Sailing Trip Giraglia
Two weeks (400 N.M.) Portisco -> Corsica round tour -> Portisco
This sailing trip is long and exacting but amazing and adventurous at same time. You will turn Corsica counter clockwise and make a leg to Capraia, in the Tuscan Arcipelago; the mean is 31 n.m. per day. We suggest this sailing trip to experienced crews and for boats not smallest than 37 feet.
1° DAY : Portisco – Isola di Spargi – Bonifacio (33 N.M.)
First stop of your vacation will be Cala Corsara, island of Spargi. It will be a very nice sailing of about three hours and 19 n.m., between Sardinia, Caprera and La Maddalena. Smooth granite rocks, crystal waters and white sand characterize Cala Corsara; it is a good shelter from Mistral. Once weighed your anchor you will head Corsica and cross the Bonifacio sound, after 14 n.m. and a bit more than two hours sailing you will enter the fiord of Bonifacio. It is a huge natural fiord-harbour, sheltered with all weathers. Arriving from the sea the high white cliffs with the old town on top are the typical view of this sea village. Take contact per phone at 04-95731007 or by VHF channel 9, informing them of your arrival and asking for the availability of a proper boat place. As Porto Vecchio too, Bonifacio has its old town on top of the cliffs: from there you can have a superb sea view through Bonifacio sound on Sardinia.
2° DAY : Bonifacio – Golfo di Rondinara – Porto Vecchio (29 N.M.)
The gulf of Rondinara is a nice natural shelter 15 n.m. north of Bonifacio, two and a half hours sailing. With calm wind and swell, you can moor wherever you want; with East quadrant winds and swells, the best-sheltered mooring is in the northern part of the gulf, between the reef and the beach: from this position you cannot sea the open sea, it seems to be in a lake. Porto Vecchio is 14 n.m. away, about two and a half hours sailing. Buoys delimit its entrance: the path between them must be followed very strictly, particularly near the harbour entrance; of course, arriving in the day light is much better. Take contact per phone at 04-95701793 or by VHF channel 9, informing them of your arrival and asking for the availability of a proper boat place. The old town, surrounded by high town walls is at the top of a long gradient; very nice and typical to be visited for its restaurants and shops.
3° DAY : Porto Vecchio – Baia di Favone – Campoloro (51 N.M.)
Third and fourth days are the most exacting, many miles to go beyond the flattest and less interesting coast of Corsica. Our advice is to leave early, in order to make a stop in the Baia di Favone 15 n.m. North of Porto Vecchio, two and a half hours sailing. This shelter is the last before the harbours of Solenzara and Campoloro. Leaving from the Baia di Favone you will have 36 n.m. to go to Campoloro, about six hours sailing. Take contact per phone at 04-95380761 or by VHF channel 9, informing them of your arrival and asking for the availability of a proper boat place.
4° DAY : Campoloro – Cala dello Zurletto – Porto di Capraia (45 N.M.)
The leg of today get the charm of the offshore sailing, 44 n.m. heading the same direction, 18°, in the open sea and without coast view. You will take approximately 7 hours to reach the island of Capraia and stop in Cala Zurletto, one of the few shelters on the island just 1 n.m. away from the harbour. Capraia is a volcanic island, has 300 inhabitants and just 1 street 800 metres long. The village is characterized by the S.Giorgio fortress, built in the XVI century during the domination of Genoa. The harbour is small, so it is better to arrive early.
5° DAY : Porto di Capraia – Cala Mortola – Macinaggio (20 N.M.)
The plans for today are more relaxing than those of past days: just 1 n.m. to reach Cala Mortola, North of the harbour and good shelter with South and South Easterly winds. From here, you will head Macinaggio – Corsica, after 19 n.m., about three hours sailing. Take contact per phone at 04-95354257 or by VHF channel 9, informing them of your arrival and asking for the availability of a proper boat place. Macinaggio is the Northeast harbour of Corsica and one of the most crowded by boats arriving from Cote Azure and Northern Italy.
6° DAY : Macinaggio – Rada di Santa Maria – Saint Florent (29 N.M.)
Once out of the harbour of Macinaggio, you will have to leave on your left the islets of Finocchiarola, beside which there is the Rada di Santa Maria after 3 n.m. and half an hour sailing. This bay is located on Capo Corso, the Northern point of Corsica just in front of the island of Giraglia, famous to name a great offshore regatta. If you will sail in this area with calm sea and wind, you might see some whales, used to live between Northern Corsica and Liguria. Our advice is to leave the Rada di Santa Maria not later than the early afternoon, in order to be able to arrive in Saint Florent not too late, after 26 n.m. and about four hours sailing. Take contact per phone at 04-95370079 or by VHF channel 9, informing them of your arrival and asking for the availability of a proper boat place. The village is very nice and offers many attractive, as shops and restaurants; it is the right place to celebrate the first 200 n.m., the half way of your cruise.
7° DAY : Saint Florent – Ansa di Porajola – Calvì (31 N.M.)
