Located at the southern end of the famous Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast), Portisco has a natural harbour that is sheltered from the Mediterranean currents and winds by its inland location, resulting in a great starting location for a sailing holiday. There is a small selection of shops and restaurants in the marina.
The strait between Bonifacio and Sardinia is one of the windiest locations in the metiterranean due to winds funnelling between the two islands. Don’t be put off as on arrival at Bonifacio you’ll be treated to possible the most spectacular natural harbours in the Mediterranean, it’s an absolute must see!
Porto Vecchio is around 25 miles north of Bonifacio and was originally a Roman then a Genoese port. The region has a long history of salt production which still thrives today. There are some superb beaches south of the town, or you could choose to wonder around the former fortifications within the town itself.
Campoloro provides a good stop over point on the eastern coast of Corsica. The marina can get very busy and is the only one in the area so it’s important to ring ahead and book a berth. On approach you’ll see the three clad mountains towering over the small port.
Capraia is a small mountenous island between Corsica and Elba. The tourist industry on Capraia has only been active since 1986 and as a result the island is very much how it used to be. The only port on the northeast coast does get busy but it’s possible to anchor off in the bay. The island is a fantastic place for keen walkers thanks to its terrain. Supplies are limited so do keep this in mind.
This quaint little village is on the northeast coast of Corsica. There is a small harbour protected by two moles. The village has relatively little to offer in terms of facilities but that’s made up by its charm and the warm welcome from the locals.
Saint Florent was originally a busy fishing port but visiting bay boats have mainly replaced the fishing industry. The Genoese built the town in the 16th century and there are many monuments dotted around the town. The town also happens to be close to the Patrimonio vineyards if you fancy a spot of wine tasting.
Calvi is tucked away in a sheltered bay on the north west of Corsica. In 1268 a citadel was built to protect against any invaders. A battle between the island of Corsica and mainland France over the integration of the island into the new French Republic saw the famous English Admiral Nelson lose his eye. The town is now a popular stopping point for people sailing from France towards Sardinia and Sicily.
Girolata is a small bay tucked into the western coast of Corsica. The area of the island is a national reserve and so amenities are few and far between. However you will find a beach with a few small shacks selling locally caught fish. We wouldn’t recommend relying on being able to buy anything here, so take some supplies too.
Ajaccio is the administrative capital of the island and is situated in the sheltered bay roughly half way down the western coast. There are two good marinas here and the town is a good place to explore some of the inner towns and villages on the island. Ajaccio is the birth place of Napoleon, who later ended up fighting his own people to stop Corsica from gaining independence.
Propriano is a small finishing town that was once an important port. Today it has been overtaken by is larger neighbouring harbours of Calvi and Ajaccio. The fishing harbour has gradually been converted into a small yacht marina sheltered by breakwaters. It’s a good stop whilst waiting for the winds to ease in the Straits of Bonifacio.
Santa Teresa Gallura was originally a Roman settlement who quarried the local granite for buildings such as the Pantheon in Rome. Around the town there are still some partly worked granite block to be seen. The modern town dating from the 19th century likes at the head of a narrow rocky inlet.
Maddalena is the largest island in the archipelago and as you would expect is the busiest. You have a number of choices of ports; Cala Gavetta which is the main port and is a busy tourist town. Alternatively you could choose Cala Mangiavolpe which is east of Cala Gavetta, a little cheaper and with extremely helpful locals. Finally Cala Spalmaore which is a lovely well sheltered beach.
If you didn’t get an opportunity to visit Olbia on your first night then we would recommend taking the time to go. It’s a town often overlooked in the rush to get to the Costa Smeralda and offers more than you might inititally think. There is a historic centre filled with boutiques, wine bars and pizza cafes. The town is well worth making the trip.