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Itinerary of a one-week sailing in southern Corsica from Ajaccio

laura accaultlinkedin laura accault

Writer for Filovent magazine. “A sunset aboard a sailboat is my definition of happiness. Joining Filovent has enabled me to combine my passion for travel and the sea.”

From 20 to 27 May, François, Mickaël and 5 friends went sailing in southern Corsica for a week aboard a Dufour 520 GL from Ajaccio

Find out more about their itinerary and the highlights of their boat trip in this article!

  1. A one-week sailing trip in Southern Corsica
  2. One-week sailing itinerary from Ajaccio
  3. Highlights and memories of sailing

A one-week sailing trip in Southern Corsica

After sailing extensively in Greece, Sardinia and Tuscany, François and his friends have chosen this year to charter a boat in Corsica from Ajaccio. In fact, they have got into the habit of taking one cruise a year to get together and discover new sailing areas. For a week, they explored the beauties of southern Corsica aboard their monohull with a magnificent weather!

A keen sailor for many years, François wasn't the main skipper during the week, but he didn't hesitate to steer if necessary.

Over the course of the week, they explored numerous anchorages, day and night, and sailed for an average of 3 to 4 hours a day.

The Dufour 520 GL, a pleasant boat

François, Mickaël and the rest of the crew spent the week sailing aboard a 2019 Dufour 520 GL, equipped with 5 double cabins."It sails well and has a very good engine,"” explains François.

Lavezzi islands
The crew aboard the boat in the Lavezzi Islands (Source: François Lillet)

"The special feature of this boat is that the kitchen is located at the front of the boat, unlike most boats. This means there is more space in the living room and the cook isn't disturbed by the rest of the crew!"

kitchen aboard the dufour 520 GL
Jérémie making crepes (Source: Mickaël Coudert)

One-week sailing itinerary from Ajaccio

Boarding in Ajaccio

DAY 1 : Ajaccio → Anse de Cacalu → Cala di Conca (25 nautical miles, 3 hours)

DAY 2 : Cala di Conca → Anse de Fazzio → Bonifacio (25 nautical miles, 3 hours)

DAY 3 : Bonifacio → Cala di Giunco → Rondinara (15 nautical miles, 2 hours)

DAY 4 : Rondinara → Cala Roccapina (25 nautical miles, 5 hours)

DAY 5 : Cala Roccapina → Propriano (25 nautical miles, 3 hours)

DAY 6 : Propriano → Plage du Ruppione → Ajaccio (27 nautical miles, 3 hours and a half)

One-week sailing itinerary from Ajaccio
One-week sailing itinerary from Ajaccio followed by François and his crew (clickable map)

Boarding in Ajaccio

After having collected their boat in the late afternoon, François, Mickaël and their crew went visiting Ajaccio and spent the night there. They had dinner in "l’auberge Ajaccienne", restaurant located near theTino Rossi port, from which they left the next morning. The advantage of leaving from Ajaccio harbour is that it is located just 10 minutes away from the airport.

DAY 1 : Ajaccio → Anse de Cacalu → Cala di Conca (25 nautical miles, 3 hours)

On sunday morning, the crew set sail for Cala di Conca, in the south of Ajaccio. For lunch, they stopped at the Cacalu cove, a pretty cove where you can see one of many Genoese towers of the island. These towers were ancient defensive fortresses erected during the Genoese occupation and are now one of the island's symbols. Some of the crew members even went on an underwater hunt!

underwater hunt in cacalu cove
Underwater hunt at the Cacalu cove (Source: François Lillet)

After this stop, they left toward the Cala di Conca, a lovely, unspoilt anchorage encore sauvage with a small beach “"We went for a walk along the coast to see the sunset!" says François.

cala di conca
Coucher de soleil et vue sur les bateaux au mouillage depuis la côte (Source: François Lillet)

DAY 2 : Cala di Conca → Anse de Fazzio → Bonifacio (25 nautical miles, 3 hours)

On their second day at sea, the crew set course for Bonifacio, in the very south of the island. Just before arriving in "Anse du Fazzio", where they dropped anchor for lunch, they were lucky enough to see dolphins playing around the boat for a few minutes. This cove offers a magnificent setting with a translucent seabed and turquoise waters, giving the impression of swimming in a real natural pool! While some decided to go ashore, others preferred to swim all afternoon.

anse du fazzio
Anse du Fazzio seen from above (Source: Mickaël Coudert)

