The third-largest city in Corsica, Porto-Vecchio perches on a rocky outcrop below the Bavella Needles, overlooking the bay. The citadel – a fortress built by the Genoese in the 16th century and a listed historical monument - towers over the city, which seamlessly combines incredible architectural heritage with vast, pine-lined beaches, and the wild beauty of the Corsican hinterland.
Take the time to wander through the narrow streets and shady little squares of the picturesque old town. There are bars et restaurants aplenty, which come to life as the evening draws in, bringing with it a buzzing party feel. Lunch or dinner are the perfect opportunities to celebrate some of the region's specialities: prisuttu, a dry-cured ham and jewel of the Corsican carchuterie board, denti, a type of fish usually grilled over coals, filleted and fried or baked, and canistrellu, a Corsican biscuit made with white wine and oil.
The heart of the citadel is a most pleasant spot to linger in the shade of the Eglise de Saint-Jean-Baptiste. This Neo-Romanesque church dates back to the 19th century, and was built of granite on the foundations of an earlier Genoese church. Inside, you will find a magnificent 16th-century processional cross, as well as murals and stained-glass windows dating back to 1960.
Last but not least, did you know that Porto-Vecchio owes its nickname, the “city of salt” to the former saltworks at the mouth of the Stabiacciu river? Although the salt marshes have been out of operation since 2000, nature has reclaimed the land, and the pink flamingos that laze on the edges of this vast unspoiled area really are a spectacle to behold.
Église de Saint-Jean-Baptiste
2-8 rue Joseph Pietri Maire
+33 (0)4 95 70 14 28
6 rue du Bastion de France
Porto-Vecchio Salt Marshes