and other exotic decorative elements represent the travels of the wanderlust owners. The swimming pool and luxuriously comfortable rooms are the perfect place to relax. The pool-house, housed in an old 'bergerie', is a lovely little place for an aperitif or nap and it's so well-designed you can seamlessly slide from one to the other. The whole place strikes a beautiful balance between Corsican traditions and exotic wanderlust vibes from around the world. Guests are made to feel immediately at home, the welcome and service are truly a highlight of the stay. The local, homemade dishes are a deliciously easy way to refuel and replenish your strength in between adventures.
DAYS 2 & 3 OLETTA AND CAP CORSE
Nestled in the valley, the hotel enjoys a superb location, with a symbol of Corsican patriotism, the San Francescu convent, standing proudly nearby. In the village, the magnificent church of Saint Andre has a beautiful 16th-century wooden triptych, depicting the Virgin Mary with baby Jesus between Andrew the Apostle and Saint Reparata. Continue a little to the west, to the Nebbio region; Cap Corse is to the north and Saint-Florent, with its Genoese citadel and impressive 13th-century Pisan Romanesque cathedral, is just over two miles away. Take your time to soak up the beaches, including the white sandy beach of Roya, Ospedale with its pink pebbles and Loto, in the heart of Agriates desert, reached by boat or a five-hour walk on the old customs officers' trail (which starts from Saint-Florent and leads to Ostriconi). The maquis is a wild, green haven of tangled evergreen oaks, heathland plants, mastic trees, myrtles and cistus. It fills the air with sweet smells, while the sea matches the blue sky. Included in the itinerary is a day spent exploring Cap Corse with a private guide between sea, mountains and desert, on paths only accessible by 4x4. The peninsula is nearly 25 miles long and six to ten miles wide and paints the perfect picture of wild Corsica, far from the crowds. Wander the steep streets of Sisco, visit a distillery, and then head to the village of Santa Severa and relax on a terrace. Tamarone beach is a lovely spot for a swim, followed by a visit to Rogliano wind farm with beautiful views of Cap Corse. Alternatively, or in addition to Cap Corse, explore the Agriates desert, also in a 4x4. Or head out on a boat to the protected beach of Saleccia, one of the most beautiful on the island with its soft sand, crystal clear waters and majestic Aleppo pine trees.
DAY 4 OLETTA - CORTE
Head to the centre of the island, towards Corte and Restonica Valley. Enjoy a three-night stay in a lovely riverside setting in the middle of nature and all its sensual fragrances. This hotel offers an enchanting location in the heart of nature; it's the perfect base to explore inland. Have dinner at 'Auberge de la Restonica' on the banks of the river, a restaurant renowned for its authentic cuisine with local accents.
DAYS 5 & 6 CORTE AND RESTONICA VALLEY
In the heart of Corsica, the imposing citadel of Corte enjoys a beautiful location, standing proudly between the Monte Rotondo, and retains its role as a crossroads between the two parts of the island. The museum retraces the island's troubled past, while the winding, narrow streets of the old town are just waiting to be explored. Everywhere you look is the splendour of Corsican nature, from the crystal clear waters of the Restonica and Tavignano rivers to the majestic landscapes of the Melo and Capitello lakes. Another option is to take a private tour of Corte, its citadel and museum.
DAY 7 CORTE - BONIFACIO
Drive to Bonifacio, on the southern tip of the island. Spend three-nights staying just outside the city, overlooking the Gulf of Santa Manza. The hotel is designed with intertwined terraces to allow for as many sea views as possible. Tranquillity and majestic beauty reign supreme in the surrounding area. The bright rooms are a great example that contemporary design can be seamlessly blended with traditional Mediterranean style. The infinity pool is perfectly integrated into the landscape and a path takes guests down to the beach below. The spa, featuring soothing wood everywhere, only looks after one guest at a time, so enjoy this ultimate pampering experience. The restaurant is run by a talented Senegalese chef, who skilfully combines subtle Mediterranean flavours with more elaborate ones.
