For those who have tackled – or even contemplated – a long-haul flight with little ones in tow, you'll know it takes stamina! This is where Corsica's beautiful south comes into its own. Its family-friendly (but elegantly grown-up) beaches come with everything you need for a classic seaside holiday – all less than three hours from the UK.
Young families in particular love it here. The sand is white and fine; the calm, clear, lagoon-like waters perfect for paddling and a variety of restaurants, cafés and bars keep everyone well fed and watered. You'll find sun loungers and parasols for hire and watersports for older children or anyone not on parent duty (although there is a lifeguard in high season for extra peace of mind).
Footnotes: In August, beach life gets considerably livelier with the Porto Vecchio Music Festival.
Pine trees for shade, soft sand for play and clear, shallow waters make this another top spot for young children. However, for style-conscious grown-ups, the most famous beach on Corsica is also the place to be seen, with beach clubs, restaurants, waiters bringing drinks out to your sun lounger and on-beach massages and manicures. Asciaghju (or 'Acciaju'), the western-most cove, is the quietest or, in busier seasons, visitors spill over onto Tamaricciu Beach, just across the lagoon.
Footnotes: Come evening, sit and listen to live music, Corsican style, in one of the restaurants along the sea front serving up excellent seafood.
Oozing St-Tropez glamour, this sandy beach features wooden decks from which the jet set (or those who like to see them) watch the turquoise surf and chic waterfront restaurants serve grilled fish with far more than your average beachside flair. If you don't have your own, you can hire snorkelling equipment and there are watersports too.
Footnotes: These sands, like those of neighbouring Palombaggia, can get crowded, so it's worth arriving early to reserve your spot.
In the stunning image of Santa Giulia, with the same eye-catching colour palette of turquoise waters and white sand, this 3km stretch of white sand comes with the pleasure of chic beach bars, small boutiques, a dive school and watersport facilities tucked behind the rocks of this crescent-shaped bay. There's a good choice of restaurants too, which have adopted a particularly hip and funky approach and serve up plenty of fresh seafood, as well as hiring out sun loungers and parasols.
Footnotes: For very little children, there's plenty of natural shade from the pine trees fringing the sand.
Generous shallows and over a kilometre of fine, soft, white sand make this a sure-fire recipe for a relaxing day by the sea. A secret gem of a bay, laid-back Pinarello also comes with watersports, including windsurfing, and sea clear enough for a satisfying snorkelling session. There's also a selection of good restaurants (some more formal) for dining and lovely shady spots under the pine trees for a post-lunch siesta.
Footnotes: Park for free near the southern beachside restaurants or along the coast road under the trees.
Located on the south coast of the Golfe de Valinco and backed by the small sleepy seaside village of Campomoro, this secluded bay is one of the most peaceful in Corsica. Its warm, shallow waters and soft, golden sand make it an ideal spot for those with little ones, and outside of July and August there are hardly any tourists to be seen. This is also a place to watch the sun set and sample local seafood.
Footnotes: Late afternoon, make the ten-minute walk to the Genoese tower overlooking the bay for panoramic views across the gulf.
For a different take on the southern Corsica coastline, this beach is surrounded by rocky outlets and the windswept maquis. However, what it lacks in picturesque appeal, it makes up for in adrenaline. Join water sports enthusiasts in their thirst for speed – a brisk, westerly wind makes it perfect for kite surfing – or rent a sunbed and watch their antics from the shore. You can also hire quad bikes during the peak season.
Footnotes: Once the daytime crowds have departed, the two waterside restaurants, backed by maquis, are a lovely place to have a quiet, evening drink and get away from it all.
Before descending to this lovely beach, pause at the crest of the hamlet of Roccapina, where a little restaurant and bar affords views of the recumbent lion-shaped rock and the stunning crescent of powder-soft white sands below. Shallow turquoise waters also make this a safe choice for young swimmers.
Footnotes: Once on the beach there are no facilities, so don't forget your beach paraphernalia.
Nature has been particularly kind to Rondinara. Part of the Bouches de Bonifacio Nature Reserve, this rugged-looking, uniquely shell-shaped, white sandy beach is sheltered from the wind, with calm, turquoise waters and a gently shelving shoreline, making it ideal for little ones. If you get peckish, there's also a restaurant, which hires out sunbeds and parasols too.
Footnotes: Don't be surprised to find a few cows lazing around the beach restaurant!
The boat from Bonifacio lands on Lavezzi Island, an unspoilt nature reserve. It's one of L'Îles Lavezzis, an archipelago of tiny boulder islets scattered amid the straits – and it's teeming with sea life. Wade in with your snorkel and mask from one of the little bays and look out for the shoals of friendly grouper fish.
Footnotes: There are no sunbeds, restaurants or parasols in the nature reserve so pack whatever you need for your day out.
If you’re tempted by Southern Corsica, Simpson Travel are offering you £50 off the total price of any summer holiday taken between 17 July and 28 August 2016. Just call 020 3582 8858 for a personal recommendation or to book, quoting 'ZOGGS' to take advantage of the discount.