Corsican summer

Many people living in Luxembourg are blessed with a generous amount of holiday. So naturally, planning holidays is a favourite pastime. 

This weekend, there was a pilgrimage to the Vakanz fair at LuxExpo, but a couple of busloads of Luxembourgers also found their way to Boot – Europe’s largest boat show – in Düsseldorf. Could it be they long for something bigger than the local duck ponds? Combine these two events, and you might just get an idea for this summer – a yacht holiday.

For a stunning experience involving this combination, CLEW warmly recommends Corsica. A great way to discover the indescribable (really, it is) beauty of this island is by boat, preferably one with sails. If you choose to rent a catamaran (with or without skipper depending on your own skills), its stability will most of the time prevent seasickness.

Stay just a little bit longer

Generally, the west coast  is said to be the most spectacular route to discover Corsica from the sea. The wild nature, the bays and beaches and the tiny welcoming villages are many and not far between, so don’t be surprised if you don’t get as far along as you had planned. It doesn’t matter, there’s no stress. It’s just so tempting to stay just a little bit longer, take just a little detour to that bay or that beach or that village – and indeed, you might just have to get back to that restaurant.

Because you eat really well in Corsica, even in what might look like a shack on the beach. And even the tiniest village will have a gourmet restaurant. It’s easy and tempting to go local, with cheeses such as the ever-present brocciu, local charcuterie such as figatellu, beignets of all kinds, wild boar, lamb or crayfish. Honey, mint, fennel, olives and chestnut flavour and seduce the dishes, and their smell fills the Corsican air. To be washed down with a local rosé, obviously.

One of the gourmet restaurants is A Volta in Cargese, with an innovative menu, award winning ice cream and a terrace with a view to die for. The same can be said for the terrace at Le Bon Espoir in tiny Girolata, where the seafood menu is exquisite. Watch out for cows chillaxing in the streets and on the beach as you go back to the boat. In Ajaccio, Restaurant U Pampasgiolu offers delicious local food and a jovial athmophere.

Children will be very welcome at restaurants, there’s an Italian feel about Corsica in many ways. And this is indeed a family friendly holiday form. Children will love jumping into the clear sea any time to swim with fish, and very likely watch dolphins or tunas play. They’ll also love being close as a family. A comfortable catamaran can easily accomodate two families, if you wish to spend time with friends and get the costs down.

Get onboard

The below photo gallery will take you onboard a catamaran off the west coast of Corsica, passing by the steep calanques of Piana, Girolata bay with the remote village of Girolata only reachable by boat or on foot (3-4 hours), and the Scandola nature reserve, all three on the UNESCO World Heritage List, as well as the Sanguinaire Islands, the famous Genoese towers that are dotted along the Corsican coast, and Ajaccio, which could be a starting point of your journey.

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There’s still time to catch Boot, until January 25th at Messe Düsseldorf. Yacht rental agents are present, but there are of course plenty of online possibilities to rent boats on Corsica.

Text and photos by Unni Holtedahl, January 2015 

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