I almost didn’t visit Corsica after reading some terrible articles about French motorhomers being attacked by youths and having their windscreens smashed whilst wild camping on the island in 2009. They suspected that the local campsites and garage owners where behind it in an attempt to increase business. However, after a few positive remarks by non-French motorhomers, I took the plunge (well actually the ferry) and set out to tour the island.
I knew from my research that only 2 campsites on the island are open all year and one of them is a nudist camp on the east coast. I know, a bit chilly for the naturists out of season! On the first night I stayed in the quayside car park of the lovely town of Propriano, with no problems at all. The second night was in a very unglamorous supermarket car park at the beach resort of Porticcio where I was woken at the ungodly hour of 5am by the workers arriving and the even noisier dustbin men.
As I travelled up the very scenic west coast on the D81, I had planned to find somewhere near Porto, possibly in the harbour. After defying all the “No Motorhome” signs and driving right down to the seafront, I enquired at the tourist information office where I might stay for the night. They very helpfully suggested I try a small campsite just out of town (though it was officially closed) or, failing that, the beach car park. It was still early so I decided to tour the mountains which are full of chestnut forests and are split by the deep chasm of the Spelunca Gorge.
On the way back I stopped at the Funtana a L’ Ora campsite and found a very friendly guardian called Cederic who confirmed that they were closed. However, he phoned the owner who generously suggested that I would be welcome to stay there for the night, and use the services which were available. “How much?” I asked Cederic. “Gratuit (Free)”, he replied, but perhaps I could write a review for Trip Advisor. I was amazed and very pleased with this selfless invitation and after a very peaceful night, decided that I loved Corsica.
Unfortunately, my bubble was burst the next day while trying to find somewhere to overnight on the north coast. The woman in the tourist office of L’Ile Rousse was the most aggressive and unpleasant person I have ever met. She made it quite clear that I must stay at a campsite 8 km away, being the only one which is open all year, and that free camping is illegal (which officially it is). Based on her attitude and comments it was clear that she detested motorhomers. I dutifully went to the Ranch Cantarettu Campsite but it was deserted and when I phoned I was abruptly told that it was closed. I ended up in a beach car park, further along the coast. The police passed by at 10pm but completely ignored me. They obviously had better things to do than arrest illegally parked motorhome owners.