Yacht Itinerary for Corsica & Sardinia
Corsica is home to over 300 secluded sandy beaches and Sardinian retreat Porto Cervo is where the luxury yacht crowd gathers to watch the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta - for these reasons alone the two islands make an attractive prospect for both sailing yacht and motor yacht charters. However, as an established luxury yacht charter ground the shopping opportunities and amenities on land are also top quality, bursting with entertainment throughout the summer months as well as a few surprises to be found off-season as well.
Water sports enthusiasts and nature lovers will be in their element with the number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and nature reserves on offer, where a scuba dive or a snorkel trip as a family will reveal myriad fish species thriving amongst soft corals and seaweed beds.
An advantage of choosing a luxury yacht to explore these two islands is the ability to stock up on fresh produce at one village market and then sail along the coast until there’s no other signs of human life. Savour a three-course meal prepared by your expert chef followed by an evening catching up with friends and family with plenty of on-board amusements. Take drinks outside and watch the sunset, then return to your lavish cabin for a comfortable night's rest in preparation for your next exciting destination.
Corsica and Sardinia Yacht Charter itinerary:
Day 1: Bastia
While the colourful houses in Bastia might be reminiscent of the Cinque Terre villages, the more muted paints put nature in the spotlight, from the verdant trees and looming rocky walkways to the golden sandy beaches just a short cruise away. The harbour has an abundance of restaurants and cafes where you can sit and people-watch after a busy afternoon shopping at Place Saint Nicolas, or after visiting some of the local attractions. Bastia Cathedral, Paroisse Saint Jean-Baptiste and Oratoire de l'Immaculée-Conception display breath-taking religious art, while the Musee de Bastia and quirky Musee de la Miniature - a miniature version of Bastia created by a Bastian - are great additions to a memorable trip.
To the north, the wrecks of a B-26 Marauder and a P-47 Thunderbolt might tempt more experienced divers, while beginners will also find plenty of fish in the shallows at Grigione.
Location highlights: Bastia Cathedral, Paroisse Saint Jean-Baptiste, Oratoire de l'Immaculée-Conception, Musee de Bastia, Musee de la Miniature, Grigione dive site, B-26 Marauder dive site, P-47 Thunderbolt dive site
Day 2: Saint Florent
Around Cap Corse on your way to Saint Florent there are numerous towns and beaches to visit on your way. Plage de Tamarone and Plage Cala Genovese, Anse d'Aliso and Plage de Nonza are some great places to stop off for lunch and water sports, or you can cruise overnight to wake up at your primary destination for the day. Vineyards follow the coastline and its pristine white sand beaches, which are miraculously free of the tourist numbers you find along mainland France and Italy at the height of the summer season. The area attracts nature lovers as well as family and friends groups looking for a more laid back time where cafes and boutique shops mingle with the houses.
Discover the local sights of Citadelle Saint Florent and Cathedrale de Nabbio before spending the rest of your day surrounded by topaz blue waters in your own little pocket of paradise at Plage du Lotu. While at Plage de la Roya, indulge in Michelin-starred cuisine at La Roya restaurant, then follow up with a tour of the local vineyards to taste the local wine.
Location highlights: Citadelle Saint Florent, Cathedrale de Nebbio, Plage de Saleccia, Plage du Lotu, Plage de Ghignu, Plage de la Roya, La Roya Restaurant
Day 3: Calvi
Head farther down the coast to Calvi and revel in the colours of nature, where you have plenty of time for pursuing your own hobbies, sunbathing on your foredeck or exploring your full complement of water toys. The sea around Calvi has an abundance of dive sites where a variety of fish species can be encountered, including devil rays, dentex and lionfish. Above the water, the sea breezes make ideal conditions to learn how to windsurf, kitesurf or sail a laser pico.
Around the walls of La Citadelle de Calvi are a number of quaint cafes as well as Oratorium Saint-Antoine Abbé, which along with Cathedral St. Jean Baptistemakes for a rewarding and atmospheric walk around the old town. For Michelin-starred fare, head to La Table by La Villa Restaurant, which also boasts an excellent wine list and magnificent views of the harbour and Calvi citadel.
Location highlights: Plage de Ostriconi, Plage de Lozari, La Citadelle de Calvi, Oratorium Saint-Antoine Abbé, Cathedral St. Jean Baptiste, La Table by La Villa Restaurant
Day 4: Scandola Natural Reserve
It's when you head off to the nature reserves surrounding Corsica and Sardinia that your on board amenities will be truly appreciated in this unpopulated landscape: Soak in your sundeck Jacuzzi on a warm afternoon with a refreshing cocktail in hand, or watch a film outdoors under the stars.
