Of the many beaches that sit between the Isle of Beauty's dramatic and mountainous interior and its azure waters, which steadily fade into a deep blue until reaching another landmass, Santa Giulia beach holds a pride of place.
Santa Giulia bay's beauty has led it to be referred to as the pearl of the southern side of Corsica, and it is easy to see why. The sweeping bay's shallow water gives it an impossibly blue colour, the iridescent marbling of sunlight on the seabed is visible through the rippling, transparent water.
The light blue is sparsely broken only by patches of dark in the form of submerged rocks and small meadows of seagrass, which, if you were curious enough to swim to with your goggles on, you would see are undoubtedly teeming with little fish.
On the shore, the beach backs into a lush wall of overhanging trees and shrubs. It is not a wall of impenetrability, rather one of shelter. On hot days, retreat into the cooling embrace of the overhanging branches, where you will often find a welcoming cafe or restaurant that spills out onto the beach. Santa Giulia's stretching arch of white sand has led it to be known as one of the island's most photogenic beaches.
Not only is it a beautiful beach, but it is also magnanimous in its ability to cater to the wants and wishes of those who visit it. Discover a nimiety of high-octane pursuits, such as water skiing or tubing. Explore the mysterious world that lies beneath the surface on a scuba-diving or snorkelling trip. Or simply spend your day padding between your sun lounger and the refreshing and irresistible blue water, parting from this routine only to sample some of the delicious food along the shore and in the nearby towns.
This guide will walk you through Santa Giulia - perhaps the most famous of all the Corsica beaches. Plunge into this beautiful bay and its locality with the best places to stay and eat, as well as discovering all the fun that the area has to offer.
Santa Giulia is in Corsica's extreme south, a 10-15 minute drive from Porto Vecchio and its famous neighbour Palombaggia beach. There are two access routes to the beach: one takes you to the northern point via Bocca del l'Oro, the other, which is further south and often busier, leads you to the car park at the beach's centre.
Corsica, despite being so small, is an island of great variety: the mountains and the waterfalls in the centre of the island give way to desert in the north; majestic coastal cliffs ease into beaches of soft gold and white sands; gentleness in the shallow turquoise waters, perfect for swimming, come into stark contrast with the jutting formations of red-hued rocks that protrude from white-hemmed waters.
Skim over the mirror-like surface of the water, the only disturbances to the smooth bay is the churned trail left by the wake of the boat and your skis.
Learn how to windsurf, wingfoil, or sail in the bay with an excellent guide. Feel the rush as you are propelled forward by the invigorating coastal winds as the water slaps the underside of your board or boat. Alternatively, rent a kayak or stand-up-paddle board to enjoy the more peaceful side of being in the open water.
Sink beneath the sea's surface to explore the incredible life that exists underwater. Or don your snorkel and flippers to immerse in the unusual and mystical world of the shallow tropical waters.
At sunrise, take your seat upon your majestic mount and ride through the idyllic scrubland with the glowing sky steadily brightening and sharpening the colours of the surroundings. Ride along the beaches and into the sea to bathe and cool down your superbly trained horse.
Santa Giulia is just as beautiful from the sky; the gulf, gentle in its soft touches of pale blue, debouches into a mighty expanse of dark blue water. From the aircraft, the bulging bay resembles a mushroom cloud, its explosion, however, is one of life and colour. This experience will give you an idea of the true depth of Corsica's terrain.
Corsica's culinary tradition has been crafted over time from many different influences. Its roots in French and Italian cuisines can be traced, but the Mediterranean island has forged its own gastronomic identity. Sample fresh seafood in the summer along the seafront, or warm yourself on a signature dish of wild boar. Here are some of our favourite dining institutions around Santa Giulia.
For the sophisticated
Far from the unsophisticated gastronomy you'd come to expect from such a beautifully and naturally rugged place with its laid-back way of life, the gourmet restaurant at Hotel Casadelmar is a two Michelin-starred restaurant run by an Italian chef. The restaurant, in Porto Vecchio, prides itself on producing ambrosial Mediterranean dishes of subtle and balanced flavour. This one is an absolute must for the lovers of fine dining.
For the beachgoers
With amazing views over the picturesque bay of Santa Giulia, U Santa Marina boasts a number of excellent restaurants. For those looking for a feet-up, drink-in-hand atmosphere, the beach restaurant is for you. Indulge on the freshest fish from the morning's haul, washed down with a condensation-clung beer, or opt for something lighter in the form of one of the crisp and crunchy summer salads. The gourmands should opt to dine in the Michelin-starred gastronomic restaurant in the evenings, when the superb food crafted by the Breton chef is accompanied by wonderful views of the bay.
For those lazy nights
We have all had those Sundays where all we crave is pizza. Fortunately for you, you can satiate those cravings with a lazy delivery or dine-in experience at Pizzeria Bocca d'Oro. Nothing about it is flashy or pretentious, but what they do, they do well.
At Le Collectionist, Corsica is one of our favourite luxury holiday destinations. For that reason, we have a huge range of amazing luxury villas in Corsica. Some of our villas are merely a stone's throw from Santa Giulia and all of the amazing things that this beautiful part of Corsica boasts.
Each of the large windows of Villa Capelina serves as a frame to the sea views across the Gulf of Santa Giulia, as a portal from where light pours in. This six-bedroom villa is an excellent holiday home if you wish to make the most of the area, but there would be no shame in wanting to spend the day admiring the view from the infinity swimming pool, which seems to be held aloft by the verdant vegetation that surrounds it.
Villa Kalliste offers a plush oasis in the rugged scrublands slightly aback from Santa Giulia. Fret not, though, as the beach from this villa is still within walking distance.
The villa's spacious outside area is fantastic for whiling away the heat of the day by the pool. When the temperature begins to drop in the evening, warm up in the adjacent hot tub, admiring the performance of the blazing sky as it catches the light of the setting sun in its wispy arms.
Renting Villa Punta, you will have to accept another, more permanent resident to the area in the shapeless form of the piquant scents that drift endlessly and dance tirelessly through each room from the Mediterranean gardens and the surrounding wildflowers.
Hints of colour from the terracotta-tiled roof and the rose-hued facade complement the green garden and the stretch of shimmering blue laid out before the villa. Dive into the pool by day and dip into the local cuisine of Santa Giulia and Porto Vecchio by night.
Discover the joys of Santa Giulia, Corsica, from one of our splendid villas in the area. There is plenty to experience, to taste, and to enjoy along the shores and streets of Santa Giulia. Explore our unique book of experiences for more inspiration on your trip.