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Corsica UNESCO sites

Our most recommended Corsica UNESCO sites

Ajaccio or Porticcio: Scandola Nature Reserve Boat Tour

1. Ajaccio or Porticcio: Scandola Nature Reserve Boat Tour

Set sail from Ajaccio or Porticcio on a full-day boat tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Scandola Nature Reserve and the Gulf of Porto. Experience one of the last Mediterranean enclaves to provide shelter for endemic flora and birdlife. Stop in the coastal village of Girolata and explore the secluded village for 2 hours. Find a nice restaurant for lunch or enjoy a picnic on the beach. In the winter, the village becomes a virtual backwater with only about 15 residents. Then, venture into the Calanche de Piana to discover an outstanding landscape of pink granite rocks shaped over the centuries by changes in temperature, strong winds, and sea spray. Explore the geological diversity and unique location of the rocks that give a particular aspect to the area.

Porto: Scandola Nature Reserve Eco-Friendly Boat Tour

2. Porto: Scandola Nature Reserve Eco-Friendly Boat Tour

Discover the Scandola Nature Reserve and visit the charming village of Girolata as you embark on a boat tour off Porto on the coast of Corsica. Sail in silence on the waters of the reserve on an eco-friendly hybrid boat and enjoy access to prime seating thanks to priority boarding. Meet the ship’s friendly crew who will assist you with the boarding process and then set off to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Nature Reserve, which is only accessible by sea and subject to strict protection. See coastal caves and observe diverse marine life and seabirds, such as ospreys and peregrine falcons, from a respectable distance so as not to disturb the natural environment. Learn about the reserve’s ecology through live French commentary throughout the tour. Stop for 30 minutes in the remote and quaint coastal village of Girolata, surrounded by the sea and only accessible by boat. Walk around the village or cool off with a swim and be on the lookout for the resident wild cows that roam the streets, cafés, and beach of Girolata. Upgrade and extend your experience with an optional trip to the stunning Calanche de Piana rock formation. Admire a beautiful pink granite geological landscape, which has been uniquely created from centuries of strong winds and sea spray.

Porto: Scandola and Calanches of Piana Boat Trip

3. Porto: Scandola and Calanches of Piana Boat Trip

Discover the Gulf of Porto by boat and see why this extraordinary natural area is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the Scandola Nature Reserve and admire striking cliffs, surrounded by the deep blue ocean. See the famous rock formations of Calanche de Piana. Board your boat in Porto and begin your trip by sailing to the Scandola Reserve, home to beautiful cliffs and a marvelous sea bed. Take in an impressive location that has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1975. Become surrounded by more than 30 plant species. Navigate toward the Calanche de Piana to come up close to its unique natural formations. Snap amazing photos of this mesmerizing wonder, then sail back to your starting point in Porto.

From Porto: Scandola and Calanche de Piana Boat Tour

4. From Porto: Scandola and Calanche de Piana Boat Tour

Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Scandola Nature Reserve on a scenic boat tour from Porto. Experience one of the last Mediterranean territories to provide shelter for endemic flora and birdlife and discover the striking rocky landscape of Calanche de Piana. Depart from Porto and cruise through the reserve, rich with marine life and seabirds, on board a semi-rigid boat. Stop in the coastal village of Girolata and marvel at its stunning setting, surrounded by the sea. During the winter, watch as it becomes nearly abandoned, with only about 15 residents. Venture into the Calanche de Piana and explore an outstanding landscape of pink granite rocks, shaped over the centuries by changes in temperature, strong winds, and sea spray. Observe the geological diversity of the rocks and jump into crystal blue waters for a cooling swim in a natural pool.

From Porto: Piana Creeks and Scandola Semi-Rigid Boat Tour

5. From Porto: Piana Creeks and Scandola Semi-Rigid Boat Tour

Visit one of the best sites of Corsica on boat routes designed to optimize your experience. Get to know Porto's magical gulf, Piana's beautiful creeks and the Scandola's breath-taking reserve. Visit this exceptional destination, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  On the way back, enjoy a 30-minute stop in the small hamlet of Girolata, only accessible by sea or on foot. Embark comfortably aboard a standard semi-rigid pneumatic boat. Thanks to their small size, they can enter caves, navigate to the sea bank, and allow you to appreciate the beauty of the landscapes. Enjoy a swim and some snorkeling depending on weather conditions. During this outing at sea, you might be able to observe dolphins or other aquatic mammals that might cross your path.

