Things To Do In Porto Corsica (My Top 8 Favorites)

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Corsica is a beautiful postcard-worthy Island, but the coastal Gulf of Porto is its most famous and picturesque landscape.

Named one of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites, it has spectacular red rock cliffs and expansive bays with panoramic sea views.

Here’s a comprehensive guide to the things to do in Porto Corsica.

The Fascinating History of Porto Corsica

Set off on foot, by boat, or by car and explore Porto’s magnificent coastal wilderness. As a small town, Porto Ota region is said to have little to no evidence of Roman settlement.

However, today, the Genoese Tower of Porto symbolizes the family’s invasion and settling in the 15th century.

Porto Corsica has plenty to see and do besides touring the popular Calanques de Piana and the Scandola National Reserve.

Depending on how many days you have, plan an itinerary that covers most of the experiences I will share.

How To Get To Porto Corsica

There is no direct port or airport in Porto. Instead, it would be best if you used the airports or ports in either Calvi or Ajaccio. If you’re curious, I invite you to read my article on whether Calvi Beach in Corsica is worth a visit.

From the two towns, get your car rental and drive for approximately 2 hours. The roads are winding and narrow near the mountains, with a few surprises. 

As a standard countryside road, you may spot a few goats and cows grazing beside the road. Slow down to let them pass.

After all, you are on holiday, and getting into an argument with a local farmer is the last thing you want. Cue to ensure you always have travel insurance for all destinations.

If you’d rather skip driving or avoid overnight stays, boat tours from Ajjacio or Calvi pass by Porto and are perfect alternatives. See one of my favorite boat tours from getyourguide.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Porto Corsica?

A boat tour will cover the best tourist spots if you want to explore most of Porto Corsica.

Therefore, visit during summer to mid-fall, between May and October, as boat rides are rarely available in winter.

Summer is also the busiest season; if you are okay with the crowd, you will have a fantastic time.

Pro tip: Book the late afternoon boat tours to watch the sunset against the dramatic red cliffs.

8 Best Things To Do In Porto Corsica

When you get to Porto Corsica, consider staying for a day or two to enjoy all the sights.

One day may be enough for a boat tour or beach recreation, but to discover the entire Gulf, stay longer. 

Here is a list of the top eight things to do in Porto Corsica.

1. Take a Boat Tour to Calenques de Piana

Explore the magnificent scenery and rock formation of Calenques de Piana aboard a boat for a 1-hour cruise.

The state-of-the-art guided tour boats have silent motors to prevent disturbing any marine wildlife.

During the less than 2 hours trip, you will float past the massive cliffs, with frequent stops to see the deep caves.

You can also reach Calenques via road by driving to the village of Piana. However, unlike using a boat, you will not experience the beauty of the cliffs up close or in water.

Still, you can hike the lovely walking trails for a stimulating adventure. If you settle for the cruise, they are in high demand during summer, so try to book early enough.

2. Visit Scandola Nature Reserve

Unlike Calenques, you cannot drive or hike to Scandola Nature Reserve as it is forbidden.

This natural site is, however, only reachable via boat from Porto, and you can choose the kind of boat to use.

The 3-hour cruise features incredible attractions, including osprey birds, marine, and land wildlife. 

The magma rocks at Scandola are smoother than those in the Calenques and have a darker grey and black hue.

Over the years, frequent erosion has altered the structural appearance of the cliffs, a pretty sight to behold.

3. Discover Girolata

Once you leave Scandola, the boat will take you to the Girolata Gulf. You can go on a different day, but most guides prefer combining the two tours.

Girolata is a remote village accessible only by sea. The 30-minute stop allows you to explore the narrow streets and enjoy a quick snack. 

Although the village has few full-time residents, it is a tourist destination with a few restaurants and bars.

Walk to the highest point along the mule track and get a panoramic view of the Gulf of Porto.

There’s also a 7-km long hiking trail, a path a famous postman used to deliver mail to the village. Hikers can skip the boat ride and walk for slightly less than 2 hours from Col de la Croix.

Take a quick look

4. Walk through The Mountain Village of Porto Ota

The marina where the boat cruises start is in the village of Porto Ota.

The tiny seaside community receives thousands of visitors annually and has its fair share of restaurants, shops, and hotels.

One of the reasons people flock to the village is to climb the Genoese Tower for less than 3€.

As the only historical building still standing for centuries, it has breathtaking views of the Gulf.

If you drive to the village, parking is payable along the marina road. The only free parking slots are closer to the Beach.

5. Go Diving in the Gulf of Porto

For those with time to spare, go diving off the Gulf of Porto, near the Scandola Reserve.

There’s plenty of marine life to see, including crayfish and eels.

You can go further down for deep sea divers to glimpse a boat wreck from decades ago.

6. Spend a few hours on the Beach

Sometimes, we want a few hours to relax and rest, especially if we have been sightseeing for days.

Porto Corsica provides the best backdrop for some R&R.

Wear sandals to walk comfortably on the pebbled Beach and enjoy the incredible views of the Gulf.

7. Hike Capo Rosso 

If hiking is your thing, go to Capo Rosso, a cliff that overlooks Porto Corsica.

The family-friendly terrain covers 3.7 miles round-trip and is slightly steep.

From the vantage point, you have a lovely sea view, including the Calanques de Piana cliffs.

Furthermore, climb the 16th-century Capo Rosso tower for panoramic views of the landscape below.

8. Drive to Evisa

If long, relaxing drives appeal, head east to Evisa village. The scenic route goes through impressive mountain ranges and a vast gorge.

Stop at the designated area and learn more about the green forest cover and the surrounding rocky landscape. 


Of all the things to do in Porto Corsica, my best experience was the boat tour to Piana, Scandola, and Girolata.

I recommend you visit in summer; you will witness amazing sunsets and make new friends from all over. If you can spare a day or two, walk to the local village and dine at the charming seaside cafes and restaurants. 

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