7 Things to do in Porto Vecchio, Corsica

Continuing with my string of posts about Corsica, France, I want to share with you the best things to do in and around the town of Porto Vecchio, my families base for our two-week trip to the island.

I have to say that my mum made an excellent choice opting for a villa just outside Porto Vecchio because I quickly learnt that the town is charming and has an abundance of character.

Top things to do in Porto Vecchio Corsica

More than this, although Porto Vecchio is located on the islands southern coast (meaning it has numerous pristine beaches to enjoy) a quick drive inland will alter the landscape into one that is dominated by towering pine trees and mountains.

These conflicting landscapes not only make Porto Vecchio an extremely magical place to visit but also creates a lot of things to do:


1) Explore the Town –

The first thing on my list of ‘Things to do in Porto Vecchio, Corsica’ may seem obvious, but you’d be a fool to stay in/around Porto Vecchio without taking time to appreciate the town itself.

Up in the hills, the heart of Porto Vecchio is a maze of adorable stone streets, which are filled with boutique shops selling anything from clothes to homeware.  Meanwhile, there are countless Bakery’s, Gelato stores and restaurants in the centre of town that are bound to get your taste buds tingling.

Top things to do in Porto Vecchio Corsica - explore the town

In addition to this, Porto Vecchio actually extends down the hillside into a small harbour area, which has a slightly more modern vibe than the rest of the town. Here too you’ll find several waterfront restaurants/bars to enjoy.

2) Head To The Beach –

As I’ve already briefly mentioned, there are plenty of beautiful beaches near Porto Vecchio whereby you can relax and take in the sunshine. The top two ‘Porto Vecchio Beaches’ that I’d recommend are:

Plage de Palombaggia –

Voted one of the best beaches in Corsica on Trip Advisor, ‘Plage de Palombaggia’ is certainly beautiful! For one, it has some of the clearest water I’ve ever seen!

Top things to do in Porto Vecchio - Plage de Palombaggia

However thanks to this reputation, the beach can get pretty crowded. None the less, it’s still worth a visit because its beauty far out weights any cons brought by the crowds.

More than this, you’ll still find plenty of sun loungers to rent on the beach and its popularity actually brings some benefits as it means there’s a beach hut which offers watersports such as paddle boarding and Jet Ski Hire.

This said if you do want to try and avoid the crowds, you can head to the beaches ‘secret cove’… I would like to point out at this stage that this is not an official name but one I creatively thought of to describe a spot on the beach that I found. 😉

Top things to do in Porto Vecchio - Plage de Palombaggia -2

If you walk to the far left side of the beach, the sand will narrow and be replaced by rocks. If you then paddle through the shallow water here and around the back of said rocks, you will reach the ‘secret cove’.  Admittedly, it is a bit of a walk to reach, but this difficulty brings pristine sand, tranquillity, calm seas and the perfect spot for snorkelling!

Santa Giulia Beach –

Slightly further along the coast lies ‘Santa Giulia Beach’. It is actually pretty similar to Palombaggia in the sense that it offers watersports and has breathtakingly clear water. For this reason, I can’t say which out of them is my favourite as I found them both to be amazing.

However, I would say that Santa Giulia is was a lot quieter and more relaxed. Also, there’s a particularly good cocktail bar right on the waterfront which could tip the balance slightly in its favour. 😉

3) Drive into the island interior –

Perhaps my top thing to do from Porto Vecchio is hire a car and drive into the islands interior. This is because you’ll see that Corsica is more than just beaches and sea. In fact, two-thirds of the island’s territory is made up of spectacular granite mountains and vast forests which are tied together by numerous lakes, rivers and waterfalls.

Top things to do in Porto Vecchio - drive to the mountains

During my visit, we drove a simple loop up through the mountains and back along back the coast (a journey which took about 4hours). It was simply an amazing experience, largely because I had not expected such scenery to greet me on such a tiny and often overlooked island. I actually lost count of the number of times we pulled over to fully take in the view!

4) Tackle a High Ropes Course –

The scenery which makes up Corsica’s interior also creates a paradise for sports enthusiasts. For example, there is a seemingly endless choice of trails to explore. However, my dad and I opted for something a little more spine-tingling…  Xtreme Suds High Ropes Course. 

A short drive from Porto Vecchio (and yet right in the heart of the forest) this high ropes course is similar to ones found on the French mainland, it’s just slightly more extreme… They were not kidding with the name!

Top things to do in Porto Vecchio - drive to the mountains 2

One of the courses actually takes you out of the trees and up a huge rock face, a climb which also provides amazing views back down into the valley. Of course, you then get to Zip-Line the 60 or so meters back down!

The park is definitely a fun way to spend an afternoon, as each course is slightly different meaning things are kept interesting. Adding to this, tickets are a very reasonable price – only around €20 for an adult.

5) Go Canyoning – 

If heights aren’t your thing but you’re still keen to explore the islands interior, then another activity that might take you fancy is Canyoning. Thanks to the islands many rivers and waterfalls there are several different companies that operate exciting (and presumably heart-stopping) canyoning tours from Porto Vecchio.

Top things to do in Porto Vecchio, Corsica - canyoning

I did not personally take any such tours because if I’m honest the rope climbing took a lot out of me… Who knew your arms could ache so much! 😉 But it looks like a fabulous experience and something I’d love to do if I ever return.

6) Take A Boat Trip –

My next top thing to do in Porto Vecchio is to take a boat tour as the amazing waters around Southern Corsica will fool you into thinking you’re somewhere in the tropics:

Hiring a boat is something my family tries to do on most our trips since I’m pretty such that my dad is part fish. Sadly, unlike in most places in Europe, you don’t seem to be able to hire your own boat from Porto Vecchio. Whats more, the companies that offer driven tours from the harbour all seem pretty expensive.

