Yacht Charter Corsica
A Corsican yacht charter is one where memories are made that will remain in mind for years to come. Whether the beautiful ports, forts and coves, the pretty granite archipelagos just offshore or the mountains behind that reach thousands of metres into blue skies, this is a Western Mediterranean island that is stunning from end to end.
As with its neighbour Sardinia, Corsica is a nation of its own. Its peoples identify as Corsican first and French only after that. They have a history of being run by different empires and by themselves. Corsican cuisine with its delicious charcuterie and fine wines are a step above that of their current French rulers - a mere taste of that independence you will experience on a Corsica yacht charter!
You will encounter coastal forts that date back to the 9th Century and harbours that are stunning to behold but a challenge to pilot into. Ashore you will climb hundreds of steps in sometimes fierce summer heat to be rewarded with jaw dropping views.
Thanks to Italy and France now being part of the EU, you can now set sail offshore to the Lavezzi Island archipelago on the Bonifacio Strait between Corsica and Sardinia. This is a French island archipelago. Beyond, you should then hear to the Sardinian administered Maddalena archipelago off the Sardinian Costa Smeralda - islands that like Corsica have their own history and with islanders that identify with their home before their rulers.
Corsica is just 100 miles long so it is feasible over a week to sail the entire length from north to south, taking in L'Ile Rousse, Ajaccio, Propriano and Bonifacio before popping off to the Maddalena Island as part of a yacht charter that will be just unforgettable.
Hiring A Yacht In Corsica
On a skippered or fully crewed yacht charter you can just turn up to the dock with your gear and jump aboard your luxury yacht with the only formalities being any insurance and your charter fee.
Though reasonably simple, a bareboat charter requires a little more effort. You will need evidence of your sailing qualifications and present these to the yacht owner or agent on arrival at the marina. Once these have been accepted and you have paid your deposit and fee, you can familiarise yourself with your boat and get ready to set sail.
On your bareboat yacht charter, do remember that like much of southern Europe, the local law enforcement authorities like to make sure that you have your insurance, qualifications and relevant paperwork so it will be helpful to keep these with your passports and any visas to hand should they be asked for.
Getting to the islands
There are four international airports in Corsica served by airlines from across Europe. These are:
- Figari Airport
- Ajaccio Napoleon Bonaparte
- Saint Catherine Airport Calvi
- Bastia Airport
Do remember that Corsica is a large island and with poor public transport links it pays to fly in to the nearest airport to your yacht charter marina. You will likely take a taxi on to the marina to join your charter yacht.
If you wish to take a ferry to Corsica there are ferries from Ajaccio, Propriano and Porto Veccio to Sardinia, and to mainland Italy from Porto Veccio and Bastia. None run to mainland France.
Best Towns To Charter A Yacht In Sardinia
Famed for its beautiful beach and relaxed family oriented atmosphere, the French Riviera facing northwestern Corsicanbeach resort of L'Ile Rousse has one of the warmest microclimates on the island thanks to being sheltered by the nearby Balagne hills. Though we refer to it as a beach resort this is more along the lines of the Cote d'Azur than Ayia Napa! Refined, pretty and relaxed - just the place to start your luxury sailing holiday in style.
Three things will capture your mind on arrival in Calvi - its beautiful beach below the sunbaked wooded hills, the fort that defends the bay (and now the marina) and the Old Town that is full of great restaurants and bars serving Corsicancuisine and wines. This is one of those towns that will fill your camera's memory card even as you make memories visiting it.
Corscia's most famous son Napoleon Bonaparte made Ajaccio the capital of the island. It has benefitted from this economically over the centuries and is now a bustling Mediterranean city up there with Naples or Nice - with a Corsican flavour of course. So much goes on in the city that it would almost be a crime not to stay for a couple of days. Go shopping at the boutiques, feed on the best Corsican cuisine, explore the Old Town, and relax at one of the seafront cafes. Did we say, stare at the high mountains behind? You can do that the better from offshore on your Corsican yachtcharter!
A beautiful town on the sea that accepts tourists but has other business keeping it afloat as well, Propriano is comfortable in its own skin and not at all a caricature for tourists to gawp at. It is friendly and devastatingly pretty with long beautiful beaches. As a tip, don't leave without lunch at the Hôtel Le Lido - right on the water, it serves some of the best food you will taste on your yacht charter!
Types Of Yachts To Hire
What better way to see this great island than from the bridge of a motor yacht with your friends and family relaxing in the sunshine as you blast along? Often with en suite bathrooms and ample saloon, a motorboat can be a most enjoyable way of seeing this historic island in all its glory.
You will not be the only superyacht on Corsican waters by any means. You never know - you may be able to do some networking with some of your comfortably off fellows on other boats! Fully crewed and coming in a variety of sizes from large to extremely large, you will find yourself pampered and rested as you see the very best that the islands have to offer.
