FRANCE -  

Corsica between Bonifacio and Cape Corse

PLACES TO VISIT ON A SAILBOAT
Cape Corse, Calvi, Girolata, Scandola National Park, Ajaccio, Bonifacio

Truly testing in most season for the lack of shelters, western Corsica is by far the wildest coast of the Mediterranean. Certainly the only place where you can sail right into tiny fjiords with your mast nearly touching huge red sandstone pinnacles

Our top 3 SAILPRO anchorages


1. Plage d'Argent 

2. Punta Senetosa

3. Cape Corse



Our Sailing notes


Weather and anchorages: the main dangers all seasons come from westerlies, either warm and humid Libeccio or the cold front Mistral, which can be brutal around Corsica. The beaches east of Cape Corse offer enough shelter, but sailing west of it during a blow is courting disaster. Even in summer a westerly can raise 3-4 metres waves, and winds up to 70 knots have been recorded around Cape Corse and Bonifacio in august. Therefore, plan your cruise along the west coast of Corsica with the utmost attention. 


Gourmet and restaurants: although I could live on sausages and goat cheese, this could be not true for every biped. Corsica produces some of the best ham and salami of Europe, and the goat cheese is perfect, especially if you like strong flavours. 

As so often happens in many Mediterranean islands where invaders used to come from the sea, the local gastronomy is leaning towards the products of the land, especially mutton and pigs. Fish is mostly imported from mainland france. Decent oysters close to Bastia.

Restaurants in ports are usually seasonal and therefore you cannot expect a regular chef, just mercenaries. We rarely have a memorable dinner in Corsica, unfortunately...


Our itinerary


Cape Corse, one of the wildest and grandest capes in the Mediterranean, is the beginning of our trip. In good weather anchor off the eastern bight along the Cape, where water is pure crystal, or sail to the cosy fishing village of Centuri. In bad weather hide behind the islets north of Macinaggio, or in the harbour. 

If good weather persists,  the beaches of northern Corsica, like Loto and  Saleccia, renowned for its white sand and clear waters, are a must. Some guests just do not want to go away. 

The next stop should be Calvi but I have to say the port is definitely not well managed to say the least. It has a long record of corruption (50 euros to have a spot and they might even kick you out of a berth if you do not) and it's small anyway. A huge mooring buoy camp has been built but these are open to the full strength of Mistral.

There is a delightful 3 or 4 miles just SW of Punta revellata that deserves a stop if the weather is good. From Revellata you'll reach Scandola NP in 15 miles. This is an astonishing area of red rock pinnacles, tiny passages among rocks, blue waters and complete wilderness. Where in fact you cannot anchor. You can just pick up a mooring buoy in Girolata, now too commercialized, a shadow of what it once was. 10 miles s of Girolata you can anchor N or s of the amazing Capo Rosso, in the weather is good. Less crowded and equally astonishing nature-wise. 

South of Capo Rosso the coast is less dramatic and completely lacks shelters, and you can only moor in Cargese, Ajaccio or Propriano.

The coast begins being wonderful again at Punta Senetosa, a spectacular collection of rocks, small coves and bays where you can anchor in decent weather. Find your favourite spot acconrding to the wind. 

The coast south of Punta Senetosa and north of Bonifacio is open to the west, but in good weather you can enjoy some of the most beautiful bays and beaches of the Med, like Plage D'Argent (41°30'55.38"N, 8°53'17.33"E), Mortoli Bay, Roccapina Cove. 

The next step is Bonifacio, easily one of the most beautiful harbours of the Med. Get there early.

The islands of Lavezzi and Cavallo are around 9 miles to the north. The former is an amazing combination of light gray granite blocks forming three separate anchorages, one more spectacular than the other. Unless you get there in november, do not expect solitude. Cavallo is a private islands with a flashy hotel and awfully expensive villas, and you are not sopposed to roam around freely. 


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