Connected by a mere mule track to the rest of the island (1hr 30min on foot from the nearest road), the tiny fishing haven of Girolata, immediately east of Scandola, has a dreamlike quality that’s highlighted by the vivid red of the surrounding rocks. A short stretch of stony beach and a few houses are dominated by a stately watchtower, built by the Genoese in the seventeenth century in the form of a small castle on a bluff overlooking the cove. For most of the year, this is one of the most idyllic spots on the island, with only the odd yacht and party of hikers to threaten the settlement’s tranquillity. From June to September, though, daily boat trips from Porto and Calvi ensure the village is swamped during the middle of the day, so if you want to make the most of the scenery and peace and quiet, walk here and stay a night in one of the gîtes.

 

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