Rising out of the sea in a magnificent peak, Corsica is a natural playground for yachts, as alluring for families as it is for activity enthusiasts. Windswept and seductively natural, this peaceful French island lies west of Italy and north of Sardinia: a rocky outcrop south east of the French shoreline. Islanders are Corsican, not French, and are fiercely proud and independent in a land renowned for its geographical diversity. The mountainous interior is dotted with villages crammed between rising hills and lined with some 200 stunning beaches. Home to more than 1,000km of picturesque coastline, there are countless spots to drop anchor, take a refreshing swim and enjoy the gentle breeze.
A favoured yacht charter destination in Corsica, Bonifacio is spectacularly perched high on a cliff within a magnificent coastal setting, best appreciated when approached by yacht. Clusters of pastel houses cling atop the towering rocks and the old town delivers a fascinating labyrinth of narrow streets and historical buildings. A blend of old and new, Porto Vecchio is a well-preserved example of Genoese medieval architecture, known as the St Tropez of Corsica. Winding streets surround the atmospheric main square, while beachside paradise is found on the vast sandy expanse at Plage de Palombaggia where superyachts anchor opposite in the bay.
Neighbouring Sardinia enjoys light, constant breezes, making it somewhat cooler than much of the Mediterranean in summer – and a true yachting haven. Elevated to exclusivity in the '60s when the Aga Khan invested in the Costa Smeralda, turning it into an eco-playground paradise for his friends, the area has relatively few traditional farms and in their place, lavish villas overlook the bays lined with superyachts during the summer. The Costa Smeralda is now legendary. Take time to watch the world go by as you sip an espresso on the waterfront at Porto Cervo and dine one of Cala di Volpe's sophisticated restaurants.
Those who rate peace and tranquillity over people-watching may prefer to set sail for the quiet shores of La Maddalena. Like a more rugged version of the Caribbean, the seven main isles in the Maddalena National Park form a stunning archipelago for yacht charter, offering a magical mix of history, scenery and true Italian charm. Don’t miss Porto Rotondo’s luxurious port with its granite amphitheatre and the church of San Lorenzo and in Cagliari the impressive Castello offers spectacular views.