Corsica, an island of untamed landscapes, is a fantastic yacht charter destination to discover throughout the year with an intoxicating combination of natural beauty, historical charm and raw traditions.
Located west of Italy, north of the Italian island of Sardinia and southeast of the popular luxury yacht charter destination, the French Riviera, Corsica’s eastern coastline has calmer beaches with a few distinct harbours, while the western coastline is incredibly diverse and versatile for private yachts with sheer cliffs, picturesque coves and plenty of anchorages.
The landscape boasts rugged mountains, chestnut and orange groves, river valleys, herb-scented maquis, vineyards, sandy beaches and stunning Corsican wild flowers in bloom from late-spring.
Best time to visit Corsica for luxury yacht charters
If you want to rent a boat in Corsica, sunshine hours are long and the main yachting season goes from May until October. Various micro-climates create a variety of temperatures averaging 21 to 28 degrees Celsius between May and October; the general rule being that northern Corsica is hotter than the south.
The main mountain range divides the island in half and the accompanying winds can play a part in deciding when to visit. From June to September (as with the French Riviera) the Mistral blows from the northwest/west. Summer and autumn sees the Libeccio from the southwest/west, and in cooler winter months, the Sirocco blows from the southeast.
Historic and authentic Corsica
Ruled by the Phoenicians, Etruscans, Carthaginians and Romans over time, Corsica has see-sawed through turbulent occupations. Sold by the Genoese to Louis XV in the late 18th-century, Corsica’s importance as a maritime hub still continues today with superyachts berthing in marinas beside commercial fishing boats.
The influence of different civilisations has resulted in an island dotted with megalithic sites, Genoese fortifications and Romanesque churches, but Corsica remains distinctly unique and proud of it’s heritage.
The local culture and cuisine gives yacht charterers a different experience from more established Mediterranean charter destinations such as Spain, Italy or France making it an unexpected jewel if chartering a crewed or bareboat yacht charter in Corsica.
6 Ideas For Things To Do During A Private Yacht Charter in Corsica
Visiting Corsica by luxury yacht is impressive and many of the best sights look better from the sea; Calvi’s medieval citadel, the red granite calanques of Piana, the pine-fringed sands of Plage de Saleccia, Bonifacio town perched on the clifftop. Here are six of 212 Yacht’s suggestions for things to do when visiting Corsica by private yacht:
1.Discover Corsica’s stunning beaches
Corsica has a magnificent coastline with over 200 sandy, pebbly and rocky beaches with clear water that is ideal for swimming, snorkeling or using your private yacht’s water sports equipment. Head to Campomoro in the southwest, Calvi in the northwest, Plage de Saleccia in the north and Palombaggia in the southeast.
2. Explore the megalithic site of Filitosa
If you anchor in the Gulf of Valinco, ensure you make time to go ashore and see the most significant prehistoric site on Corsica. Filitosa, has a series of granite menhirs spanning from the Neolithic era to the Bronze Age.
3. Dine ashore Corsican-style
Sit quayside with a plate of wild boar stew or sea bass in Bonifacio, visit beachside La Santana in Sagone for langoustine risotto or savour a seafood meal in Centuri on the western Cap Corse (the tiny fishing town is well known for fresh crayfish).
As well as Corsican specialities such as chestnut bread, ewe’s milk cheese and cured meats the wine is decent too. Vineyards in Corsica offer around 30 grape varietals and you’ll have the chance to sample Corsican wine in most restaurants or at the Corsican Wine Festival in summer.
4. Go hiking
Corsica has over 2000 kilometres of nature trails and many areas of unspoiled natural beauty. Go hiking in the Gorges de la Restonica, meander along the Chemin des Crêtes that overlooks the bay of Ajaccio or tackle the challenging GR20 trail from Calenzona to Conca.