As you take in sweeping views of the seascape and coves, cliffs and arches that make up this picturesque coast, you'll be struck by the colours of the rocks which vary from ash grey and mossy green all the way to muted purples.
The area is a wonder for photographers and artists, who might be lucky enough to catch a cormorant, eagle or peregrine falcon swooping down to catch a fish. The sapphire seawater is a playground for marine life, and it's the perfect time to get out the Seabobs and power your way through an underwater adventure.
Little grottoes and beaches can be found along your journey around this jagged stretch of coastline which are ideal for a candlelit dinner as the sun sinks into the sea.
Location highlights: Cala Scandola, Marine d'Elbo
Day 5: Girolata
Nearby Girolata is located in the marine reserve and a favourite mooring ground for luxury yachts due to its sheltered bay. In addition to the large beach there are a couple of nearby sandy coves to host your own beach side party, or you can dine in one of the many restaurants near the port. Kayak and paddleboard among the caves and stacks, where tuna and lobster can be spotted in the clear blue water.
Location highlights: Plage de Girolata
Day 6: Ajaccio
After the serene nature reserve at Scandola and Girolata, Ajaccio is a sensational return to civilisation and your group will be charmed by the local markets and high-end stores of the city where Napoleon was born. The Fesch Museum has a collection of Italian paintings that were collected by Napoleon's uncle, and art lovers will also be enthralled by the interiors at 16th Century Cathédrale d'Ajaccio and Notre Dame de Misericorde.
Adventure seekers can go canyoning in the beautiful clear mountain waters or make use of the sandy beach beside the airport for water skiing and high adrenaline fun.
Location highlights: Musée Fesch, Cathédrale d'Ajaccio, Notre Dame de Misericorde
Day 7: Propriano
On your way down to Propriano there will be several tempting sandy beaches to make the most of your water toys on board, and to the south west there are even more bays and coves that you can have all to yourself for your private function.
Propriano celebrates the beach club lifestyle with its visitors, and the marina is equipped to service superyachts of all sizes. Bars, clubs and restaurants stretch along the waterfront and in among the quaint village houses there is an array of shops and local delicacies for holidaymakers to uncover. As an alternative to dining aboard your superyacht, Le Lido is a Michelin-starred restaurant and an elegant location to celebrate a special anniversary.
As you cruise down to Bonifacio for your final day on Corsica there are more of the fabulous beaches for which the island is known: Plage de Campomoro is the last village-side beach you will encounter before heading back into the Corsican wilderness for time well-spent sunbathing, swimming and dining on sumptuous three-course meals. There are also excellent dive sites along the south-western coast for beginner through to experienced, with open water and wreck dives to thrill and reward explorers.
Location highlights: Plage de Campomoro, Le Lido Restaurant, Pointe de l'omu wreck dive site, Les ilots dive site
Day 8: Bonifacio
Glassy blue-green waters lap the pure white sands of the beaches surrounding Bonifacio, which is itself a striking landmark perched as it is atop a cliff and surrounded by fortress walls that were designed to keep successive generations of marauders out - not always successfully, as various cultures have left their mark on the city.
In addition to the cosmopolitan cuisine there are museums, galleries and castles to explore that will entertain and delight, including the Church of Sainte Marie Majeure, the serene and beautiful Marin de Bonifacio Cemetery and the Church and Convent of St. Francis
The grottoes to the south west are well worth exploring by tender, turning dramatic colours at sunrise and sunset as well as being peaceful places to enjoy some coastal formations at their most pristine. Kayak, paddle board and snorkel with fish in the transparent green water, then rest on beaches such as Île Piana or white sand Plage de Balistra - a perfect place for young families due to the gentle slope of the beach into the water.
Location highlights: Bonifacio Citadel, Cimetiere Marin de Bonifacio, Eglise Sainte Marie Majeure, Église et Couvent de Saint-François, Galerie Whynot, La grotte St Antoine sous les falaises, Île Piana, Plage de Balistra
Day 9: Porto Vecchio
Your last stop on Corsica is an eclectic blend of modern and medieval with an abundance of shops, cafes and bars such as Le patio and Sea Lounge where you can meet other luxury yacht groups and party into the night. Adrenaline seekers will be in their element with excellent cycle routes and other outdoor land activities including zip lines and waterfall treks, together with a plethora of soft sand beaches perfect for water sports.
For a romantic treat or a special occasion, Casadelmar is a two-star Michelin restaurant with excellent views of the town and marina.
