The 6 Best Boat Tours From Porto, Ajaccio Or Porticcio In Corsica [2024 Reviews]

The best way to explore Corsica is on a boat tour from one of the main resort towns. In fact, there are several beautiful parts of the island you can only reach by boat, such as the village of Girolata and Scandola Nature Reserve.

Corsican boat tours from Porto are a great way to admire the island’s beautiful coastline. But you can also charter boats from other Corsican towns like Ajaccio or Porticcio.

I’ve selected 6 of the top-rated boat tours in Corsica to review. 4 are tours in Porto and 2 sail from other towns. Each Corsican boat excursion visits a different selection of attractions around the coast of Corsica. One of them will be perfect for you.

Best Boat Tours From Porto, Ajaccio, Or Porticcio In Corsica

From Porto: Piana Creeks & Scandola Small-group Boat TourCorsica: Scandola and Calanche de Piana Boat Tour from PortoPorto: Scandola Nature Reserve Eco-Friendly Boat Tour
editors choice
Departure PointLa Calipso Hotel Dock, PortoNava Va Promenades, Place de la Marine, PortoNave Va kiosk, Marine, Porto
Departure Time8:30 AM, 1:00 PM9:00 AM9:30 AM, 2:30 PM
Duration3 hours3½ hours3 hours
IncludesEnglish speaking guide, boat tour, explore Piana’s creeks, and visit Scandola Nature ReserveEnglish speaking guide, boat cruise, visit Scandola Nature Reserve, visit Girolata, and explore the Calanche de PianaEnglish speaking guide, boat cruise, explore Scandola Nature Reserve, and visit Girolata

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking

Quick Answer: The 6 Best Boat Tours From Porto, Ajaccio, Or Porticcio In Corsica

  1. From Porto: Piana Creeks & Scandola Small-group Boat Tour
  2. Corsica: Scandola and Calanche de Piana Boat Tour from Porto
  3. Porto: Scandola Nature Reserve Eco-Friendly Boat Tour
  4. Corsica: Calanche de Piana 1.5-Hour Boat Cruise from Porto
  5. From Ajaccio or Porticcio: Full-Day Boat Tour to Bonifacio
  6. Scandola, Girolata and Calanche de Piana Full-Day Boat Tour

Best Boat Tours From Porto, Ajaccio, Or Porticcio In Corsica Reviewed

#1 From Porto: Piana Creeks & Scandola Small-group Boat Tour

Tour Highlights at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: La Calipso Hotel Dock, Porto
  • Departure Time: 8:30 AM, 1:00 PM
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Includes: English speaking guide, boat tour, explore Piana’s creeks, and visit Scandola Nature Reserve
If you’re interested in the natural history of Corsica, you’ll love this boat trip from Porto. This Corsican boat excursion is designed to show you as much as possible of Corsica’s breathtaking shoreline.

You’ll be sailing aboard a small, semi-rigid, pneumatic boat designed to impact the environment as little as possible. Since it’s only designed to carry 12 passengers, you’ll be part of an intimate group tour. Also, the small size of this tour boat enables it to transport you inside some of Corsica’s unique sea caves.

On this boat tour in Corsica, it’s not unusual to spot marine mammals, like dolphins or seals. The marine life around the Scandola Nature Reserve is especially rich and varied. However, most visitors to this UNESCO World Heritage Site are more interested in its amazing birdlife, including ospreys, sea eagles, and peregrine falcons.

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience

#2 Corsica: Scandola and Calanche de Piana Boat Tour from Porto

Tour Highlights at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: Nava Va Promenades, Place de la Marine, Porto
  • Departure Time: 9:00 AM
  • Duration: 3½ hours
  • Includes: English speaking guide, boat cruise, visit Scandola Nature Reserve, visit Girolata, and explore the Calanche de Piana
This is a great cruise from Porto for anyone interested in nature and natural landscapes. This Corsican boat trip not only includes a chance to see the pink granite inlets of the Calanche de Piana, but it also includes a visit to Scandola Nature Reserve.

The remote village of Girolata is only accessible from the sea, so this tour enables you to visit an isolated, traditional Corsican community. While there, you can explore the village or take the chance to swim in the warm Mediterranean Sea.

