Friday, September 8, 2023
HomeUK TravelRivieria's voyage round Corsica on the Star Clipper

Rivieria’s voyage round Corsica on the Star Clipper

Crusing south-east from the glamour of the Côte d’Azur – the glittering trio of Good, Cannes and St Tropez – the Star Clipper leaves certainly one of France’s richest departments for a rugged, rural island. The four-masted Star Clipper, a nautical tribute to the golden age of sail, slices by means of the Mediterranean as we strategy Corsica. Rising out of the ocean, the island is a green-fringed mountain vary that runs from north-west to south-east.

4 ports of name on Corsica and a seaside morning are on the coronary heart of our seven nights aboard the ship. An extra resort night time in Good and one in Rome make up Riviera.’s nine-night journey.

The Ile de Rousse

There may be actually a purple tinge to the rocks as we moor however the Ile is now not an island. Napoleon decreed, greater than two centuries in the past, {that a} causeway must be constructed.

Neither is Napoleon a hero in Ile de Rousse. Pasquale Paoli is the statue on the plinth in Ile de Rousse’s predominant sq.. When Napoleon introduced French forces again to the island of his beginning, Paoli led the Corsican resistance. His victories gave Corsica a short two-year style of independence.

Paoli wrote Europe’s first democratic structure to be voted into place. It gave girls the vote lengthy earlier than they had been so empowered in France. Paoli’s fame unfold and a handful of cities had been named after him within the newly unbiased USA.

Into the peaks

Leaving the azure waters of Ile de Rousse’s harbour, our coach tour climbs and winds into Corsica’s rocky inside. Though Corsica is just 112 miles lengthy and 52 miles extensive, it has vertebrae of 117 peaks over 7,000 ft tall. Mount Cinto, an extinct volcano of practically 9,000 ft, appears to be like down on a land of canyons and ridges.

With views over Caribbean-coloured seas and tempting coves, we see why this land is a walkers’ paradise. Nevertheless it may also be a hiker’s hell. Just one third of hikers tackling the GR 20 route full the notoriously difficult 112 miles trek.

Perched on a rocky hillside, labeled as certainly one of les plus beaux villages de France, Sant’ Antonino’s medieval structure provides excellent views.

Like lots of Corsica’s historic settlements, the folks took to the hills. Dwelling on the coast was too perilous. Frequent raids by Barbary pirates, Moors and Saracens not solely robbed the villages of their wealth however the raiders additionally took their folks as slaves. At one level it was estimated that over 6,000 Corsicans had been held as slaves in North Africa.


Napoleon was born in Ajaccio, in a metropolis pronounced like an extended sneeze. However it’s a quirk of destiny that if Napoleon had been born a yr earlier, in 1768, he would have been Genoese. How completely different may Europe’s historical past have been if Napoleon had not been despatched to a French navy college on the age of 9?

Our tour takes us alongside the coast for a headland stroll with views throughout to the Iles Sanguinaires. On the shortest days of the yr, the solar units behind the islands tinging them blood purple and giving them their identify.

Again in Ajaccio, it’s arduous to flee Napoleon’s legacy. We see stairs main as much as a statue commemorating his victories and cease on the home that was his birthplace.


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As we sail alongside the limestone coast in direction of Bonifacio, our Director of Leisure recommends that we take to the deck to view our arrival in a spectacular harbour.

Riveria has a land-train ready for us, ship-side, to ascend the 600 metre climb to a medieval city of slender alleys and tall homes constructed with the first goal of defence towards marauding seafarers.


Crusing north, up Corsica’s east coast, the Star Clipper takes us to the port of Bastia, Corsica’s gateway to Italy and past.

Displayed in Bastia’s Place St Nicolas, the tower of the Casabianca submarine remembers Corsica’s profitable resistance in the course of the Second World Conflict. Escaping from Toulon Harbour, the French navy submarine made six clandestine drops of arms and gear to the Corsican Resistance motion. Lengthy earlier than D -Day, the Corsicans liberated themselves from German and Italian occupation within the autumn of 1943.

On the finish of the St Nicolas Place, the Lycee Jean Nicoli, marks the price of freedom. Nicoli, a former instructor, turned resistance fighter, was beheaded by the occupying forces on the Place Saint Nicolas.

For hundreds of years the Place had seen many executions. After a beheading the locals dipped their handkerchiefs within the blood, as an omen to hope that they didn’t endure an analogous destiny.

Lastly, we’ve a tasting of Mattei’s legendary aperitif Cap Corse. Again in 1872, Louis-Napoleon Mattei combined native muscatel wine with quinquina as an anti-material drink. Including oranges and a mix of herbs has helped the drink to thrive lengthy after the eradication of malaria on Corsica.

Then the Star Clipper leaves Bastia for Elba and Rome’s port of Civatavecchia.

The associated fee

On July twelfth 2024, Riveria will provide The French Riviera and Corsica: From Rome to Good by way of Sardinia and Corsica, this time on The Star Flyer. Starting in Rome, the 11-day journey concludes in Good, calling at Portoferraio, Bonifacio, Alghero, Ajaccio, Calvi, St Tropez and Cannes.

Costs start from £2,799, which incorporates flights, transfers, full breakfast, buffet lunch, afternoon tea and a la carte dinner while onboard, breakfast with resort stays and an professional tour supervisor.

The ultimate verdict

Land journey on Corsica is troublesome and sluggish. Crusing round a spectacular shoreline is the way in which to see this stunning island, mooring on the coronary heart of 4 cities which inform the turbulent story of the island.

Riviera’s professional guides lead visitors by means of the historical past, sights, and tastes of Corsica. While the ship sails on to the following vacation spot, visitors take pleasure in dinner, night time’s sleep and breakfast earlier than disembarking for the following port-of-call. It’s an effortlessly luxurious strategy to uncover Corsica.

Disclosure: Our voyage was sponsored by Riviera Journey.

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