You will find in Porto-Vecchio a unique mix of both idyllic unspoilt beaches along Corsica's southern coast and breathtaking mountain scenery. The city boasts an historical Old Town bustling with picturesque bars, restaurants, designer boutiques, hotels and a beautiful marina in the majestic Porto-Vecchio gulf, attracting international yachts.
- 1 Office Municipal de Tourisme, Rue Maréchal Leclerc, ☎ . in season 09:00-23:00; out of season M-F 09:00-12:00, 14:00-18:00.
The closest airport is Figari South Corsica Airport (approx. 23 km south-west of Porto-Vecchio):
- 1 Aéroport Figari-Sud Corse (FSC IATA) (5 km north-west of Figari, Corse-du-Sud), ☎ . There are regular Air Corsica flights to Paris, Marseille and Nice. In summer a number of other connections available. A regular public shuttle bus service to Porto-Vecchio is only available in Jul-Aug.
There are buses from other major Corsican towns: Bonifacio, Ajaccio, Bastia, Zonza, Conca, Figari.
If driving to town in the summer months, it is best to arrive very early, before 10:00 (or even 09:00 in August) to ensure parking near the town center. On cloudy or rainy days in August traffic jams may stretch 2 hours long getting into or through town.
The center of Porto-Vecchio is best navigated on foot, as the town has a one-way traffic system that makes it virtually impossible to navigate by a car.
- Plage de Cala Rossa (At the north end of the bay). An intimate beach with turquoise water, white sand and pink rocks. From the water you have a majestic view of the mountains.
- Plage de Santa-Giulia (A few kilometres south of Porto-Vecchio). Superb beach that gets crowded in the high season. A must.
Other beaches include the Plage de Palombaggia, Plage de Saint Cyprien, Plage de Pinarello and Plage de Tarco. You can find a nudist beach resort at La Chiappa.
Scuba-diving is excellent in the Iles Cerbicales, about 20 min boat ride round the headland. These rocky islets are part of a marine reserve that span the straits to Sardinia, so there are plenty of grouper, barracuda, morays, and smaller stuff down to neon tetras. Dive operators include Plongee Nature, based at 9 Av de Georges Pompidou facing the marina. About €50 for a one-tank dive. If later you're driving inland, many island roads crest at over 1000 m altitude, so allow a suitable interval after surfacing.
Porto-Vecchio has several souvenir shops, as well as some stores selling specialty Corsican food, such as wild boar sausage and local cheeses. There are several hyper-markets (bigger than super markets) just north of town along the main road.
The town has dozens of excellent restaurants, some with beautiful views over the harbour, and a main square where you can sip your latte while people watching.
- Le Lodge (Quai Pascal Paoli), ☎ . 10:00–02:00. Restaurant and bar. Shellfish specialist.
- Hotel Aiglon Bylitis, Route du commandant L'Herminier - 20137 Porto Vecchio, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. €46.
- Alcyon Hotel (City centre).
- Hotel Belvedere. Luxury hotel at the seaside.
Villas and apartments
- Villa Calita, Cala Rossa Beach. Private holiday villa.
- Belvedere Palombaggia villas, Palombaggia beach.
- Residence Alta Strada, Sainte Lucie de Porto Vecchio, ☎ . 1 independent villa plus 8 villas in 4 groups of 2 semi-detached villas built around a swimming pool. Villas are approximately 15 m apart, all have a view onto the swimming pool and gardens and are designed to respect each villa’s privacy. Pinarellu beach is 3 km away. Own transport is necessary.
- 4 Castellu d’Araghju (5 km north of Porto-Vecchio). The remains of a prehistoric fortifications (c-ca 2000 BC).