In Scandola Nature Reserve, watch out for peregrine falcons and sea eagles. This renowned nature reserve is one of the last places you can see the endemic flora of the Mediterranean. Established in 1975, the reserve is now only accessible by boat.

You’ll love sailing along the inlets of the Calanche de Piana. These unique pink granite structures were formed by the action of wind and waves on igneous rocks in this area. Your guide will be happy to educate you about the rich geological diversity of the rocks found here.

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience

#3 Porto: Scandola Nature Reserve Eco-Friendly Boat Tour

Tour Highlights at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: Nave Va kiosk, Marine, Porto
  • Departure Time: 9:30 AM, 2:30 PM
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Includes: English speaking guide, boat cruise, explore Scandola Nature Reserve, and visit Girolata
If you’re interested in Corsican culture and Corsica’s natural history, you’ll love this boat excursion from Porto. Not only do you get to explore the Scandola Nature Reserve, but you’ll also spend ½-an-hour in the remote fishing village of Girolata.

The Scandola Nature Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a wonderful place to spot birdlife, such as peregrine falcons and ospreys. The marine life around the reserve will enthrall anyone interested in nature. You’ll be sailing on a silent hybrid boat, which is respectful toward the environment.

When you stop at Girolata, you can take the opportunity to swim in the crystal-clear waters. Alternatively, you can explore this isolated community and learn about the traditional lifestyle of Corsican fishermen.

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience

#4 Corsica: Calanche de Piana 1.5-Hour Boat Cruise from Porto

Tour Highlights at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: Nava Va Promenades, Place de la Marine, Porto
  • Departure Time: 1:00 PM, 5:30 PM
  • Duration: 1½ hours
  • Includes: English speaking guide, 1½-hour boat tour, and views of the Calanche de Piana
This is an ideal boat trip from Porto for anyone who is fascinated by the unique rock formations found off the coast of Corsica. The beautiful Calanche de Piana are inlets along the coastline near the village of Piana where pink granite is exposed.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site features many interesting seabirds and rich marine life. Your guide will explain the geological and geographical processes that have led to the creation of this natural landmark.

While there are many Porto Corsica boat trips you can choose from, few will show you so much in so little time. The silent hybrid boat used for this tour is not only fast, but it also is better for the environment than the boats used by other less responsible tour operators.

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience

#5 From Ajaccio or Porticcio: Full-Day Boat Tour to Bonifacio

Tour Highlights at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: Nave Va, Porticcio or Nave Va, Port Tino Rossi, Ajaccio
  • Departure Time: 8:00 AM
  • Duration: 1 day
  • Includes: English speaking guide, cruise along the southern coastline, visit Bonifacio, and mini-train shuttle
If you’re interested in Bonifacio boat trips, you’ll love this full-day excursion from Ajaccio or Porticcio. Your Corsican boat trip will explore the southern coast of the island including the Commune of Bonifacio on the southernmost point.

The limestone cliffs around the Bay of Bonifacio are famous for their rock formations, sea caves, stacks, and beauty. The citadel of Bonifacio stands proudly atop the cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, providing you with fantastic photo ops.

You’ll have 4 hours free to explore the winding medieval streets of Bonifacio. Watch out for the “Staircase of the King of Aragon” carved into the cliffs during the 1420 Siege of Bonifacio. Your tour includes a mini-train shuttle from the port of Bonifacio up to the upper town and citadel.

If you’re planning to take a boat charter in Corsica, this is one of the best you can choose. The views from the citadel of Bonifacio are stunning, and you’ll see both natural wonders and historic landmarks that you’ll never forget.

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience

#6 Scandola, Girolata and Calanche de Piana Full-Day Boat Tour

Tour Highlights at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: Either Nava Va, Porticcio or Nave Va, Port Tino Rossi, Ajaccio
  • Departure Time: 8:00 AM
  • Duration: 1 day
  • Includes: English speaking guide, boat transport, visit a fishing village only accessible by sea, and visit the Scandola Nature Reserve
This is one of the best boat tours in Corsica for anyone with a passion for nature and beautiful landscapes. This 1-day boat tour from Ajaccio or Porticcio is a great way to explore the more remote areas of Corsica.

