Corsica, a French island in the middle of the Mediterranean, 200km from the Côte d’Azur, was christened as “Kalliste” (Fair One) by the ancient Greeks. Amazing seaside scenery, snowcapped mountains, hillsides dotted with picturesque villages, lovely port towns and beautiful beaches are more than enough to lure visitors, but here are our reasons to visit Corsica.
Beaches and the outdoors
If you want to get to Corsica from France, you have to fly or take a ferry. Four companies operate ferries between the island and France. Corsica has a variety of beaches, almost 200 of them, that range from half-moon bays of white sand and transparent water to large stretches of black sand coast. All the beaches are incredibly clean and the water is warm and clear—ideal for water sports.
For those who love outdoor sports, Corsica is a paradise; it has more than 2,000 kilometers of nature trails that really inspires hikers and 1,000 kilometers of shoreline that lures scuba divers and snorkelers. Hiking trails and guided walking tours allow visitors to get a glimpse of some stunning landscapes that are otherwise not accessible.
Food lovers will love Corsica
Foodies will find Corsica a haven: Corsican cuisine is stated to be ‘simple and hearty’ and much of it is based on meats and vegetables. You’ll find there’s a fusion of French and Italian cuisine, but fish and seafood are not on the menus of many Corsican restaurants. The boulangerie is irresistible with pastries enough to soften the palates of the most hardened.
The island is home to many festivals and events that are celebrated throughout the year, giving visitors a chance to experience the traditions of the island. It’s an island where culture, beauty, history and religion mix and blend in the most wonderful way, making Corsican events spectacular.
Visit Corsica’s capital city
One very good reason to visit Corsica is that its capital city Ajaccio was the birthplace of French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. His family home is now a national museum. Apart from that, Corsica’s pre-historic past is present in the carved menhirs with human features, the 4000 year-old stone statues and the array of shields and armors.
One of the most impressive sights in the island are the stunning red granite cliffs that plunge down into the sea and as the sun moves, the color changes are just spectacular, at sunset it’s said that it’s brilliantly lit up.
UNESCO World Heritage site
The beautiful Gulf of Porto is a protected nature reserve that has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Between the town of Porto and the village of Piana is a scenic coastal drive through the Calanques de Piana, which is part of the natural park.
Bouches de Bonifacio
The Bouches de Bonifacio is the largest nature reserve in France. This unspoiled land is in southern Corsica, and the terrain has a North African influence. One of the highlights is the Lavezzi Islands Marine Reserve, a top snorkeling and scuba diving destination in Corsica.
Best time of the year to visit Corsica
In Corsica, summers are hot and winters are mild; the warm, crystal-clear waters are always inviting. The best time to visit Corsica is autumn or spring, when the weather is cool. July and August could be crowded and also many Corsican culinary specialties are at their best between October and June.
Photo: Lori Branham. Bay of Calvi, Corsica.