Are you ready to embark on an extraordinary adventure to the captivating island of Corsica, fondly known as the Island of Beauty? Prepare to be captivated by its breathtaking landscapes, where striking red cliffs meet turquoise waters and charming stone villages nestle amidst majestic mountains. Corsica beckons with hidden coves, sandy beaches, and rugged peninsulas that stretch over 1,000 kilometers of awe-inspiring coastline. You will find there the iconic Scandola reserve, popular for scuba diving.
Beyond its scenic splendors, Corsica offers a harmonious blend of unspoiled nature, rich history, and mouthwatering gastronomy. In this comprehensive guide, we will unveil the mesmerizing charm of Corsica, explore its hidden treasures, and reveal the secrets to optimize your journey for an unforgettable experience.
Where is Corsica located? Is Corsica part of France or Italy? (Check our map on the right to spot the exact location)
Must-sees on your holiday in Corsica(Corse)
Let your senses indulge in the captivating wonders of Corsica's natural beauty. Begin your journey in the picturesque city of Bastia, where the old port's colorful houses create a postcard-perfect scene, accompanied by boats gently bobbing in the harbor. Travel to Cap Corse, often referred to as an "island on the island," and be mesmerized by the breathtaking views of coastal villages, secluded beaches tucked into intimate coves, and ancient Genoese towers that gracefully punctuate the horizon.
Ile-Rousse : Where timeless beauty meets tranquil coastal charm
Continue your odyssey to Ile-Rousse, where a majestic Genoese tower stands watchful over the island of Pietra, surrounded by dramatic red porphyry rock formations. Stroll through the eponymous square, a historical site honoring Pascal Paoli, the revered father of the Corsican nation. The memory of Pascal Paoli, hovers over the large eponymous square where endless games of pétanque are played under the plane trees.
Your journey then takes you to Calvi, where the legacy of Genoese dominance lives on through its magnificent citadel, perched atop a rocky outcrop overlooking the picturesque port. The citadel's thick ramparts lead to the upper town's narrow cobblestone streets and charming staircases, evoking the essence of a bygone era. Unravel the intriguing tale of Napoleon's brief sojourn in a house owned by his godfather in 1793, adding a touch of legend to Calvi's historical tapestry.
Ajaccio: In the footsteps of Napoleon
Take a deeper dive into Corsica's history in Ajaccio, a city that immortalizes the memory of the illustrious emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte. Step into the Maison Bonaparte museum, where beautifully renovated exhibits trace the emperor's life from his birth in 1769 to the events of the Second Empire. The highlight of your visit will undoubtedly be the revered "alcove" room, where Bonaparte resided upon his triumphant return from the Egyptian expedition in 1799.
Porto-Vecchio: A coastal gem for soulful escapes
Journey south to picturesque Porto-Vecchio, boasting a stunning turquoise bay that paints a portrait of paradise. For photography enthusiasts, this coastal haven is a visual feast, captivating the hearts of all who visit. Pause to marvel at the Genoese citadel, a witness to the island's captivating history, while lively squares, arched passages, and enchanting staircases beckon you to explore further. Succumb to the allure of charming boutiques and inviting cafés, embracing the vibrant spirit that infuses every corner of Corsica.
Adventure and culinary delights await
Corsica's allure extends far beyond its coastal wonders, welcoming adventurous souls to explore its lush hinterland. Take on the renowned GR20, an extraordinary European hiking trail stretching over 180 kilometers from north to south. While demanding, this trail promises unforgettable moments, allowing you to conquer shorter sections if preferred. For refreshment after the adventure, snorkel above the beautiful seabed of six nature reserves, or ease aches and pains in the sulphurous waters of the Caldane baths. Visit a Corsican vineyard and sample one of its nine AOC wines. After that, move to the sounds of Calvi on the Rocks, the summertime electro festival.