The Scandola Nature Reserve is a wonderful place to observe endemic birdlife and flora. Watch out for peregrine falcons and ospreys in their natural habitat. Few Corsica boat trips provide you with such fantastic opportunities to come close to nature on this beautiful island.

Your tour also includes a 2-hour stopover in the coastal village of Girolata. This secluded village is only accessible by sea. Take a look at the traditional lifestyle of Corsican fishermen and maybe eat lunch in the seafood restaurant.

Your boat tour will continue on into the hidden inlets of the Calanche de Piana where you can admire the beauty of pink granite shores weathered down into unique rock formations by the actions of wind and waves.

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience

Corsica Travel Guide

boat tours from corsica

Corsica is the Mediterranean’s hidden gem. Although it’s a region of France, you’ll find it to be a culturally unique island and very different from the French mainland. Corsica is a great destination for anyone interested in history or exploring beautiful landscapes. And what’s truly great about this island is that it remains largely undiscovered by mass tourism. It’s less developed and more authentic than any other Mediterranean island you can visit.

Airports & Entry

The two best ways to reach Corsica are by air or by sea.


Corsica is served by 4 international airports: Ajaccio Napoleon Bonaparte Airport, Bastia – Poretta Airport, Calvi – Sainte-Catherine Airport, and Figari – Sud Corse Airport. During the summer high season, budget airlines like EasyJet and Ryanair provide flights from European cities to all these airports. Generally, flights to Ajaccio Napoleon Bonaparte Airport will offer the best deals because it’s the busiest airport on the island.

When planning your flight, use a flight comparison site like Kayak to ensure you get the best deals. Even off-season, you can get an EasyJet flight from Paris to Ajaccio Napoleon Bonaparte Airport that takes 1 hour 45 minutes for as little as $79.


Car ferries link Corsica to both nearby Italy and mainland France. Over 2 million passengers every year pass through Bastia, the busiest seaport. If you’re traveling across Europe by car, these links can be very useful. You can compare crossing times and prices on ferry price comparison websites like Aferry.

A person with a small car can cross from Savona in Italy for as little as $100 in 14 hours. The crossing from Livorno in Italy only takes 4 hours 30 minutes but can cost $170. And you can cross from Marseille in France in 13 hours for around $100. Much like with flights, you’ll find more services running during the high season.

Planning Tips

Corsica is a unique region of France. You’ll be fascinated by its culture and history. Here are 5 tips to help you plan your vacation.

Tip #1: Decide what you want to do before planning your visit to Corsica

There are lots of interesting things to do around Corsica, but you should plan your visit around what you mainly want to do. Some people come for the scenery and natural landmarks while others come for the historic sites. However, note that the island can become crowded and hot during the summer high season.

If you’re planning on hiking to remote locations, you might want to come during the shoulder season to benefit from cooler but still warm weather and smaller crowds. But if you mainly want to sunbathe on Corsica’s many pristine beaches, or enjoy the nightlife at its peak, then you’ll want to come during the high season in July and August.

Tip #2: Don’t rely on credit cards

An unusually high number of businesses refuse to accept credit cards in Corsica. You’ll find that even busy restaurants and stores won’t take cards. Before traveling to Corsica, ensure that you’re able to take out enough cash to cover your purchases from ATMs around the island.

Tip #3: Be prepared for unexpected hot weather along the coast

Although Corsica doesn’t suffer such high average temperatures as more southerly Mediterranean islands, the temperature near the beaches can rapidly rise. If you go hiking or spend a day on the beach, ensure you take along plenty of bottled water for hydration. Also, take along sunscreen, a sun hat, and maybe a parasol on the beach.

Tip #4: Book in advance, especially during summer

Corsica doesn’t get as many tourists as other areas of France or nearby Italy. While this is great if you don’t like crowds, it also means there are fewer hotel rooms and tour spots available for visitors. So, if you want to avoid disappointment, ensure you book any essential tours and your hotel rooms in advance.

