Saint Florent

Viewed from across the bay, St Florent (San Fiurenzu) appears as a bright line against the black tidal wave of the Tenda hills, the pale stone houses seeming to rise straight out of the sea, overlooked by a squat circular citadelle. ItΆs a relaxing town, with a decent beach and a good number of restaurants, but the key to its success is the marina, which is jammed with expensive boats throughout the summer. Neither the tourists, however, nor indeed St-FlorentΆs proximity to Bastia, entirely eclipse the air of isolation conferred on the town by its brooding backdrop of mountains and scrubby desert.

Place des Portes, the centre of town life, has café tables facing the sea in the shade of plane trees, and in the evening fills with strollers and pétanque players. In rue du Centre, which runs west off the square, parallel to the seafront and marina, youll find some restaurants, a few shops and a couple of wine-tasting places.

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