Friday, June 17, 2011
The Gulf of Valinco
I had forgotten just what a beautiful place the Gulf of Valinco was. We are here for just two days on this occasion.
The first time we came here was 25 years ago, when we stayed here with our three boys, then in their teens and preteens. Propriano (or if you prefer it in Corsican, Prupria or Prupia) seems to look a little scruffy, as it did then, but things have changed – not all for the worse.
The Hotel Valinco, once the best place in town, has gone. Its skeleton still commands the shoreline at the entrance to the town to the northwest, but the windows have gone and the bedrooms we stayed in a few years ago are empty shells. I’m guessing that the site will be cleared for redevelopment within months. The Post Office has been blown up by Corsican separatists a few times – not sure why, exactly – maybe they’ll do the town a favour and complete the job by demolishing the Valinco.
The beaches are still lovely – especially the Plage de Valinco (pictured) which you can access via the noisy cafe at its centre. And the town gets more than its fair share of boat traffic. While we were here we saw the enormous cruise ship Island Escape and a car ferry leaving its tiny harbour.
There are some excellent (and by Corsican standards far from exorbitant) restaurants in town. We stayed at the Hotel Ibiscus which offers comfortable rooms at good prices with wonderful views across the bay. The picture here really is the view from our balcony.