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Côte d’Azur (French Riviera) / Corsica

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Central reservation office (United States)

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : PINELLI

Calling from another country ? Click here

BMW

Official partner of the Routes du Bonheur

Discover
the Routes
du Bonheur of...

Jean-Pierre Pinelli
View all the Routes du Bonheur

Owner, La Villa Spa
A getaway on the shores of the Mediterranean, from Marseille to Porto Vecchio

Born in Santa-Reparata-di-Balagna in 1951, I was raised by my aunt and my grandfather, an old shepherd. For a long time, I ate vegetables from our garden and drank milk from my grandfather’s goats. I only spoke Corsican until I started school at the age of 5. Later on, I left for the Ivory Coast and a life of adventure as a pilot. When I returned to Corsica I very happily stumbled into the hotel business. Now, I only want to share the love that I have for my island and give back some of the beauty that it brings.

Relais & Châteaux proposes its Routes du Bonheur for your inspiration: they are suggestions of itineraries that you can adapt to your preferences and desired experiences. Our advisors are at your disposal to individualise your routes and help you make reservations at our properties.
Example for a six-night stay from €1348*
* Minimum indicative rate per person, subject to availability, on the basis of a double room with double occupancy, including accommodation, breakfast and dinner (menu, without beverages) in the properties suggested for the itinerary.
Activities on site and nearby must be reserved by you.

My Route du Bonheur
Step 1: 1 day, 1 night

Le Petit Nice-Passédat

My cuisine is like plunging into the Mediterranean
Le Petit Nice-Passédat
During my early years I rented out windsurf boards in Calvi Gérald Passédat was one of my supervisors. Today he’s an amazing chef and a great friend. His hotel on the coast is a wonderful place to rediscover the sea and its resources. Sitting down to a meal of rainbow wrasse, Venus clams or bouillabaisse is a one-of-a-kind dive into the tastes and flavours of the Mediterranean.

Close to the property...

The Prado lookout

A place I like to come for walks; I’ve always found it difficult to be away from the Sea. I have a special relationship with the Mediterranean, which can be amazing here during storms. Everything is magnificent when the North Wind blows and the Sea begins to rage. In the sixties, there were 300 000 Corsicans here, more of us in Marseille than on our Island.

On the route...

Port of Calvi

The ferry reaches Calvi in the early morning at the same time as the fishing boats. Sometimes I go down to the port to buy rock mullets, a denti, a corb, or delicious red coral crayfish. At the bottom of the citadel, the port has a nice mix of old locals and pleasure boaters.

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : PINELLI

Calling from another country ? Click here

Revenir en haut de page
2nd leg : 2 days - 2 nights

La Signoria & Spa

A gem on the Island of Beauty
La Signoria & Spa
There is a magnificent park filled with hundred year-old pines, and olive and palm trees that remind you of Tuscany. And there is a wonderful 18th century residence opening onto the Bonifato valley that Jean-Baptiste and Marie Ceccaldi have transformed into a little slice of heaven. Discover their gorgeous spa and listen to the birds as Marie tells you about Corsican essential oils.

Close to the property...

Chez Tao

Created in 1935 from an old Corsican residence in the heart of the Calvi citadel, this cabaret was founded by Tao, a retired Broadway dancer. His sons now handle the business while maintaining the spirit of their father’s motto: Live happily today, tomorrow it will be too late.

The market on L’?le-Rousse

Place Paoli, the 21-row covered market is a mandatory stop for people from all around the area. There is a strong fishing culture here and L’Île-Rousse is one of the only markets where early in the morning you’ll find local fishermen and hear the fishmonger’s cry.

On the route...

Corte

A must-see for everyone wanting to know and understand Corsica. At one point the capital, today Corte is the starting point for hiking and exploring two magnificent valleys, the Tavignano and the Restonica.

Archaeological Museum and site of Aléria

Here in the ancient capital of classical Corsica, in the heart of a fort built by the Genoese, is the Departmental Museum of archaeology Gilort (Jérôme) Carcopino. Etruscan, Phoenician and Roman artefacts stretch out down the display rooms and provide an understanding of not only Corsica’s ancient history, but also that of the entire Mediterranean basin.

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : PINELLI

Calling from another country ? Click here

Revenir en haut de page
3rd leg : 2 days, 2 nights

Grand Hôtel de Cala Rossa & Spa

The sand as a bookmark
Grand Hôtel de Cala Rossa & Spa
Here in this magnificent house you’ll meet Toussaint Canarelli. This man of culture and tradition will teach you the etiquette of southern Corsica. The gorgeous villa and its patios sit on the water’s edge. Take advantage of the small boats moored to the pontoon and take off on a picnic to discover the small hidden coves. Our house is the last one before the sand, says our host. Reserve the only table on the pontoon for an unforgettable romantic dinner.

On the route...

Scala di Santa Regina

You start at the Vergio pass (1650 m), through one of the most beautiful coniferous forests in Europe. Before the trail switches back, there is a small statue of Saint Regina on a rock outcrop, where locals lay altar candles. My father and I used to come and fish for trout just below—the Niolo stream follows the trail. This is the heart of a gorgeous and important region for transhumance.

Calanques de Piana and the Golfe de Girolata

So beautiful! Experience the calanques by boat while dolphins swim alongside. Be awe-inspired when you see the stones fall into the Sea up close. Discover the Golfe de Girolata and the Scandola Nature Reserve, the most beautiful site in the Mediterranean. All you need is a mask and a snorkel to see all of Corsica’s underwater treasures, spectacular groupers and rockfish. On your way back, take the time to have a drink under the impressive friezes in the great hall of L’Hôtel des Roches.

Sperone Golf Club

A golf course carved out between sea and scrubland, Sperone is one of the most beautiful 18-hole courses in the world. Telling a history of the landscape, the exceptional location has led to the course being named, The most beautiful location in France, several times by Golf Européen magazine.

Bonifacio

Some say that you don’t visit Bonifacio, but that you leave it. Standing over limestone cliffs sculpted by wind and sea, the city owes a great deal to the unbelievable site it was built upon. Here, you can walk along ancient ramparts full of history; also close at hand are the islands of Lavezzi and Spérone and one of the most beautiful gulfs in the world.

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : PINELLI

Calling from another country ? Click here

Revenir en haut de page
4th leg : 1 day, 1 night

La Villa Spa

Step into a whole new world on the Island of Beauty
La Villa Spa
Influenced by holidays in Saint Bart’s, I wanted to create a luxury hotel that wasn’t sitting on the Sea, but that overlooked stunning Corsican landscapes. Backed up against a mountain cirque, the hotel faces the magnificent Bay of Calvi, it is a unique location unto itself. My wife Marion took care of the decorating; employing contemporary artists such as JonOne, Morio Matsui and Amedo Turello, who used the wonderful setting to put their artistry on display. In 2012 we have began organising Les Nuits de la Villa, an open-air classical concert series.

Close to the property...

Church of the Trinity and San Giovanni, Aregno

Located in the heart of a cemetery, this church is one of the finest examples of Pisan Roman art. Construction dates back to the second half of the 12th century and the church was classified an historic monument in 1883. The size of the stones is (almost) one-of-a-kind.

Sant’Antonino

The small village of Sant’Antonino, in the heart of the region of Balagne, has remained authentic. The stone-paved streets wind between houses that have sometimes been built into the rock. Located on a promontory 490 m high and listed as one of "the most beautiful villages in France", Sant’Antonino offers an incredible view of the Sea.

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : PINELLI

Calling from another country ? Click here

Texts : © Guides Gallimard