Corsica: Pls comment on itinerary

Feb 19th, 2011, 03:12 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,330
Corsica: Pls comment on itinerary

Hi,
I'm just staring my itinerary planning for Corsica and would like some help. Please let me know if I'm trying to cram too much in and spending too little time in an area to enjoy it. If you think I can cut out something, please let me know.

We will arrive (and return to) Bonifacio by ferry from Sardinia in early September, and rent a car. My initial thought was to spend 2 nights in Bonifacio to take a boat trip to Illes Lavezzi, explore the high town, and take a coastal walk to Cap Pertusato. Then, I wanted to spend a 2 nights in the Porto Vecchio or Santa Giulia area to visit a few beaches and see the town. However, since Porto Vecchio is only a half hour drive away (according to Via Michelin), I'm wondering if it would be better to spend four nights in one place to minimize the hassles of changing hotels.
If so, where would be the best place to stay?

The rest is a little sketchy right now. I'd like to spend 2 nights in either Quenza or Zonza to visit the Col Bavella. From there, I was thinking of driving up the D69 to Corte, but also wonder if the scenery makes up for that road being little and slow, Michelin recommends driving over to Ajjacio to take the faster N193 but that looks so far out of the way.
In Corte, spend 2 or 3 nights.

From Corte, drive to Erbalunga for 1 night (I can skip Bastia) and then maybe do part of the coastal walk and then drive to St. Florent to spend 2 nights. Or would it be better to skip Erbalunga and stay 3 nights in St. Florent to visit the Cap Corse area and take a boat ride to Plage de Loto or visit Patrimonio for the vineyards. Cap Corse seems way out of the way, but it looks appealing to me.

From there, to Calvi area and spend 2 nights, then to Piana to spend 2 nights, then to Ajaccio for 3 nights, (2 nights in Propiano ?) and return to Bonifacio to get the ferry.

This adds up to 3 weeks, which is about one week more than I planned to spend, since we're also going to Sardinia, Sicily & the Aeolian Islands. Which areas would you cut? My initial thought is to cut the 2 nights in Propiano. Since we'll probably also see beaches in Sardinia (and we live in Florida) should I cut out beach time? We really don't like just staying one or two nights in a place, but I don't see how I can avoid this. We also don't want to drive more than 4 hours max in a day. I also want to stay in charming small inns, rather than expensive resorts or bare bones B& B's, and great food is a priority.

I am so appreciative of any help you can give me.
barefootbeach is offline  
Feb 21st, 2011, 05:05 AM
  #2  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,330
Is it too far to visit the Col de Bavella from Bonifacio? I'm thinking I should cut out the nights in Porto Vecchio and Quenza and just do it as a day trip.
barefootbeach is offline  
Feb 21st, 2011, 06:53 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,466
You need to be aware that the roads are very windy in many many places and what may online say 100 miles can take forever. We did Calvi to St Florent last July and the road is extremely switcback and took a lot longer than anticipated.
That said with 3 weeks you have a lot of time to explore Corisca, although I would add a little bit more time in Calvi and skip a night in St Florent. Calvi is a great base for that region.
Smeagol is offline  
Feb 21st, 2011, 06:58 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,466
Great restaurant in Calvi is U Fanale just on the road going out. Food is great and prices not too horrific. Book in advance and ask for a table on the terrace (although to be fair the aesthetics are not what you go for) really great food.I also like aux Bon Amis in Calvi town. There is a great seafood res in Ill rousse which is on then way to Calvi (Ille Rouse has a lovely daily market and is nice to wonder around also.) anyway when I get home I will see if I can find then name of the nice seafood res for you.
Smeagol is offline  
Feb 21st, 2011, 04:15 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,330
Thanks Smeagol for the restaurant recommendation. I really want to cut this trip back to 2 weeks though, because we have the other two islands to see. So, I'm going to have to cut my wish list down....maybe only see the Bonifacio, Ajaccio and Calvi areas with day trips into the mountains.
Is there one mountain area that is the best? Around Corte or the Col Bavella or trips inland from Ajaccio or Calvi?
As much as I regret it, I think I'm going to have to cut Cap Corse.
We want to savor Corsica not turn it into a driving trip.
barefootbeach is offline  
Feb 21st, 2011, 05:27 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 149
you can read my incomplete TR on our trip to Corsica - you are right, it can really becoming a driving trip all too quickly given the roads. Our trip ended up being a lot of driving (in part b/c the weather wasn't very good).

