For many people, a holiday in Corsica means idyllic beaches, crystal-clear waters, outdoor activities, villages teeming with character and gourmet cuisine... and they’re right! The Island of Beauty’s reputation as a jewel of the Mediterranean is well deserved and it is perfect for a romantic escapade or for exploring on a family holiday. Travel this island paradise from north to south and you’ll be dazzled by its untamed beauty, captivated by its authenticity and wowed by its culinary delights. Keen to find out more? Then read on!
The most beautiful towns and villages of Corsica
You can’t talk about Corsica without including the characteristic towns and villages that make the island so popular with tourists. From the villages perched up in the mountains to the urban hubs poised on the shores of the Mediterranean, you’ll find one beautiful, authentic destination after another, each with its own unique character!
Bastia will be the first port of call if you arrive by boat or plane. And it’s a wonderful place to start! The capital of the Haute-Corse is definitely worth a visit with its colourful buildings, the old port and the promenade around its harbour, the historic city centre teeming with old buildings such as the Palace of Governors and, last but not least, Place Saint-Nicolas.
Next, head to Cap Corse, east of Bastia, home to an array of enchanting villages like Nonza, Patrimonio and Saint-Florent. There are also some magnificent natural beauty spots you really must see, such as the Agriates Desert where wild, untouched landscapes alternate with dream beaches worthy of the Caribbean. Or, for something different, there’s the Customs Path, ideal for a hike with the family or your special someone.
To wrap up our overview of the beautiful villages and towns you can visit in Corsica, let’s journey south to the Corse-du-Sud, which differs from its northern neighbour by the more marked contrast between its landscapes. From Calvi to Ajaccio, Napoleon’s birthplace, via Porto-Vecchio, the “city of salt”, the characterful towns and villages you’ll discover along your way will leave you with lasting memories of your trip to southern Corsica. Believe the tourists that have fallen under their spell before you!
And this is just a short list: as you travel around, you’ll find other more secluded spots that will capture your heart!
The most beautiful beaches in Corsica
Corsica’s beaches cater to every desire, whether you’re looking for somewhere secluded, wild, idyllic or family-friendly. Although each one is unique with an atmosphere of its own, they have one thing in common: they’re all postcard-perfect with their crystal-clear waters and their hues of azure and emerald. And what is so wonderful about the Island of Beauty is that there are beautiful beaches everywhere! From north to south, here’s a (non-exhaustive!) list of our favourite beaches:
• Palombaggia beach in Porto-Vecchio with its white sand encircled by red rocks and umbrella pines; it’s more than worthy of its ranking as one of Corsica’s most beautiful beaches.
• Lotu beach near the Agriates Desert, accessible on foot from Saint-Florent via the Customs Path; it offers a stunning reward after the effort put in during your hike along the coast.
• Santa Giulia beach, also in Porto-Vecchio; a fabulous bathing spot where you can splash around in clear, shallow waters.
• Rondinara beach in Bonifacio; very busy in summer because of its glorious setting, perfect for holiday photographs to turn your colleagues and friends green with envy!
• Arone beach in the Piana Calanques; white sand, crystal-clear water, shades of blue and green... all in a pristine setting.
6 activities to try in Corsica
When it comes to activities, as with everything else, Corsica is more than generous. On land, underground or at sea, there are a million and one things to discover, try and savour! And there’s something for everyone, regardless of sporting ability or age.
1. Scuba diving
Let’s be honest: having the Mediterranean as your playground is a huge privilege! The “Grande Bleue”, as it’s known, is a unique setting where diving enthusiasts will marvel at the splendour of the incredibly rich seabed. The most beautiful diving spots are the La Revellata peninsula near Calvi, the Circus of Marifaja and Capo Rosso. Time to pull on those flippers!