The coast between Saint Florent and Calvì is looking west, so mistral here could hit suddenly and hard even during calm days. Better to hear the weather forecast very carefully before leaving. With nice weather, you could make a stop in the Ansa di Porajola, 16 n.m. and about two and a half hours sailing away of Saint Florent. The beach is very nice, made of the finest sand; mooring is safe with easterly and southerly winds. If mistral suddenly should blow, you could head the harbour of Isola Rossa, 6 n.m. away. Calvì is the destination of today, you will reach it after 15 n.m. Take contact per phone at 04-95651060 or by VHF channel 9, informing them of your arrival and asking for the availability of a proper boat place. The village is a typical Corsican one, surrounded by high town walls like Bonifacio and Porto Vecchio. Left of the harbour entrance there’s a long beach, very popular in the area, which is the shelter from mistral for a huge bay, where hundreds of boats can find a safe place; it is a precious alternative to the harbour, mainly if it is overcrowded and in case of bad weather. Calvì is certainly one of the most beautiful places in Corsica.
8° DAY: Calvì – Golfo di Girolata (24 N.M.)
Once leaved from Calvì, it will begin your way south on the western coast of Corsica. After a 24 n.m. sailing, about 4 hours, you will reach the famous bay of Girolata. You can stay the night here; it is an excellent natural shelter, very popular between sailor men because of its safety and wildness at once. No ways arrives here and the nearest village is two hours walking away.
9° DAY: Golfo di Girolata – Ajaccio (36 N.M.)
Western and eastern costs of Corsica are very different: East is mainly low and flat; West is very uneven, characterized by four deep gulfs: Porto, Sagone, Ajaccio and Valinco. Today the sailing is non-stop for 36 n.m., about six hours sailing. You could stay a bit longer in the bay of Girolata and leave about 12.00. In the northern side of the entrance of Ajaccio gulf there are the islets Sanguinarie, it is possible to sail between mainland and those islets passing near Punta Parata. In case of rough sea or during the night is better to sail out of those islets to enter the gulf. Ajaccio has two tourist harbours: La Citadelle Tino Rossi is the historical harbour (tel. 04-95512180 Vhf 9); l’Amirauté is more recent (tel. 04-95223198 Vhf 9); we advice you to contact them before you arrival to check the availability of the boat place. Ajaccio is the capital of Corsica, well known to be the born place of Napoleone Bonaparte. The town offers many museums to visit and get the charm of the ancient history; not to lose the house of Bonaparte in rue Saint Charles and the Fesh Museum, with six centuries of painting shown.
10° DAY: Ajaccio – Porto Pollo – Propriano (25 N.M.)
Sailing out of Ajaccio you will head the gulf of Valinco. You will reach the bay of Porto Pollo after 20 n.m., about three and a half hours sailing. The Propriano area and particularly Porto Pollo offers many possibilities for water sports: waterskiing, diving, windsurfing, sailing-parachute. Your mooring in Porto Pollo is just 5 n.m. away from Propriano, less than one hour. Take contact per phone at 04-95761040 or by VHF channel 9, informing them of your arrival and asking for the availability of a proper boat place. This harbour is well serviced and very safe.
11° DAY : Propriano – Golfo di Murtoli – S.Teresa di Gallura (41 N.M.)
Once out of the Propriano harbour you will sail to go out of the gulf of Valinco; do not sail too close to the coast that is surrounded by shallow waters and surfacing rocks. The gulf of Murtoli, which is your first destination of today, is 18 n.m. away, to be covered in about three hours. The best mooring is in the eastern side of the bay, well sheltered from northern and eastern winds. From here, you will head Santa Teresa di Gallura leaving the Monaci islets on your left; is possible to sail between Corsica and Monaci too, but being very careful in avoiding the Olmeto islets. You will cross the Bonifacio sound arriving in Santa Teresa di Gallura after 23 n.m., about four hours sailing. Take contact per phone at 0789-751936 or by VHF channel 9, informing them of your arrival and asking for the availability of a proper boat place. The harbour is inside a deep and narrow natural fiord. With the leg of today you completed the Corsica round tour, being back in Sardinia.
12° DAY: S.Teresa di Gallura – Isola di Lavezzi – La Maddalena (17 N.M.)
Lavezzi Island is 6 n.m. away from S.Teresa di Gallura, about one hour sailing. The best bay here is Cala Lazarina in the South-West side of the island, read carefully the sea charts before approaching the spot. There are no inhabitants here but some cows and donkeys; they are no dangerous, even if bringing some kind of upset and confusion, especially among not well-informed tourists lying under the sun. On the back of the beach there is the cemetery where is buried the crew of the French frigate Semillante which sunk on these rocks on 1885.
Lavezzi is one of the most beautiful islands of the whole area. Once weighed your anchor, sailing between Spargi and Budelli you will be again into the Arcipelago della Maddalena. After 14 n.m., about 2 and half hours, you will reach Cala Gavetta, the harbour of La Maddalena.Take contact per phone at 0789-730121 informing them of your arrival and asking for the availability of a proper boat place. The village is typical and hospitable.
13° DAY: La Maddalena – Cala Liscia Ruia – Portisco (18 n.m.)
Leaving the harbour of La Maddalena you will sail between Sardinia and the islands of the Arcipelago, you will go beyond Porto Cervo to enter the gulf of Congianus, from which you leaved the first day. You will arrive in Cala Liscia Ruia after 16 n.m., about two and a half hours sailing. The bay is very nice, safe shelter from any wind except South, South East and East. Take care about the surfacing rocks on the left of the entrance. Less than half an hour sailing is now between you and your final destination: Portisco is 2 n.m. away.
Take contact per phone at 0789-33520 or by VHF channel 69, informing them of your arrival and asking for the availability of a proper boat place. The welcoming Portisco will inspire you to celebrate in the best way a sail trip 400 n.m. long. You will have done the round trip of Corsica, visiting enchanting places and having so strong good feelings never to be forgotten.