Simpson Secret – Western Corsica

West Coast of Corsica, Corsica

Part of theSimpson Secrets collection

Our search for exceptional villas occasionally leads us along the road less travelled to find hidden gems just too lovely to leave behind. Aimed at the adventurous at heart, each Simpson Secret offers a unique take on what a holiday off the beaten track can be.
Simpson Secrets

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  • 2
  • 1
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  • Restored millhouse
  • Breathtaking position
  • UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Nearby rock swimming pool with waterfall
  • Restaurants/shops 5-minute drive
  • Beach 15-minute drive

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This Simpson Secret was once an old mill and is now the only house in one of the most famously beautiful places in Europe. The scenery around this unique property is exceptional and guests can walk along the river to a rock swimming pool with its own waterfall. Accommodation is simple but the surroundings are stunning: spectacular pink cliffs and rock formations hide numerous serpentine paths for walkers. Just up the road is the hotel and restaurant of Les Roches Rouges, and the village of Piana, one of the loveliest in Corsica, is only three kilometres away.


Accommodation

Layout

  • 1 bedroom house (sleeps 2)

Ground floor

  • Open-plan living/dining/kitchen area
  • Kitchen includes hob, oven, microwave, fridge, dishwasher, washing machine
  • CD player
  • Telephone (incoming and local calls only)

First floor

  • Double bedroom (180 x 200cm bed) with small en-suite shower room
  • Accessed by outside stairs

General

  • Air-conditioning on ground floor only
  • Iron, ironing board, hairdryer, beach and bath towels provided
  • Terrace with terraced grounds
  • Nearby river, rock swimming pool and waterfall (some or all may be dry at certain times of the year and access is via steps with terraced and rocky areas)
  • Barbecues are prohibited at the property due to being a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • At present this property does not benefit from WiFi coverage but free WiFi is available at the local tourist office (5min drive)
  • Simpson Travel representative service by telephone

Cleaning/linen

  • 1 week holidays – does not include a mid-stay clean or bed linen/towel change
  • 2 week holidays – includes a light mid-stay clean and bed linen/towel change

Villa access times

  • Check-in time – from 12:00pm
  • Check-out time – 9:00am

Location

  • Beach 15min drive
  • Restaurants/shops 5min drive
  • Ajaccio airport 1hr 15min drive

Car hire

Car options

Based on the number of people travelling, the following hire car(s) are included in the package price of your holiday:

  • 2-3 guests – 1 Group C, Peugeot 2008 or similar*

* All our cars include comprehensive insurance with zero excess. For this particular destination, the undercarriage is not included in the cover.

Car specifications

Group C – 1-1.6 litre engine, 2 large and 1 small suitcase*

The following cars are available as alternatives on request (supplements apply). Please call our travel specialists for details.

Group D - VW Tiguan or similar, 1.1-1.6 litre engine, 3 large suitcases*

Group F – Peugeot 508 or similar, 2.0 litre engine, 2 large and 2 small suitcases*

Group G – Audi A3 Cabriolet or similar, 1.2-1.6 litre engine, 1 large suitcase*

Group H – Renault Scenic or similar, 1.1-1.6 litre engine, 2 large and 2 small suitcases*

Group J – VW Golf GPS or similar, 1-1.6 litre engine, 2 large and 1 small suitcase*

Group K – Renault Grand Scenic or similar, 1.2-1.6 litre engine, 2 large suitcases*

Group N – 9-seater Toyota Proace or similar, 1.2-1.6 litre engine, 1 large and 1 small suitcase*

Group O – 9-seater minibus Ford Galaxy or similar, 1.2-1.6 litre engine, 1 large and 1 small suitcase*

Please note we can request automatic cars in all car groups except Group N. Please specify at time of booking if you require an automatic car

* Suitcase sizes are based on a large suitcase being approximately 75cm x 41cm x 31cm, a medium suitcase of approximately 65cm x 46cm x 29cm and a small suitcase of 55cm x 40cm x 20cm.

