|Picturesque PIANA occupies a prime location overlooking the Calanches, but for some reason does not suffer the deluge of tourists that Porto endures. Retaining a sleepy feel, the village comprises a cluster of pink houses ranged around an eighteenth-century church and square, from the edge of which the panoramic views over the Golfe de Porto are sublime.|
If you want to stay, head straight for the Hôtel les Roches Rouges (tel 04.95.27.81.81, fax 04.95.27.81.76; AprilOct; €100125), an elegant old grand hôtel rising from the eucalptus canopy on the outskirts. Having lain empty for two decades, the turn-of-the-century building was restored with most of its orignal fittings and furniture intact, and possesses loads of fin-de-siècle style. The rooms are huge and light, with large shuttered windows, but make sure you get one facing the water. Non-residents are welcome to drop in for a sundowner on the magnificent terrace, or for a meal in the fresco-covered restaurant, whose menus gastronomiques (at €23, €30 and €46), dominated by local seafood delicacies, are as sophisticated as the ambience. A cheaper alternative is the Continental, an old house with high wooden ceilings and a leafy garden, on the right as you leave Piana for Porto (tel 04.95.27.89.00; €3040). On the west edge of the village there's also an excellent gîte d'étape (tel 04.95.27.84.03), offering dormitory bunk beds (€15 per person) and simple double rooms (€3040) in addition to ample camping space on a grassy terrace overlooking the gulf.