Welcome to the island of Corsica
The island which saw the birth of Napoleon Bonaparte, has no shortage of sites and landscapes to enjoy, very attached to its traditions, this land of character has well deserved its nickname of island of beauty. Romanesque chapels, baroque churches, fortifications or citadels, history has left its mark even in the most remote villages. With its dense forests and steep mountains, almoste the half of the territory is classified as a natural park.
What is your accommodation model in the island of beauty?
The territorial collectivity of Corsica
It is a French island in the Mediterranean, forming a unique territorial authority, it comprises the departments of South Corsica and High Corsica. For nearly 4 centuries it was attached to the Republic of Genoa, before being ceded to France. It became a French department in 1790 and acquired the status of Corsica region in 1982 before finally being named the Corsica territorial collectivity in 1991.
What are the departments of Corsica
Corsica, stretches over 183km long and 83km wide off the French riviera, with the highest peak reaching 2,706m above the Mediterranean. A true natural paradise, whose patrimony has been superbly protected, the island is highly prized by amateurs of outdoor leisure activities.
South Corsica occupies the meridional part of the island, it comes from the cutting of the island in 1976 at the time when the area was called Liamone. The climate is Mediterranean, hot and dry in summer, mild and rainy in winter. However, it can happen that an alpine climate prevails on the highlands of the region in winter, and snow-covered peaks can be found until May-June. South Corsica, as a whole, is a subtle mix of natural treasures, prehistoric sites, with great architectural wealth as well as relaxing sandy beaches with seabeds of great interest!.
High Corsica has been formed by division of Corsica in 1976, its territorial limits correspond to those of the former department of Golo. It extends on the North-East part of the island, in the area named Cismonte, a central mountainous ridge separates it from the South Corsica. The region is bathed on the east by the Tyrrhenian Sea and on the west by the Mediterranean Sea. Thanks to the impressive mountain relief, the high altitude lakes and the forests, it is the privileged spot for sportsmen and nature lovers. Beach lovers will be spoiled!
21 points worth visiting in South Corsica
This peninsula of volcanic origin offers a variety of landscapes of exceptional beauty listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. You can find a sequence of rocky peaks, red cliffs, caves and also an abundance of fauna and flora.
They offer a great sight of rocky heaps overhanging the sea, peaks, towering spires and cliffs of red granite carved by wind erosion. The sunset appears to ignite the place giving to the landscape images of red planet with shades and colors to be captured.
It is located in the heart of the Regional Natural Park of Corsica, very popular with tourists who love the place and to explore the surroundings. Starting point for walks on the seafront, or in the region, it offers its visitors stunning panoramas to immortalize, between seas and mountains.
One of the most beautiful in France, in an enchanting setting, it overlooks the Gulf of Porto on a plateau at 400m. It also has remarkable beaches and the famous pink granite creeks. From now on the village has become a bit more tourism-oriented, and a dozen of shepherds and fishermen are in activity.
Overlooking the Rizzanese valley, the most Corsican of all cities is proud of its heritage. This sub-prefecture is located on the periphery of the ramparts at an altitude of 300m. The buildings and residences made of grey granite create a harmonious setting with the vaulted passageways and the paved streets.
The old town looks great all around its harbor and citadel, with pretty narrow streets with high and colorful houses. The native house of Napoleon Bonaparte is in the street Saint Charles, it shelters today a museum which exhibits some personal objects that belonged to him.
The forest of Chiavari
All around the perched village of Coti Chiavari, the mountains and the hills are covered with dense green forests. The road is lined with majestic eucalyptus trees, the beautiful state forest offering here and there and at random, interruptions in relief, you will discover striking views and panoramas on the Gulf of Ajaccio.
Corsica Regional Nature Park
Conceived to protect the forest and mountain massifs in the mid-island as some other famous sites. The park covers 40% of Corsica's area, with passes, lakes and gorges, making it a real paradise for lovers of nature and panoramic views.
Palombaggia and Sta Giulia beaches
Superb white sand beaches, bordered by pine forests and crystal waters, a piece of heaven for bathing. The small archipelago of the Cerbicale islands is an ornithologic reserve. The 4 tiny islets is a refuge for the fauna and especially for crested cormorants.
It is an authentic and busy city, surrounding by beautiful beaches. This former salt city is now a well-known seaside resort. Very lively in the summer, with nice boutiques, and small places full of terrace cafés, it has preserved its fortifications and some watchtowers and bastions.