Customer feedback

This is truly a beautiful island. We have fallen in love with the scenery, the people and the food. David is particularly taken with the local beer and I would like to taste more of the wonderful Corsican wines. We have given regal waves to the tourists stopping to photograph the Calanque – how lucky we were to be living amongst them for a week. The beach is gorgeous and to be swimming in the sea and lying on golden sands at this time of year is a real treat. Capo Rosso is worth the walk as are the various walks from the Stade, Ota and Evisa. The Cascade d’Artone in the magical forest is worth the nail-biting drive to get there. Porto was lively and our boat ride out to Scandola was a real highlight stopping at Girolata on the way back – a characterful island with cows on the beach. The epicerie in Piana is great for self-catering, offering as it does a range of meats, salads and ready meals – delicious. We must come again!
Dawne & David – October 2019

Overall a good holiday in a lovely location.
Simpson Traveller – October 2019

We have had a great and memorable week, snorkelled many beaches and walked many miles. We didn’t need to go far. Piana is great for local produce. We had a great meal at Roches Rouge and on the beach at Bussaglia. We enjoyed an evening ‘polyphonique’ in the church. We started down the stream but ran out of time. I reckon we could have gone all the way to the sea but we will never know. Thanks to all.
Ben & Sylvia – September 2019

We have had a great week and really enjoyed the privacy of this location. It’s been great to sit and relax and actually read a book in these lovely surroundings. We have walked a fair bit and enjoyed the scenery. It’s been a smashing week. Everything has been spot on.
Rob & Sue – August 2019

We have enjoyed a super relaxing week. An enthusiastic welcome from Mr Castelliani which was much appreciated, especially as our flight was delayed. I will miss the waterfall and swimming in the pool, goats’ evening visits, inquisitive lizards and the fly catchers, snake gave us a shock but it was probably more frightened of us! Lovely beaches, my favourite was Ficajola but quite a scary road (we walked it the first time, ok going as it’s downhill but quite a schlep to get back up the hill in the heat and takes just over an hour). Saw trout in the pool but you might need to snorkel to see them – well camouflaged. No WiFi – brilliant! Please do not every add WiFi to this magical place. Thanks to Mr and Mrs Castelliani for the welcome and looking out for us and Debbie of Simpson too.
Anne & Bill – June 2019

Arrived at Piana after spending a week exploring the north. On our arrival at the Mill the river was a raging torrent and the waterfall thunderous with spray greeting us at the front door! Thankfully the weather has improved gradually since then so we have been able to enjoy several bracing dips in the waterfall pool. We have enjoyed walking to Capo Rosso which was abundant with wild flowers and saw an osprey flying overhead. Went to the pretty cove of Ficajola for a swim and snorkelling was good as water very clear. Travelled to Evisa and walked in the Foret d’Aitone and Spelunca Gorge. Took a boat trip to Scandola and Girolata. Thoroughly enjoyed hearing Corsican polyphonic singing performed by two excellent groups at the church in Piana – the acoustics were amazing and the music very moving. Excellent pre-prepared Corsican meals available at Les Jardins de Piana. Enjoyed two visits to Roches Rouge for drinks and coffee – watching sunset and using WiFi – watch out for the prices. 
Karen & Alastair – May 2019

We have spent two weeks in Corsica for our honeymoon – a week in Ile Rousse and a week here. We have had an incredible week, with a few trips and lots of time just relaxing in and around the property. Trip-wise we would recommend Plage d’Arone, such a wonderful beach! We also enjoyed visiting Ficajola. We walked up to Capu Rossu – the 3.5 hour round trip walk was a little tough and steep but well worth it for the views at the top. We also drove to Ota and walked the start of the trail to Evisa down to the Genoise bridge which took about 30 minutes, perfect for a paddle! Porto was lovely to visit and the Alpana boat trip was great! Food-wise we enjoyed La Voute, Casa Corse and La Tour Genoise (in Porto), which all did veggie options. Around the property we loved seeing the goats, a wild bunch who wore a cowbell so you could always hear them coming! We made the most of the waterfall and enjoyed a few dips. Thank you to Simpson Travel and Monsieur Castellani for letting us stay!
Mr Hobbs – October 2018

Well, what can we say having wanted to visit Corsica for some time now we have not been disappointed, what a spectacular place. It's just magical and surpasses all our expectations. Swimming in the stream and waterfall was something you only dream about, although the water was rather cold we had a go. The weather has been kind to us, only rained in the daytime on Saturday but even that could not spoil our time here, the views are fabulous. Walking energising and difficult when hot but all worth the effort. Food and experience dining out at the Hotel Les Roches Rouges was very special. We loved Porto, really nice and quiet at this time of year. We feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to stay here and hope one day to be able to return. 

