Corsica’s private aquarium.

Blood-Red Moonscape Tumbling Into Indigo Sea

Imagine a volcanic ridge that collapsed into the Mediterranean. A blood-red moonscape that tumbles into indigo seas. Welcome to the Scandola Nature Reserve. Here a private aquarium is protected by UNESCO. Access? Boat or bust.

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Your Guide to Scandola

A Subaquatic Adventure

Half the Scandola Nature Reserve is maritime. Forget the mini-sub. Sealife is so abundant that SUPs are sufficient to spy red coral, dusky grouper and barrelling pods of dolphins. Snorkel for tuna, rays and gorgonia fans. Want to record the subaquatic adventure of your Scandola yacht charter holiday? Each Y.CO yacht packs more underwater cameras than the BBC Natural History Unit. Your personal Blue Planet adventure will be edited and uploaded to share.

A Landscape Carved By Wind And Water

The other half of the Scandola Nature Reserve is terrestrial. It’s a Picasso palette of cobalt sky, auburn earth and the lime greens of flowering armeria and strawberry trees. Hunting, camping and all human activity have been banned since 1975. Eden is now guarded by bald eagles and peregrine falcons. The handful of hiking trails through the Scandola Nature Reserve include Col de la Croix, which zigzags from 289m in altitude down to azure seas. Crew will meet you there with a coolbox of Colomba: a Corsican beer flavoured with chestnuts, myrtle and juniper. Or ice creams, chilled rosé and Coke Zero. Your holiday, your rules.

A Geological Wonderland

Want to stay forever on your Scandola yacht charter vacation? Many volcanic islets that surround the Scandola Nature Reserve are unnamed and unclaimed. Each snorkel-friendly speck is riven with basalt columns and concealed caves. A more luxurious option is to sip ‘Corsicans’ cocktails on deck: the recipe is a feral mix of Italy and France (shake Lillet Blanc and limoncello with freshly foraged lemon rind). Come evening, the Scandola Nature Reserve becomes a sunset Shangri-la. Not a human sound sullies paradise. While 900m-high cliffs glow ruby red in the sinking sun.