Porto-Vecchio is superbly located right in the centre of Corsica’s most impressive coastline, with enticing beaches that easily rival any others in the Mediterranean in terms of natural, unspoilt beauty.
Such is the choice that the coast around Porto-Vecchio can offer a different beach or cove to explore on each day of a holiday. Having avoided mass tourism, and with good planning regulations and designated nature reserves, the beaches all exude a flawless charm.
Dazzling clear blue seas and powder soft white sand are backed by luscious green countryside and framed by mountains. Not a high rise building in sight!
Porto-Vecchio beaches are mostly child friendly, having shallow, warm waters, although only the most popular have lifeguards. For the active, many offer water sport lessons and equipment hire. There are also good restaurants and bars on most with only the smaller coves having no facilities.
Two of Corsica’s most famous beaches, Palombaggia and Santa Guilia, are located just south of Porto-Vecchio. As with any popular resorts, it is best to avoid them in July and August when tourists flood the area.
Beaches to the South of Porto-Vecchio
Santa Giulia is a truly spectacular, beautiful large lagoon-type beach with unbelievably turquoise water and pearl-white soft sands.
It will take your breath away, even when jam-packed with tourists (which it undoubtedly will be from early season). A paradise for water sports enthusiasts too!
With incredibly white powder-soft sand and dazzling electric aquamarine sea, Santa Giulia is as stunning as any Caribbean beach. The dazzling colours alone are sure to impress. The sea is exceptionally shallow and calm, with small areas of reef that you can easily wade out to.
Palombaggia is the most famous beach in Corsica, and has justifiably been voted one of the Top 10 best beaches in Europe.
This much-loved, flawless beach inevitably gets exceptionally busy in peak season. Given its popularity it pays to arrive early in the morning and to reserve a good spot.
Flanked by mountains and umbrella-shaped pines, Palombaggia is a beautiful 2 km stretch of powdery golden sand and shallow crystal clear blue water (which deepens gradually). The pink granite headlands that enclose the beach add to the rich variety of colours in this delightful beach.
Folacca beach (also known as Folaca, Tamaricciu or Tamariccio) is situated immediately south of the world renowned Palombaggia beach.
The sea is shallow and sheltered, so is ideal for children to swim in. The rocky islands of Cerbicales are 200 m offshore, and there is a lagoon behind the beach.
Access is down a fairly steep path than winds its way through the shrub-land (approximately 5 minutes’ walk). Nearby is Tamaricciu, the famous log-style “paillotte” restaurant (actually located on Palombaggia beach).
Beaches to the North of Porto-Vecchio
Cala Rossa is a picturesque beach, with soft reddish sand and calm, glittering sea. It is backed by lush hillside interspersed with villas and is set against the stunning inland backdrop of the mountainous Bavella Needles.
Cala Rossa gets its name from the reddish colour of the sand and surrounding rocks.
It is a beautiful beach with an air of sophistication, given the surrounding luxurious villas with landscaped gardens running right up to the beach and the prestigious Grand Hotel de Cala Rossa at one end (with its own private secluded cove).
San Ciprianu (San Cyprien) is a large crescent-shaped sandy beach, set in an idyllic undeveloped location backed by pines and red rocks. San Ciprianu beach is a 1 km moon-shaped beach in a sheltered inlet with the spectacular Aiguilles de Bavella mountains stretching into the distance inland.
There are excellent water sport facilities (for lessons and rentals), and some first class beach restaurants.
San Ciprianu is highly recommended for children, as the bay is gently-sloping and there are plenty of activities on offer to keep them entertained.
Pinarello beach is a picturesque long stretch of white sand, with pine trees right up to the beach.
Located in the attractive seaside hamlet of Pinarellu (Pinareddu), with a pretty little port and plenty of opportunities for refreshments and water sports, this is a popular family-friendly beach destination.
Situated in the gulf of Pinarellu, Pinarello beach is one of the many beautiful beaches to the north of Porto-Vecchio. The sea is azure blue, and the 1.2 km long, narrow sweeping beach has soft white sand, is backed by dramatic mountains and overlooked by a Genoese watchtower.
Fautéa beach, known as the Anse de Fautéa (Cove of Fautéa), is an attractive small beach located on the Côte des Nacres (Mother of Pearl Coast), north of Porto-Vecchio towards Solenzara.
The beaches along this stretch of coast are not quite as popular as those closer to Porto-Vecchio, however Fautéa is worth a visit if you are passing or are in search of less crowded beaches.
Fautéa is an attractive undeveloped sandy 300 m cove, separated from a further section of beach to the north by a headland with an impressive Genoese watchtower.
Tarco Beach (Anse de Tarco) is located a 45-minute drive north of Porto-Vecchio, on the Cote des Nacres coastline, directly north of the pretty beach of Fautea.
Although attractive and relatively crowd-free, Tarco does lack some of the dazzling charm and beauty of other beaches closer to Porto-Vecchio.
Tarco beach has fine white sand (600 m), aquamarine sea and two green headlands. The N198 main coast road runs directly behind the beach for its entire length.