Andrew & Debbie – October 2018

We arrived in Corsica for our first visit around 10am, stopped en route to Piana for coffee at Calcatoggio beach, which was perfect. Another pitstop was the L’Hospiton for homemade pasta and refreshments, so far so good and all before arriving at Piana to pick up the keys. After another coffee in the local square next to the church (go inside it’s well worth it !), we were guided to the accommodation – WOW, what else can be said? The first impression has lasted until the very end of our week here. We read the guest book and tips, then decided to take each day as they came. The weather has been hot most days. We’ve had thunder and rain on occasions giving way to cloudy days but used these to see Porto and Cargese and the smaller beaches in between. Plage D’Arone was our favourite and we visited three times between 1pm – 7pm, we were thankful for the cool box provided. We dressed for dinner just the once for an evening at Les Roches Rouges Hotel. The menu was good value at 49€ per person for five courses but the walk back, assisted by mobile phone torches, is not for the faint hearted. Although we enjoyed the meal, if you are not a fan of fine dining, don’t go. We braved the waterfall because we could, and explored the woods and surrounding rocks as best we could in flip flops. English H&S would have a field day! Most evenings we called into the local village and spent an hour with the locals, stocking up on the bread, cheese, wine and enjoying the beer and crêpes. We returned each evening to enjoy the stillness of the nights, pasta and the local meats we had sourced during the day. Like others we have had time to relax, read and enjoy our time here without a TV and the internet. Having travelled far and wide in the last 30 years, we can honestly say this has been an extremely enjoyable experience. The location and the amenities are exceptional and will long be remembered. Chrystal and Nickoli greeted us enthusiastically and made us feel extremely welcome. Debbie ensured we knew where to find her if needed. Visits by the goats standing on the terrace to reach the trees were pretty entertaining, lizards enjoying the sun and the frogs making themselves known have been familiar sounds but as the night falls it becomes tranquil and a fabulous place to stay. Our thanks to Mr Castellani (and the numerous nephews we have met!) for letting us stay in this wonderful place and Simpson Travel who have been superb throughout. It doesn’t get much better than this.
Deborah & David – September 2018

Another fantastic week, our second visit and just as we had remembered.
Scarth family – September 2018

We had a wonderful week, thunderstorms every afternoon at the beginning of the week, with sunshine and wonderful weather for the rest of the time. Our tips – enjoy the property itself – just wonderful to explore down the stream and up above in addition to the wonderful pool and waterfall. Piana – some great food shops with local produce. Don’t worry if you don’t manage to do everything – the place itself is just magic!
Mrs Walker – August 2018

It was a huge privilege to stay here!
Mary – August 2018

We are grateful to have spent time in such an extraordinary place on our first visit to Corsica. A few highlights from our stay included L’Hospiton di Moumouche Trattoria – great service and exceptional rustic Italian pasta dishes – we went twice! Boat tour from Porto – an amazing vantage point to explore les Calanches and more. We were very happy with Alpana, which is run by the nephew of the owner of this house – you can book a tour in Piana at the Epicerie Castellani. Plage d’Arone and Plage de Ficajola – the former has soft sand, the latter is more secluded – both spectacular settings with good snorkelling. We really enjoyed just spending time here, watching the lizards on the terrace, the goats on the cliffs, daily (at least) swims in the waterfall pool. Thank you for a wonderful stay!
Mr Fawcett – July 2018

