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It was the rock lobster: the lure of Centuri, Corsica | Corsica holidays

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As I dangle my ft within the cool, clear waters off northern Corsica, I’ve solely a yacht moored 100 metres away for firm. Crusing would have been the extra glamorous solution to arrive on the port of Centuri, a small fishing harbour on the far north-west tip of Cap Corse, however as a substitute I’ve the joys of the drive.

I observe the twisting lanes carved out of the steep hillsides that descend into the ocean with barely room for 2 vehicles to go. Whereas the drive could also be heart-stopping, the views are merely jaw-dropping; Centuri comes into view once I cease on the Moulin Mattei look-out level, the place a terracotta-roofed windmill is ready on the previous web site of the island’s much-loved Cap Corse distillery.

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Moulin Mattei, a viewpoint close to Centuri. {Photograph}: Witold Skrypczak/Alamy

I stroll as much as the point of view to soak up the spectacular panorama of the jagged coast and breathe within the heady aroma of the maquis – the herb shrubland that cloaks the panorama. Down under, Centuri’s harbour beckons me to return nearer for a lunch of the native speciality: rock lobster or langouste.

Regardless of its dimension, Centuri is France’s capital of rock lobster fishing, although the fleet is far lowered from its Sixties heyday. Again then, about 20 households line-fished the cluster of rocks 40 minutes out to sea, however now simply 5 proceed the custom, which is strictly restricted to make sure sustainability. There appears no scarcity, nonetheless, with all the village’s eating places providing it on their menu.

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Certainly, there may be little extra to Centuri than the harbour and its eating places, every with quite a few terraces that cling to the harbour partitions, and a classy air regardless of its distant setting. Maybe that’s the lure of lobster.

The port of Centuri. {Photograph}: Guido Cozzi/Getty Photographs

I take a desk on the family-run U Cavallu di Mare (“the seahorse” in Corsican), the place the terrace is constructed just like the prow of a ship and overlooks the ocean wall. Chef Jean-Christophe Strinna comes out from the kitchen and leads me to a tank from which he plucks a rock lobster to indicate me the way it doesn’t have huge claws like a pink lobster. I make eye contact with my lunch and, as I return to the desk contemplating a brand new life as a vegetarian, Jean-Christophe disappears again into the kitchen to cook dinner.

Quickly, his sister Jessica serves my entrée, soupe à l’araignée (spider crab soup with croutons and rouille), and as I sip the scrumptious, tomato-rich dish from the spoon, I watch a ship come into the harbour whereas round me fellow diners take their seats. My half rock lobster lunch is succulent meat, served with crushed potato drizzled with peppery olive oil, roasted cherry tomatoes and a courgette gratin. I get to work with the instruments to fish the meat from the spindly legs and slim claw.

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After dessert of the island’s signature fiadone (a flan-like cheesecake made with its brocciu sheep’s cheese) I wander down alongside the quayside the place nets and buoys are set in neat piles. From there it’s just some minutes’ stroll to the water’s edge to take a seat on the rocks and gaze into the azure water and chill out earlier than the joys of the onward drive.
The journey was supplied by Go to Corsica. Resort Le Saint-Jean in Ersa has doubles with a sea view from €91 (€154 in summer time) room-only

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