By Amanda Brilliante, American Luxury Yacht Charter Broker
Coq Au Vin and Crème Brulee, or fresh made tagliatelle and gelato? Jetset hotspots, busy beach clubs, pounding nightlife and high-end shopping? Or quaint bistros with locally produced wines, quiet coves, mountains to climb, cliff-diving and precariously perched cities overlooking the sea?
Well, I have got some great news: you can experience it all on a charter of the islands of Corsica and Sardinia, lying midway between both countries and separated only by a narrow gap of water. While neither is quintessentially “French” or “Italian” (in fact, most Corsicans do not even consider themselves French!) these two islands – along with the smaller islands of Lavessi and La Maddalena Island groups lying just offshore – offer the best of both worlds.
Two-thirds of the smaller Corsica, which lies to the north, is made up of a single mountain chain which boasts the GR 20 – arguably one of Europe’s most notable hiking trails – traversing its peaks of up to 2700m through forests, fields of flowers and herbs, and even snow into the early Spring. In fact, over 40% of Corsica is dedicated to nature preserves, including the Reserve Naturelle des Bouches de Bonifacio which stretches into the sea on her Southeast coast.
Boasting the “citadel cities” like Calvi, Bastia and Bonifacio, Corsica is more nature-focused, with a slower pace than nearby Sardinia. Its rugged coastline offers fewer – but still beautiful – hidden coves and pebble beaches, limestone and granite cliffs and very good diving on both coasts.
Enroute south to Sardinia, you will surely visit La Maddalena which lies in the Straights of Bonifacio between Corsica and Sardinia and has a mixed French-Italian dialect all its own. The Maddalena Archipelago is made up of 7 small islands offering a chance to “get away from it all” and hike, swim, snorkel and enjoy watersports before the glitz and glamour of Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda.
Originally developed by the Agha Khan in the 1960s, this 20 km stretch of coastline offers white sand beaches, exclusive resorts, golf courses and nightclubs, fine dining and high-end retail stores that have drawn celebrities and other glitterati for decades.
Porto Cervo, furthest north on the coast, is a shoppers paradise – all of the big names are just a stone throw from each other. Later, you may want to feast on the famous suckling pig at Ristorante Gianni Pedrinelli, or spend the evening wining, dining and dancing in style at the glamourous Billionaires Club.
Porto Rotondo and Cala di Volpe also offer designer shops, upscale restaurants and resorts, as well as beautiful squares, amphitheatres and churches designed by some of Italy’s most famous artists – perfect for exploring on foot. You will likely see some of the worlds most exclusive yachts moored in Cala di Volpe, with their guests enjoying dinner at the luxurious Hotel of the same name.
A cruise of Corsica and Sardinia will delight travellers looking to mix it up a bit with tastes of both France and Italy, and opportunities for both living it up as well as resting, recharging and getting away from it all. It really is the best of both worlds!
If you are interested in Corsica and Sardinia yacht charters, please get in touch with our friendly team at CharterWorld for a free quote and professional personalised service.