Luxury Charter Yacht
Like superyachts these will often come with a skipper and perhaps crew but can be sailed on your own too. You'll get what you pay for including perhaps a smaller water tender or toy for exploring those nooks and crannies of the coast and islands of Corsica.
Still at the luxury end of yachting, and sometimes with sails or without, catamarans are great for getting close into shore thanks to their shallow drafts. That means you can have a barbecue, swim and lie on the beach or rocks all with the boata stone's throw away... They often have big spaces for sunbathing and the sailing catamarans have a good lick of speed on a reach too! A crewed catamaran is an option where the crew can take the weight of getting the catamaranfrom A-B while you relax.
Monohull sailing yacht
Though the smallest come in at a good budget price, a monohull sailing boat isn't all heeling on a wet beat! Often very comfortable in their own right, monohull yachts can be very fun to sail on waters that are renowned for their excellent sailing. Isn't the journey meant to be as exciting as the destination itself?
Crewed Yacht charter or Bareboat?
Where it comes to a Corsica yacht charter you have two choices - bareboat hire or Crewed yacht charter. Both have their own advantages.
Crewed Yacht charter
You don't need any sailing qualifications to have a crewed yacht charter on a luxury superyacht. You could have little or no sailing experience or just want to lie back and relax and allow someone else to do all the worrying about how to get there.
Another advantage of a crewed yacht charter is that you will benefit from the local experience and knowledge of people who know these waters like the backs of their hands and should be able to show you things non-locals wouldn't risk or even know about.
Bareboat yacht charter
Perhaps chained to your desk for the last six months you have dreamed of cutting loose and being your own person, in charge of your own journey and destinations with just your family, friends and sealife for company? You will need sailing qualifications (read below) but then can cut loose and experience the world under your own steam wherever you want...
Do you need a licence to charter in Corsica?
If you want to bareboat charter you will need an approved boating qualification, below is a list of relevant qualifications:
International Certificate of Competence (ICC): Standard European Qualification for bareboat sailing
ASA 104 Bareboat sailing certificate: The American Sailing Associations skipper minimum qualification for hiring bareboat yachts
RYA: The Royal Yachting Association's qualifications (minimum day skipper level) is necessary for bareboat charterhire, it's also wortwhile seeing do you need to have done a VHF radio course as well as some boat owners will require this.
There are also many other European national boating qualifications that are accepted here too. It's worthwhile checking these details before hiring.
If you want a skippered boat rental as a charter yacht then you don't need any sailing certification at all, you just turn up and off you go.
Best Times To Hire
Like Sardinia, Corsica has some of the best sailing on the Mediterranean year round. The season is March - September, and outside of the school holidays you can enjoy sailing at a good price. In late September the seas are still warm yet the air is cooler than the baking temperatures of August too.
July and August are the peak sailing season. This will mean marinas are more expensive and the anchorages are crowded. The nightspots and restaurants will be full, and for those for whom that is a draw this will be the best time of year.
Mistral (Maestrale): Generally dying off to excellent sailing winds come March and picking up again in September, this NW wind comes from the French Alps and is the main wind of winter. It can be quite fierce and can pop its head up at any time of the year. On the west coast of Sardinia, always have a weather eye out for the Mistral, especially if in an anchorage.
Libeccio: This SW wind tends to be the wind of summer, heating the air and getting feisty through the Bocche di Bonifacio between Sardinia and Corsica. It is dominant on the west coast of the island.
The Sirocco is a humid wind blowing from the deserts of North Africa. This is dry until it crosses the Mediterraneanbut the heat draws in moisture so expect a lot of humidity.
How much does it cost for a Corsican Yacht Charter
You can sail with a yacht from Borrow A Boat for as little as €150 a day. If you have €450 a day you can hire a sailingcatamaran with all the luxury and comfort. More comfort and luxury comes with the more you spend - a crewed luxuryyacht will cost you €2000 a day and up, and for €30,000 a day and up you can relax with a better standard of luxurythan most cruise liners on a superyacht.
On top of this you will need money or insurance against damage to the vessel. This could be a refundable charge to your credit card or a non-refundable insurance policy that you can buy before going sailing.
If you want a skipper and /or crew, expect to pay €100 a day per head - or more depending on what vessel you are sailing. A luxury yacht skipper will charge more than one on a small monohull sailing yacht. You will tip them at the end of the week - do be generous!
The final expenses are those you would spend on holiday anyway. Restaurant and bar bills, a bike rental and things like supermarket food, wine and of course fuel for the vessel. If you like fishing you may get some 'free' food too!
Explore Corsica By Renting A Yacht
Outdoing even the Cote d'Azur, a Corsica sailing holiday is one where you will taste some of the best food, enjoy some of the best sights and swim in some of the best waters of the Western Mediterranean.
With their independent spirit and unique local culture, Corsican people are friendly and will welcome you to their country warmly. A Corsican yacht charter with Borrow A Boat is one of those that you'll remember for years to come for all the right reasons!