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Vacay with a Little Sea Spray: Corsica Bound

Air BnB Ajaccio Bonifaccio Calvi canyoning Col de Bavella Corisca Corse Corte Europe explore France French Hotel Dominique Colonna Hotel La Villa island mediterranean Oletta Porto Vecchio Scandola Nature Reserve travel U Palazzu Serenu UNESCO World Heritage Site vacation

When I mention that my husband and I are vacationing in Corsica this summer, more times than not, the reaction is "Where is that?". Corsica has been on my list of places to visit for the past 10 years and we're finally getting there. I was first introduced to this beautiful French Mediterranean island, just 100 miles off the Côte d'Azur, by Garance Dore. Grarance would post on her blog about escaping the hustle and bustle of NYC and Paris to return to the island where she grew up. Her images showcased a place that was tranquil and wild at the same time. The untamed "Mountain in the Sea" will host us for a week and I can't wait to discover all that it has to offer.

Over seven days we'll be exploring each of the island's seven regions. Landing in Ajaccio, we pick up our little convertible to kick off the trip and head for the Gulf of Porto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and expansive nature reserve. The drive along the coast north of Ajaccio is supposed to be one of the most beautiful drives in the world, often compared to the Amalfi coast but without all of the development. 

Our first night we'll be staying in the port village of Calvi. Planned activities for the following 24 hours include soaking up plenty of sun at plage de l’Alga, sipping on French wine, and taste-testing local cheeses and meats. Hotel La Villa will be hosting us for the night and we trust it won't disappoint. 


From Calvi and the coast we head inland to Corte, famous for its hiking and canyoning. We'll be experiencing canyoning for the first time with By Canyon Corse and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it's all fun and no injuries for this klutz.

After our adrenaline fix we'll be kicking back at Hotel Dominique Colonna for the night. Nestled among the trees and situated on the banks of a mountain river, the hotel is a favorite among hikers and nature lovers. 

Day 3 and we're off to Oletta, a town most famous for it's beaches (of which you can find abandoned ones just for yourself) as well as seaside hiking. We'll head out for a hike once we settle in at U Palazzo Serenu and then the plan is simply to enjoy more plage et sole. Of our entire trip, this is the hotel that I am the most excited for. It looks to optimize serenity just as its name suggests. 

Our fourth day leads us on our longest drive yet. From Oletta we'll set out for Bonifacio which is at the most southern tip of the island. Our plan is to drive through Col de Bavella, famed for its granite peaks rivaling Yosemite, and stop in Porto Vecchio for lunch and to see a bit of the city. A nearly 3 hour drive if driving straight through, we plan to take our time and take in the sights. We'll be spending 3 nights in Bonifacio where we booked an Air BnB. The apartment is built right into the famous Bonifacio cliffs looking out over the ocean.

Strolling the old, winding streets, visiting the citadel, boating, spear fishing, sea urchin diving, sun bathing and eating more amazing French food is just some of what's on tap for our Bonifacio stay. We'll hardly even be at our Air BnB given all of the activities, but we'll be sure to enjoy the view when we are there. I don't know that it could be more idyllic. 

Our fun filled days and nights in Bonifacio are some of our last on the isle of Corsica. We spend the last night in Ajaccio, the island's capital, in another wonderful Air BnB that we found. We'll get to do a little exploring of the hub that Napoleon himself called home, stroll the same streets he strolled before he was busy trying to conquer the world. It is sure to be an incredible and memorable trip. We depart the U.S. later this afternoon and I cannot wait for the adventure to begin. First stop, London to visit with friends. Then we're off to France to finally cross Corsica off our list of "must see" places (a list that seems to be ever-growing and never ending). 

*Plenty of photos on the Swoon For Instagram (@swoonfor) to come! All photos in this post are via their respective hotel sites and local tourism boards.





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