For our first week in Corsica we stayed about 20-minutes outside the town of Porto Vecchio…
Accommodation in the actual town itself is reserved pretty much for the rich – it’s an exclusive, up-market resort with super-yachts frequenting its glittering marina – but we were able to stay more cheaply on the outskirts of the town and could easily drive in to visit the historic ‘Old Town’ whenever we wanted.
It’s the Old Town which is Porto Vecchio’s main attraction – set high up on a hillside with views across the marina and Mediterranean beyond, it’s a beautiful historic town with rows of tiny, narrow streets lined with small, fashionable boutique shops and restaurants.
The main centre of activity is the Place de Repulique town square, where visitors sit relaxing, eating and drinking in restaurants and cafes, the prices in which are all at a premium and made us joining them unrealistic with a family of five and rapidly disappearing spending money budget!
We did actually manage to find a restaurant for dinner with some reasonably-priced pizzas, but just bear in mind that the prices for everything – food, drink, shopping and accommodation are particularly high here compared with the rest of the region.
We wandered around the old town for a few hours, enjoying the sights; every now and again the rows of old buildings part to reveal views over the harbour and sea below, but there wasn’t a great deal in Porto Vecchio town itself to occupy a family and kids.
There’s no doubt it’s a great town and if you’re in the region, definitely worth a visit – although nearby Bonifacio has more to offer in terms of impressive sights and things to do.
The wider Porto Vecchio region, with its unbelievable beaches, hillsides and mountains is arguably the best place to stay in the whole of Corsica – though you may find the actual Old Town itself less of an attraction if you’re on a family holiday with kids (and aren’t one of the super-rich)! That said though, it’s still definitely worth a visit of an evening at least once if you’re in the area.
It’s really busy during the day in peak season – we actually had to abandon our first visit here because every car park was full so we couldn’t actually get anywhere near the town!
We made our second visit on a weekday evening and it was quieter. Head for the Ste Catalina car park, which is a short, flat walk from the Old Town. Other car parks are lower down the hill and we watched other people struggle up the steep path in the blazing hot July sun and didn’t envy them!
Find Ste Catalina car park on Google Maps here: https://goo.gl/maps/iqZXUL1fuSF2
Once you’ve parked up, make your way to the Place de Republique central square and the rest of the town is easily explored from there.