ILE ROUSSE CORSICA
Facing up invitingly towards the French Riviera, from the north face of Corsica, Ile Rousse is a favourite destination for tripping yachts and holidaymakers from the French mainland. Set close to one of Europe's only deserts, explore a surprisingly abundant island landscape of fertile olive groves, craggy coastline, and vineyards producing Corsica's renowned wines.
Known as the red island, picking up its name from the rosy hint to the pink granite rocks, which explode with vibrant hues as sunset's fiery light washes across them. A small bridge leads out to the island outcrop of Ile de la Pietra, which is surrounded by deep, blue water and adorned with a little lighthouse and Genoese watchtower. It offers views of Île de Broccio's rusty-coloured rock hump, rising from the waves.
The sharp smells of mature cheese drift down the narrow streets of the old town – with names devoted to iconic Corsicans like Napoleon and Pascal Paoli. Practically every household here produces their own variations of sheep and goats milk cheese, along with chestnut-gorged hams, and oils squeezed from the juiciest of olives. Taste the best local food, inside the columns of the covered market of the central plaza - along with handfuls of fresh honey and nuts.
Spacious sandy beaches provide the luxurious facilities should you wish to bronze below the warm Mediterranean sun, while the Botanical Garden adds a splash of colour to this rusty-red landscape.