A Brief Guide to Corsica’s Gîtes
Traditional and non-traditional vacation rentals on the Highly Sought out Island; Corsica
By Maria Myers
In Corsica, and in the rest of France, a gîte is a vacation house. Usually, in a rural area, these dwellings are often renovated cottages or converted barns. With the era of globalization upon us, paired with the internet, these humble housings are morphing into the higher standards of “luxury accommodations,” though the original simple gîtes can still be found.
According to The New York Times, three million tourists visited the island in 2015, compared with the 1.5 million in 1992, so many more people are looking for places like gites to save euros on rentals.
Corsica's current population is just 330,000 residents. From the one local featured in her article, it was evident that Corsicans are not very fond of the new stucco houses going up to accommodate for the influx in business. The idea of building new lodgings out of granite to “match traditional architecture" was recommended as a solution.
Lean Budget? Not a Problem
Using a name brand rental site may unnecessarily increase your travel budget with booking fees. But, using the
website www.gites-corsica.co.uk, even on the cheaper end, quality might just be assured. Just look at the accommodations for forty-one euros a night in Porto Vecchio; an expansive property with an amicable living/dining room and kitchen able to house at least four persons. This lodging is a certified gîte.
You can familiarize yourself with this information, activities to do around the area and more by clicking on the comment section.
Reviews from pasts guests include; “From beginning to end, it was perfect!”, and, “Great cleanliness. Well decorated. Quality material. It’s easy to see that customer satisfaction is a priority for these owners.” Many reviews on this site ring true with glowing sentiments such as these.
Off the Beaten Path
Not as interested in a gîte, looking for the unusual? Click on the Unusual Holidays section and you will be re-directed to the land of tent lodges with canvas lined rooms and refurbished woodwork encompassing modern facilities. Picture one of the enchanted tent lodgings at the big Quidditch match of the fourth Harry Potter installment.
If that’s a little too rustic (or geek) for you, there’s always the round studio lodge with its all-encompassing views or, once again, for the more affluent travel; the tower of à Cardo Torgia in complete with swimming pool, fireplace two bedrooms and a fully modernized interior.
These accommodations range from fifty to around two-hundred euros, with the above specified coming to one hundred eighty-euros a night. Keep in mind, it is a tower.
For a unique experience, definitely explore these options. One visitor left the comment for the above-mentioned lodging; “How often do you get in a tower built in 1550! This is an amazing conversion of a lovely old building done with respect, care and dedication.” Taken straight from the horse's’ mouth – I mean their website.
Requirements and Options
Besides the generalized cheap and expensive, there are a variety of requirements you can set up for your lodging. Specify whether you’d like some place near the sea, on a mountain, urban, rural, with or without internet, camping or group gîtes.
There’s even an option for housing with baby equipment. The level of authenticity of your trip is up to you, though a gîte would better fulfill that requirement. Prestige rentals have their own section and don’t start lower than one hundred and thirteen euros a night. Ecogîte certification housing is included, however, there are none currently available. Activities are featured on said site but their function is also currently unavailable. (1/28/19)
Corsica’s particular array of meats, cheeses, and regional dishes are legendary. Corsican cuisine includes Lonzu, a lean meat a bit like smoked salami meant to be eaten raw, thin or thick, as an appetizer or entree. Any local charcuterie will have this meat. Enjoy it with a sprinkling of Corsican olive oil, made in the Northwest of the country, the hills of Balagne.
If you’re looking for something a bit more filling, the veal daube is up there on the list of traditional dishes. Largely named after the braising pan it’s conceived in (daubière,) daube consists of beef (in this case veal) braised in wine along with garlic and vegetables and herbs from the area.
Concocting the dish in your rented gîte may lead to feelings of true Corsican citizenship and delusions of culinary grandeur. When you do go out, remember much like the Spanish, Corsicans enjoy their leisure time and most have a daily siesta from around 2 –5 pm. Plan accordingly.
For the vegetarians of the world, make sure not to pass up Brocciu, a cheese noted as the “national cheese” and likened to stronger tasting ricotta. It may be made with either sheep or goats milk and is often eaten on holidays, making it extra applicable to your “holiday”.
Besides its culinary wonders, the island 99 miles from the southeast of France in the Mediterranean Sea is sought after for its expansive natural views and history shifting history. The island has passed hands over the centuries from the Italian city-state of Pisa to Genoa and finally, France.
It’s the birthplace of Napoleon and doesn’t shy away from this fact; a statue of the “little” man dawns the streets of the capital and largest city, Ajaccio. Historical hot spots of this city include House Bonaparte, Naporama (A Playmobil diorama museum on the life of Napoleon ) and Fesch art museum, established by Napoleon and his uncle.
Those less inclined to the indoors will seek out Corsica’s broad land and seascape, including the Les Calanche Cliffs, the Roccapina Beach (among the myriad of other beaches), the 120 mile GR20 path extending from Calvia to Porto Vecchio, along with the likes of Regional Natural Park of Corsica, encompassing forty percent of the island.
These are just a few of the many outdoor adventures Corsica has to offer.
Find Your Gite
Whatever your budget, whatever your mode of holiday leisure, ranging from gorging on Corsica's’ delicate array of meats and cheeses to giving yourself a near coronary on the professional grade walking/biking trails, to the humble gîte or the elite abode, Corsica will unfalteringly provide. And though it may be tempting, don’t forget to book a return flight.
Call any time, any day 9 am – 8 pm (Thurs. and Fri. 9 am – 6 pm): 00 33 4 95 10 54 30
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Maria Myers is an up and coming travel writer. When she’s not perusing the internet for her next writing opportunity or planning another trip you can find her on one of the many trails of the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts.