Our first day in Corsica dawned bright as we entered the small port of Propriano from where we headed off by bus to the medieval town of Bonifacio on the southern tip of the island. Known as the “Scented Island” the highlight of our trip through the southern hinterland of Corsica was experiencing the maquis shrubland that blankets the landscape. The maquis is a fragrant mixture of scrubby holm oaks, mastic, olive and fig trees, and shrubs of myrtle, rosemary, savory, thyme, and lavender. A small train took us all up through and around the ramparts of the old Genoese walled town and once we arrived at the main square, we explored its charming cobbled streets by foot.

After returning to the ship for a wonderful deck buffet featuring regional sheep cheese, meats, and salamis all cured with local herbs, we set out to explore the nearby hilltop town of Sarténe before enjoying a local beverage in the town square to end the afternoon.