Where Mountains Meet the Mediterranean | Our Favorite French Island
We’ve spent the last two weeks on this glorious island full of raw beauty, beach hopping everyday with our picnics, books and journals. Every single day. In a world where quiet is an endangered species, this wild, yet accessible island is the perfect escape. My partner is so very French, and this is his favorite place to go, with the sea reflecting 10 shades of turquoise and the clearest water I’ve ever seen. We encountered wild goats on narrow winding roads and sun bathed with wild cows on several beaches. I’m serious. Only in Corsica. A phrase you’ll be repeating frequently when you get here. When I say beach hopping, I mean the kind with hand-packed picnics, three books, good wine, watercolor sunsets and my favorite thing: quiet. Lots of it. May is my favorite month here, with late-September a close second. It was my first visit and here are a few of my travel essentials.
1. Flying from Paris round trip can be as low as $120. Enjoy a few days in the city of lights before you head over the the slow life. Grab a couple books at Shakespeare and Company and get your obligatory book stamp, sealing your French vacation.
2. No matter what, always purchase full insurance on your car. Enterprise is the company we use in Europe and one of the only ones to offer full coverage. Your piece of mind is worth it and those bumpy gravel roads to secluded beaches will eat your deposit otherwise.
3. Always take a big warm sweater to the beach with you no matter the temperature. You’ll want to wrap yourself in warmth after those long, cool swims.
4. Write this down: make sure you rent a place with a sea view balcony and a kitchen. Let me repeat, with a kitchen. This is not a vegan-friendly island and restaurants are extremely expensive everywhere in Corsica, and will cost you a fortune. Nothing beats having a beautiful vegan meal on your porch with friends, while saving a ton of moola. The place you stay will shape your experience, so find a place you love.
5. Hit the bio/organic grocery stores and stock ya kitchen! The vegan offerings are full on and we created huge feasts for our team.
6. If your schedule is flexible, find a place you love on your online app and call them directly or show up and negotiate a cheaper price.
7. Be aware that when you use an online hotel app, for Corsica, it does not always tell you all of the hidden requirements/ fees and you can find yourself in quite a predicament. Sometimes you find out you have to show up with several thousand euros in cash because they do not accept credit cards and they require a $500 cash deposit, that you find out about after you book. Definitely try to steer clear of those places. They can also add in steep cleaning fees and strange unexpected charges. We booked our villas and cottages through the hotels that managed them.
Now the Fun Part: My Favorite Beaches in Southern Corsica
Stay on the main road no matter what your GPS says. The beach was serene, beautiful and less populated than the others.
Rent the paddle boats with the biggest slide. Paddle Boat slide wars in clear blue water are zee best. Swim out to the rocks and check out the schools of fish.
The eastern part of Palombaggia
The most famous beach, and best avoided during peak seasons.
Plaged’ Argentnear Ajaccio
Great for a quick stop to catch up on your reading.
The Cliffs in Bonifacio
Manifest a great parking spot and spend a couple hours strolling this jaw dropping town, small winding alleys, and endless cafes. You’ll know when you find the look out point, next to the cafe with the overpriced beer. We always kept our kombucha and drinks in a bag for an instant picnic anywhere, while avoiding the Manhattan prices.
Îles Sanguinaires (The Bloody Islands)
Our senior editor loved the small hike around the picturesque dramatic cliffs.