In Corte I would suggest checking out the Restonica Valley which is a beautiful drive up into the foot of the mountains along a gorgeous stream.
telechick is offline  
Feb 21st, 2011, 06:39 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,330
telechick, that's an incomplete report?!! I loved all your detail. I had read this earlier but re-read it again. We're also going in early Sept. so I hope that we don't have your luck with the rain!
Can I ask why you liked Ille Rousse so much that you'd want to spend 5 days there? I had read some other comments that people liked Calvi better. Is it the surrounding areas that you can get to? Did you like that area better than Ajaccio? Thanks for your help.
barefootbeach is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2011, 03:58 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 149
Unfortunately we really didn't spend any time in Calvi so I can't compare it to Ile Rousse. I think what I liked about Ile Rousse was the beach (west of town) ;-) and the feel of the town. We also had a too brief stay in Ajaccio. It's definitely a city/town with lots of traffic - more so than any other place we visited aside from Bastia (Ajaccio had more traffic than Bastia). Again we only spent a half day there and I would have liked to spend more. There's a great farmer's market there that we caught the tail end of. The architecture is very nice. I also really liked Bastia aside from the horrible hotel we stayed in (Posta Vecchia).

The fact it takes so long to drive places really impacts a trip. Having said that, we did tend to take a lot of back roads as opposed to the highways b/c we wanted to see the countryside. There are proper 2-4 lane roads that go btwn the major towns that would make your trip much faster. I would highly recommend the Restonica Valley drive if you want a taste of the mountains. I seem to remember it takes about 30 min each way on a 1.5 lane road. Just don't do it too late in the afternoon b/c on the way up you're driving straight into the sun and it's really tough on the driver since the road goes in and out of shade.

Although we didn't do this, many people enjoy taking the narrow gauge railroad that runs across the island. I think you could do it as a day trip from the south to north or vice versa. You can also take it along the north cost btwn Calvi and St. Florent and it has stops at all the nice beaches.

as for the weather, I think what we experienced was a bit unusual. They told us that it hadn't rained for 6 months until the week we were there - usually this doesn't happen and I think the rain tends to come later in Sept/Oct.
telechick is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2011, 04:32 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,330
Telechick, thanks for more information. I really don't like busy cities with lots of traffic, so maybe we'd just see Ajjacio on a day trip from somewhere nearby. I do want to spend several nights in Piana so maybe we can drive from there. I do want to visit the Restonica Valley and made a note not to do this in late afternoon.
barefootbeach is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2011, 09:55 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,466
I have been to Calvi and Ill Rousse many times. They are not really that far apart (perhaps 20mins)
IR is smaller and has more of a market town feel Calvi is larger but has a lovely citadel to walk around. You can stay in either and visit the surrounding region easily.
Smeagol is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2011, 01:32 PM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,330
Smeagol, Is there an accommodation in either Calvi or Ill Rousse that you could recommend?
barefootbeach is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2011, 10:11 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,466
To be honest I can't really as we stay at our friends house in a charming village called lumio, about midway between IR and Calvi!! But let me rummage through all my stuff as I do have some cuttings of hotels etc. Do you have a budget in mind (as I seem to remember a fantastic place near Calvi but it was pricey)
Smeagol is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2011, 12:34 PM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,330
You may be thinking of La Villa in Calvi, which looks wonderful, but that's more than our budget. I'd like to not go much over $200 a night since we'll be traveling for about a month. Lucky you to have a friends house!
barefootbeach is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:49 AM.