Barche a Motore magazine has ranked Corsica’s five most coveted “charming” marinas for the 2019 season. They are world-famous corners for the beauty of the places and towns they are part of. You will not always find 5-star services here, exactly as is the case in charming hotels that have a special, unique charm, regardless of the comfort of large chain hotels. But you will be sure to have made a memorable stop. Here are the results.
Landing in the deep “calanque” topped by its white limestone cliffs more than sixty meters high leaves one breathless, no less is navigation within the deep inlet with arrival at the harbor topped by the 12th-century fortified citadel. Don’t miss the climb to the Citadel to enjoy the view of the Bonifaci Mouths and an early breakfast in the harbor cafes.
Between the Gulf of Porto and the Scandola Reserve, Girolata is the amazing UNESCO World Heritage natural harbor for 35 years. A stupendous natural harbor, the only shelter between Calvi and Ajaccio, it has no artificial dam: only two fires, a quay for disembarking. It is necessary to reserve one of the 70 paid buoys in good time. The restaurant not to be missed is “Bel Ombra” under the Genoese tower that serves excellent local lobsters.
Entering the harbor (to be booked in season) dominated by the 13th-century citadel is one of the great moments of a Corsican cruise. A climb to the citadel and a visit to the statue of Christopher Columbus, who locals say was born here, is a must. Don’t miss the galley at “A casetta” grocery store a stone’s throw from the harbor to stock up on Corsican cold cuts and cheeses.
Moor at the “Vieux port” in the heart of the city (book) to immerse yourself in Bastia’s Genoese past. A mix of Italian and Spanish Baroque with a required visit to the church of Saint Jean Baptiste (John the Baptist). On Saturday and Sunday there is a market a stone’s throw from the harbor, not to be missed. Enjoy a plate of sardines with Brocciu (Corsican cheese), delicious.
5. Saint Florent
It does not have the wild beauty of Calvi, but one breathes the sweetness of good living, to the point that they call it the Saint Tropez of Corsica. It may be because of the similarity with the village’s fishermen’s houses, the des Portes square with the esplanade dedicated to Petanque (French game of boules). The 12th-century cathedral Santa Maria Assunta is worth visiting, and Patrimonio wines are not to be missed.