Tip #5: Be prepared for problems on the road

Most visitors to Corsica decide to hire a car to explore its wonderful scenic landscape. However, once you leave the main roads, the road quality rapidly deteriorates. You’ll find narrow roads where cars cannot pass and lots of holes in the road. You should also keep an eye out for DUI menaces and farm animals crossing the road in more rural locations.

Restaurants & Eating Out

Much like the French, Corsicans enjoy a long and leisurely lunch, often with 3 courses and accompanied by Corsican wine. Traditional dishes often include cheeses and cured meats along with leafy vegetables and the seafood you’d expect in any Mediterranean island. Many Corsican recipes involve local brandy or wine.

Although Corsica is a region of France, its proximity to Italy and history mean that you can expect to see strong Italian influences in the food, like meat dishes served with polenta or pasta.

Traditional meat dishes

Many traditional meat dishes involve cured meats. These include liver sausage, salami-style sausage, smoked ham, black pudding, and the unique Fromage de tête—a cheese-like substance made from pig’s brains.

However, despite this proliferation of preserved meats, Civet de Sanglier is Corsica’s signature dish. This is a rich casserole made using wild boar cooked in red wine along with carrots, onions, chestnuts, garlic, and fennel. A Casa di l’Orsu in the town of Corte in the very heart of Corsica is a fantastic restaurant to sample traditionally cooked Civet de Sanglier.

Another popular stew is veau aux olives made from olives, onions, tomatoes, herbs, and tender veal cooked in rosé wine. And if you prefer your meat roasted, try agneau Corse slow-roasted lamb with potatoes, whole garlic cloves, and rosemary.


Given that Corsica is a Mediterranean island, you can expect to see lots of seafood around the coast. Bouillabaisse is a popular fish soup made using unique ingredients including surmullet, tub gurnard, and scorpionfish. This is traditionally served with a spicy rouille sauce. Another popular method of eating fish is grilled. You’ll find grilled tuna, shrimps, swordfish, and shellfish on many menus. A popular seafood restaurant you can try is the Restaurant Les Quatre Vents in Bonifacio.

Dairy Products

In the mountainous areas of Corsica, many recipes call for copious use of local dairy products. For example, Brocciu is a unique local kind of cheese similar to goat’s cheese but made using ewe’s milk. An interesting cheese to watch out for is casgiu merzu, which is a unique ewe’s milk cheese containing live cheese fly maggots. Most Corsican cheeses are made using goat’s milk or ewe’s milk.

Corsican desserts

Many traditional desserts are made from milk or eggs. A unique local cheesecake called fiadone is made using brocciu cheese, chestnut flour, and eggs flavored with brandy and lemon zest. Flan a la farine de Chataigne is a delicious chestnut tart made using chestnuts, eggs, and brandy.

Paglia Orba in Corte is a fantastic place to try out many of Corsica’s tastiest desserts. It is one of the top-rated restaurants in Corsica and specializes in a wonderful range of sweets from around the island and other parts of France.

Nightlife & Entertainment

Corsica is far from the wildest nightspot in the Mediterranean, but you can find a selection of lively bars where you can let your hair down and meet new friends. Corsican nightlife is relatively low-key and is often focused on restaurants or cafés with attached bars and maybe live music.


All the larger towns feature a selection of bars. And because there are so many fantastic local wines, you’ll find atmospheric bars in small villages where you’re encouraged to try the local product. If you want to familiarize yourself with the full range of local wines, you might want to visit the Simonini Emmanuel Wine Bar on the Ruelle de la Fontaine in Corte.

You’ll find a good variety of bars in Ajaccio, though live music and other entertainment tends to be found in the larger restaurants. In the summer high season, Bastia hosts seasonal night clubs packed with students. There are many bars in Bonifacio, but they’re almost all closed by midnight.


Some restaurants have a long history of providing live music and entertainment. The most famous venue for cultured live music on the island is Chez Tao on the Route de la Citadelle in Calvi. The Chez Tao Restaurant was established in 1935 and is renowned as the place where the wealthy and sophisticated gather to eat and enjoy wonderful views of the bay accompanied by live piano playing.