After this stop, they sailed to Bonifacio, where they would spend the night at the marina, a chance to discover the city day and night. They even had dinner at the Pizzeria Mama Gina which serves a variety of italian dishes. The whole crew decided to eat a pizza they highly recommand if you are visiting the city !

the crew at the pizzeria Mama Gina
The whole crew at the pizzeria “Mama Gina” in Bonifacio (Source: François Lillet)
bouches de Bonifacio, Roy d'Aragon stairs, port of bonifacio
Arrival in the "bouches de Bonifacio", descent of the Roi d'Aragon stairs and sunset in the port of Bonifacio (Source: Mickaël Coudert)

⚓ “For a berth in the marina of Bonifacio, we paid €90, bearing in mind that our boat was 52 feet long, which is within the price range for the season.

DAY 3 : Bonifacio → Cala di Giunco → Rondinara (15 nautical miles, 2 hours)

For their third day, the crew weigh anchor for Rondinara, located to the other side of the island. For lunch, they stop in the Lavezzi island at the anchorage "Cala di Giunco". There, they could prepare lunch, do a little trekking and even go for a swim. “There was some wind, which was convenient for the sailing!

Lavezzi islands
Lunch in Cala di Giunco in the Lavezzi islands (Source: Mickaël Coudert)

Just a few nautical miles away is the Gulf of Rondinara, an exceptional anchorage much appreciated by yachtsmen. In fact, it is a very wild bay with turquoise waters and a white sandy beach. On the program: underwater hunting and swimming before setting off again the next day for Cala Roccapina.

gulf of Rondinara
Gulf of Rondinara from above (Source: Adobe Stock)

DAY 4 : Rondinara → Cala Roccapina (25 nautical miles, 5 hours)

On Wednesday, they made no intermediate stop and headed for Roccapina, “This was the biggest sail of the trip with winds of up to 26 knots.” François explains that the entrance is quite technical due to the presence of rocks, especially when it is windy.

After 5 hours sailing, the crew dropped anchor in the Gulf and decided to take a short hike. They climbed a Genoese tower that offers a bird's-eye view of the Gulf.

Bay of Roccapina
View of the bay of Roccapina with the crew's boat on the right (Source: Mickaël Coudert)

DAY 5 : Cala Roccapina → Propriano (25 nautical miles, 3 hours)

On thursday morning, they weigh anchor for Propriano and also decided not to make an intermediate anchorage because of a thunderstorm forecast for later in the day. Once moored at the port, they went on a tour of the town and had a swim at the Lido beach. During the evening, tehy could also take advantage of the nocturnal life of the city by going to the restaurant.

beach in Propriano
Beach in Propriano (Source: Adobe Stock)

“For a berth in the port of Propriano in April/May, we paid 64€ bearing in mind that our boat was 52 feet long.”

DAY 6 : Propriano → Plage du Ruppione → Ajaccio (27 nautical miles, 3 hours and a half)

For their last day, the crew Pour leur dernier jour, the crew head back up the coast and drop anchor close to the beach of the Ruppione in the Gulf of Ajaccio. The turquoise waters are the perfect backdrop for a final stop before returning to Ajaccio.

For their last evening, they decided to go out to the restaurant "Le Poséidon", located in a boat Tino Rossi harbour.

Ajaccio is not a very big town, but it's very lively from May onwards, with lots of bars and restaurants!

Highlights and memories of sailing

All in all, the crew had an excellent week's sailing, with magnificent weather and very clement sailing conditions. “Despite the bad weather forecast, we only had one day of bad weather. We also had wind most of the time, especially as we entered the Bouches of Bonifacio, which created a venturi effect. It is worth noting that there is always more wind in the Bouches of Bonifacio than offshore. If there are 10 knots offshore, there will be 20 in the bouches!

Above all, François prefered the beach of Fazzio;“As you approach Bonifacio and pass the Capo di Feno, you arrive in a whole new landscape! You go from beaches and granite mountains to strata of limestone that have built up over time - it's magnificent!

Second best anchorage not to be missed, according to the crew, is the one of Roccapina and its white sandy beach. “We could almost believe being in the west indies or in the ocean!

In the southern Corsica, there are lots of beaches and coves, not always very well protected from the wind. There is also a fair amount of wind in the Bouches de Bonifacio

What is really surprising, yet amazing about Corsica is that the landscape is still very wild, which is very pleasant.

Finally, I asked François his favorite moment of the cruise : “It must have been when we saw dolphins just before arriving at Fazzio and its exceptional panorama.

dolphins while sailing
Dolphins soptted while sailing(Source: Mickaël Coudert)

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