Beautiful beaches

Corsican is littered with stunning beaches of all shapes and sizes. So naturally we’re off to explore a few of them!

From tiny coves to vast swathes of pure white sand, there’s a patch of sand to suit everyone.

The sands are blissfully empty towards the end of September. It’s our favourite time of year to travel as the weather is still great but the crowds are thinning out nicely.

Green hills and wind blown salty trees back the lovely beach of Ostriconi.

Ostriconi Beach (also called the beach of Perajola) is renowned for its rugged beauty.

It’s wild and windswept, braced by dunes and immersed in fragrant Corsican maquis.

Maquis is a special wild-scrub area of Corsica that covers approximately 20% of the island.

It includes the fragrant curry plant and rock rose to myrte, daisies and various types of mint. When the wind blows over it, the smells are amazing.

As Corsica had seen some bad weather before we arrived, a lot of the beaches were covered in seaweed which detracted from their pristine loveliness.

However Ostriconi was not one of them and its gorgeous sands were weed free!

Look how joy filled we are!!! The water was phenomenally blue and the sun was just the right level of scorching!

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Long way down!

On route to the gorges we pass by just one of the stunning beaches to be found on the island.

This is the pretty beach of Porto seen from high up above as we passed through the Calanques de Piana.

The beach overlooks the Golfe de Porto and is a pristine little stretch of sand.

All along the west coast road there are lovely vantage points where you can enjoy the stunning views.

Gorges de la Spelunca

Next up on our Corsican odyssey is an exploration of the gorgeous Gorges de la Spelunca.

Just inland from Porto, the awesome gorges offers splendid hiking, plus freshwater swimming on hot days.

The Gorges de Spelunca are scenic river valleys cutting through the mountains. Rocky paths pass alongside stunning gushing waters of green, blue and brown.

We took the shorter route which was from the road bridge to the old Pont de Zaglia in the gorge-bottom forest – and back again. It took about two hours in total.

The winding path passes through the gorges with mountains, river valleys and pools. It’s a bit of a scramble in the heat but well worth it when you reach your destination.

After about 40 minutes you reach the Ponte a Zaglia. A fairy-tale like Genoan stone bridge that was built at the end of the 18th century to make life easier for the locals and the shepherds.

The bridge has a very high arch because at certain times of year the river becomes very large and fast flowing.

Next to the Ponte à Zaglia bridge there are some glorious pools of colourful water surrounded by boulders, which are an excellent place for a picnic.

After a sweaty hike these beautiful pools are like magnets to us.

The rushing, sparkling water is so tempting as it glitters under the Corsican sunshine.

How tempting does this beautiful pool look? The man looks like he is about to dive right in!

And he’s in. Dipping his toes in this wonderful green pool of cooling goodness.

Even now, the water makes me want to leap in! I can remember the boiling heat on my neck and the beguiling sparkles on the river.

Then finally I take the plunge! Like a plump mermaid, wallowing in the gorgeous, shockingly cold, pools.

It might have been a little chilly (and I might have soaked my only set of clothes) but it was awesome!!!

Look how delighted we both are!! Thumbs up from us, definitely a must see.

Calanques de Piana

As we head towards Calvi we choose to negotiate through one of Corsica’s natural wonders, the exceptionally beautiful Calanques de Piana.

These are granite rock formations along the coast of western Corsica near Porto.

Winding south from Porto to Piana in the north west of Corsica, is a coastal road with some of the most stunning, otherworldly scenery that we’ve ever encountered in Europe.

The Calanques de Piana are incredible, sculptural, weather beaten rock formations with an almost alien feel to them.

The surreal landscape of wind-eroded granite cliffs tower over the road and then plunge dazzlingly into the sea.

The cliffs are a naturally harmonised palette of colours including red, pink, russet and honey.

Stacks, towers and pinnacles have been shaped by the elements and are up to 300 metres above the sea in some places.

Pretty Piana

There are a variety of pretty little villages scattered around Corsica and one of them is Piana.

