18 things to see in Corsica, France

Corsica: things to do, things to see

Unique, unique, sparkling and surprising, Corsica is the very embodiment of beauty from edge to edge. Very beautiful landscapes, paradisiacal beaches, unspoilt nature, a rich historical heritage, and long standing traditions. What more could you ask for?

WHAT TO SEE

– Ajaccio and the Napoleon Bonaparte Museum

Be sure to wander the saffron yellow streets of the old part of the city and pay a visit to the Napoleon Bonaparte House Museum. It’s where the emperor was born on August 15, 1769. And now a state museum is open within these walls: portraits of the young emperor and his family members are on display, and a collection of everyday furniture from the late 18th century is housed here.

– Bonifacio and Porto Vecchio

At the southern tip of the island, Bonifacio and Porto Vecchio are definitely worth a visit. Bonifacio is protected by a grandiose fortress that towers over the sea. Near the coastal cliffs begins a staircase of 187 steps, which leads to the Upper Town. Porto Vecchio stands on the pink porphyry cliffs and is also surrounded by a citadel, which protected the city from Berber pirate attacks in the 16th century.

– The center of Bastia

In the north-east of Corsica lies ancient Bastia, a veritable open-air museum: churches and chapels in Baroque style, the streets of the Terra Vecchia quarter, small houses with uneven facades, the Governor’s Palace in the Genoese Tower built in the 14th century and much more.

– Inzecca Gorge.

This small road a few kilometers from Ghisoni is sandwiched between green-covered cliffs and a turbulent mountain stream. And at the source of the lake you will find natural pools.

– Lavezzi Archipelago

This archipelago of 23 paradisiacal islands is easily accessible from Bonifacio. Beaches with fine sand, granite rocks, clear water, variegated seabed (the archipelago is a nature reserve) – the views beg to be photographed. The largest island is Cavallo, where private residences are located.

– Corsican beaches, beautiful at any time of year

It’s no secret that Corsica is famous for its incredibly beautiful beaches. There are miles of coves with white sandy beaches, fringed with pine trees and emerald green waves on the southern tip of Corsica, near the Palombaja peninsula, and Santa Julia, at the foot of a mountain covered with greenery, resembles a lagoon. There are other paradises: Rondinara, Roccapina, Sant’Ambrogio and Porto Pollo.

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– Balagne, Calvi and L’Ile Rousse

In the department of Upper Corsica is the commune of Balagne, where there are landscapes to suit all tastes: forest, mountains and sea coast. How not to fall in love with the villages scattered on the rocks, the steep paths, the belt of fortifications in L’Ile Rousse or the Genoese fortress in Calvi?

– The Scandola Reserve and the Coves of Piana

On the west coast of Corsica is the Scandola Marine and Land Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The protected coves boast incredible biodiversity. They can be reached by boat from Ajaccio. Sail past the secluded coastal village of Girolata and approach the coves of the commune of Piana. Here a cluster of red porphyry geological formations contrasts with the bright turquoise water.

– Castaniccia, Morozaglia and Corte

In the northeast of the island, in the midlands, is Kastanicha, a land of chestnut groves dotted with small ancient villages with tall stone houses. Morozalja, a village with only a few houses, is worth a visit because of the church of St. Reparata, located 900 meters above sea level, and the monastery of St. Francis. In Corte, the historical and cultural capital, you can visit the museum of traditional Corsica and taste the local sausages and cheeses – of course, with a taste of chestnut.

– Cap Cors.

The peninsula in the northeast of the island is well located between the mountains and the sea. In essence, it is Corsica in miniature: charming villages (Nonza), long beaches (Saint-Florane or Tamarone), customs trails, tiny ports with brightly colored houses, like those in Erbalunga.

WHAT TO DO.

– Think about eternal things in the Agriat Desert

Corsica is not as simple as it seems: if you look, you can even find a semi-desert here! This arid “desert” of 15,000 hectares, covered in wild, dry thickets, lies west of Saint-Florand. On the shore it rests on wonderful fine sandy beaches, which can be accessed by a customs trail. Between the series of ridges, valleys and dunes you can see small houses of shepherds, Genoese towers, prehistoric dolmens. There are very few tourists here, because there is only one village in the vicinity – Kasta.

