For all that I love about Italy, that is largely how Nicky feels about France (ironically, 2 years ago he had no interest in ever going to France). So, while I wanted to go to Corsica, Nicky was far more excited. We decided on Ajaccio in order to make our travel easier but also because it sports some rich history and renowned coastline. I didn’t know what to expect, but if it was anything like Saint Barth’s, I knew I’d have a good time!
Arrival Day – Sofitel Hotel
I can honestly say that within thirty minutes of being on the property of Sofitel Ajaccio, I was blown away. Maybe I thought I’d be desensitized because every minute of my trip in the Mediterranean had been amazing, but Sofitel took things up a notch. It’s situated right on a peninsula giving guests a view of the north or south depending on where they’re looking. There was a private beach, a saltwater pool, and even a dock with a landing pad for those going in or out on boat or helicopter.
We were so enamored by the views we decided to eat dinner on site at the hotel restaurant. I hadn’t seen a smile on Nicky’ face this big since Greece (he absolutely loves French food). Oh, and the sunset views might be the prettiest I had seen all trip. We soaked in an hour of orange, red, and purple hues as the sun set further over the horizon.
Day 1 – Explore Ajaccio
Our first day of activities centered on the Ajaccio downtown area. We lucked out with our arrival because September 9th is the day Corsicans celebrate their liberation from Germany in WWII, so there was a parade all afternoon. We did a lot of walking, but we got to see the home of Napoleon Bonaparte, called MAISON BONAPARTE, which is a small one-room shop with a life-size statue of Napoleon (the original “short king”).
Later we checked out OLD TOWN, the MARINA, CITADEL, and FESCH MUSEUM – a two story museum full of paintings and a large section dedicated to Napoleon. Make sure to grab a drink or some gelato at the Piazza Foch!
Day 2 – Boat Tour to Piana and Lunch at Le Café de la Plage
We had heard that the coast to the north, the area called Piana, and the coast to the south, called Bonifacio, were exceptionally pretty. Since we only had one day left, we decided to take a boat tour to Piana. This was based on reports from locals that this was the prettiest water in all of Corsica.
It took a little over an hour to get to Piana but we were not disappointed! The coast is riddled with coves and caves, many of which we were able to enter with our boat (some you could even drive through). The water was everything we were told it would be and once again I found myself placing a new winner for the Mediterranean’s clearest water.
Around noon we stopped at Le Café de la Plage for an outstanding lunch overlooking the whitest sand beach Nicky and I have encountered on our trip. It was actually kind of strange to see such a large stretch of beach with such white sand. I felt like I was in the Caribbean!
Dinner at Auberge Du Prunelli
Our final dinner of the trip was at Auberge Du Prunelli, an outdoor patio restaurant tucked away in the forest not far from Sofitel. This was maybe the first time in our entire trip that we actually had some difficulty communicating with staff. That is to say, this was a very French restaurant but fortunately the staff were intent on helping us and making sure we got what we wanted. They had live music as well and the band played without a single break the entire time we ate, it was such a pleasant experience.
Departure Day and Final Thoughts
Well, Corsica certainly exceeded my expectations and much like Sardinia, Sicily, and Rhodes, I plan to go back to it. It sad to end my trip in the Mediterranean, but I feel so blessed to have had this opportunity to go exploring. Stay tuned for more to come!