They don’t call Corsica the ‘Île de Beauté’ (Island of Beauty) for nothing. In the island’s north west, Calvi’s beautiful sweeping bay is best appreciated from Notre Dame de la Serra, a chapel perched high above the town. From Calvi you can explore the Pointe de Revellata, a natural paradise with 300 acres of flora unique to Corsica, as well as a magnificent underwater world attracting keen divers.
A day trip from Calvi to the Scandola Nature Reserve is a must, with boats departing from the port every day. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was established in 1975 and schools of dolphins can be found just a few dozen yards from shore. The Piana calanques (rocky inlets), also UNESCO listed, offer an awe-inspiring sight of red granite cliffs eroded and sculpted by the sea over centuries. Some of the shapes are famous for their resemblance to animals, people or symbols. The Desert des Agriates is a barren, dramatic landscape of rocks and scrubland where eagles soar overhead – and Corsica is generally a very mountainous island, its highest peak (Monte Cinto) standing at 2,710m.
In the south of the island, feast your eyes on the gleaming yachts moored in the marinas at glamorous Porto-Vecchio and Bonifacio. The former has 380 berths and is one of the south of France’s best equipped to accommodate large private vessels. The beaches around these two resorts are also considered by many as the island’s best, with startlingly vibrant turquoise waters lapping shingly coves and stretches of fine, white sand. Palombaggia and Santa Giulia are among the most breathtaking.