5. Take in the beauty of Corsica’s nature reserves
If you enjoy nature reserves, Corsica has some particularly stunning spots! Best seen by yacht, the Réserve Naturelle de Scandola is a UNESCO-listed reserve with coastal caves, great snorkeling and diverse wildlife colonies including sea birds, seals and dolphins.
From Bonifacio, drop anchor near the Lavezzi Islands and dive in the clear turquoise waters. Or, venture 10 kilometres inland north of Porte Vecchio to the emerald-green natural swimming holes of the Cavu River.
6. Soak up Corsican history and culture
Take a trip back in time with Corsican heritage – Maison Bonaparte in Ajaccio has Napoléonic displays of documents, furniture and weaponry, Musea di a Corsica in Corte is a splendid museum with important anthropology displays or join in on one of Corsica’s yearly festivals such as the Carnival of Corsica in Sartène or the Calvi Jazz Festival in summertime.
A Guide To Top Yacht Charter Destinations in Corsica
Approaching Bonifacio by private yacht is incredibly evocative – hilltop fortifications and a citadel sit on the limestone clifftop. As one of the Mediterranean’s most dramatic settings, Bonifacio is popular in summer so we recommend contacting us to book your luxury yacht as far in advance as possible to ensure a berth in Bonifacio port. Spend the day swimming at Roccapina beach west of Bonifacio, or Cavello Island.
With a historic Old Town and restaurant-lined Porto-Vecchio Marina, Porto-Vecchio is one of the most fashionable yacht charter stopovers in Corsica. A good location to access either the stunning beaches along the coastline or mountainous areas inland, don’t miss sitting at a cafeteria at Place de la République or spending a leisurely day at the beaches such as Santa Giulia or Palombaggia.
Calvi has excellent facilities for superyachts and exudes French Riviera-style with chic waterside restaurants on Quai Landry. Take the time to wander the narrow cobblestoned alleyways of the town and visit the dominating citadel. For day trips ashore, the village of Sant’ Antonino inland between Calvi and L’Ile Rousse is a pleasant perched village – we recommend a cool drink at ‘I Scalini’, a restaurant with amazing rooftop terrace with wide-reaching views over the countryside and coast.
Port Tino Rossi ensures Ajaccio is a busy yacht charter destination with charterers attracted by historic sites and a thriving café scene. As the birth place of Napoléon Bonaparte, there’s plenty of history to absorb as well as some excellent beaches to lounge at such as the Iles Sanguinaires or the less touristy southern shore of the Gulf of Ajaccio where you can laze at Isolella.
Thriving Bastia is a commercial centre for Corsica and a popular starting point for Corsican yacht itineraries. Terra Vecchia, the old quarter of Bastia, has atmospheric cobblestoned alleyways and some ornate churches such as Église Saint-Jean-Baptiste.
Terra Nova is the citadel zone with the restored Governor’s Palace housing the Municipal Museum and pleasant Jardin Romieu.
The old port is a mix of traditional boats and yachts and comes alive on warm evenings – walk along Quai des Martyrs de la Liberation for the best views of the harbour and stop at a waterfront bar for a cold Pietra, the local beer made from malt and chestnut flour.
St-Florent is often regarded as Corsica’s version of France’s St Tropez with origins as a fishing village, town fortifications and pretty portside buildings.
The town has plenty of superb caféterias around Place des Portes and the 12th-century Cathédrale de Nebbio with the mummified body of St-Florent is the second most visited building in Corsica.
Hiring a luxury yacht here is convenient and flexible because some of the beaches are accessible only by boat. Plage de Saleccia is considered one of the best beaches on Corsica! St-Florent is a great base for yacht charters to Cap Corse in the north and coming ashore for wine tasting in the renowned wine-producing village of Patrimonio.
Many yacht charter clients opt to combine a luxury yacht charter in Corsica with an extended itinerary that includes Sardinia. Contact us today to discuss your options for a yacht rental in Corsica – we have a huge fleet of motor yachts, sailing boats and day boats that are ideal for discovering Corsica’s beauty.