Gulf of Porto: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Ota: Scandola Nature Reserve Eco-Friendly Boat Tour

1. From Ota: 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.

From Porto: Calanche de Piana Boat Tour

2. From Porto: Calanche de Piana Boat Tour

Depart Porto and explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Calanche de Piana in the Gulf of Porto by silent hybrid boat to respect the environment. Located halfway between Ajaccio and Calvi, close to the village of Piana, the Calanche de Piana is part of a volcanic complex that towers up to 300 meters above sea level at its highest altitude. Marvel at the pink granite rocks shaped over centuries by changes in the temperature, strong winds, and sea spray. Discover a series of fantastic rock formations sculpted into spectacular shapes and surrounded by crystal blue waters. Rich with marine life and seabirds, the area also demonstrates a tremendous diversity of rocks in locations that give a particular aspect to the surroundings.

Cargèse: Scandola, Girolata, and Piana Afternoon Boat Tour

3. Cargèse: Scandola, Girolata, and Piana Afternoon Boat Tour

Discover the west coast of Corsica between Cargese and Scandola from a comfortable passenger boat. Enjoy the intense colors of the afternoon on the red rocks, the blue water and the green maquis. From the port of Cargese, start for an incredible journey. As soon as you leave the port, admire the Omigna tower, entirely renovated a few years ago. Then head to Arone and its long sandy beach . Start by discover the tiny cave located at the very start of the Capo Rosso, when the rock change of color. Along the coast, the water is so clear that you can appreciate the seabed by transparency. Enter the bay of monk seal, also called the "swimming pool" because of its so blue and clear water. Admire the huge nests of the fish-eagle, a protected specie. Go trough the Arch of Capo Rosso and continue to the Reserve of Scandola, by the Gulf of Porto. Enter the Reserve of Scandola and go into the faults in the very heart of the rock. Admire the landscape made of volcanic rock. Listen to the comments of the captain about the geological formations and the history of the site and let your imagination run wild in front of the strange shape of the stone. Navigate into the waters of the Reserve and discover the island of Gargalo, the extreme west point of Corsica. Reach the Gulf of Elbo and try to see the grouper that is often encountered in the faults, as the oblades and many others species. Enjoy the shimmering glint of the sun on the sea at the feet of the cliffs. Make a 40-minute break on land in the surprising village Girolata. Take benefits of a walk towards the old fort or just rest on the sand of the beach. Girolata is really small and authentic because it is only accessible by boat or by a footpath. Take the way back and enjoy the magnificent colors of the end afternoon, the best time of day for pictures. Have a look to Capo Senino on the return and experience the discovery of the red rock of the Calanques de Piana with the colors of the sunset. Enjoy the arrival at Cargese, illuminated at nightfall.

Cargèse: Guided Boat Trip to Scandola with Stop at Girolata

4. Cargèse: Guided Boat Trip to Scandola with Stop at Girolata

Discover the Scandola Reserve and unwind far from the bustle of the city surrounded by nature! Embark on a comfortable 49-seater passenger boat (shade and toilets on board) able to navigate through the narrowest passages of the Gulf of Porto! Start the tour in the direction of the Pointe d'Omigna to see the beautiful Genoese Tower, made of granite with feldspar crystals and its rocky surroundings, before heading to the remarkable Arone Beach. Go through the Arch of Capo Rosso and visit the caves of the site. Take pictures of the characteristic red rock of the Island of Beauty. Admire the odd shapes of the rocks and listen the comments of the crew to learn the history of the place. Enjoy the beautiful and clear water in the coves, especially the bay of the monk seals. Continue and cross the Gulf of Porto towards the Reserve of Scandola, listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site. Admire the volcanic rocks, remains of the volcano that collapsed centuries ago. Enjoy the way the pilot takes you in narrow passages and faults. Watch the fish-eagles which nest on the rocky outcrop. Encounter the wild goats, the grouper which live around the faults and many other species. Around noon, make a 2-hours break in Girolata where you can enjoy the shaded terraces of the restaurants and cafes or the beach of the village. Back on the boat, you will pass Capo Senino and head towards the famous Calanques de Piana before returning to the port of Cargèse.

From Sagone/Cargèse: Capo Rosso, Piana & Scandola Boat Tour

5. From Sagone/Cargèse: Capo Rosso, Piana & Scandola Boat Tour

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 Cargèse: Scandola Full-Day Tour & Girolata Lunch Stop

6. From Cargèse: Scandola Full-Day Tour & Girolata Lunch Stop

Spend your day exploring the wonders of Southern Corsica on a boat tour by RIB boat and take in spectacular views of the surrounding nature. Start your excursion onboard a 12-seater RIB boat from the port of Cargèse to discover the impressive Corsican landscapes between the Scandola Nature Reserve and the Gulf of Girolata. Head north and pass the Pointe d'Omigna to admire the remarkable Genoese Tower, made of granite with feldspar crystals and its rocky surroundings. Continue towards the Pointe d'Urchinu and the Arone beach. Once arrived at Capo Rosso, visit the caves and the characteristic red rocky coves of the Island of Beauty. Cross the Gulf of Porto to reach the Scandola reserve, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Observe the rich variety of flora and fauna in the area, most of which are protected species, as the fish-eagle or the grouper. Next, the boat will drop anchor in Girolata for a 2-hour stop. You can take advantage of this time to go for a walk, enjoy some lunch or to take a short dip in the water. Here you can admire the renovated fort on the point of land, above the beach. Back on the boat, you will pass Capo Senino, one of the highest caps of Europa and head towards the famous Calanques de Piana before returning to the port of Cargèse.

