Saleccia is the beach in North Corsica.
Pick up any guidebook, ask any local and they’ll tell you it’s heavenly.
What they might fail to mention is what a total pain it is to get there!
You have two options: 1. Squeeze into the back of a 4×4 with 6 other beach goers and bounce down a track for an hour. 2. Take a 20min boat trip.
Naturally option 2 is three times the price and boats get booked up weeks in advance.
Finally after days of calling round and pounding the pavements, we scored a couple seats on a speedboat heading over one morning. We packed towels, sunscreen and a marvellous picnic – the best of the trip in fact. Drove along the winding mountain roads down to Saint Florent.
Which is at its most beautiful from the sea.
We sped out of the bay, clinging on for dear life.
Mesmerised by the undulating deep blue velvet sea.
We joined scores of other boats, all racing to get their anchors out and settle into the famous beach.
Once we passed the rocky headland we glimpsed our prize.
A stretch of soft, white sand, protected by dunes with Corsica’s mountains as its dramatic backdrop.
You can see why it’s such a favourite with the yacht set. What an incredible place to wake up!
The water changes drastically from deep indigo to the palest of turquoise.
And if you dip your fingers into it as you sail closer to shore, you’ll feel it growing warmer by the second.
We jumped onto the warm sand and set up camp under a pale blue umbrella, borrowed from an ice cream stand back in town.
Relishing the gentle sound of waves lapping against the shore, and the feel of hot sand underfoot.
The beach wasn’t quite as private as we’d gotten used to, but that’s the price you pay for heading where the guidebooks tell you.
And we certainly weren’t going to let it spoil paradise!
Soon other boats were arriving thick and fast… from every conceivable angle!
So we made sure to enjoy our spot before it got too busy.
Crystal clear waters, as perfect as you’ll find anywhere.
After a morning spent playing in the water and canoodling in the shallows, we climbed back to base for a picnic and a side of people watching.
Only to realise we’d left the best picnic of the trip sitting on the kitchen counter.
All sealed up in its cool bag, complete with iced rosé and crusty French bread sandwiches.
Furious but laughing, we trudged to the “snack bar” hidden amongst the dunes.
Where we shared a few drinks and burned our mouths on terrible, but very welcome pizza.
Which we snoozed off in a coma-like state on the beach.
Before heading back to the depths.
Saleccia may be a total pain to get to, but if you can brave it… the juice is worth the squeeze.
It truly is one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe.
Just don’t forget your picnic!