Porto Vecchio is set dramatically on a cliff top with panoramic views across the bay and harbor below. As with the other seaport towns of Ajaccio, Calvi, and Bastia, Porto Vecchio travel has been important to invaders and conquerors since the time of ancient Greece and Rome. It was the ruling Republic of Genoa that built the town’s sixteenth-century citadel to protect the harbor from invaders.
Things to do in Porto Vecchio include strolling the labyrinth of narrow cobbled streets and alleys in the old section within the ancient walls of the citadel. Here are numerous restaurants, cafés, shop, and boutiques. You will find a number of Porto Vecchio hotels in this district, many of which are small boutique hotels housed in historic buildings, and many of which will have fabulous views of the harbor. You should spend some of your Porto Vecchio vacation in the old town, called the Borgo. Attractions here include the elegant Place de la Republique square, nineteenth-century St. Jean Baptiste Church, and the gallery housed in the Bastion di a Funtana Vechju. Below the old town is the harbor and marina, full of cafés where you can sip a cool drink and hobnob with jet setters who have arrived in lavish private yachts.
It is the beautiful beaches near Porto Vecchio that draw most visitors. There are numerous superb beaches that are in the area. Some are remote and secluded; some are extremely popular and fairly crowded during the warm weather of the peak summer months. Palombaggia Beach, one of Europe’s most beautiful and the most well known in Corsica, is only three miles away to the south and east, as the crow flies. But you have to embark on Porto Vecchio travel for a good ten miles on a narrow winding road to get there, and you will find a handful of Corsica hotels here. About eight miles north is exquisite Pinarellu Bay. If your Porto Vecchio vacation is to be centered here, you will find some very good resort hotels and a number of vacation rentals.
If you want your Porto Vecchio travel to include active pursuits, there is wonderful hiking to be had in the mountains behind the town. One of the attractions of Porto Vecchio is its proximity to the Alta Rocca Mountain Range that lies just behind the town. In fact, the terminus of the famous GR20 Trek, considered the most strenuous long-distance trail in Europe, is only ten miles away. The route is 110 miles long, stretching almost all the way to Calvi in the north. It is possible to access a segment of this famous mountain trail for a day excursion.
Your Porto Vecchio vacation might begin with a flight into Figari Airport (about fifteen miles away), which also services the town of Bonifacio, southernmost port on Corsica. Car rentals provide the best form of transportation around the island if you fly in. It is also possible to arrive in Porto Vecchio by boat. Some may sail in on their own vessel, but many use the ferries that are scheduled from Marseille and Toulon in France, and Livorno and Naples in Italy. There is also frequent ferry service from the neighboring Italian island of Sardinia.