2. A boat trip
Ideal for novice seafarers who want to admire the coastline but let someone else steer the helm. Spend half a day or a full day at sea and admire the Corsican wonders as they’re unveiled before you, from Scandola to Piana via the Lavezzi Archipelago and Cap Corse. And if you’re a sailor at heat, why not hire a boat (with or without skipper) for even greater freedom? There’s nothing better than taking in the sights with your hair blowing in the wind!
3. A day on the beach
This is perhaps the one activity that everyone, of every age, agrees on! Once you’ve changed into your swimsuit and applied your sun protection, you can dive in and savour the joys of the water from morning until well into the evening. The kids will have fun under the watchful eyes of their parents, lovebirds will coo with happiness, and friends can battle it out in a game of beach volleyball. And at the end of the day, everyone can admire the sun setting over the Island of Beauty, a little corner of paradise, their heads and hearts filled with memories to treasure.
There’s no better way to combine physical exercise with breathtaking views. One of the most renowned trails is the GR20, which crosses the island from north to south. It is, however, reserved for seasoned hikers because of its demanding level. Nonetheless, recreational ramblers and families with children can rest assured: there are trails to suit all abilities, such as the route from Ponte Vecchiu, which takes 3 hours and offers a succession of sweeping views, rivers and natural pools.
Opt for the mountains or the coast, or a savvy blend of both, then slip on your walking boots and go with the flow... though it’s always worth doing some pre-planning! A well-informed, well-prepared hiker is inevitably a better hiker!
This is for you, adrenalin junkies and thrill-seekers! Corsica is bursting with great places to enjoy this activity, which combines physical exercise with aquatic amusement. To reassure anyone reluctant to throw themselves (literally) into the water, note that there are different courses for all levels, as is the case for many activities in Corsica. We may not all be equal in terms of physical fitness, but the fun and enjoyment are guaranteed for all!
6. A road trip
The quickest and most convenient way to see as much as possible, requiring the least amount of time (and effort). Depending on your preferences and those of your travelling companion(s), you can tour the island by motorcycle or car, going from remote mountain villages to seaside resorts as the mood takes you. It’s refreshing not having a set timetable and letting serendipity work its magic!
6 tourist attractions to visit
As you’ll have gathered, selecting just a few places to see during a stay in Corsica is no easy task because this pure jewel of an island is so rich in both natural and cultural treasures. However, we’ve drawn up a list (again, a non-exhaustive one!) of the must-sees in Corsica. So grab your pens!
- Take a boat out to the Sanguinaires Archipelago in the bay of Ajaccio and admire the island’s breathtaking beauty.
- Spend a day in Patrimonio, home to one of the oldest vineyards in Corsica. Budding or confirmed wine enthusiasts, take note!
- Go hiking in the Fango Valley, a UNESCO-listed biosphere reserve.
- Travel by boat to the Scandola Nature Reserve, listed by UNESCO.
- Visit Sartène, a picturesque village west of Porto-Vecchio that you won’t want to miss.
- Stroll through the Aïtone forest, a 4,000-hectare oasis of freshness, the perfect place for a walk when you need to escape the summer heat!
To reach Corsica from the mainland, you have two options: the ferry or the plane. A number of ferry companies offer several sailings a week from Marseille, Toulon and Nice. This is the perfect way to cross if you’re not in a hurry and like to take your time ... since the journey takes from 5 to 15 hours, depending on the place of departure and arrival!
The plane remains the fastest way to reach the Island of Beauty (less than 2 hours from the mainland), but prices can soar, especially in the summer season. It’s advisable to book your tickets several months in advance to benefit from the best rates.
A campsite for your holiday in Corsica
Once the logistics are sorted, it’s time to book your Corsican holiday home – and why not opt for a campsite? Our Cap Sud holiday village is ideal. Located in Venzolasca, 30 minutes from Bastia, this stunning, fully pedestrian, PREMIUM destination provides a five-star setting of your Corsican getaway. Offering direct access to the Mediterranean, a restaurant with sea views, a gorgeous water park and PREMIUM cottages, some with their own spa, it has all the ingredients required to make your holiday one to remember.