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– Overcome yourself and walk the famous hiking trail GR 20

Every self-respecting hiker necessarily dreams to overcome this most beautiful hiking trail. Indeed, it’s considered one of the most difficult in Europe! The GR 20 crosses Corsica from northwest to southeast and consists of 16 steps. The 200 kilometers of the route go along rather steep paths (in some places the altitude reaches 3,000 m) and valleys, invariably fascinating tourists with stunning landscapes all the way from Calenzana to Conca.

– Get intoxicated by the scent of immortelle

Corsican or Italian immortelle is a bright yellow plant found in dry thickets on the island. The pure essential oil of immortelle is good for bruises, and it also has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. It also smells like curry!

– To get to know the many aquatic inhabitants near the Serbikal Islands

Off the coast of Porto Vecchio is a nature reserve that includes 6 islands. It’s a great place to dive and swim with sea eels, grouper and catfish. Corsica pays much attention to the preservation of flora and fauna: in addition to Porto Vecchio, there are five other marine and land reserves on the island – in Scandola, Finnocchiarola, Bigulia, Bonifacio and Suartona.

– Sample Corsican foods at the local market

Local produce – whether sweet or savory – has a vibrant, memorable character and flavor just like the island itself. You’ll love the almond and honey cookies, the sheep cheese and fresh brocchio, and the coppa and sausages with a hint of chestnut.

– Rock out at the Calvi on the Rock electronic music festival

This eclectic festival takes place in July and lasts 5 days. You’ll dance hard to electronic music, soul, funk, disco and rock. The festival takes place day and night, on the beach and in the fortress – only the relaxed atmosphere remains unchanged!

– To eat tender sea urchin meat

Sea urchin is the main Corsican delicacy, which is eaten without exception from December to April. The coral-colored sea urchin meat with bread and a glass of young white wine can be enjoyed everywhere – in a restaurant, on the rocks or on the beach. Enjoy your appetite!

– Try to choose the best among the 9 equal appellations in Corsica, where unique vineyards grow

There are 30 grape varieties growing in Corsica, with three of them – Chiacarello, Nieluccio and Vermentino – having a protected appellation of origin. There are vineyards in the southern half of the island (Figari, Porto Vecchio, Sartin, Ajaccio) as well as on the Cap Cors peninsula and on the east coast from Bastia to Solenzara. They produce red wines with a rich aroma, rosé with fruity and white with floral notes. You can find them from local producers.

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– Take a dip in the thermal springs in Caldana

Yes, there are also thermal springs in Corsica! Not far from Sartene, near the massif of Alta Roca, runs the famous Caldana sulfurous spring, the water temperature reaches 37 degrees. The sulfurous water has a beneficial effect on the skin and sinuses. Three granite pools are installed under the open sky near the Fiumicicoli River, amidst picturesque nature. Be sure to take a dip in one of them! Twenty minutes of pure bliss!

10 Top things to do in Corsica, France

Corsica, France is an island in the Mediterranean Sea. In addition to gorgeous beaches, mountainous interiors, and historic architecture in the cities, there is plenty to see and do on this French island. Relax on the beach, take the most challenging hike in Europe, or post photos of historic Mediterranean structures on social media during your stay in Corsica. Don’t miss these top 10 things to do in Corsica, France.

Corsica, France

Beaches (nearby hotels)

Because Corsica is an island, it’s no surprise that relaxing on the beach is one of the top things to do here. The Mediterranean beaches here are full of soft sand and blue waters. The island is full of first-class beaches along its more than 600 miles of coastline. Cities like Calvi and Ajaccio are home to popular beaches visited by many tourists. However, no matter where you are on the coast of Corsica, you are sure to find yourself near a stunning beach. The beaches here are a great way to refresh yourself during the island’s hot summer days.

Bonifacio Citadel.

Bonifacio Citadel (Nearby Hotels)

Head to the town of Bonifacio to see one of the most popular tourist attractions on the island, the Bonifacio Citadel. This historic fortress sits 200 feet above the city’s harbor. If you’re looking for a classic Mediterranean photo opportunity, then you’ll want to visit this citadel. The Bonifacio Citadel was built in the 9th century as a defense line and was also once used as a prison during World War II. Now, however, it is just a friendly reminder of the area’s past. After seeing the citadel here, don’t miss a stroll through the charming town full of cobblestone streets and beautiful chapels.