A beautiful group of mountains and hills dotted with oak, chestnut and pine forests. This sector counts many hilltop villages, especially Zoza, a mountain village built in granite, which is an excellent starting point for numerous hikers on their way up to the massif of Bavella.
Filitosa archaeological site
The prehistoric megalithic site of Filitosa is one of the greatest in Europe, which is especially famous for its alignments of menhirs with sculpted faces. Situated in a setting of greenery, the megalithic stonecutters have done of Filitosa the biggest center of Corsican statuary art.
This archipelago located off the tip of the Parata is consisting of a group of four islands of porphyry a dark red color at the entrance of the Ajaccio gulf. It is possible for you to observe the islands from the peak of Parata or you can even enjoy a tour by boat to have a closer look at them.
Massif de l'Ospédale
The Ospedale massif is an alternation of rocky screes and forests of pine and cork oak. The sector is also characterized by the presence of a lake and a waterfall that can be reached by a marked trail. In addition, it is possible to hike up to the plateau at an altitude of 1,314 m. to observe the panorama.
A captivating city where visitors love to stroll around the ramparts. A bastion on the sea which, which at the bend of a road, reveals the imposing rock of Bonifacio. The white cliffs on which it nestles make the place even more impressive.
Massif of Bavella
A superb massif, known for its pink granite peaks, the Col de Bavella, offer very impressive views on the jagged rocky walls and ridges of the mountain. The forest of Bavella, nestled at the foot of the peaks, is made up mostly of pine and fir trees.
A very busy seaside resort in season, protected from the prevailing winds from the west, it was frequented as far back as Roman times. Nowadays, a relaxing stroll impregnated with sea breeze, Propriano is also un ideal meeting point between fishermen and other sea overs.
The village is famous for the two beautiful churches, the Christian and the Orthodox Greek, that face each other. The small tree-lined squares, the vegetable gardens and the floral decorated parks contribute to making it a lovely place. The village itself is a small seaside resort with a long tradition.
On the Parata headland, a Genoese tower stands, from where, a wonderful panorama on the archipelago of Sanguinaires is offered up to us. A pedestrian tour will allow you to discover superb viewpoints, while the evening light will give very beautiful color to the landscape.
The Museum of Fine Arts of the Corsican capital is situated in the district of Borgo. It is an initiative of Cardinal Joseph Fesch, a great collector, and uncle of Napoleon. The galleries exhibit a very impressive collection of over 16,000 objects of art. All year long, the museum organizes various activities.
The coast of Nacres
The coast presents an alternation between long sandy beaches and coves lined with pine forests. Some very beautiful beaches can be contemplated there, the cove of Fautea or the one of Favone. The followers of idleness, sun worshippers, bathing lovers or superb sandy beaches will be happy!
The 18 places worth visiting in High Corsica
This 9th century village enjoys an exceptional location, offering a splendid panorama of the coastline. Perched at 500m it culminates the valley of Balagne and it offers a very well preserved traditional habitat made of local stones.
Natural Park of Corsica
Present also on the other department, this park is a paradise for the passionates of nature and of the beauty of countryside. The paths are full of surprises and enable you to discover the coastline and also the inland areas of Corsica.
Town of Art and History, prefecture of the High-Corsica, the old town has preserved its authentic aspect. With its typical alleys, ancient buildings, its old picturesque port and market square are very appreciated by the visitors.
A lovely village with flowered alleys where handicraft and music are in honor during the Festivoce in July. A festival mainly consecrated to Corsican polyphonies, embellished by folkloric dances and theater. It is a nice illustration of a medieval village installed on rocky outcrops.
The highest mountain of Corsica, it culminates at 2.710m, its ascention through the corridor of Biccarellu, is reserved for the confirmed hikers, 7 hours of walk are necessary to reach its summit, but from up there the recompense is great, the view on the whole island is amazing!
Scala di Santa Régina
This marvelous site is a stunning itinerary that runs between the rocky mountains, at the foot of which flows the river Golo. The Scala di Santa Regina road, is a winding way that leads to the Niolo region, it is dotted with a multitude of view points that look out over impressive gorges.
The town is nestled at the foot of the Genoese citadel which proudly overlooks the sea. The narrow, picturesque streets lead to the harbor that is surrounded by a cultural heritage oh great importance, associated to idyllic landscapes..
In the geographic heart of the island, Corte was once Corsica's capital. From that past, the city has kept some testimonies, such as the National Palace and the square. The walls of the citadel host the regional museum of Anthropology.
Gorges of the Restonica
In summer, this place is very popular with swimmers in search of coolness. The river, bordered by rocks and forests, is easily accessible by foot. The path to reach the gorges offers beautiful panoramas, dotted with dry-stone buildings.
