Village and Castle at Girolata, Corsica

Secluded Beach in the Shadows of an Old Fortress

What could be better than pulling your boat to shore for a dinner and a cold drink after spending a day motoring around Porto Bay in the hot sun? How about a nice beach with a castle looming overhead?

Gradelle Village Castle

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Girolata, Corsica is not much of a village, more of a farming community with a boardwalk along the beach catering to day trippers and boaters out of Porto. But there are a few decent food options with shady tables and fresh seafood. The beach was over run with cows on the day we were there. I’ve never seen swimming cows before, but they were no fools. They knew the coolest place to be on a hot August day on the Med was in the water. They were more popular than the castle! We enjoyed a pleasant hour or two, exploring the beach and hiking up into the scrub lands towards the ruins. The castle is not exactly ancient, but it was built by the Genoese in the seventeenth century so there is certainly some history here. Unfortunately, our boat was leaving so we had to get back on board without making it all the way to the fort.

If you go for the day in summertime, expect to be sharing the quiet, peaceful beach-side haven with about a hundred other day-trippers and maybe 15 or 20 cows. Otherwise, go out in the off season and stay in a Gite and explore all on your own. To get there, hike or mountain bike out of Porto, or hire a boat out of Porto harbor and combine it with a cruise around the stunning Scandola Nature reserve.

Have you been to Porto on Corsica?  Have you taken a boat ride and stopped off in a beautiful little harbor for lunch?  Tell us all about it in the comments!

7 Comments

  1. This would be RIGHT up my alley, Corinne. Minus the gorgeous scenery and a castle this post reminded me of when I was a kid. We were waterskiing in the Central California foothill lakes or cruising on the Delta constantly. I loved, loved even as young kid being on the Delta and all of the amazing cool little mom and pop restaurants that were tucked here and there on the waterways 🙂

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