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.