After your adventures, savor the island's culinary delights—a symphony of flavors that will tantalize your taste buds. Indulge in seasonal sea urchins during the winter months and relish the renowned Corsican charcuterie, especially the flavorful figatellu, served alongside delectable polenta made from chestnut flour. Immerse yourself in the distinct taste of Corsica by sampling the unique brocciu cheese, a testament to Corsican craftsmanship, and treat yourself to the vibrant flavors of Corsican clementines and locally sourced honey, capturing the essence of the island's lush maquis and undergrowth.
Corsica's culture and traditions: celebrating life's joys
Corsica boasts a rich tapestry of culture and traditions, where vibrant celebrations and festivals showcase the island's exuberant spirit. From the lively Carnaval de Bastia to the age-old Fête de Saint-Jean in Bonifacio, Corsican festivals offer a glimpse into the island's colorful heritage. Witness the spirited game of pétanque, a beloved pastime enjoyed in squares and parks across the island, bringing locals and visitors together in the spirit of camaraderie.
A journey through time: Corsica's historical treasures
Uncover Corsica's ancient past through its impressive archaeological sites and historic landmarks. The megalithic site of Filitosa, with its mysterious standing stones, transports visitors back in time to the prehistoric era. Explore the Genoese towers scattered along the coastline, once crucial defense points against invaders, now standing as silent witnesses to Corsica's history.
Corsica takes pride in its rich tradition of craftsmanship, preserving time-honored artistry that has been passed down through generations. Visit local artisans' workshops and discover the art of knife-making, creating intricate Corsican knives adorned with traditional motifs. Admire skilled weavers crafting Corsican rugs, renowned for their intricate designs and vibrant colors, a testament to the island's artistic heritage.
Corsican festivals: A tapestry of music and dance
Experience the rhythms and melodies of Corsican music, a cherished cultural expression reflecting the island's unique identity. Traditional polyphonic singing, known as "A Cappella," resonates with haunting beauty, evoking a sense of profound connection to Corsica's rugged landscapes. Attend the annual Festival du Vent, where wind instruments fill the air, and vibrant dances showcase the island's lively spirit.
Corsican cuisine: A gastronomic adventure
The island's gastronomy is a true reflection of its diverse landscapes and cultural heritage. Corsican cuisine combines the finest ingredients sourced from both land and sea, resulting in a delectable fusion of flavors. Savor the simplicity of Corsican dishes, where the emphasis is placed on high-quality ingredients and traditional cooking techniques. Feast on fresh seafood delicacies like lobster, sea urchins, and oysters, freshly caught from the Mediterranean waters. Indulge in flavorful Corsican charcuterie, including the celebrated figatellu sausage and prisuttu, a delicious air-dried ham. Enjoy rustic dishes like wild boar stew and veal with olives, infused with aromatic herbs from the Corsican maquis.
Wine tasting in Corsica: A vinicultural paradise
Corsica is also renowned for its impressive wine culture, with vineyards that have been cultivated for centuries. Visit the island's vineyards and sample exquisite wines, produced from local grape varieties like Nielluccio and Sciaccarellu. Discover the diversity of Corsican wines, from crisp whites and fruity rosés to full-bodied reds. Experience wine tasting tours in the picturesque vineyards, where passionate winemakers will share the secrets of their craft and the unique terroir that lends a distinctive character to each wine.
How is the weather in Corsica France?
Corsica is a beautiful island in the Mediterranean Sea, known for its diverse landscapes and rich culture. The weather in Corsica is mild and sunny, with an average temperature of 18°C throughout the year. The summers are warm and dry, while the winters are cool and rainy. Corsica is a perfect destination for those who love nature, adventure, and history. You can explore the stunning beaches, mountains, forests, and villages, or enjoy the local cuisine, music, and festivals. Corsica is a place where you can find inspiration and relaxation in every season even in winter.
