Tag Archives: Mediterranean

L’ile Rousse


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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!

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Marche L'Ile Rousse
Daily fresh produce market

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!!!!

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L’ile Rousse beach

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!  petanqueIn 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.

 

 

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Where’s Corsica?


Oops!  This has become more like a “London Blog” – not my original intention!  But as you probably guessed it is my love!

So how about a bit of Corsica for a diversion?  Corsica mapWhen we first told our friends we were going to Corsica for a holiday, most of them said “where’s that?” The next question was “What made you choose Corsica?”

Corsica or Corse to the locals, is a small island above Sardinia, between France and Italy. Although it is closer to Italy it actually belongs to France, and is French speaking.

Well, what makes us choose any place?

FOOD, WINE and PEOPLE of course!        Or should I say of Corse!!!

Before we went I thought it would be a mixture of the two cultures, but in reality, Corsica has a culture all of it’s own.

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Isula Rossa (Ile Rousse) Corse

We spent three fabulous weeks on this beautiful island, basing ourselves in Ile Rousse with a hire car to do day trips and once an overnight stay in Bonifacio.

Although the distance between Ile Rousse and Bonifacio is just about 185kms, the mountainous terrain means it takes about 3.5hrs! It was worth the drive, and the sights on the way were awesome!

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Bonifacio Harbour

I must admit, the first day we drove around the mountains (on the wrong side of the road  – well for us it was!)  I had my heart in my mouth at every bend!  From a sheer drop on one side to an overhanging cliff on the other, cyclists, wild pigs, goats and a few cows to contend with, I was so glad to see our first stop and lunch! A couple of Corsican wines and some food soon relaxed me and a stern word or two from my husband Rick kept me quiet for the rest of the trip!

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Then it was back to our apartment and a dip in the pool before venturing into the town for dinner.

thumb_IMG_1916_1024       Ile Rousse is a picturesque coastal town at the bottom of the mountains. With Place Pascal Paoli home to daily fresh food markets, local butchers, bakers, and bistros, it was the perfect place for us.

Each morning we would wander around the markets and artisan shops sampling (and sometimes buying) fresh local produce.

A mid morning stop was mandatory for a glass or two of Corsican vino, accompanied by the obligatory bowl of corsican olives. Just to sit and people watch was magic and of course the weather was great!

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I think I have to dedicate some more posts to this awesome island – Corsica has so much to offer, and one day we would love to go back!

If you have been there I would love to hear your thoughts and comments, so stay tuned for more of this beautiful place.

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