The most famous beach in Corsica is Palombaggia, on the outskirts of the town of Porto Vecchio. It’s famed for its soft white sands and crystal clear water – and is a long, 2km stretch of sand lined with ‘umbrella’ pine trees.
We’d visited nearby Santa Giulia beach earlier in the week and had been completely blown away by the beauty of the place – and had feared that, in the middle of the summer holidays, Palombaggia might be too busy. We’d read that parking was difficult and, due to its popularity, it’s advisable to get there early.
It turned out we had no such problems, even despite not getting out quite as early as we’d hoped.
You can access Palombaggia from two different ends – the more northerly end has a large car park but the beach is a bit narrower and tends to be busier. The southern end is wider, less busy – but has no actual car park; you need to park on the road leading up to it, which is a bit less convenient and involves a slightly longer walk down to the beach.
We went for the southern end and found a space on the side of the road pretty easily. 5-minutes walk later and we were on the beach – and it definitely lives up to its reputation.
We felt Santa Giulia was a bit more visually stunning – its shallower waters create more of a ‘Caribbean’ feel – but Palombaggia is bigger, with more swimming space, slightly deeper water – but still incredibly clear and clean.
Even though we were here in pretty much the busiest peak time of the year and expected it to be busy, it certainly wasn’t particularly crowded and had a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere.
The water is just unbelievable – it was so warm when we were here (mid July) that it actually felt like being in a bath. You could spend the whole day just floating around in the sea at an absolutely perfect body temperature – and it’s so clear and blue you can see all the way through it like glass, all the way out in to the deeper zone.
We visited many beaches in both the southern (Porto Vecchio) region and in the west (Ajaccio) region, all of which were superb but none came close to either Palombaggia or Santa Giulia. They are Corsica’s two most famous and popular beaches for a very justifiable reason.
The beach is accessed via two different ends – one with a large car park, the other with only on-road parking (but more space and less busy).
Find the northern end (with the car park) on Google Maps here: https://goo.gl/maps/GouJRr34fRy
To access the southern end, where we went, you’ll need to get as close to the beach as you can and park on the road here: https://goo.gl/maps/a5hsLsi32kr