Porto Vecchio

Surrounded on all sides by thick maquis, with turquoise blue sea before and the mountains of Alta Rocca behind, Porto Vecchio is hugely popular with the Italian and the French jet-set. An ancient citadelle and a modern port form the focus of this bustling town while to either side some of Corsica's finest and most famous beaches stretch away. Porto Vecchio is also ideal as a base for exploring Corsica's mountainous interior.


The narrow streets of the citadelle or haute ville are well worth exploring and many of the original fortifications still stand. It is especially charming in summer when the local cafés and pokey shops stay open late into the night.

Just outside Porto Vecchio lie the beautiful Plage de Palombaggia and Plage de Santa Giulia, long white beaches with pine forests giving straight onto the sand. Water sports include sailing, water-skiing and diving.

Behind Porto Vecchio, the Foret d'Ospedale is a superb spot for walking with expert guides available to explain aspects of the Corsican flora and fauna. What's more, two big hiking routes begin in or near Porto Vecchio. The Mare a Mare Sud works its way across the island from Porto Vechhio to Propriano while the demanding GR20 either begins or ends in the near-by village of Conca.

Twenty minutes to the South of Porto Vecchio the breathtaking citadelle of Bonifacio, perched high on chalk cliffs, looks out across the Mediterranean Sea and is a must for any visitor to Corsica. Head inland to explore the inhospitable region of Alta Rocca, notorious in the past for its inhabitants' strict honour codes and gruesome vendettas. The granite villages dotted around the mountains are eerily picturesque, though behind them lie the fascinating archaeological sites of Cucuruzzu and Capula, the former harking from the Bronze Age, and beyond, the aiguilles de Bavella with astonishing views of the Alta Rocca.


Corsica produces excellent charcuterie and all the varieties - figatellu, lonzo, copa - can be found in Porto Vecchio, as can the island's fantastic goat cheeses. Otherwise, near the village of Lecci, the vineyard Domaine de Torraccia bottles some of Corsica's best wines and liquors, while delicious, locally-made honey is on sale all over the Alta Rocca.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Most restaurants in Porto Vecchio offer up a mix of Corsican delicacies and plates of pizza and pasta. The sea-food in Porto Vecchio is excellent and the more elegant restaurants have exquisite, if pricey, menus. A number of good seasonal spots open up along the coast, often in secluded coves, and are wonderful settings for an evening meal.

Evening drinks in the citadelle or along the waterfront are always pleasant. Porto Vecchio has a kicking little jazz and blues club, Objectif lune, while nearby is the Via Notte, Corsica's biggest nightclub which really picks up during the summer months.

Tourist Information

Tel: +33 (0)495 70 09 58www.porto-vecchio.com


Figari-Sud Corse Airport is about 20km outside Porto Vecchio and, though very small, has flights to London, Manchester, Switzerland, Paris and other French destinations. Ferries leave to Marseille and Livorno in Italy, while daily buses go North to Bastia and across to Ajaccio, stopping at Bonifacio, Sartene and Propriano.

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