Wow – what a place! Lovely to stay – so tastefully restored giving a flavour of traditional rural Corsican life. The ‘Calanches’ are truly remarkable, constantly changing, misty and atmospheric one day, then glaring sun on others. L’ancien sentier Muletier Piana-Ota is a must for a post-dinner walk to watch the sunset. Loved the peace and tranquillity of the gorgeous valley by the waterfall. Shame about the honking coach horns but you can’t have it all! Enjoyed many memorable experiences… Strenuous but beautiful walk up towards Capu d’Ortu – see Piana Calanches trail map available from the tourist office, favourite beach – Caspiu and Partinellu. From there enjoy a lovely coastal walk to next beach along – Plage de Gradelle. Exploring La Spelunca Gorge after a lovely rustic lunch at Chez Felix in Ota. Les Roches Rouges Hotel – drinks on the terrace followed by lovely meal in the restaurant as the sunset is truly memorable and worth splashing out for! Blown away by Corsica at this time of year. Weather less reliable but still able to enjoy plenty of warm sunny days. Absolutely loved the wild flowers, butterflies and other wildlife. Hope you enjoy this place as much as we did!
Mrs Everdell – May 2018

 

 

First time in Corsica, what a beautiful place! Sunset at Les Roches Rouges Hotel, food very nice too. Capu Rossu walk was quite hard in the hot weather but worth it for the view! Au-dessus des calanches, again quite hard but views are worth it. Beach Arone was very nice, very good food at first restaurant. Will definitely miss the peace and the wonderful views, most of all the rock pool and waterfall!
Miss Layton – May 2018

A superb little hideaway in an unforgettable location with views far exceeding our expectations. For peace and tranquillity this is it.
Mr Aylett – May 2018

Wow! What an amazing experience! So unique and stunning location! Thank you for helping us to have a wonderful time in beautiful Corsica! It's totally unique and well equipped/presented. Loved the waterfall, scenery, wildlife – even had a pine martin on the wall! Never seen one before. Lots of excellent walks, beaches and we did two excellent dives from Porto with MPS Divers. Highly recommended – excellent hire kit and friendly team. Dinner at Hotel Roches Rouges – kirs on the terrace at sunset, top quality food, beautifully presented in a unique style and excellent service. Like being in an old movie! Thank you for superb provisions pack, especially the champagne and present for our anniversary! Very special. Thank you too to Debbie, the local rep, who was very helpful. We will certainly be recommending Simpson Travel! Thank you! 
Mrs Bellworthy – September 2016

Thank you for a fantastic two peaceful, unique and enjoyable weeks. Seamless, attentive but suitably low-key support from Simpson Travel. The location (especially the waterfall, pond and the calanque rocks), the house, sunsets, goats, welcome pack, support from Francis (the owner), comprehensive kitchen items (especially the dishwasher and washing machine), the stories from other travellers in the house book (very useful) and the two terraces all added to our great holiday experience. Would we recommend? Yes definitely. Would we go again? Yes, if we could! Two weeks of enjoyable peacefulness with stunning views and wonderful sunsets!
Ms Nigro – July 2016

Great weather, beautiful blue skies so we spent most of our time reclining and facing west. Excellent accommodation, simple and sufficient.
Mr Robinson – September 2014

What a lovely, enjoyable and beautiful location, our stay was a complete joy.
Mrs Johnson – August 2014

Inspired by watching Le Tour de France last year on TV, we planned our first visit to Corsica; we've had a wonderful week in this spectacular landscape. Everything about our holiday has been perfect.
Mr Askwith – July 2014

If you want to stay somewhere surrounded by a beautiful stunning landscape this is..'The Place.' Peace, seclusion, your very own waterfall and a lovely village just up the road, what more could you want?
Mrs Spice – May 2014

We loved Corsica and this place was just about perfect. We could not recommend it too highly.
Mr Brewster – April 2014

It's perfect and breathtaking in every way. The weather has been great. We both fell in love with Piana, everyone we met were so welcoming. Thank you Simpson Travel, everything was made so easy for us.
Mr & Mrs Knellar – September 2013