Corsica's beaches: A sun-kissed haven
Corsica is home to an abundance of pristine beaches, each offering a unique blend of natural beauty and tranquility. Palombaggia Beach, with its fine white sand and crystal-clear waters, is a popular choice for sunbathing and swimming. The picturesque Rondinara Beach, nestled in a sheltered bay, is ideal for families and snorkelers. For a more secluded escape, head to Saleccia Beach, accessible only by boat or on foot, where turquoise waters meet dazzling white sand dunes.
Outdoor activities in Corsica: thrills and adventures
For the adventure enthusiasts, Corsica offers a plethora of outdoor activities to satisfy your craving for thrills. Embark on exciting water sports, such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and jet skiing, along the island's scenic coastline. Dive into the underwater wonders of the Mediterranean with scuba diving excursions, exploring vibrant coral reefs and marine life. Experience the rush of canyoning, where you'll rappel down waterfalls and navigate through narrow gorges. Hike through Corsica's diverse landscapes, from lush forests to rugged mountains, and discover hidden trails leading to panoramic viewpoints.
Hiking the GR20: A Journey Through the Rugged Beauty of Corsica
The GR20 is a stunning adventure that takes you across the rugged mountains of Corsica, from Calenzana to Conca. It is one of the most challenging and rewarding trails in Europe, offering breathtaking views, diverse landscapes and rich culture. Along the way, you will encounter rocky peaks, alpine lakes, pine forests and charming villages. You will also experience the warm hospitality of the Corsican people, who will welcome you with their delicious cuisine and local products. The GR20 is not for the faint-hearted, as it requires a good level of fitness, stamina and navigation skills. You will face steep ascents and descents, exposed sections and variable weather conditions. But if you are up for the challenge, you will be rewarded with an unforgettable experience that will stay with you for a lifetime.
Corsica's ecotourism: A sustainable haven
Corsica is committed to preserving its natural treasures through ecotourism initiatives. Embrace sustainable travel practices and explore eco-friendly accommodations that blend seamlessly with the island's landscapes. Engage in eco-tours that promote responsible exploration, while contributing to the conservation efforts of Corsica's fragile ecosystems. Participate in beach cleanups and support local environmental organizations that work tirelessly to protect Corsica's pristine environment for future generations to enjoy.
Corsica, the "Island of Beauty," is a dream destination that embraces travelers with its breathtaking landscapes, rich history, vibrant culture, and delectable gastronomy. From its striking red cliffs to its picturesque coastal towns, Corsica offers an enchanting journey filled with unforgettable experiences. Embark on outdoor adventures, sample the island's flavorful cuisine, and immerse yourself in Corsica's unique traditions and festivals. Whether you seek relaxation on sun-kissed beaches or adrenaline-pumping thrills amidst rugged terrain, Corsica caters to every traveler's desires. As you explore the island's hidden gems and indulge in its delights, let Corsica weave its magic, leaving you with cherished memories of a truly enchanting journey. Embrace the spirit of discovery and set forth to uncover the timeless allure of Corsica, where every moment is a celebration of life's joys amidst the Island of Beauty.
Is corsica very expensive? Is corsica very touristy ?
The answer depends on what you are looking for and when you visit. Corsica can be quite affordable if you plan ahead, avoid peak season and choose local accommodation and food options. You can also find many hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path places that are not crowded with tourists. However, if you want to enjoy the most popular attractions, such as the Calanques de Piana, the Scandola Nature Reserve or the GR20 hiking trail, you may have to pay more and deal with larger crowds.
Reaching Corsica by ferries
If you want to explore this gem of a destination, you should consider taking a ferry from the mainland. Corsica Ferries is a reliable and affordable company that offers regular services to and from various ports in France and Italy. You can enjoy the comfort and convenience of traveling by sea, while admiring the views and relaxing on board. Corsica Ferries also has a range of options to suit your needs, such as cabins, lounges, restaurants and entertainment. Book your ticket (External link) today and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!