The island of Corsica has a very unique flavor. While it’s technically part of France, Corsica’s culture feels much more Italian. This combination of cultures creates one of the richest, most interesting environments in the Mediterranean, which is why so many A-listers and travel fanatics head to Corsica every year. Situated on a sparkling blue bay in southern Corsica is Porto-Vecchio, one of the island’s most enchanting, glamorous towns. It’s a destination that attracts all type of travelers–from those who want to indulge in beauty and luxury to those who are looking for thrills and adventure. Personally, I was looking for a mixture of both when I booked my impromptu trip to Corsica, and I ended up finding just what I was looking for–and so much more.
I decided to travel to Corsica on a whim, so naturally I relied on HotelTonight to book a great last-minute hotel in Porto-Vecchio. Within minutes on the HotelTonight app, I had booked a charming hotel in the heart of Porto-Vecchio, so I was ready to start exploring this beautiful Mediterranean island.
As the name implies, Porto-Vecchio is a port town, thus much of its soul and energy revolves around the port. While the marina is rather small, it’s charming and picturesque, and it’s a popular place for a scenic stroll. In the marina, you’ll see small sailboat bobbing in the water as well as luxury yachts, as Corsica is a popular destination for the world’s elite. During my stay in Porto-Vecchio, I enjoyed walking along the seaside promenade every morning, and I would definitely recommend starting your day in Porto-Vecchio with a calm, picture-perfect stroll.
Since Porto-Vecchio is a small town, its Old Town is much smaller than other cities in Europe. That means you’ll be able to see it all in just a few hours, so you can spend more time exploring the rest of this diverse island. The Old Town, while small, is certainly beautiful and charming, and it’s full of fantastic cafes and restaurants, where you can sit down, relax and bask in the laidback atmosphere of this port town. Many of the streets and buildings of the Old Town date all the way back to the 16th century, so there’s plenty of Old World charm to enjoy throughout Porto-Vecchio.
Without a doubt, Porto-Vecchio is best known for its beaches. The island of Corsica is renowned for its stunning beaches and warm, clear waters and some of the best beaches on the island can be found around Porto-Vecchio. Thanks to some suggestions from both locals and fellow travelers, the first beach I visited was Plage de Palombaggia, which is regularly rated one of the top beaches in all of Europe. With its fine white sand and its bright blue waters, Palombaggia is truly a small slice of paradise on earth, and you can’t skip it when you visit Porto-Vecchio. Another popular beach that I loved near Porto-Vecchio is Santa Giulia, which is equally as stunning as Palombaggia.
Corsica is a haven for adventurers, as there’s no shortage of great hikes, water sports and spots to explore. I woke up feeling a bit adventurous one day during my Porto-Vecchio vacation, so I decided to head out to Bavella Canyon. Although it takes an hour to drive out to this canyon, I was so glad I didn’t let the journey deter me from visiting Bavella Canyon. This expansive canyon is absolutely breathtaking, full of sparkling turquoise pools and dramatic rock structures. If you like canyoning or simply swimming in hidden pools, Bavella Canyon should definitely be on your list.
The Lavezzi Islands are just a short boat ride away from Porto-Vecchio, and they’re full of remote beaches, impressive caves and fantastic snorkeling. Since I had heard the waters of the Lavezzi Islands are full of colorful fish, I grabbed my snorkel gear and headed to these beautiful, rocky islands. After spending a few hours swimming in the warm, clear waters, I went for a hike up to the cliffs of the Lavezzi Islands, where I enjoyed sweeping views of the Mediterranean.
After just a few days in Corsica, I had fallen so deeply in love with this gorgeous Mediterranean island that I decided to extend my stay. Fortunately, HotelTonight makes it easy to book last-minute hotels in popular destinations around the world, so I always know I can rely on HotelTonight when I want to make spur-of-the-moment changes to my travel plans. By the time I finally departed Corsica’s shores, I felt that I had gotten a great feel for the island’s unique culture as well as its abundance of natural beauty. I know that I’ll return to Corsica some day in the future, and when I do, I’ll definitely use HotelTonight to book my last-minute hotel.