We only managed to spend a few days in Corsica, a French department just north of Sardinia. The water between the two islands, the Strait of Bonifacio, has a fearsome reputation but we timed it so that we had swell and wind with us. The area is a national park so whilst it can be dangerous in bad weather, it is also very beautiful.
We entered Bonifacio under grey skies which made it look all the more foreboding sat high on the cliff tops. Its medieval old town with the imposing citadel (most recently home to the French Foreign Legion) is extraordinary as the houses appear to be overhanging the cliff top.
On the sea side of the cliffs, there are King Aragon’s Steps (see left), fashioned out of the granite and allegedly, used by the King to take Bonifacio in 1420.
The old town itself is a maze of shops and alleyways with extraordinary views both seaward and overlooking the marina/harbour area.
The lower town by the harbour had plenty of good restaurants, well stocked supermarkets and quayside cafes. It was a joy to shop in a French supermarket again after the limited range in Sardinia. We sadly left Bonifacio after a couple of days as we wanted to see a bit more of the island before making our way to the SE corner to a delightful bay called Rondinara with its turquoise water, clean beaches and hardly a soul about.
We plan to explore Corsica in much more detail in 2013.