We based ourselves in this little coastal town on the North-western side of Corsica for three fabulous weeks. After much research I decided on L’Ile Rousse because it looked to have everything we craved; beach, daily markets for fresh produce, a town square for events and people-watching, a magnitude of restaurants and of course, glorious weather!
We looked forward to our morning trips to the market, wandering through and tasting all the fresh produce! Never needed breakfast! The sellers liked to try out their English and to correct our badly pronounced French, all the while offering us a little taste of this and that! There was all different kinds of honey, cheeses, olives, seasonal fruit and vegetables, bread and pastries and of course, our favourite – charcuterie! Charcuterie is king!!!!
Set in a bay, the town beach was always busy, very popular with families and people would be there until sunset in the evening. There are a lot of other accessible beaches just outside of L’Ile Rousse which are not so busy, but you need to take your own shade, the sun can be relentless. Our favourite go-to beach was close to some large rocks that divided the sandy beach. It made like a small lagoon style area that was perfect for me – being a non-swimmer! (Yes, I know, I live in Australia and I can’t swim!!).
The town was alive morning, day and night, luckily not too busy, June is just before the holiday season but it was busy enough to be interesting. Always something to see, the local men playing petanque was particularly fun and Rick did try to have a go one night!
They take their game very seriously, even playing in carparks if necessary! In 2016 L’Ile Rousse held the 6th International Petanque Pascal-Paoli
In the evenings the hardest thing was where to eat – should we eat in (with all that fresh food we had bought in the morning) or go out? Then the next decision was if we go out where to eat? So many choices, so many restaurants – and ALL GOOD!!
I think we only ate at the same place 3 times in the 3 weeks we were there, we aimed to try somewhere different each night, but there was a few restaurants that deserved a come-back!
L’Ile Rousse is not all about food, wine and beaches though. It has a great history. It was founded in 1758 by Pasquale Paoli to create a port that would not be in the hands of the Genoese like Calvi, and there are restaurants, schools and hotels named after him.