We’re dropping in en-route to our next destination, the tourist town of Calvi.

Piana is a pretty village set in and overlooking the fabulous Calanqes de Piana; one of the most beautiful parts of Corsica.

The Calanqes de Piana is a stunning series of rock formations and we’ll be heading through those next.

Boats & beaches

Ajaccio is Corsica’s capital and is a port city on the rugged isle’s western coast.

As such it has a bustling little marina and large port complete with a multitude of colourful, bobbing boats.

The Tino Rossi Marina is a pleasant place to stroll around and enjoy the laid back bustle of fishermen carrying on their centuries old traditions.

Naturally the hubby opts to locate the more flashy boats and proceeds to act as if he has the money to own one . . .

Then we’re heading back to the pretty town beach for one of our budget picnics and a splash about!

Supermarket beer and baguettes! That’s how us cheapskates travel 🙂

That’s it for Ajaccio, we’re heading onward in a North Easterly direction as we head to the citadel town of Calvi via the spectacular Calanches de Piana and Gorges de la Spelunca.

Ajaccio art

Sunny Ajaccio’s old streets are lined with beautiful, mellowed, old buildings. Muted shades of ocha and cream have been faded by decades of sun.

As well as attractive architecture you can also find a wealth of detailed wall art too. Whether it is an ornate Stormtrooper or a weathered woman.

A pretty door in faded baby blue provides the perfect backdrop to display local produce while the combination of brick red and air force blue makes an eye-catching sight.

The husband is once again dispatched as a photo prop (he loves it really!) while the iconic Corsican symbol can be found everywhere.

The eyecatching symbol is called ‘La Testa di Moru’ – the Moor’s head.

It originates in the Kingdom of Aragon and has also been used in neighbouring Sardinia since the Aragonese conquest in 1297.

Corsican crew

The next trip of 2018 was to the little French island of Corsica. Having visited the neighbouring Italian island of Sardinia the year before we were keen to compare the two.

The first stop is the capital city of Ajaccio complete with its pretty town beach.

Ajaccio has a wealth of history. Not least of which is that it is the birthplace of French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte in 1769.

His ancestral home, Maison Bonaparte, is now a museum displaying family heirlooms.

They also quite like lots of hogs – mainly down to the fact that it is a local delicacy thanks to large numbers of wild piggies that roam the island.

We enjoy a lovely sunset on the beach to round off a perfect first day.

Last looks

Last few shots from our summer holiday to Mykonos (LAST JULY!!) so backlogged with trip write ups!!

Still zipping around on our quad we head for the remote little bay that is Fokos beach in the North East of the island.

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Early in the morning we have the beach virtually to ourselves to enjoy.

The last stop on our tour before we retreat to lounge by the pool for the rest of the holiday is to Armenistis Lighthouse.

This abandoned relic was built in 1891 and is located on the north-western tip of Mykonos, overlooking the strait between the island of Tinos and Mykonos.

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Now completely derelict it offers wonderful far reaching views out across the sea.

Easy riders

Mykonos is only a pip squeak of an island – one of the tiniest Greek islands we’ve visited (certainly in terms of things to see TBH).

But in order to reach some of the more remote, off the beaten track, beaches we opt once again for the king of small road warriors – the quad bike!!!

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We’re heading to the South East of the island first. Stopping off first at Kalafati beach (see my previous post) we then head up a dirt track onto a tiny spit of land with a teeny harbour and pretty church.

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Below is a remote, traditional little harbour side eatery – Markos Fish Tavern. Close to a tiny, tucked away sun spot – Divounia Beach

I love the colour combination of navy water, white boats and shades of yellow in the tangled fishing nets.

Naturally the hubby AKA the Easy Rider enjoys cruising around topless in order to complete the bronzing process.

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However, safety conscious (AKA spoilsport) wifey demands full coverage, helmets and annoyingly squeaks if we so much as creep above 20mph!

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The ‘smile’ below is partly because the wind has firmly stuck my lips to my teeth and partly through fear… so much for YOLO . .

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