Top things to do in Porto Vecchio, Corsica - take a boat trip

Thankfully, however, after a bit of looking around, we spotted Croisiere Exclusive and choose to join their ‘Circuit Dentente’ tour for €60 – which although still a little pricey, was far cheaper than any of the other tours! Our driver for the afternoon took us to some amazing spots! But more than this, he was simply the nicest guy, who even provided homemade Corsican Biscuits and a cocktail on board.

7) Visit Bonifacio –

Although a bit further away from Porto Vecchio than the other things on my list, if you have access to a car, you should not think twice about driving to the medieval town of Bonifacio. Bursting with history and beautiful views, Bonifacio is not only the oldest town in Corsica but arguably the islands most popular.

Top things to do in Porto Vecchio Corsica - visit Bonifacio

Read my Ultimate Guide to Bonifacio for more information!


So there you have it my 7 top things to do in Porto Vecchio, Corsica which, to be honest, may be my favourite destination of 2017.  🙂

I’ve you’ve been to Porto Vecchio yourself and have any suggestions of other tops things to do, let me know in the comments below! 

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  1. December 16, 2017 / 9:21 pm

    I had no idea Corsica was so beautiful!
    Thank you for showing this to me – it’s amazing.

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      December 16, 2017 / 9:46 pm

      You’re welcome haha – neither did I before visiting!!

  2. December 16, 2017 / 9:43 pm

    Great to know this place. Amazing photos and useful information. Thanks for sharing.

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      December 16, 2017 / 9:46 pm

      Thanks for reading 🙂

  3. December 16, 2017 / 11:40 pm

    Great post! I’ve done some of those rope climbing adventure course in France once loved it!

  4. December 17, 2017 / 10:21 am

    I would love to visit Corsica one day soon. It looks like a beautiful place and there are tons of things that I’d like to do. Okay, that’s a lie… I just want to hang out on the beach! Great resource.

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      December 17, 2017 / 3:43 pm

      Hahaha the beach was my favourite too 😉

  5. Julianna Barnaby
    December 17, 2017 / 11:31 am

    It looks absolutely stunning! Have never been to Corsica but it’s definitely high on my list. Would love to do the adventure climbs, what a perfect setting.

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      December 17, 2017 / 4:26 pm

      You should definitely visit its a lovely destination 🙂

  6. December 18, 2017 / 12:31 am

    You sold me on number 2, THE BEACH. I would have never imagined the beach being so beautiful there. Then again, I know nothing of Corsica!

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      December 18, 2017 / 1:19 pm

      I was not expecting them to be so beautiful either!!

  7. Aleksandra
    December 18, 2017 / 2:30 pm

    omg. i fall in love with the view on pic nr 3!

  8. December 20, 2017 / 6:02 pm

    This place looks amazing! And it seems to have it all… nature, adventure and history. Adding it to my list! 🙂

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      December 27, 2017 / 12:09 pm

      Agreed!! I wanted to never leave 😉

  9. December 23, 2017 / 12:58 am

    Looks beautiful there! I never pictured that Corsica would look like that but who cares when it’s pretty. Bonifacio looks amazing! I would love to visit.

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      December 27, 2017 / 12:08 pm

      Its totally not what I was expecting either! A little gem of an island for sure 🙂

  10. December 23, 2017 / 4:10 am

    What a charming location! The activities seem very fun, especially the boat ride. Good thing you found a cheaper one and you got some treats on board! The water looks spectacular and so clean there!

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      December 27, 2017 / 12:07 pm

      We were a bit worried we wouldn’t get out on the water because all the tours seemed so expensive! Certainly worth a little digging around to find the perfect one. 🙂 And I know right I was not expecting it to be so beautiful

  11. December 24, 2017 / 3:50 pm

    I like the quiet non packed beaches and #2 seems more our style however finding the secret coves is always nice because they are secret and less crowded. I would definitely hire a car to go and see the granite mountains while I was there as I love driving around that style of scenery.

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      December 27, 2017 / 12:06 pm

      Agreed I love feeling like I have the whole beach to myself haha, but yes hiring a car is a must!!

  12. December 25, 2017 / 2:26 am

    Wow so much to do. Would love to go one of these good ol’ days. Love the pictures btw. Thanks for sharing!

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      December 27, 2017 / 12:05 pm

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to write your lovely comment 🙂 x

  13. December 25, 2017 / 7:59 am

    The place, especially the town photo reminded me of Disney’s Tangled. haha It looks like the real place where it got its inspiration. =)

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      December 27, 2017 / 12:04 pm

      Haha I never thought of that but now you’ve said it I can totally see the similarities! 🙂

  14. December 26, 2017 / 11:22 am

    Corsica is a pristine wonderland. Porto Vecchio is indeed a revelation. It offers natural landscapes, beaches, and adventure activities as well. I love the look of Santa Giulia beach, it looks so serene. The boat trip and canyoning sound very interesting too.

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      December 27, 2017 / 12:03 pm

      There’s certainly a lot to check out haha

  15. January 16, 2018 / 6:52 pm

    Wow, the island looks amazing! great post, thanks for sharing 🙂 We’ve been planning a trip to Civitavecchia, Italy for later this year and now I’m thinking maybe we could take a boat over to Corsica to explore the island and do some paddle boarding. Do you know if there are any interior rivers that could be accessed by paddle board? 🙂

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      January 20, 2018 / 6:36 pm

      You should definitely make a trip over! And yes the interior is full of beautiful rivers, but some do dry up in the summer months so worth doing a bit of research 🙂

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