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TRAVEL JOURNAL | Corsica with April Hughes

Intro from April...
LUMIO:
Local village to Pietra Nova

3 beaches—Punta di Spanu Creeks, Sainte Restitude Beach, Arinella Creek.
Great for snorkeling and beautiful sunsets from the rocks.

Le pain Sucregreat for lunch or dinner, Thursday night dance party, right on the beach…reserve.

Le Matahari—right on the beach, great for lunch or sunset dinner, chill vibes, nice for ice cream and coffee while you are beaching…reserve.
Drive up to Lumio village one eve for a concert of local Corsican music at the church, have dinner at XXX
Book ahead….
There is a local market which happens most Sundays.
Around Lumio:

Pigna—mountain village
Short drive from Lumio, visit at lunch or sunset to have food at
A Casarella—beautiful view, vibes, tapas

Sweet children’s shop for music boxes, decent local pottery, hidden alleyways to wander

On your drive down the mountain stop at: xxxxxx
For local biscuits, homemade desert wines
 
San Antonio village—most majestic, medieval mountain top village
Drive up later afternoon to catch sunset and dinner,

Local shop at the bottom of the hill sells lovely olive wood cutting boards, stop at XXXX for a Citron Presse, stop at XXX for local pottery, visit the beautiful church w/ hand painted tiles, climb to the top of the village for the most incredible view.

Reserve at XXXX for a sunset dinner, definitely the best restaurant in the village
Bodri beach—flat, gentle beach-quite crowded but if you go over to the rocks on the far right it’s a majestic view, surrounded by the maquis fields.
We went here only b/c we aborted a mission to Luto due to traffic.
 
La parque Sellacia—didn’t get to visit, right outside of ISl Rousee
 
Algajola—this beachside town was a little too touristy for my taste but go here into the mountain side to visit Atelier Caruli pottery studio. It’s a scenic, short drive up. www.caruli.fr
You can stop on the beach side for homemade ice cream & a spritz at XXXX
 
Calvi—very busy port town,
Went here for the local farmers market but it wasn’t great.
Pretty church, visit the Citadel for the view…there’s a nice BIO shop if you need any food for people w/ allergies…
A good (expensive & tourist) local Corsican food market
A sweet pottery shop, sometimes local artisan market as you enter town….
A little farther:
 
Galeria:
Great food and nice, flat, gentle beach to rent kayaks, paddle boards—you could easily spend two days here beaching and visiting Scandola.
Eat at: La Cabane du Pêcheur, beachside local fish shack, great for afternoon ice cream
Eat at: L'artigiana, above the beach as you enter Galeria, come here for a lazy afternoon lunch in their beautiful garden, leave with local specialties, myrtle wines, local pottery

Scandola Nature Reserve, do not rent the tiny boat, do a small group trip or have your international boating license…. I recommend half day to visit the Reserve and snorkel the areas.

Porto—didn’t get to visit but heard mixed reviews

Gi—you can only arrive by boat, you can take this from Galeria as well and I believe stops along the way to Scandola Reserve if you want to make a day of it. This is where Garance Dore is from.
Saint Florent:
Port town
Book ahead: the Popeye Boat to visit Luto beach &. , there is a way
 
After Auto drive up to Patrinomia for dinner & go to XXXX:
There is a local guitar festival here in July that is supposed to be amazing.
 
Patrinomia:
Wine country
Visit Domaine Serge Dominici For local BIO wines
Have dinner: Libertalia bistrot Tropical, local farm food
Visit for XXX for LOCAL POTTERY, ships internationally
Best place for
 
ATM:
Calvi airport—you can do a drive by, Society General is outside
 
Pharmacy:
Right by the turn to Pietra Nova, stock up on local French pharmacy favorites
 
Groceries:
Spar—lots of local produce, fish, like the Dean & Deluca of Corsica
 
Remember:
A lot of restaurants, local establishments do not take credit cards, bring cash.
Stop along the way and follow windy dirt roads to local artisanal signs for cheese, farms, wine, crafts….it’s were you find the best things
Traffic——can be bad in the summer months, go early to places like Cap Corse so you can make the most of your days.
Patrimonio—north of. Bastia, vineyards
Plage du Lotu — (best beach)
Drive to Saint-Florent (across the island from Bastia to the west side) and take Le Popeye boat from the harbor directly to the beach - https://www.lepopeye.com/tarifs-37-fr.html
restaurant is up the hill to the right from the dock https://www.lacabanedulodu.com/menu
best to make a reservation
Another beach a bit of a drive north of Bastia on the East side of the Cap Corse:
Plage de Tamerone in Rogliano
restaurant is U Paradisu - https://u-paradisu.business.site/
 
Nonza — is a cool little village to go for lunch or dinner - you can over look the Plage Nonza - its a black beach - you can’t go to the beach there b/c its off limits - asbestos or something like that - but La Sassa restaurant has a beautiful view up the coast (west side)
Patrimonio  I thought this little region in the mountains was a highlight / they do music festivals there in the summer. The town is technically called Santa Maria
There is a restaurant called Libertalia bistrot Tropical / its all outdoor and they make their own beer + all of the food comes from the farm that cascades down the mountain nearby. They call it ‘slow food’. There are local wines here too Patrimonio Rose and its delicious. its all set up around some old stone buildings and gardens - its worth driving up here for an evening.
Best beach:
Saleccia—by boat
Lotu (northeast)—Little Lotu and Big Lotu,
La Cabane du Lodu, bring cash, no cards
Roccapina (west)—follow trails, no amenities
Palombaggia (southeast)—crystal waters and lagoon-like bay
Ostriconi (north)—lush green mountains rolling down to the sandy shore (35min)
Places:
Désert des Agriates
Palais Fesch Musée des Beaux-Arts—largest collection of Italian paintings in France outside of the Louvre
Calvi—Chapelle de Notre-Dame de la Serra
GARANCE:
Capo Di feno—Garance’s fav beach, southwest, restaurant Le Pirate
Pigna village
Nonza
Cap Corse
Corbara
Seleccia in the Agriates desert
Scandola Reserve
Capo Di Feno beach in Ajaccio (south)
On a boat don’t miss:
Rocapina, Scandola and Bodri.
Castagniccia—chestnut tree forest, pigs love freely, make charcuterie
(Paul Marie Raffalli in Piedicroce)
Cheese (Palasca, ask for Fortuné Savelli)
*Girolata—village, take a boat
Lunch at Nicola’s, at the Terrasse
Buy—bastelles (another specialty) at Pascal and Maga
No cars
Scandal nature reserves
Food!!!!
Alculelle, little cheececakes baked on a chestnut leaf )buy them in CORTE, speciality in the north
Incivulate, with onions or swiss chard
Finuchietti crunchy and with anise
Bastelles—pastry
Museum:
Fesch museum