Europe’s hottest summer travel destinations – Sardinia and Corsica – are home to wild coastlines, ancient walled towns, picturesque bays, fine cuisine and vibrant open-air nightclubs.
You must have seen the idyllic, candy-coated coloured images of Capri or Sardinia which seem to require #nofilter. Capri, an island in Italy’s Bay of Naples, is famed for its rugged landscape, electric blue glowing sea and dramatic, cove-studded coastline. But what’s edited out are the crowds of mainstream tourists that populate this island, while locals and international stars – from Hollywood a-listers to famous football players – prefer to hide on the secluded, yet equally beautiful islands of Sardinia and Corsica. With the luxurious laid back feel, yet well off the beaten path, these Mediterranean islands have so much to offer and are still undiscovered by tourists masses.
Hi! My name is Maryna, and in 2017 I visited the beautiful islands of Sardinia and Corsica with Follow Alice on their annual sailing week. I loved it so much I have put together 7 reasons why you should be adding these destinations to your bucket list…
1. Expect to experience a really unique atmosphere
New Mediterranean islands are hard to come by these days. While the main islands of Sardinia and Corsica are widely known, there is a wealth of smaller, stunningly beautiful islands located around Corsica and Sardinia that you might never have heard of. Unless you’re a yachtie or Catherine Deneuve. Four years ago she was supposed to get married on one of these hidden islands, namely Cavallo Island, but she isn’t telling. That’s very Cavallo. It’s a beguiling place that still wears an understated couture of exclusivity. Imagine if Dubai took a midday nap and upon waking went out for a coffee and a friendly chat. Everything is sunny, friendly, yet slow and relaxed. Nobody rushes, nobody shouts, no jumping beach volleyballers – even kite-surfers gracefully slide along the coast. People are good-looking and well-off, yet there is no bling, rather stripes and linen with their almost understated splendour.
2. Then there’s the beautiful nature and scenery
The colour of the water will make you doubt your eyes – you can see right through it. The sea is warm, it feels gentle, you can come out of the water, skip the shower and go straight to the bar without feeling the salty tightness. The sun here rhymes with water – it’s soft, yet will give you the tan that lasts for months. All the pictures you take will look as if you have photoshopped yourself into some kind of a vintage postcard.
3. And not to forget the huge secluded beaches
Sardinia and Corsica have some of the dreamiest beaches you’ll find without stepping off European shores. Whether it’s the turquoise waters of Caprera, white sands of Spargi Island or pink rocks of Lavezzi – you feel you have them all to yourself. You can nap on the beach without being woken up by kids joying around, snorkel without confusing other divers for dolphins and let your eyes race straight ahead without bumping into the hats and dots on the horizon.
4. There are endless opportunities for water sports and activities
Despite an appearance of tranquil bliss, there are plenty activities to do. You can finally polish your kitesurfing technique, windsurf, paddle board, scuba-dive, snorkel or go on hikes and climbs. There are seasoned instructors and water-sports rentals well-equipped for the needs of thrill-seekers. And of course, theres the Follow Alice annual sailing week! This was how I personally first discovered the islands and inevitably fell in love with them.
Which leads you on to the amazing nightlife
Imagine that perfect low-key beach club, which is classy yet everyone is dancing and unpretentiously enjoying themselves. It’s a real joy to meet some friendly locals and greet the sunset with cold prosecco and great music.
6. And the delicious and varied food scene
Both Sardinian and Corsican restaurants are bursting with flavours and generous portions. A true Mediterranean heaven of seafood, wine, and artisan ice-cream will leave your plate satisfied yet ready and full of energy to carry on with the day. The food scene is plentiful and is loved by the harshest critics – the locals. Everything feels really authentic – the taste, the surrounding and the pace.
7. Lastly, you won’t be short on your fix of culture
Cristian, a friend I made on the trip to Sardinia and Corsica was just finishing his 3 months travels when he said: “It’s all nice, but I have no desire to see another old building”. And that is okay, but for those who need their ‘culture fix,’ you will be spoilt. You have your heritage sites in Sardinia dating back to the Iron Age, Roman-times constructions, archeological museums, stunning religious complexes, ancient ruins of Corsica, Game of Thrones-like Citadels and so many other ‘old buildings’!
Saint James Maritima 2018
With such an abundance of dreamy beaches, fine local cuisine, stunningly beautiful nature, fun watersport activities, and impressive history – Sardinia and Corsica are the true secret gems of the Mediterranean. At Follow Alice, we’ve packed all these wonders these two locations have to offer – join us on our next sailing trip!
Sailing through Sardinia & Corsica has been one of the most amazing trips I’ve ever done. Alice did an incredible job of bringing the best crew of like-minded individuals to create a once in a lifetime experience. 100% recommended!