The underwater topography of the Golfe de Porto is every bit as jaw-dropping as what’s visible above, with its wild and rugged cliffs and crags continuing in mirror-image below the surface. Thanks to the Réserve Naturelle de Scandola, it’s also rich in colourful marine life.

Between April and October, Porto boat operators offer half-day excursions to Scandola; expect to pay around €45 for a three-hour trip that includes a stopover in the idyllic village of Girolata, or €60 for a four-hour cruise that also takes in Les Calanques de Piana, astonishing deep-cut inlets on the south side of the gulf.

Diving outfits at the marina offer introductory dives, beginners’ courses and snorkelling cruises.


The Porto area holds some wonderful hiking trails; the tourist office sells a €3 brochure detailing three dozen signed walks of varying difficulty. The hill villages of Ota and Evisa, inland, stand at either end of a superb footpath that leads along the steep sides of the Gorges de la Spelunca, one of Corsica’s deepest natural canyons.