Location highlights: Plage de Tamaricciu, Plage de Palombaggia, Plage de Cala Rossa, Plage de San Ciprianu, Eglise de Saint Jean Baptiste, Le Patio cocktail bar, Sea Lounge cocktail bar
Day 10: Cavallo
On your journey to Sardinia, stop off at the island of Cavallo for quiet relaxation with friends and family in one of the many sandy coves. The small island has a small population and limited facilities, ensuring that mass tourism stays on Corsica and that your luxury amenities and expert crew come into their own. Snorkel, kayak and paddleboard above rocky lagoons home to vibrantly coloured fish, and walk the entire length of Cavallo in under an hour.
Location highlights: Port of Cavallo
Day 11: La Maddalena
The Maddalena Archipelago is a fantastic treat for the senses for all ages, acting as a wildlife haven for marine species and birds alike among its seven main islands and 50+ islets. Scuba divers not only have cave dives and wrecks to explore but an open sea floor home to large octopus and grouper just 15m/49ft below the surface.
In addition to being the ideal place for water sports and photography, the main settlement - also called La Maddalena on the island of the same name - has beautiful churches such as Parrocchia Santa Maria Maddalena, villas, and cafes serving authentic Italian coffees and ice creams.
Location highlights: Spiaggia di Cala Francese (La Maddalena), Spiaggia di Punta Tegge (La Maddalena), Spalmatore dive site, Spalmatore dive site, Washington Rock dive site
Day 12: Porto Cervo
Arrive on Sardinia in one of the Mediterranean's most well-known communities catering to the luxury lifestyle, where the marina has top-of-the-range facilities and luxury shopping opportunities with all the high end brands present. Spend a morning perusing the stores and galleries before stopping for coffee, then cruise to one of the spectacular local beaches such as Spiaggia Cala Granu and popular Spiaggia del Grande Pevero for the winds that power the sailing yachts in the local regattas that take place throughout the summer months.
More than just the flawless environment for wind-powered water toys, the beaches descend gradually into the clear turquoise water - perfect for young families and those learning new skills in the water.
Luxury spas are abundant in Porto Cervo and the latest treatments are available for those who want to freshen up before attending one of the location's impressive events. In the evening the port comes alive with exclusive bars and clubs, of which Yacht Club Costa Smeralda is a must-see. La Terrazza Rosa has great views while you dine and enjoy a cocktail, while Billionaire Club Porto Cervo is the place to be seen as you dance the night away. Romantics have the perfect setting at Michelin-star restaurant ConFusion where there are enchanting views overlooking the harbour.
Location highlights: Spiaggia Cala Granu, Spiaggia del Grande Pevero, Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, La Terrazza, Billionaire Club Porto Cervo, ConFusion Restaurant
Day 13: Porto Rotondo
If you need to detox from a full day of indulgence in Porto Cervo, two more of the La Maddalena islands - Isola Mortorio, Isola Soffi - are en-route to your next port. Scuba dive and snorkel to your heart's content or find one of the private white sand beaches for rest and relaxation at your own pace. When you're ready, cruise on to Porto Rotondo to discover what the creativity of two Italian architects can accomplish, with picturesque walkways and eye-catching buildings, among which is the Chiesa San Lorenzo.
Relax and watch the sunset from one of the cafes or clubs along the seafront, then take the celebrations into the night at one of the many trendy bars and clubs along the marina.
Location highlights: Isola Mortorio, Isola Soffi, Chiesa San Lorenzo, Spiaggia Punta Volpe, Spiaggia di Ira, Punta della Canigione, Spiaggietta di Figarolo
Day 14: Olbia
Olbia is a magnificent city in which to end your Corsica & Sardinia luxury yacht charter: The countryside is strewn with vineyards and there are even more aquamarine seas for kayaking, water skiing or simply lying back and admiring the view.
The main sights in Olbia are San Simplicio, which dates back to the 11th Century, The Archaeological Museum of Olbia and in the countryside near the airport there is Pedres Castle and the Tomb of the Giants, one of the nuraghes from 730 BC and earlier unique to Sardinia.
However, there are many wonderful spas, galleries and boutiques for those who do not want to wander far from town, and this could be your last chance on holiday for authentic Italian coffee and gelato ice cream.
If you're staying through to the evening, get in one final cocktail (or five) with the unique selection at Spirits Boutique, and enjoy one last sunset over the harbour before jetting home.
Location highlights: Spiaggia Cala Banana, San Simplicio, Museo Archeologico, Castello di Pedres o Pedreso, Tomba dei Giganti Su Monte 'e S'Abe, Spirits Boutique
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