If you are planning to take a windsurfing holiday in Southern Corsica, read this detailed article on the best spots in this part of the French island.
Windsurfing, reviews: the spots in southern Corsica
The spots of Southern Corsica are close to the Bonifacio Channel, one of the windiest areas in the Mediterranean.
The wind, frequent and intense in itself in the channel, here accelerates even more due to the Venturi effect. Therefore, even on days when the forecasts would predict lighter winds, perhaps you may enjoy an unexpected day with strong winds, which will give you a good session even with not too big sails. Therefore, the frequency of windsurfing days in this area is very high.
But you must know the characteristics of the spots quite well, to make the most out of them and have fun, and to plan your rides.
We have already talked about the Tonnara, Punta and Figari spots in a specific and detailed article, which we invite you to read.
In this article, however, we will describe the spots of Balistra, Sant'Amanza (or Santa Manza), Piantarella, Palombaggia, and Santa Giulia.
Balistra beach is reached by a dirt road of about 2.5 km, which can be traveled by any car. The road is taken by turning east from the T10, 17 km after Porto Vecchio (tourist sign with a picture of the beach, at the turn).
The road leads to a large and convenient car park near the beach, where you will also find one of the Bonifacio Windsurf Club houses (rental and lessons), the lifeguard post (poste de Secours), and a refreshment point (see map in the article).
You rig in the rather sparse lawn behind the shed of the windsurfing center, or in the parking lot. In addition to the convenience of parking close to the point of entry into the water (parking, here, is free), the beauty of Balistra is given by the fact that, even in summer, it is never very crowded.
Balistra, like Sant'Amanza, works with W and SW winds, with an acceleration due to the fact that the wind is channeled into the valleys in the middle of the mountains behind the two bays. The SW wind (it is the west in the Bonifacio Channel, or the Mistral over the west coast, which veers on the East coast) enters the spot side off, almost off, slightly on starboard tack.
The water is almost completely flat, especially near the shore, and a little cooler than in other spots. And it is, Ça va sans dire, beautifully turquoise....
Just south of the parking lot, in front of the lifeguard station, you have the area delimited by buoys, forbidden to navigation, actually quite small. Beyond the area delimited by the yellow buoys, further offshore and where it is not possible to enter with motor or sail boats, you have pleasure boats anchored, not in such numbers as to create problems for windsurfing.
Riding here is great fun, whether you want to do some freestyle, or freeride/slalom.
The wind is gusty, given the direction from land, but more well spreaded in the northern corner of the bay, where you also have shallow waters, and where you can therefore try all the maneuvers you want, restarting easily in the event of a fall.
Instead, as you ride towards the south, the seabed soon becomes deeper and the wind progressively more unstable, until there is a drastic drop, in front of the white cliff that separates Balistra from the bay of Sant'Amanza.
Then, ride not too for too long on that side.
Some windsurfing spots guides recommend reaching Balistra by windsurfing from Sant'Amanza, probably to avoid the dirt road to access. We seriously advise against this option, because with almost totally offshore wind, in case of problems, the risk of drifting offshore is high.
Central part omitted. The reading of the main part of this article is reserved to Waterwind Supporters. To become a Supporter, click here.
Finally, we mention the spot of Santa Giulia, which can be reached easily, with a short branch off the T10 road, South of Porto Vecchio, and shortly after Palombaggia.
The beach is of exceptional beauty, and is characterized by a Caribbean like sea, shallow waters, and sandy bottom. In the summer, the beach is quite crowded with bathers (after all, swimming here is wonderful), and the car parks close to the beach are all paid (5 or 10 euros, depending on the distance from the sea).
The spot works with SW entering side (slightly side off) the bay, with lower intensities than the other spots mentioned above (the bay is more sheltered).
In the summer, you go out by taking advantage of the channel delimited by buoys, in front of the Santa Giulia Nautical Club (possibility of renting and lessons). In the middle of the bay, the wind can reach sufficient intensity to plan with medium-large sails on a completely flat sea. Near the shore, the wind tends to remain moderate. The spot looked wonderful and ideal for beginners who want to learn safely, and in a fantastic setting, or for intermediate riders, who want to have a relaxing ride.
It should be noted that the bay is dotted with rocks and granite reefs, from which to stay away, which are not a particular danger, as they are quite evident.
Finally, we noticed that a slight thermal also blows over the spot in the afternoon, from the SE, which enters onshore, and that, even if with a more unfortunate direction, is always exploitable by beginners, for their first sessions.
The spot is also beautiful for wingfoiling.
Finally, we would like to remind you that Corsica is not just a seaside place, but offers pleasant towns and villages, rich in history, an interesting gastronomy, an excellent variety and quality of wines, and magnificent mountains, which allow you to go on beautiful excursions, about which we tell you in the section of this site dedicated to the mountain.
Are you a passionate windsurfer? Do you want to collaborate with us? Read here, then!