The village has direct acces to the Mediterranean coastline, close to Calvi and to the famous Agriates desert. It is a renowned and prized seaside resort, and the quays of the marina invite you for a stroll. Lined by restaurants and cafes, in the summer, the ambiance and animation are at the rendezvous.
This city of the Corsican coast, famous for its sandy beaches, the city of Ile Rousse is also known for its paved streets, the indoor marketplace and the Paoli square where beats the heart of the island. The city of Paoline is a fishing port and the 3rd in terms of goods and passengers traffic.
Ancient site of Aléria
Aléria, capital of ancient Corsica, is located on the eastern coast, near the fort of Matra. Created by the Greeks of Phocis in the 4th century BC, it underwent 3 successive Roman colonizations attributed to Sylla around -81, to Caesar in -46 then to Octavian around -32.before being abandoned in the 5th century.
As originally called the Corsican garden in the past, the region is composed of a coastal part, between Calvi and the north of Ile-Rousse, and an hinterland with hills overlooking the sea, dotted with lovely hilltop villages.
This peninsula is composed by a long chain of mountain over 40km which plunges in the sea, with a nice road which follows the savage coast. You will find some beautiful landscapes, jagged shores, Genoese towers and typical villages.
The territory of the chestnut by excellence, it is dotted with small perched villages, a wonderful set of hills covered with dense forests of chestnut trees. You have to visit the stone village of Saliceto, it' worth the detour!
San Michele of Murato
It is one of the most beautiful vestiges of Pisa's occupation. This splendid romanesque church with white and green walls and with a bell tower that looks huge, is situated in a meadow, right at the entrance of the village. It was built in about 1280. As a legend says, it was built in one night by angels.
The corsican mountain has some splendid lakes like the lake of Nino, at 1743 meters of altitude, the second biggest lake of Corsica, populated with wild free animals, or the lake of Creno, at 1310 meters of altitude. You can only appreciate the beauty of those lakes after walking for hours, all in a magnificent setting.
Pond of Biguglia
Classified as a nature reserve, the lagoon extends over 1,800 hectares, and is the favorite place for many species of aquatic birds, such as the purple heron, the great cormorant and the kingfisher. It is a shallow pond, a mixture of marine and fresh water with abundant aquatic fauna.
The 6 Corsican specialities not to miss on your vacations
The Corsican pork-butchery
Integral part of the heritage, the Corsican pork-butchery made his fame with his great quality, his perfumed taste and an incomparable flavor. The nustral pigs are raised in semi freedom and feed on chestnuts and acorns in the forest. This diet gives their meat a special flavor. The most famous preparations are the coppa, the figatelli, the salsiccia, the lonzu or the raw ham prisuttu.
The Corsican olive oil
Issued from a thousand-year-old tradition, the culture of the olive tree is well rooted on the territory. The olive oil of Corsica benefits from a PDO which guarantees its model of culture, origin and transformation. Produced according to a know-how and ancestral traditions, the olive oil of Corsica smells good the scrubland, and we feel transported on this idyllic island. Very pleasant on bread, in vinaigrette or else.
The Corsican Clementine
It can be recognised among all with its long green leaves and its fine and shiny skin. The Corsican clementine is also distinguished from others by its Protected Geographical Indication. This juicy fruit with a delicately acidic taste benefits from the temperate climate. It is grown naturally, without coloring activator, on the eastern plain of the island.
Considered as a cheese emblem of the island, this delicious Corsican speciality is a cheese made from sheep or goat whey which benefits from an A.O.C. and an A.O.P. Brocciu must be consumed quickly, it is often used in Corsican cooking in many dishes, in particular in omelets and fritters. This traditional Corsican cheese is the only one of appellation made from whey.
The honey of Corsica
Since the Antiquity, the apiculture is a real tradition on the island, we distinguish 6 big varieties according to the periods of the year, spring, spring scrub, summer scrub, honeydew of the scrub, Chestnut grove and honey of autumn scrub. Each variety has its own color, its light or strong taste and its own flavors. The honeys of Corsica benefit from an A.O.C. and an A.O.P. guaranteeing the quality of the product.
The Corsican chestnut
Corsica has many chestnut forests, especially that of Castagniccia. For a long time, the chestnut flour is manufactured in an artisanal way and is used in the preparation of many typical Corsican dishes. The fruits are harvested between October and December then dried before being ground into flour. The village of Bocognano is known for its chestnut fair in December.