From Porto, Corsica: Piana Creeks Cruise

7. From Porto, Corsica: Piana Creeks Cruise

Visit one of the best sites of Corsica on boat routes designed to provide a unique and beautiful experience. Get to know Porto's magical gulf, and see Piana's beautiful creeks. Depending on your option, embark comfortably aboard a standard semi-rigid pneumatic boats or on a family-friendly speedboat with 12-person capacity. 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 this outing at sea, with an expert guide, and observe dolphins or other aquatic mammals that might cross the path of the boat.

From Cargèse: Scandola Half-Day Tour by RIB boat with stops

8. From Cargèse: Scandola Half-Day Tour by RIB boat with stops

Discover the Scandola Reserve on a boat tour by RIB boat and unwind from the bustle of the city surrounded by nature. Meet your pilot and come aboard a 12-seater RIB boat from the port of Cargèse. Start the tour in the direction of the Pointe d'Omigna to see the beautiful Genoese Tower, made of granite with feldspar crystals and its rocky surroundings, before heading to the remarkable Arone Beach. Visit the caves of Capo Rosso and the characteristic red rocky coves of the Island of Beauty. Pass trough the Arch of Capo Rosso and enjoy the colors of the turquoise water of the bay of monk seals. Continue to the Gulf of Porto, where you will explore the Scandola reserve, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Listen to the interesting comments on the local fauna and flora and don't hesitate to take picture when you see an animal, like the fish eagle, symbol of the Reserve of Scandola, dolphin or trouper. On the way, make a short 30-minute break in Girolata. There, feel the atmosphere of this tiny village of fishermen, accessible only by a footpath or by boat. Take a swim from the beach or walk towards the renovated fort above the village. Back on the boat, you will pass Capo Senio and head towards the famous Calanques de Piana before returning to the port of Cargèse.

From Sant Ambroggio: Scandola, Girolata & Calanques de Piana

9. From Sant Ambroggio: Scandola, Girolata & Calanques de Piana

Experience a comfortable boat ride towards the very famous Scandola nature reserve and a small fishing village accessible only by boat or by hiking via the "postman's path" of Girolata accompanied by your captain. Experience the narrow passages between the rocks and skirt the coast as closely as possible thanks to the small size of the boat and marvel at various nests as well as vegetation on the frozen volcanic red rock. Enjoy the sight of beautiful attractions on your journey such as the Genoese citadel of Calvi, the Revellata lighthouse and the village of Galéria. Explore the Scandola Nature Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, dedicated to the preservation of natural heritage. And once you're done with the reserve, have a swim among the fish in the turquoise waters with the provided masks to admire the seabed and sea life. After a relaxing swim, have a rinse in the shower available on the boat to desalinate you from the seawater. Explore the small fishing village of Girolata, and recover from the trip with a 90-minute lunch break, in one of the various restaurants. A truly secluded place on the island, the village has no road leading to it.

Near Ajaccio : Cruise to Piana Scandola cliff tasting sunset

10. Near Ajaccio : Cruise to Piana Scandola cliff tasting sunset

Board your vessel near Ajaccio at Tiuccia (20 kilometers), for a trip including a visit to the village of Girolata. Take a swimming break in the coves (snorkel mask), explore the creeks of Piana and the nature reserve of Scandola, and listen to informative commentary as you go by the local native captain/guide. Board your vessel knowing it's equipped with individual chairs in shade or sunbath and a toilet on board. Kick back on the deck and sip on an aperitif as you sail on the coast of Corsica. Enjoy a stop at the Capo Rosso, and admire its rock arch and natural swimming pool. Marvel as the boat pulls into the village of Girolata, a settlement not accessible by road. Dive in for a swimming stop at this picturesque place. Admire the Scandola nature reserve, and stop off at the caves and faults of the Calanques de Piana. Listen to commentary from your captain as your trip continues. Feast on delicious food and drink on the deck. Play some local music on the stereo, dive into the sea with the underwater vision camera, or just relax in the sunbathing area. On the return journey, take in the spectacular sight of the sun setting over the ocean.

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Things to do in
Gulf of Porto

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What people are saying about Gulf of Porto

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 1,967 reviews

The Scandola reserve is magnificent. The boat approaches the rocks at a good distance to respect the local fauna. We discovered many blue fish. The creeks of Piana are also visible by canoe if you are sporty, otherwise the boat is a great alternative with a visit commented by the pilot.

I'm so glad we booked this tour. Even though our French is very limited, we still enjoyed the outing and the calanques are so impressive from the sea. The hour and a half felt like a perfect amount of time-- neither too long nor too short.

It was really nice! We couldn't understand the French guide very well, but it was easy, great view, well organized and not too long. Perfect for the price!

A beautiful experience, to try. Unique places that can only be appreciated from the sea and a prepared and precise guide.

Interesting experience! A different point of view than usual. Excellent the captain and his collaborators.