As your luxury charter yacht draws near the plunging cliffs and glistening beaches of Corsica, there are several chic seaside towns worth exploring. Corsica combines the best of Italy and France with stylish resorts and dramatic mountain ranges.
The mountains of Corsica are ideal for hiking; the most famous and challenging is the legendary GR20 trail that cuts through the high central mountain peaks, often snow covered until June. Visit a local shop to sample the mouth watering assortment of cheeses and charcuteries found almost everywhere on the island. Try something different and uniquely regional such as the cannelloni al brocciu (a pasta dish) and fiadone (a type of cheesecake); both of which use the island cheese brocciu.
Circumnavigate around Corsica’s 1000km of shoreline on board a superb megayacht and discover picturesque seaport towns like Ajaccio, dramatic plunging cliffs at Golfe de Porto and sparkling beaches and bays at Calvi. At the southern tip, Bonifacio, with its serrated limestone cliffs and cliff-top citadel, is the departure point for your luxury charter to head to Sardinia, Italy, and an entirely different world.
Ajaccio is the island’s capital and is most famous for being the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte. Visitors will be immersed in the city’s unique historical palaces and buildings, winding Genoese alleys and fascinating museums. Take a stroll to Place Foch, a beautiful oblong square shaded by palm trees and surrounded by charming restaurants. Sample local delicacies and do a bit of people watching. Or return after dinner on board your deluxe yacht to enjoy the summer evening in Ajaccio, when the bars invade the walkways and bands play everywhere, and everyone dances in the streets.
Dockage is readily available for charter vessels at the Bonifacio marina. From the deck of yourcharter yacht, marvel at the medieval style houses on the edges of the limestone cliffs. Throughout the island guests can view the spectacular wine vineyards; grape cultivation of Corsica dates back over 3,000 years.
Propriano lies at the head of the Valinco Gulf and is now one of the most popular resorts in Corsica, due to the numerous beautiful beaches that are close by including the Plage de Lido, just 1 km from the town. The crew can navigate your elegant sailing yacht from beach to beach, for swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing or playing in the sand. The coast north of the town is very built up and the renowned village of Campomoro is nearby, with its fine beach and lovely setting, it is always a very popular place with visitors to this region of Corsica.
Bonifacio is separated from Sardinia by the picturesque Strait of Bonifacio that encompasses a marine park and a nature reserve and makes for a fascinating day of sailing aboard a luxury charter yacht. Bonifacio has the best and only harbor on the southern coast of Corsica and due to its strategic position on the Bay of Bonifacio has a remarkable past that includes two prehistoric sites, the earliest has been carbon dated to 6570 BC.
The town’s charm and proximity to idyllic beaches make it a popular tourist destination in the summer, with many vacationers arriving from mainland France. Bonifaccio is a town of immense charm and a wonderful destination to embark on a yacht charter or to incorporate as a stop on an itinerary. There are plenty of shops to visit and the regional cuisine is worth sampling if you venture to any of the colorful local bars and restaurants.
Porto-Vecchio is a popular seaside resort town overlooking a lovely harbor that is ideal for docking all types of charter yachts from head turning sailing superyachts to high performance power yachts. Originally built on salt marshes, salt continues to play an important role in the town and if you visit in September you can still witness the annual salt harvest from the Porte Gènoise.
Porto Vecchio is renowned for beautiful beaches and coastline just south of the town. The town boasts an attractive and busy marina with cafes and restaurants overlooking the harbor. The old town next to the Place de la Republique has some lovely ancient buildings pressing in on narrow streets.
During the summer evenings especially, the streets of the old town come to life with music and entertainment and many Italians come to enjoy their holidays here.
Porto-Vecchio makes a fine base for exploring this part of Corsica on board a luxury catamaran. Palombaggia is a beach internationally renowned for its beauty. The mountainous landscape behind Porto-Vecchio has breathtaking scenery to explore, with craggy mountain tops, parasol pine woods and sparkling mountain lakes.
Bastia is the principal port of the island and its principal commercial town, especially famous for its wines. There are three sections of particular interest to visitors: the old town, the citadel, and the old harbor.
The old town has an alluring charm defined by narrow streets and alleys lined with tall, crumbling buildings, dating largely from the 18th century and the old port that contrasts dramatically with the spectacular yachts moored in the harbor. Imagine that Victor Hugo lived here as a child. The walk to the citadel passes by the gardens and once posh houses of the Terra Nova district. Within the citadel of interest are the grand Governor’s Palace, the church of Sainte-Marie de l’Assomption and the Oratoire-Sainte-Croix.
The old harbor has many bars and restaurants and a vibrant nightlife. For a quieter evening, the promenading along the front and the Quai des Martyrs de la Liberation provide beautiful views of the harbor.
To the north of Bastia is Cap Corse, an interesting peninsula to explore with small fishing villages attractively set against a backdrop of mountains that run along the middle of the peninsula. Many of the villages are in remarkable craggy and picturesque settings, and there are several splendid viewpoints as around the peninsula, and also a few good beaches en route.
