HomeAway's villas in Porto-Vecchio put visitors right in the middle of possibly the most sought-after destination on Corsica. Porto-Vecchio is in the south of the island, on the eastern coast of the rolling agricultural hills that supply almost all of Corsica with its produce. For visitors at Porto-Vecchio accommodation, these hills serve as pretty preludes to the alpine highlands a short drive away, which open up an entirely different range of excursions and activities to the usual coastal fare. Holiday rentals in Porto-Vecchio are great as a base for a beach break on any one of the many superb examples close to the town, as well as for exploring ancient ruins in the hills and the historic old town.
Despite the proximity of the coast to Porto-Vecchio holiday rentals, many have access to a pool and BBQ area, which is perhaps understandable when the closest beaches get so busy in the height of the season. Many are also convenient for golf, tennis, hiking and fishing. Most come with a fully equipped kitchen and laundry facilities. However, compared to the rest of the south of France, Corsica is decidedly rustic, so many Porto-Vecchio apartments are unsuitable for wheelchairs.
Beaches: There are a host of beaches to choose from around Porto-Vecchio. The most popular is the beautiful Palombaggia Beach a couple of miles to the southeast, where HomeAway also has holiday homes available. There are additional rental options at the equally gorgeous Pinarellu Beach, about seven miles north.
Nightlife: While not quite as brash as the French mainland coast, Porto-Vecchio nightlife is plentiful and varied. There are dozens of bars to choose from in the old town, as well as some great restaurants and enough nightclubs to satisfy the hardest partiers. There's also a casino for those who can't resist a flutter.
Outdoor pursuits: With the pervasion of beaches and marinas, there are a multitude of activities to keep watersport enthusiasts entertained. Of course, the town itself is a wonder to walk around, with its imposing citadel and twisting streets. The nearby mountains offer more robust activities, such as hiking, climbing, mountain biking, horse trekking, and even skiing in the winter.
Shopping: Porto-Vecchio has some of the best shopping on Corsica, chiefly to cater to the international sailing set. While there's the usual souvenir shops, there are also fine fashion boutiques and artisanal food stores to browse. Local specialties include the charcuterie, olive oil, wine, and honey.
Culture: For the historically and prehistorically inclined, the town is surrounded by Bronze Age and Roman ruins, which provide a fascinating glimpse into past cultures. For a more medieval perspective, there's the old town and citadel, now a museum. Art lovers can get their fix at several galleries, and there's also a popular outdoor summer cinema just outside town.
The Mediterranean climate consists of long, hot summers and mild winters. Corsica, being an island, experiences a moderating effect from the sea, which means temperatures rarely hit the highs they do on the mainland. Summer days typically max out at 28°C, with winter highs in the mid-teens. Most of the rainfall occurs during October and November.
The two airports on Corsica dealing with direct flights from the UK are Bastia and Ajaccio, at 78 and 85 miles distant respectively. A much closer option for non-direct flights is Figari Airport at 16 miles away, which needs to be linked to via a mainland Europe hub. It should be noted that many of the roads in Corsica are fairly rudimentary and mountainous. The roads to Figari are decent by comparison. Another alternative is to take the ferry from Marseille.