If you want to dance through the night, check out Porto Vecchio where some clubs open until 4 am. The best known of these is Via Notte, which claims it’s the largest outdoor nightclub in Europe. Like most nightlife venues in Corsica, it’s based around a restaurant. But in summer, Via Notte stages parties for up to 5,000 people hosted by famous international DJs.

Getting Around

Unlike the rest of France, public transport isn’t great in Corsica. If you want to get around the island and see things, you should either hire a car and drive yourself or take tours that provide transport.

Car hire

Most visitors to Corsica who want to explore the island’s stunning scenery hire a car. Although there are no freeways in Corsica, the main roads are well maintained and signed. Sadly, the same cannot be said for the narrow, winding mountain roads and remote rural roads.

You must take great care when navigating around blind turns through the mountains. Note also that French drivers don’t have a great reputation for safe driving. The speed limits are 37 mph (60 km/h) in urban areas, 56 mph (80 km/h) on country roads, and 68 mph (110 km/h) on 2-land highways. You’ll see lots of congestion and busy roads during July and August. During the rest of the year, the roads are relatively quiet.

To drive anywhere in France, you require a passport, valid driver’s license, and proof of insurance on your person. Note that the minimum age for drivers is 18! It’s recommended you obtain an International Driver’s Permit that provides a translation of your license details into French. However, if you have any valid EU driver’s license, you won’t need an International Driver’s Permit.

Vehicle sharing

There is a popular car-sharing website in France that you might want to check out called BlaBlaCar. This website can help you connect with local people in Corsica who are planning drives across the island and would be willing to share their car if you’ll pay for their gas. While this doesn’t give you the freedom to explore on our own, it does give you the unique opportunity to connect with local people and learn about Corsican culture from a native.


Although I wouldn’t recommend the trains in Corsica for every journey, you should try them at least once during your stay. The mainline crosses through the mountains from Bastia to Ajaccio and provides amazing scenic views. However, the local U Trinighellu has tiny and uncomfortable shaking carriages. The services are notoriously unreliable and sometimes simply just don’t run.


Corsica does have reliable public buses. However, the services are infrequent, with only 1 or 2 buses a day between the main towns on the island. You should only rely on the buses if you have a lot of time on your hands.


For short journeys, you can always arrange a taxi. However, they are super expensive when compared with the cost of hiring your own car.


Corsica’s tourism industry is relatively underdeveloped. This offers the advantage of a relatively unspoiled landscape and few crowds. However, you’ll also find accommodation around the island relatively expensive and with fewer amenities than the French mainland. The main resorts include Ajaccio, Porto, Porticcio, Calvi, and Porto Vecchio.

If you want to explore off the beaten track, and you’re hiring a car, you might want to consider renting a holiday villa. If you’re coming with your whole family or a large group of friends, you’ll probably find it more economical to rent a villa for the week than to stay in a hotel. Villas also provide you with a home away from home and more privacy than is possible in a hotel. You’ll find hundreds of villas in Corsica listed on


This seaport is the capital and largest town of Corsica and Napoleon’s birthplace. You can visit Maison Bonaparte and wander around the house where France’s greatest statesman and general was born. And the Musee Fesch, established by Napoleon’s uncle, is famous for its Renaissance art. The Hotel Dolce Vita offers great views of the Iles Sanguinaires, which are a group of rocky islands off the coast near Ajaccio.


Porto is a popular location for nature lovers. You can access the Scandola National Park by water from here, and this town is a great base for diving and hiking. The Hotel le Belvedere is great for visitors on a tight budget.


Porticcio attracts a young, beach-loving crowd. Porticcio Beach is touristy and over-commercialized, but Ruppione Beach and Agosta’s sands are more attractive. Le Maquis Hotel features its own private cove for visitors who can afford 5-star accommodation.


Calvi is a more up-market resort in a photogenic area of the island. A Foreign Legion citadel dominates the town, and the 3-mile beach is a popular place for drinking at the beach bars or long, romantic walks. Although the area is renowned for its sophistication, you’ll find affordable rooms with sea views at the Hotel St Erasme.