L’Ile-Rousse has a planned layout of straight streets, lined with expensive boutiques and restaurants, and exudes sophistication. The town is in a splendid setting, with popular Plage de Rindara beach to the south and scenic rocky islands to the north. The architecture here largely dates from the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Disembark from your elegant power catamaran and enjoy a leisurely stroll through this very pleasant town.
The centre of the town is at Place Paoli, where a pleasant covered market offers interesting local fare and cooling shade under the palm trees. Central to both old and new towns, the old town, with its paved streets and old houses will be of most interest to visitors.
Stimulating and relaxing, upscale and artisan, ancient and high tech, vibrant and pristine, Sardinia is an island of complimentary contradictions. A luxury charter to enchanting ports of call on Sardinia and the surrounding islands is a unique and unforgettable journey. The stunning coastline will lure your luxury sailing yacht through crystalline seas to a pink and golden shore.
Meld into this summer destination of billionaires, super models, celebrities and royalty, who relish being a part of the glamorous scene. Seaside resort towns, such as Porto Cervo and Porto Rotondo, are lined with shops from the famous Italian houses of Gucci, Armani, Prada, Bulgari and Dolce & Gabbana. Evenings are spent sipping champagne at the posh Costa Smeralda Yacht Club or the exclusive Billionaires Club, prestigious establishments patronized by an assortment of jetsetters from around the world.
Charter guests can board their elegant charter yacht to easily escape the glitz and glitterati by sailing to one of many deserted beaches and pristine bays, or a marine park teaming with life or a nature preserves of breathtaking beauty. Set the course of your deluxe sailing yacht to explore the Neptune Caves in the north of Capo Caccia, or Bosa, a medieval town of architectural and cultural interest. Make time for a scenic drive through Sardinia’s interior, with snow capped mountain peaks, fragrant citrus valleys, and sweeping pasturelands.
Porto Cervo is a point of embarkation, or a must-experience port of call, for luxury yacht charters in Sardinia. This modern resort was fashioned to fit the vision of the jet-setting Prince Karim Aga Khan IV, who, bewitched by the translucent green waters of the island’s northeast region, purchased miles of coastal land from the locals, hired top international architects and designers, and created a medieval-Moorish style village.
The village is in the Old Port, Porto Vecchio, on the southeastern side of the harbor, and the Porto Cervo Spa, with its outstanding charter yacht amenities, is on the northern side of the harbor. Explore the narrow streets of the Piazzetta, with designer boutiques, contemporary galleries, upscale restaurants, champagne bars and trendy nightclubs. Visit Stella Maris, a beautiful little white church containing a painting that is thought by many experts to be an El Greco.
The prince’s dream development also includes a world-class golf facility, private villas and extravagant resort hotels, such as the Hotel Cala di Volpe. Featured in the 1977 James Bond film, “The Spy Who Loved Me,” the hotel offers a Presidential Suite at the rate of $32,736 per night, which ranks it number 7 of the “World’s 15 most expensive hotel suites” complied by CNN Go in 2012.
With required reservations, charter sailing yachts and superyachts dock at the exclusive Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS), which has superb amenities. The iconic Yacht Club hosts races and regattas throughout the sailing season, including the spectacular, biannual, Perini Navi Cup, an event generally exclusive to owners, but there are Perini Navi charter yachts that participate. The 2012 Audi Sardinia Cup, organized by the YCCS in conjunction with the TP52 Class and with the support of the European Soto40 Class, will be sailed in the waters of Porto Cervo between the 12th and the 17th June 2012.
A visit on a luxury yacht charter to Porto Cervo waters is an unforgettable experience. Whether crewing a race, appreciating the beautiful scenery from the sundeck, or being lavishly indulgent in town, this premier yachting destination is not to be missed.
Porto Rotondo, a seaside village a few kilometers from Olbia, is another one of Italy’s premier yachting centers, a renowned luxury vacation destination and magnet for high-end yachting aficionados. Similar to the flourishing of Porto Cevo, it too was launched in the 1960s. Prominent architect, Luigi Vietti and his team of developers, constructed world-class marinas, resorts, boutiques and amenities targeting the well heeled holidaymaker. Porto Rotondo has a chic nautical ambience with a sophisticated, upscale atmosphere that is slightly less frenetic and a bit more intimate than Porto Cervo, with first rate facilities, spectacular beaches and unforgettable cruising grounds.
Noteworthy architects have contributed to the design and buildings of the village of Porto Rotondo, including artist Andrea Cascella, responsible for the controversial Church of St. Lorenzo (patron saint of cooks), which resembles an overturned hull. Inside, 200 remarkable wooden statues representing sacred scenes are aglow in votive candlelight. There is also a stately amphitheater built entirely of granite that offers lively summertime concerts and cultural events.
Olbia is the main connection between Sardinia and the Italian peninsula, and the most convenient airport for embarking on a luxury yacht charter from Porto Cervo. Olbia has a very ancient history and archeological findings suggest that the port was possibly founded by the Punics, The city and environs contain ruins dating from Phoenician and Carthaginian settlements to the Roman Era and the Middle Ages. History buffs should hop on the tender of their charter yacht for a shore excursion to visit the National Archeological Museum.
Sailing yacht charters