From Porto: Piana Creeks, Scandola & Girolata on Family Boat

6. From Porto: Piana Creeks, Scandola & Girolata on Family Boat

Departing from Porto, you can admire the Calanches de Piana by sailing along the coast towards Capo Rosso with its caves and natural pools, a magical place listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site. On a family-friendly speedboat, you will set sail for the Scandola nature reserve. On the way back, you can discover the small hamlet of Girolata, only accessible by sea or on foot. A 30-minute stop is planned there. During this excursion you will enjoy a swimming break, snorkeling (masks provided) depending on weather conditions. Perhaps you will have the chance to observe dolphins or other cetaceans that might cross your path. Duration of the tour about 3h15

Corsica: Day Cruise to Scandola, Girolata & Calanques Piana

7. Corsica: Day Cruise to Scandola, Girolata & Calanques Piana

Explore the hidden wonders of the Corsican coast that are accessible only by sea on a day trip by speedboat. Visit the Scandola Nature Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, enjoy free time to wander through Girolata, and see the natural pools of Calanques de Piana. Begin your cruise in either Sagone or Cargèse, depending on the option you select. Board a 12-seater speedboat and cruise towards the famous Scandola Nature Reserve. As you sail through the Reserve, learn about the jagged cliffs and red rock formations you see from your guide. After leaving the Reserve, take a 30 minute wander through the small village of Girolata, which is only accessible from the sea. Soak up the sun on the sandy beach, go for a swim, or browse the shops. After you've finished, board the boat and continue to the Calanques de Piana. Jump into the clear water for a refreshing swim in the Calanques de Piano before cruising around the stunning caves of Capo Rosso. Return to Sagone or Cargèse past the red cliffs of Corsica.

From Sagone/Cargèse: Capo Rosso, Calanche di Piana, Scandola

8. From Sagone/Cargèse: Capo Rosso, Calanche di Piana, Scandola

Departing from Sagone or Cargèse, you will discover the Scandola Nature Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its caves in their entirety. Then enjoy a thirty-minute stopover in the small village of Girolata, accessible only by sea. After crossing the Gulf of Porto, swimming stops in the heart of Calanche Di Piana then at Capo Rosso to cool off in these sublime natural settings. Enjoy 12-passenger Narwhal-type semi-rigid vessel Used by the army and the police but also by narco-traffickers for its speed and above all its robustness, this vessel with a V-hull specially designed for all kinds of weather is a real 4X4 of the seas!!! It will delight thrill seekers and reassure the more cautious thanks to its extraordinary passage at sea and its incredible comfort. Its 12 m size will also allow you to slip where larger boats will not be able to pass.

From Sagone or Cargèse: Scandola Reserve Boat Tour

9. From Sagone or Cargèse: Scandola Reserve Boat Tour

Discover the wonders of the Corsican Coast accessible only by sea. Visit the Scandola Nature Reserve and have free time in Girolata. Board a 73-seater ship and take a half-day trip to the famous Scandola Nature Reserve, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hear insightful commentary about the reserve from a local guide. Stop for 2 hours or 30 minutes, depending on the option you book, in the small village of Girolata and enjoy free time to explore. Eat lunch at a local restaurant or bring your own food for a picnic with stunning views. Soak up the sunshine on the warm sand, swim, and browse the unique shops in the village. After your stop, the boat tour will continue to Calanques de Piana before going back to Sagone and Cargèse.

Ajaccio/Porticcio: Scandola and Calanches de Piana Day Trip

10. Ajaccio/Porticcio: Scandola and Calanches de Piana Day Trip

Embark on a day trip from Ajaccio or Porticcio and take a boat to explore the Scandola Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, stopping in Girolata for a break. Then visit the Calanche di Piana and stop for a quick swim in the sea at Capo Rosso. Choose to start your tour of Corsica's UNESCO-listed Scandola Reserve from either Ajaccio or Porticcio. Hop on a boat, and set out to explore the Corsican coastline, with the village of Girolata as your first port of call. This small medieval village is surrounded by the wild landscapes of Corsica and can only be reached by boat or on foot. Explore the village at your leisure and enjoy lunch at one of the local eateries (cost not included). Then, hop back aboard your boat and set out to sea, crossing the Gulf of Porto to visit the Calanche di Piana. From here, make your way to Capo Rosso and go for a dip in the Tyrrhenian Sea. As your tour comes to an end, sit back, relax, and enjoy the panoramic views as your boat cruises back to Ajaccio or Porticcio.

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What people are saying about Corsica

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 414 reviews

A day trip at sea during which we approached the protected and magnificent sites of Scandola and the creeks of Piana, with a 2-hour stopover in Girolata where we ate very well (the gourmet coffee kept its promise) at the restaurant "Le Good Hope" (reservation recommended). The boat staff is friendly and humorous when commenting. We wholeheartedly recommend this excursion taken in Sept 2022. However, the return trip may seem a bit long for those with motion sickness. Although the weather was very nice (27°), a "wind break" is appreciable at the start in the morning.

It was an amazing experience. Right from pick up to dune bashing belly dancing and almost everything else in the activity. Good job by the entire team. Keep it up.

This walk by the sea makes us discover other facets of Corsica as prodigious as each other. Our eyes are dazzled by so much beauty

Wonderful experience. Convivial staff and beautiful places. a must do!

Excursion so perfect a lot of fun and well organized