on the small truly small isolated village of girolata
When my French tutor mentioned Girolata for the first time, I did not care. I was told it is isolated. No roads go to it. One needs to hike in or to take a boat. Really, what would be the point to travel there?
Trying to find it on a digital map requires some clicks of the “+” sign to hone into the map before it appears, if it is actually listed at all.
On the other hand, now that I have visited it, I find myself a part of a group, a club, so to speak. I mention my trip to Upper Corsica, and from those who have traveled in Corsica, I am asked, “Oh, did you go to Girolata?”
Girolata is on the west coast of Corsica, to the northwest of Porto, and on the edge of the Réserve Naturelle de Scandola. Look for the gulf of Girolata.
Typically, one reaches it by boat, during a Promenades en mer. It is often a part of a trip to the calanches de Piana and to the Réserve Naturelle de Scandola. The two hours, maybe 2 ½ hours, in Girolata are devoted to eating lunch or hiking or swimming. You may make arrangements to stay at a gîte or to hike out.
The port of Girolata dominates the village. It provides support for its existence. Without the daily stream of tourists, debarking from the boats arriving from Calvi, Porto, and Cargèse for meals and for the purchase of local, artisanal products, Girolata would cease to be. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)
Before debarking from the boat, you will be cautioned. Cattle roam freely along the beaches of Girolata. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)
I ate lunch at a well regarded restaurant named Bel Ombra. It is situated just below the Tour Génoise de Girolata à Osani Fort De Girolata. I ordered the Menu Terre-Mer. The entrée was the queues de crevettes sauvages grillées Fenouil et moutarde à l’ancienne; the main dish was a mignon de cochon poêlé, aigre doux abricot; and the dessert was the nougat glacé, coulis de fruit rouges. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)
Because lunch was a priority, I did not have time to walk to Osini Fort that overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and the port of Girolata. My loss it was, and certainly it has given me a reason to return to Girolata.