The Artisan Travel Blog

Exploring Corsica

Ali Mclean

Friday, 12 December 2014

A self-drive trip with pre-booked hotels is probably one of the best ways for me to explore a country. I can set my own pace and decide which route I want to take and where I want to stop. The key point for me, however, is that I don't have to worry about the accommodation as everything is already booked for me. I could simply enjoy the drive along this beautiful island. I can tell you - driving on the right side of the road is easier than you think and you get used to it very quickly!

After a short flight from London I arrived in Corsica on a beautiful sunny day. As I landed, the island welcomed me with nice, warm sunshine - a brilliant start.

After I picked up my rental car at the airport, it was only a short drive to my first stop. I checked into my hotel and immediately went for a wander around. The hotel is perfectly situated, as it is just walking minutes away from the beach, the beautiful port and lovely restaurants.

When I walked towards the port, the smell of fresh food that came out of the restaurants made me feel hungry so I decided to stop for lunch. I had a delicious grilled fish with fresh, locally grown vegetables and some salad with goats cheese and wild grown herbs. I also tried some chestnut fritters which I can highly recommend! Afterwards I continued to explore the city and had a break on the beach. When I got back to the hotel I met with our local experts who gave me really good tips regarding the routes, the sights and things to do during my trip. I also got a map which was really helpful as well.

After a delicious breakfast in the hotel I could finally start my adventure. My first destination was Corte, which is the historical capital of Corsica and situated in the heart of the mountains. The drive took me only about two and a half hours with plenty of places to stop if you wish. I chose to head directly to Corte as I wanted to try some outdoor activities there.

As I've done kayaking before I wanted to try something new so decided to do some white water rafting in the Golu, a magnificent place for it. Definitely something I would do again!

As the region offers many opportunities for walking and hiking, my plans for the next day were sorted. I set off in the morning for a 40 minute drive down the Restorica valley to Grotelle, the starting point for my walk to Lake Melo. When I reached the plateau, the sight of the translucent emerald waters of the lake, surrounded by impressive mountains, definitely made the walk worthwhile. After a lovely picnic I continued my hike towards the second lake, Lake Capitello. This section was a bit more challenging than the first - a steady climb of ca. 200 plus metres, mostly over rocky ground. The closer I got to the lake the steeper the trail got. It took me about an hour to get to the second lake, but again – it was absolutely worth the effort!

The panoramic views in combination with the sapphire blue colours of the Lake Capitello are just breathtaking and the steep rock walls plunge into the waters of the lake. Hard to imagine that both lakes are frozen for about six months of the year!

After the whole day of walking and hiking I enjoyed a traditional, Corsican soup accompanied by bread, cheese, a fresh salad with wild herbs and of course a glass of local wine.

Having filled my first days with mountain views I chose to enjoy Corsica's coastline and have some relaxation. I spent time lying on the beach with a book in my hands and making a list of all the things I would do and places I would visit on my next visit to this beautiful island.

Read 3701 times Last modified on Thursday, 22 February 2018

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