Belle Provence Travels

A South of France Blog

Greetings from a still warm, if a tad less sunny, Provence. It’s hard to believe that we’re already reaching the end of September…

As always, back-to-school is a bit of a slow start in Provence – which, I have to say, is not half bad considering what a “shock” the end of summer vacation can be for such a fête (party) -loving place like the south of France.

And this year the summer just keep on going & going for us, as we’ve just returned from a late-summer trip to Corsica.  Quite frankly, already feeling lucky enough to enjoy the beauty of Provence, it’s hard to believe that somewhere so close to home could have that same effect.

Well, maybe I’m dating myself here, but Corsica really blew our socks off… it’s just that pretty and like few places I’ve ever visited before.

We’d traveled to the island previously, about 5 years ago, but had only planted our “bottoms” at the beach in Porticcio which I learned on this trip is really a “rookie mistake”… Not my own observation, but the opinion of a few hotel owners we met along the way.

It seems there’s much more to Corsica then its belles plages (beautiful beaches). And this opinion was far from wrong … Corsica is a whole world, in itself, to discover.

And thanks in large part to Charming Small Hotels – who contacted us to research a few hotels on the Île de Beauté (island of beauty) – we discovered far more than I’d ever imagined… stunning natural beaches that can only be accessed by wading across a river, amazing hilltop villages that rival the best of Tuscany, and an interior region full of moutain views that took our breath away…

Not to mention the glowing welcome we were treated to everywhere we went.

Our trip started in the north at L’Île-Rousse (visiting many of the villages along the coast) continued to the “rugged” interior with stops at Corte, Bastelica, and Levie – and finished in the southwest at the port towns of Propriano and Porto Pollo.

I hope you enjoy these photos which are just a handful of the 1000+ shots (!) I captured on our trip and I’ll be posting more about the hotels we visited in the future weeks.

We traveled with a Lonely Planet guidebook, which was spot on with everything, but here are a few more resources for trip-planning:

-Lonely Planet online

-Offical Corsica Tourist Site

-Calvi Tourist Office

-Rough Guides Corsica

-Corsica Ferries


Ile Rousse Arriving at L’Île-Rousse by ferry from Toulon.

Algajola beach A “hidden gem” between L’Île-Rousse and Calvi – Algajola beach.

Pigna The hilltop village of Pigna.

A Casarella Pigna Collage Lunch at A Casarella in Pigna.

Road to Corte On the road to the mountain region of Corsica – interior of the island.

Bastelica A few friends we met outside the town of Bastelica.

Bastelica  Church in Bastelica.

Beach“Paillote” (shack) restaurant on Cupabia beach, near Porto Pollo.

Charcuterie Corsican “charcuterie”.

Ajaccio Last morning in Corsica – windsurfer with view of Ajaccio in the background.

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