DAYS 8 & 9 BONIFACIO AND THE SOUTH
Bonifacio's glory begins with its impressive crumbling white cliffs, which have slowly been shaped and hollowed out by erosion from the elements. Surrounded by the sea, this limestone lace is a natural wonder to behold. The upper town, surrounded by imposing ramparts, is home to countless medieval buildings. Below, the harbour looks out onto the Strait of Bonifacio and you can spot Sardinia in the distance. Idyllic, sandy beaches are everywhere you look. Sail to the Lavezzi archipelago or take a kayak to explore the coves and find your own little slice of paradise. As for the hinterland, Freto's plains and mountains are perfect for hiking, mountain biking, quad biking or canyoning adventures, or discovering the plant life or the rural culture shaped by hard work and patience. The inns serve hearty 'civet de sanglier' (wild boar stew made with chestnuts and fennel) and delicious 'tarte aux figues' (fig tart).
Included in the itinerary is a day spent sailing around the Lavezzi archipelago. This uninhabited archipelago, located in the Strait of Bonifacio and protected since 1982, consists of a hundred granite islets covering a total of 135 acres. The Lavezzi islands are a paradise of sandy beaches, small coves, turquoise waters and exceptional seabeds. A day at sea is the perfect way to soak up the best of Corsica's coast. The boat trip is punctuated by adventures on idyllic beaches, swimming in crystal clear waters and snorkelling trips. On your return, sail around the island of Piane, into Sperone bay and along Bonifacio's limestone cliffs. Enjoy an on-board breakfast and lunch featuring delicious, local produce. Take an optional private tour of Bonifacio's old town followed by a short hike in the surrounding area, for even more spectacular views.
DAY 10 BONIFACIO - FIGARI - RETURN FLIGHT
Take a short drive to Figari, return your hire car to the airport and catch your flight home.
A la carte
EXPLORE THE AGRIATES DESERT IN A 4X4
Once Corsica's breadbasket, where crops and livestock flourished, it's now one of the few deserts in Europe. An arid maquis (scrubland) rises from the sand, where a rich and varied plant life grows. Immense rocky ridges, valleys and peaks overlook the turquoise sea and Cap Corse. Belonging to the 'Conservatoire du Littoral', a French public organisation created to ensure the protection of outstanding natural areas on the coast, the wild landscape of maquis and granite rocks carved by the salty sea air softens as the shoreline approaches. Option - With a private guide
Saleccia's long, wild strip of fine sand, just under a mile long, is lined by turquoise waters on one side and majestic Aleppo pine trees on the other. It's one of the most beautiful beaches on the island, and to add to its glory, it was where some scenes from the epic war film 'The Longest Day' (1961) were filmed. To get to the beach, take a 20-minute taxi boat, leaving behind Saint-Florent, with its citadel and ramparts, then sail past the wild coasts of the Agriate desert, the ruined Genoese tower of Mortella, Cavallata point and Lotu beach, until you reach Saleccia. This little slice of paradise is a protected site and can only be reached a few hours a day. Option - Crossing tickets
BONIFACIO AND ITS CLIFFS
Bonifacio is not as well-known as Porto Vecchio, but is just as beautiful and majestic perched on its white, limestone cliffs. From its cliff-top citadel, steeped in medieval history and winding streets, to its lower town, lively marina and terraces, Bonifacio is truly magnetic. First, discover the old town from within before reaching the limestone cliffs for a short one-hour hike, for even more spectacular views over the cliff-top citadel. If you're feeling energetic, tackle the vertiginous King of Aragon's Staircase: 187 steps carved directly from the rock. According to legend, it was built overnight by the King's troops in 1420. This stony staircase carved into the vertical side of a limestone cliff, just a few feet above the sea, follows the turquoise blue waters to reach the well of Saint-Barthelemy. Option - With a private guide
The estimated cost for this trip starts from £2,055 to £2,590per person. The final cost of the trip depends on the way we tailor it especially for you. The final cost will vary according to several factors, including the level of service, length of trip and advance booking time. The exact price will be provided on your personalised quote. The average starting price for this trip is £2,230 per person.
The price includes
Outbound flight to Bastia and return flight from Figari with a scheduled airlineAirline taxes and fuel surchargeCar hire for 10 daysThree-night stay in Oletta in a charming double room with breakfastThree-night stay in Corte in a double room with a garden view and breakfastThree-night stay in Bonifacio in a double room with views overlooking the maquis and breakfastDay tour of Cap Corse in a 4x4 with a private guideDay with a local from Corte: visit a 'bergerie', enjoy a Corsican picnic and hike to the stunning glacial lake of MeloDay boat trip to the Lavezzi islands: sailing, swimming, adventures ashore, breakfast and lunch are all includedOur local Concierge service