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    Magical places where crystal-clear water, tiny deserted creeks and wild cliffs stand side-by-side.

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Sand, sun and sea

This is the holiday picture (sent by text message) that is guaranteed to turn all of your friends at work green with envy. It is a shot of you, your skin the colour of caramel, sporting your coolest sunglasses and relaxing on a white sandy beach as you gaze out across the deep blue sea.

 It may be a cliché, of course, but you can mix it up a little if you wish: coming out of the crystal clear waters and looking divine, flexing your muscles on the beach volleyball court. In short, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to planning this essential summer snapshot. The beaches suggested here by Corse-Matin are just a taster. For visitors that have a wandering soul, it is advisable to try a number of different sites, ranging from the vast expanses of fine sand in the east to the creeks of the west coast, turquoise jewels set in red granite stone. There is an endless variety of surprises waiting for you around every bend in the road and at the end of every footpath. These locations could be busy and ever popular or quiet and secluded, sheltered in a tranquil bay or facing out to the wide open seas, but whatever the case they are always beautiful. The only catch is that some of them can be dangerous when the wind picks up and the rolling waves start to crash. Unless you happen to be an Olympic swimmer in peak form it is probably best to stick to swimming at beaches that are supervised by lifeguards. Always pay attention to the signs and flags, even when the sun is shining.     

Time to relax

If you’re in need of a restand a place you can spend your days listening to the lapping waves in a stunning setting, there’s only one possible destination: Corsica, an island that lends itself perfectly to a relaxing holiday at any time of year. Discover magical places where crystal-clear water, deserted creeks and wild cliffs stand side-by-side.

In the spring, explore the sublime stretches of fine sand along Corsica’s eastern plain from Palombaggia or Santa Giulia to Porto-Vecchio and you’ll soon understand why the island is considered “the cradle of angels”.

As soon as you step foot on Corsican soil in summer there’s no time to lose: put on your swimming costume, pack your towel and sun cream and head off to breathe in the scented air of the Aleppo pine-fringed beaches of Saint-Florent.

In the autumn, why not take a trip to the famous Sanguinaires islands off the coast of Ajaccio, an archipelago considered a paradise for birds, inhabited by shags, peregrine falcons, warblers and ospreys. With family or friends, visit the Parata tower, a former Genoese fortress and one of the symbols of Corsica’s history, and watch the famous sunset here – you’ll soon understand the words of Alphonse Daudet who described Corsica as: “a reddish island with a wild appearance”.

And lastly, a small but important recommendation for those visiting the island in March: head for the beach and make sure you enjoy a plate of sea urchins or shellfish accompanied by a glass of white Corsican wine – a truly exquisite experience!