This was our first experience with Simpson Travel, but it won’t be our last. Everything was exactly as promised. The support before we went was excellent. The local Simpson Travel representative was very helpful with suggestions of things to do in the area. It is a unique and very special place, in a location which is just amazing. To say it delivers a wow factor would be a complete understatement. We loved Corsica and will return.
Hugh & Helen Leighton – June 2018

First time visitors who also arrived to be greeted by a torrential downpour. Thereafter we have had glorious weather and experienced magical adventures and discoveries. We have enjoyed discovering our own walks – breathtaking views. The natural beauty of the area and the welcome we have received from the people of Piana has been simply wonderful and we shall go home with so many happy memories. Thank you to the owners and Simpson Travel (in particular to Debbie for all your help).
Ms Kean – September 2013

This place will probably be the standard by which we'll judge every future holiday home. As a bird watcher/nature lover, this is a particularly wonderful place to spend time. The best bit – the waterfall and pool. Lovely, thank you!
Ms Bunker – August 2013

We have had an incredible two weeks here. The privacy in such a wonderful setting has been a totally unique and wonderful experience. The walking has been fantastic. We adored the waterfall and pool. All in all, an incredible holiday in an incredible location, thank you Simpson Travel – what a find!
Mr & Mrs Burrows – July 2013

What an amazing place to spend a week; so much to see, do and enjoy! Very interesting wildlife, incredible how the goats can come down the almost vertical cliff opposite. All in all, this has been a fantastic holiday – thank you Simpson Travel!
Mr & Mrs Stirling – July 2013

What a perfect introduction to Corsica, Piana and the Tour de France at the gate. This is a perfect spot for a pair of romantic nature lovers, so thank you to the owner for making the old mill such a fabulous holiday cottage.
Mr & Mrs Rowley – June 2013

It's our first visit to Corsica and we are wondering why? We'll take the memories of this special place with us. It's felt like an absolute privilege to be guests here. My husband made it into the waterfall; he re-enacted the 'Timotei' advert. Looking forward to our return. Thank you Simpson Travel.
Mr & Mrs Williams – June 2013

A really enjoyable holiday. Thank you.
Mr Underhay – May 2013

A week is not long enough to enjoy all that Corsica has to offer. We have loved every moment and have felt very privileged staying here. Thoughts of ‘Le Grand Père’ together with his goats; chestnut flour and the history of the area. It is all so perfect and stunningly beautiful! Next time we will come prepared for serious walking as losing the pathway on the Piana/Ota Mule track was far from ideal but we made it and love the memory. Although not honeymooners, even after 25 years of marriage we have felt a special romance here. It's a very special place and we feel very lucky to have found this gem. Thank you, we’ll be back.
Mr Wendt – September 2012

Our choice of Corsican properties is as diverse as the island itself, ranging from simple seaside charm to genuine luxury and style. Much of our portfolio is privately owned, and price alone is therefore not a universal guide. We contract all our accommodation in person, and each property has its individual appeal. To help you make the right choice based on your own priorities, we have devised a simple grading guide to be considered in conjunction with each individual property description, awarding up to a maximum of five stars for the below categories.

Grading Help

Property Grading Key:

  • 5/5

    Excellent

  • 4/5

    Very good

  • 3/5

    Good

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  • Location

    4/5

    Position, view, serenity, privacy

  • Comfort

    3/5

    Space, style, overall furnishings

  • Facilities*

    3/5

    Property enhancements

  • Amenities*

    3/5

    Proximity to beaches, restaurants and shops

* For further clarification on Facilities and Amenities, please view the 'Details' tab for each property or speak to one of our experienced sales consultants.

Founded by the Genoese, Ajaccio, Corsica’s capital and the West Coast’s cultural hot spot, is a stylish centre for shopping, fine dining and unhurried aperitifs. To the north, you’ll find picturesque Cargèse, high on a clifftop. A short drive beyond and the stunning Gulf of Porto opens before you, its deep blue water surrounded by red granite cliffs.

As a handpicked complement to your holiday, our villa on the West Coast, Moulin des Calanques, is a restored watermill in a breathtakingly lovely location – a taste of Corsica at its most unspoilt and a truly unique holiday experience.

Read more on our West Coast of Corsica region page

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