This South-East part of Corsica’s coast is dotted with countless beaches – but the two main ‘destination’ beaches in the region are Palombaggia and Santa Giulia, both within a few miles of each other and both famed for their almost Caribbean-style white sand and clear blue waters.
We turned up a bit late in the day to Santa Giulia, to find the car parks pretty much full and the beach packed – pretty much as expected on a blazing hot Saturday afternoon in the middle of peak-season July.
It’s worth getting down here early to be sure of getting a space in either of the car parks but, having said that, we did get lucky and found a space in the overflow car park, which is about 5 to 10 minutes’ walk from the beach itself along a sandy path.
We’d already visited a couple of other beaches around Porto Vecchio, all of which were beautiful, but paled in comparison to the stunning Santa Giulia.
The end of the beach closest to the car park was crowded, so we continued walking along to the far end to find it much emptier and with even whiter sand and clearer blue water – and only a small handful of other holiday-makers who’d been bothered to walk the extra 5-minutes or so to escape the crowds.
Santa Giulia is a truly memorable beach which easily lives up to its reputation. The bright, white sand merges in to crystal clear blue water which remains shallow enough to resemble the kind of scenes you might associate with the Maldives rather than somewhere that’s only a 2-hour flight from London Stansted.
It’s perfect for children with the calm water ranging from ankle to no more than waist-deep for a long way out.
Further out, beyond the calm shallows, is a rocky outcrop ideal for snorkelling and jumping in to the deeper blue water the other side.
Surrounding the beach are green, forested hillsides leading to more dramatic mountain scenery beyond – not a high-rise hotel block anywhere to be seen.
Up at the busier end of the beach are watersports activities, restaurants and bars, while at this quieter end there’s a beach-front bar but few other facilities.
We spent the whole afternoon here, the children barely leaving the warm water for enough time to scoff down a sandwich before heading back in with their snorkels and lilos. They claimed this was the best beach they’ve ever been to – and we’ve been to a lot of beaches!
Santa Giulia beach is easily found on Google Maps here:
Plage de Santa Giulia, 20137 Porto-Vecchio, France
There are a couple of car parks, which get full pretty quickly in peak season. The larger gravel ‘overflow’ car park is free.
Follow the sandy footpath from the car park towards the beach but, on arrival, if you fancy the quieter end – albeit it with fewer facilities – keep walking along the road for about 5 more minutes (towards the Moby Dick Hotel). As you reach the entrance to the hotel you’ll find access to the beach.