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Located 25kms from the impressive Bonifacio, the city of Porto Vecchio is a wonderfully preserved, natural seaside resort. Porto Vecchio was isolated before modern development made it Corsica’s third-largest city, and it now attracts hordes of tourists to its many geographical wonders. Car rentals are a popular choice of transport as it gives tourists the sense of freedom to explore Porto Vecchio and its surroundings.
The vast majority of visitors flock here for the pristine outlying beaches, which include spectacular stretches of shoreline to the south. Palombaggia is visited by many tourists, and can get fairly busy, so if you want smaller crowds and a quieter, more peaceful atmosphere then go to Golfe de Santa Giulia beach instead. Additionally, travel north and tourists will reach the deep inlet of the Golfe de Porto Vecchio, which is a beautiful beach surrounded by pine-backed forest.
For scuba diving enthusiasts, Corsica is a haven. It features a remarkably well preserved underwater kingdom and clear waters that are unprecedented in Europe. There is an abundance of dive sites to choose from, including almost a dozen easily accessible wrecks.
Porto Vecchio in particular boasts the best of Corsica’s scuba diving opportunities and also has some of the best beaches for swimming. However, if you are more suited to snorkelling, then Îles Lavezzi is the place to go.
Around the centre of town, there's not really much to see apart from the fortress and the intertwining ancient streets that join the main place de la République. However, east of the square, you’ll come across the Porte Génoise, which opens up to the sea and salt pans. This is also the fastest way down to the modern marina, which is littered with cafés and hotels.
The nightlife in Porto Vecchio can be quite frenetic in the high season, and the main square in the old town is where you’ll find the crowds clustered in lively bars and restaurants. An upbeat option is Pub de Bastion, which serves three hundred varieties of beer from its location at the opposite end of the old town near Le Tajine.
Getting to Corsica isn't simple. Flights operate from European destinations, so international travellers from outside of Europe need to fly via a European Airport to be able to fly to Corsica. The majority will pass through a French connecting airport. Nice is the closest. By sea, you can travel from Nice to Calvi or Lle Rousse, which is the fastest and cheapest route, with car ferries taking nine hours. Ferries also leave the mainland from Marseille and Toulon, docking in Bastia and Ajaccio. From here, you can travel overland to Porto Vecchio.
Buses operate to all major towns on the island of Corsica making travel easy and cheap, although if tourists wish to explore the island or the surrounding areas of Porto Vecchio, booking car hire is advised, as not all buses operate to rural locations.
Ajaccio Airport is the nearest international airport to Porto Vecchio. Car hire can be arranged for collection here from a number of leading car hire providers such as Avis, Alamo, Europcar, Budget, National, Hertz and Sixt. Book online in advance of travel to secure a car and to get the best deals.