Porto Vecchio

This long-established resort stretches over 8-miles of sandy bays. A popular marina dominates the heart of the resort, which is popular with watersport enthusiasts, families, and couples. The Casa del Mar is great for anyone with deep pockets seeking luxury rooms, an infinity pool, and spa. But if you’re visiting with your family, the Hotel San Giovanni offers comfortable and affordable accommodation.


If you like historic locations, you’ll love Bonifacio’s old town, fortifications, and labyrinth of streets. The deep-water inlet provides mooring for the international yachting set, and you’ll find the better restaurants and hotels along the quay. If you’re looking for reasonably priced, stylish accommodation near the harbor, check out the Hotel Residence du Centre Nautique.


This is another great town for history lovers. Due to ancient vendettas and feuds in this medieval town, many of its older houses are built like fortresses. The vineyards around this town are reputed to produce the best red wine on the island. The Hotel la Villa Piana on the edge of town provides comfortable and affordable rooms.


The coastal areas of Corsica feature a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters. Further inland, higher areas only experience warm summers. And the very highest altitudes in Corsica experience a subarctic climate with cold summers!

The winter is coldest in January, with an average daily high of 570F and a low of 410F. By April, the fields turn green, and flowers flood the island with color. The temperatures range from a high of 640F to a low of 480F.

August is the hottest month, with an average high of 850F and a low of 670F. The earliest grape harvests come at the end of summer, with the main harvests during September and October. November sees a drop in temperatures. The average daily high drops to 630F and the low 490F.


Corsica features a mixture of fantastic historic and natural attractions.


Corsica’s capital boasts several notable landmarks, such as the Place de Gaulle where you can see an amazing equestrian statue of Napoleon Bonaparte erected in 1865. Many visitors flock to Ajaccio to visit Napoleon Bonaparte’s birthplace, where you can see family memorabilia, documents, and portraits of Ajaccio’s most famous son.

In the Palais Fesch art museum, you can visit a gallery dedicated to Napoleon which includes a collection of coins and medallions connected to his life story. However, the museum is more famous for its unique collection of Renaissance artwork. And the 16th-century Cathedrale d’Ajaccio is where Napoleon was Christened in 1771.


This fortified town looms over the Mediterranean Sea atop a steep limestone cliff. At the heart of this medieval town is the 12th-century Eglise Sainte-Marie-Majeure, a beautiful Romanesque church. The history of the fortified citadel stretches back into the 9th century. In recent history, the fortress was an administrative center for the French Foreign Legion.

Bonifacio is found within the Reserve Naturelle des Bouches de Bonifacio, which is Corsica’s biggest nature reserve. The reserve is renowned for its beaches, limestone cliffs, and sea caves. Some visitors also use Bonifacio as a base for visiting Sardinia, because there is a regular 1-hour ferry to Santa Teresa di Gallura.

Sant Antonino

The ancient citadel of Sant Antonino sits atop a 1,600-feet-high granite hilltop. It was founded by the Moors in the 9th century and now boasts stunning views of the sea and surrounding countryside. This walled settlement is one of France’s Plus Beaux Villages—a list of the most beautiful villages in France.

Near Sant Antonino is the Couvent Saint-Dominique de Corbara. The convent is found tucked between snow-topped mountains and welcomes visitors on spiritual retreats.

Scandola Nature Reserve

The red granite coastline and beautiful bays of the Gulf of Porto form one of Corsica’s most famous views. The reserve can only be reached by boat or on foot. The Scandola Nature Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The sea around the reserve is popular with scuba divers and snorkelers. Tour boats often visit the area to enable visitors to admire the coral reefs, dolphins, seals, swordfish, and moray eels.

Gorges of Tavignano & Restonica

The glacial landscape found near the town of Corte is unique in the Mediterranean. The picturesque valleys offer pine forests, tumbling rivers, sculptured slopes, and rock pools. This is a great area for hiking and sightseeing.

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We have reviewed the major boating tours in Corsica. Take a look at one that suits you best.

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Richard Moore

Richard is a co-founder and contributor to World Travel Guides. He has trekking and survival experience throughout Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. Richard contributes his extensive travel and outdoor experience to the editorial topics and content on World Travel Guides.
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