Amazingly, Corsica is all too often overlooked by holidaymakers. It's a charming Mediterranean destination that’s hiding in plain sight. This exclusive French island sits to the south of mainland France, yet adjacent to Italy, allowing for French and Italian influences to be experienced. The French call Corsica, l’Ile de beauté (the Island of beauty) and it is well-deserving of this title.
It’s under the radar status has preserved the best of what the island has to offer: secluded forests, pristine beaches and time-trapped mountain villages.
Corsica is brimming with nature experiences, has unique island traditions and is full of authentic Mediterranean touches, making it a perfect getaway for families and couples alike.
A holiday to Corsica could see you hike the Cap Corse peninsula, splash around in the crystal-clear waters of Palombaggia Beach or tour the Citadel of Calvi. Most people only know of Corsica as Napoleon's birthplace but the island deserves to be recognised for so much more.
Read on to discover why you should make Corsica your next holiday destination...
The Regional National Park of Corsica covers almost half the island, protecting forests, lakes, mountains and gorges. The park, together with the fantastically diverse and equally nature-rich coastline, makes Corsica a one-stop destination for adventure-seeking holidaymakers, active families and couples alike.
Scandola Nature Reserve
The most famous national park on the island, Scandola Nature Reserve is a World Heritage Site to the southwest of Calvi. Its breath-taking, dramatic scenery is exceptional and best visited by boat for the full effect. Departing from Calvi, you will discover some of the finest coastline to be found anywhere in Corsica, from strange rock formations protruding from the sea to jagged little inlets and caves. A visit in the afternoon is extra special, as the rocks catch the setting sun; the colours and shapes are a sight to behold. This is a truly romantic spot for couples holidaying on the island to enjoy.
Away from Scandola there are many more romantic vistas for couples to explore, whether bathed in the glow of sunset or not. Couples looking for secluded outdoor experiences can discover the coastal trails around the picturesque Cap Corse peninsular which go through wilderness to quiet coastal villages, deserted beaches, passing ancient watch towers and remote chapels.
This enchanting peninsular is a marine national park, dotted with sleepy harbours. Those exploring on foot are treated to spectacular views whilst uncovering local history. You can also book guided walking tours around the entire Cap or explore the Balagne region of Corsica where there are walks taking in the sea and mountain routes, or the picturesque villages of La Balagne.
For more active pursuits, there are excellent kayaking and mountain biking tours to keep bodies and minds busy on holiday.
With almost 200 to choose from, Corsica’s beaches are considered some of the most attractive in France, even out-shining the heavy-hitting Côte d’Azur. Enjoy the crystal-clear waters in Palombaggia Beach in the south of the island. Child-friendly, this shallow lagoon-like bay is near Porto-Vecchio, a town with a 16th-century citadel with shady narrow streets, the perfect place for a bit of wander before or after you head for a swim.
The north of the island boasts some amazing hidden coves which can be accessed by riding the ‘boneshaker’ tourist train. Travelling the coastal route from Calvi through to L’lle Rousse and back, offering a jump-on, jump-off service, you can delve into the coastal villages and their local sandy beaches with crystal clear waters, all backed by snow-capped mountains and uninterrupted views of the coastline.
It’s hard to make a bad choice when it comes to Corsica’s beaches, we can’t recommend them highly enough! From the postcard landscape of Ostriconi beach located at the mouth of the Ostriconi river in Balagne, to Saleccia’s long stretch of white sand and undeveloped Lotu next to Lotu Lake. The halfmoon-shaped Rondinara Beach for sheltered swimming in cerulean waters to castaway Petit Sperone and Grand Sperone further south; they all offer a slice of paradise providing sheltered and shallow waters for young families and jaw-droppingly beautiful and memorable moments for couples to share together.
Corsica lends itself perfectly to self-drive style holidays. It’s the best way to explore the beaches, experience local life in the villages and visit the island’s fascinating and historic towns. One of our favourites is the Italian influenced town of Calvi, on the edge of the Balagne region and the perfect place to explore villages in the surrounding area, the Scandola Nature Reserve and beaches along the coast.
Villages in the Balagne region maintain local traditions and handicrafts, with opportunities to come across blown-glass and pottery items and olive oil, lavender honey and other local farm products. In the town itself, don’t miss out on a walk around its historic Genoese citadel. Enjoy the local architecture seen along the narrow, cobbled streets of the old town. Lively Calvi isn’t just a cultural stop; there are also wonderfully inviting cafes and restaurants to enjoy overlooking the beautiful bay.
Food is taken seriously by Corsicans, so restaurant standards are high across the island. Corsican food combines French and Italian influences utilising local island produce and features many distinct dishes and products that are unique to the island. Expect fresh cuisine that’s very much in harmony with the land, using locally produced fruits and vegetables, meats and cheese.
The island also boasts excellent wine, and the largest vineyards often offer wine-tasting tours which will please wine connoisseurs. Local wines are available on menus throughout the island, so take the opportunity to sample some.
Planning Your Holiday To Corsica
Whether you like the idea of a self-drive or walking holiday or want to talk to me about accommodation ideas, I can help you book your perfect escape to Corsica through Corsican specialist, Corsican Places.
With an expertly curated selection of characterful villas for family self-catering escapes, as well as holiday packages including chartered flights to cater to all tastes, please get in touch so I can help start planning your Corsican Places holiday on this beautiful island.
I am with you every step of the way!