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Bonaparte House.

Bonaparte House (Nearby Hotels)

Located in the city of Ajaccio is the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte, called Maison Bonaparte. The family owned the house from 1682 to 1923, but it is now a museum and a popular tourist attraction. Tourists can learn about Napoleon’s youth and even tour the room where he was born in 1769. Don’t worry if you don’t know French, because the museum has non-French speakers offering multilingual audio guides. It’s really interesting to see well-decorated reproductions of what Bonaparte’s house once looked like in the 18th century.

Scandola Nature Reserve

Scandola Nature Reserve

Scandola Nature Reserve

Scandola Nature Reserve (Nearby Hotels)

Corsica is full of stunning natural attractions, and the Scandola Nature Reserve is a place you shouldn’t miss. The best way to see this beautiful reserve is a boat tour from Calvi or Ajaccio. As a World Heritage Site, Scandola Nature Reserve is located on a remote peninsula of the island and is home to a wide variety of wildlife. Wildlife enthusiasts will find sea creatures such as seals and dolphins, as well as birds such as falcons and eagles. Wildlife isn’t the only thing that draws people to this reserve, the stunning coastline with its rushing red cliffs is a truly remarkable place.

GR-20 - Corsica, France

GR-20 – Corsica, France

Jump into the hike (nearby hotels)

The interior of the island of Corsica is rough and mountainous. As such, the island is full of top-notch hiking trails, including the “toughest hike in Europe” known as GR 20. Whether you are a beginner hiker looking for a simple hike or an inflexible hiker hoping to get through some challenging trails, you are sure to find a hiking trail perfect for your abilities. You won’t be disappointed with the mountain views here. To say no more, don’t forget to bring your hiking boots when planning a packing list on this Mediterranean island.

Diving or snorkeling.

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Corsica is a great place for diving or snorkeling.

Corsica is a great place to dive or snorkel.

Diving or snorkeling (nearby hotels)

The waters around the island of Corsica are rich in wildlife and offer many diving and snorkeling opportunities. There is a great place to dive or snorkel, no matter where you are in the coastal areas of the island. As mentioned earlier, Scandola Reserve is a great place for divers. Snorkelers will love visiting the waters at Loto Beach, one of the many other great snorkeling spots.

Calanques de Piana

Calanques de Piana

Calanques de Piana

Calanques de Piana (Nearby hotels)

Calanques de Piana is a steep-walled inlet with red cliffs rising right down to the sea. There are two ways to enjoy this natural wonder: by road D81 or by sea from Porto. You can get a great view from the road, but there are also hiking trails that will give you a more secluded experience and a better view of Calanques de Piana.

Calvi Citadel

Calvi Citadel (Nearby Hotels)

You can spend the day exploring the city of Calvi, and the Calvi Citadel should be on your to-do list. The views from the Citadel at Calvi certainly boast some of the best views of this small coastal town. The citadel itself was created in the 12th century as a fortress. It is home to a historic house and cathedral.

Aiguille de Bavella

Egüey de Bavella

Aiguille de Bavella

Aiguille de Bavella (Nearby hotels)

The Aiguille de Bavella is another natural Corsican wonder to add to the list of things to do when visiting this Mediterranean island. Luckily for tourists, the Aiguille de Bavella can be seen from the D268. The towering limestone columns create a great view from your vehicle, but the best view of this natural structure is from the GR20 hiking trail, a strenuous trail that runs through the island.

Gorge de la Restonica

The Gorge de la Restonica

Gorge de la Restonica

Gorge de la Restonica (Nearby Hotels)

If you’re tired of the beach but still hope to refresh yourself on hot summer days, head to Restonica Gorge, home to a natural swimming hole. Exercise in the area and then take a swim in this refreshing and clean pool. Getting to Restonica Gorge requires a hike. However, your effort is worth it when you get to this picturesque and refreshing spot in the interior of Corsica.

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