The exceptional location of Sari-Solenzara offers a wealth of options, whether you're a in the mood for a lively
drink by the seafront or a lazy day on the beach, an adrenaline-fuelled adventure holiday or the peace and quiet of the countryside - there really is is something nearby for everyone.
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Sari is a small mountain village ten minutes (8km) inland from the larger Solenzara. It is a charming, timeless Corsica village of the old style, lovely to wander through to admire its quaint old stone buildings and handsome chapel, to say hello to its friendly farm animals, or to enjoy views from its panoramic viewing-points. An oasis of Mediterranean calm and conviviality!
The seaside village of Solenzara is lively while still retaining its authenticity. In its bars the wine and limoncello flows till early hours, while in terms of excellent places to eat, you will be spoilt for choice for a village of its size. In the heat of the summer Solenzara sleeps by day and awakens by night: its twice-weekly night festival sees citizens and visitors alike take over the street, dining and drinking under the stars to the sound of live music. With its small marina offering a lovely setting for a meal or drink, and even a golden beach where the occasional summer beach party is held, Solenzara has everything needed for a slice of the true dolce vita!
Our villa is excellently located at the starting-point of an extensive network of acessible but breathtaking mountain trails.
Indeed, from our garden a short hillwalking path leads up to the peak of Monte Santu, with its spectacular panoramic views as far as Elba, Sardinia, and, on clear days, Tuscany.
Continuing on, a forty-five minute walk through village or forest leads to the monastery of Assunta Gloriosa, nestled in a stunning alpine setting. An inspiring view, and not only for monastic contemplation!
Further ahead the path connects to the famous hiking trail known as the GR-20. But for those who prefer a more leisurely, easily-accessible walk, simply follow the downhill mountain path (less than two hours' walk) to the seclusion and sandy beach of the magnificent Canella lagoon.
The coast off Solenzara is well-regarded for swimming, with its Blue Flag clean water, lack of strong currents, and much fewer crowds than the beaches further south.
Casa Colomba is in easy reach of several attractive beaches: Canella, Solaro, Favone, Tarcu and Fautea - all within thirty minutes’ drive.
Or simply stay in Solenzara itself. Enjoy a pizza or cocktail in the charming little marina's waterfront restaurants, or in the seaside restaurant-bars on the adjacent beach (Scaffa-Rossa).
For those partial to fishing, or simply who enjoy the sea breeze in their hair, you could hire a sailboat from the marina. Local skippers offer day or half-day cruises along the coast, where you can drop anchor in a secluded cove, swim with shoals of fish, and enjoy a complimentary picnic of local charcuterie and cheeses.
Solenzara is also the jumping-off point for many adventure-lovers, due to the proximity of the dramatic Bavella mountain range and Solenzara river canyon, renowned for its hiking trails, freshwater bathing and adventure sports.
Perhaps you enjoy the brisk mountain air, or, like us, simply prefer a refreshing dip in cool river-water to the heat of the beach in summer. In any case, make the short drive up to the the stunning Alpine setting that surrounds the Stone Needles of Bavella - you will hardly believe you are on a Mediterranean island!
Bavella is also famous for its adventure sports that can be enjoyed there. Our personal favourite is 'canyoning' near the source of the river Solenzara: Solenzara village is home to several companies whose qualified instructors can bring you up into the mountains for exhilerating trips, suitable for all ages and all levels of experience.
For a rainy day (it happens, even in Corsica!) don't despair: there are plenty of things to do indoors.
You cannot miss the municipal archaeological museum in the ancient capital of Aleria (37km). To the Ancient Greeks Corsica was known as 'Kalliste', the Beautiful, while for the adventurer Odysseus it was the home of the Laestrygonian giants. Learn about the ancient peoples who founded Corsica: Greeks, Etruscans and Romans, before taking a visit to the ruined remains of the old Roman forum and its surrounding temples.
Close by, visit the museum at the distillery of Domaine Mavella - this producer of traditional liqueurs such as limoncello has recently earned worldwide accolades for its new line of high-quality whiskey. Take a visit around the distillery to learn their story, and perhaps even a little taste of their wares...
Further afield, the mountain-top village of Zonza houses the museum of the Corsican Resistance. Coming from an ancient tradition of outlaws and freedom-fighters, it was the guerrilla warfare by partisans striking from the Corsican macchia (bush-land) that gave the term maquis to the French Resistance. Not only was the island the first sector of France to be liberated from Nazi occupation; it earned the distinction of being the sole occupied territory to protect the lives of every Jewish inhabitant. Travel up to the spectacular setting of Zonza to discover all about this fascinating story of an indomitable people.
Sari and Solenzara are located roughly halfway between two very different but equally beautiful Corsican cities: the clifftop citadel of
Bonifacio (60km) in the far south, and the bustling port of Bastia (90km) in the far north.
Closer by (20-30km) are two smaller cities that have plenty of hidden gems to discover: to the south the lively maritime town of Porto-Vecchio, one of the favourite holiday destination for France's rich and famous; while not far to the north is the market-town of Ghisonaccia, stepping-stone to a plethora of high-quality rustic experiences, from vinyards and cheese-producers to clementine orchards and luxury perfume distilleries.