Monday, June 20, 2022

6 things do with the kids in Corsica

 Ashort haul hop away, Corsica has pretty, shallow beaches that rival those in the Caribbean, great food and is suitable for thrill-seeking families. Take the overnight ferry from Marseille if you want an extra adventure as sharing a comfy cabin with the kids is a highlight for them, before the holiday has even started.

Here are seven reasons to escape to l’Ile de Beauté with the whole family.

READ MORE: EXPLORE CORSICA: A DISTINCTIVE MEDITERRANEAN ESCAPE 

1. Swim at Rondinara beach

Whether you like your beach days action-packed or lazy, the shores of Corsica offer the best of both worlds: warm turquoise waters ideal for wading in or snorkelling and heaps of activities including kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding.


Samuel Borges Photography/Shutterstock

Rondinara’s beautiful crescent bay is particularly kid-friendly as it’s so shallow and clear, making for dreamy tones of blue – definitely the perfect backdrop for happy family photos. Rondinara also comes with creature comforts: thatched parasols for shade and loungers which cost £21 (€25) a day for two, as well as fine white sand for castle-construction and an on-site restaurant. Not to mention the ‘pedalo’ with an integrated slide.

2. Have adventures in the hills

For a day away from the beach, head inland towards l’Ospedale. The heart of the island is all fragrant pine forests and brush known as ‘the maquis’: a heady mix of eucalyptus, thyme and sage.

Gianni/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

Wild and unspoiled, it’s just the right rough terrain for a quad bike expedition for those who like to get their hands (and everything else) dirty. Quads are available to ride from age 12 but for the younger crowd aged 6-12, there’s a chance to try it out on the "baby circuit" (although that might need re-selling for fussy pre-teens).

A must for daredevils and thrill seekers, Xtrem Sud is a huge outdoors sports complex (in what the locals call the Arrière pays or back-country) 20 minutes away from Porto Vecchio. Drive up winding roads to 1,000m in altitude, to find Lariccio de l’Ospedale pine forest.

Xtrem Sud offers a plethora of activities to keep you busy, including canyoning and climbing. With three levels of zip-lining, and one specifically designed for younger kids, the whole family can take part. Pack a picnic and head to the nearby lake for lunch too. 

3. Explore Porto Vecchio

Evannovostro/Shutterstock

Very charming and quite chic, Porto Vecchio's old town is a worth a wander. The central square is home to a handful of cafés for an ice cream stop – try the classic Dame Blanche with heaps of chocolate sauce and Chantilly cream or make up your own coupe with refreshing sorbets.

The smallest visitors will enjoy the carousel, while kids big and small will also relish a little souvenir shopping for magnets, stickers, bracelets and other 'Corsican' trinkets in the many stores packed into the narrow cobbled streets. 

Those who like edible gifts can also trawl the local épicieriesfor wine or cured meats like lonzo, coppa or saucisson.

4. Eat seafood at the seaside

For seafood with a beach view look no further than Chez Ange. Set on glorious Rondinara beach, it’s a favourite for lunch overlooking the azure waters and the wooden jetty. Take your pick from the lobster tank or try the delicious deep fried Frito Misto which were both a hit with the kids.

At Santa Giulia beach try Moby Dick’s terrace where you’ll get grilled octopus, salmon Carpaccio or fresh tuna steaks with a view of the almost Tahitian looking white beach and its impressive giant boulders. 

For a more sophisticated meal, head to the Grand Hotel De Cala Rossa and settle on the deck to catch the sunset with excellent tapas or book a table at the bistrot, while the kids enjoy the beach below and exotic gardens.

5. Take in beautiful Bonifacio Old Town

Bonifacio, dating back to the 9th century is the perfect town to visit to take in a little local history. Walking around the quaint higgledy-piggledy streets is a pleasure, as long as you stick to the shady side of the street. Find an unexpected refuge from the scorching sunshine inside the elaborate 13th-century St Mary’s church before stopping for a local delicacy moules Bonifacienne.

Bonifacio, CorsicaBeboy/Shutterstock

The citadel is perched on limestone cliffs and is also worth seeing from its underside. Hop onto a boat to admire the precarious position of the old town which appears as if it's suspended over the sea. 

Another good way to keep the kids busy is gawking at the mega yachts, or the more modest fishing boats with their day’s catch, especially the fascinating red starfish.

READ MOREExplore Genoa, one of Italy's most charming city breaks

6. Hang out with wild turtles

Villa A Stellina faces the coastline and is 15 minutes from Porto VecchioSimpson Travel/Villa A Stellina

Enjoying the pool, barbecue and green lawns at Villa A Stellina, located in Conte a 15 minute drive from Porto Vecchio came with an unexpected perk: a wild turtle safari.

Slow, sweet and very laid back, these gentle guests would appear daily and any given moment to the kids’ great delight. They pottered around minding their own business but kept the little ones enthralled, and we all soon all adopted their relaxed pace too.

The villa is ideal for familes, as each bedroom has a bathroom and there's a proper bath (not always a given in villas) that's ideal if you've got younger kids.

Getting there

Seven nights' at Villa A Stellina with Simpson Travel (0208 003 3794) costs from £692pp based on six people travelling in September 2019 including accommodation, flights from London Heathrow to Figari and car hire.

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