Porticcio to Portiglio
South of the flatlands and the large beach of the base of the Golfe dŽ Ajaccio the coast becomes a succession of headlands and small bays and beaches again. Porticcio sits at and around a small headland and offers access to a few beaches. These beaches get a lot of – surfers would say too much – protection from swells by the Iles Sanguinaires at the north-western entrance into the gulf.
Things start to get more interesting – means more exposed to the open Mediterranean Sea – with the Punta Di Sette Nave peninsula. The peninsula itself is very beautiful with a mix of fantastic rock formations, little bays and secluded beaches and the fancy town of Isolella. Sadly, a big junk of the coastline is private property and access to beaches is often restricted. The best option for a walk around the island and a bath in the sea is the larger parking at a beach on the south side of the peninsula.
The coastal road keeps following the shoreline south of here and is unusually wide with unusually few curves for Corsica standards. Still, due to more private properties and a coastline getting cliffier, access to the shore stays difficult until Ruppione which has another larger beach with some parking facilities. This beach is also worth visiting during a westerly swell.
A little bit south of Ruppione follows another larger beach, the beautiful Plage dŽ Argent with more fantastic rock formations at its northern end, a nice sandy beach but sadly no sandbars which could compare to the ones in Ruppione.
At the southern end of the Plage dŽ Argent the comfortable road turns into a classic Corsican road again, means it narrows and starts a steep and very windy ascent up another headland and soon drops down to the little bay (and town) of Portigliolo. Here you find a narrow strip of grainy beach and some rocky point and reef setups that regrettably do not create surfable waves as they either explode on dry rock or do not meet the sea bed properly enough to create more than an inkling of a rideable peak.
South of here the coast becomes the typical wild west coast again, difficult to access due to narrow roads with too many curves and a constant steep up and down. Due to the rugged coastline the road runs more inland now. It nevertheless is worth doing a little bit of extra drive at least too the La Castagna peninsula and go for a walk to the Genoese tower.
For more impressions of the Porticcio to Portiglio coast check this gallery.
Related stories: Mediterranean Chances – part 1