Things to do in Corsica

Things to do in  Corsica

The best of both worlds

Some 100 miles (160 kilometers) off the south coast of France, the island of Corsica crams incredible variety into its small landmass. Forested mountains and verdant valleys sweep down to the shores, where medieval fortresses sit atop jagged headlands and powder-white sands stretch along azure bays. Most resorts cluster around coastal towns such as Ajaccio, Basti, and Calvi, where you can follow in the footsteps of homegrown hero (or villain?) Napoleon Bonaparte. Outdoor adventures are also among the top things to do in Corsica, from hiking and canyoning to sea kayaking, sailing, and snorkeling.

Top 2 attractions in Corsica

A Cupulatta

Spread out over nearly five acres (two hectares), A Cupulatta is a nature reserve dedicated to studying and caring for turtles, terrapins, and tortoises. Come to see and learn more about about 2,000 hard-shelled residents from around 130 species worldwide.More

Calanques de Piana

A series of jagged cliffs and rock formations framing Corsica’s Gulf of Porto, the Calanques de Piana are one of the island’s natural wonders. Part of a UNESCO-listed region on Corsica’s west coast, the rocks draw sightseers for their remarkable red colors and bizarre, weathered shapes.More

Top activities in Corsica

Calanches de Piana and Scandola Reserve cruise with Girolata
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Sea trips Scandola Girolata and Calanches de Piana
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Calanches de Piana and Scandola Reserve cruise with swimming stop
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Visit by boat to Piana Scandola with swimming and a stopover at noon in Girolata
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Cruise in Corsica Scandola Girolata and Calanques de Piana in Semi-Rigid
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All about Corsica

When to visit

Island life is best enjoyed between May and September, when the balmy weather is ideal for beach days. Several food, music, and national festivals are held throughout July and August—including Calvi on the Rocks and Bastille Day—but temperatures can hit 100°F (39°C), so come prepared. For hiking and outdoor activities, choose to visit in spring or fall, when the cooler temperatures make it more comfortable to explore.

Getting around

Local buses link Corsica’s main towns and beach resorts in season (May through September), while boat cruises are the most scenic way to explore. Private and shared taxis are easy to find if you want to explore further afield—but local transport is scarce if you’re heading into the mountains. Alternatively, make like a local and rent your own car or motorbike to zip along the coastal roads.

Traveler tips

The port town of L’Ile-Rousse is one of Corsica’s most charming villages, perched on the southwest coast. Walk out to the rocky offshore island to see its historic lighthouse, relax on the sandy beaches, and then ride the train along the coast to neighboring Calvi. Arrive in the morning to stroll around the daily market and pick up regional delicacies such as the AOC-labeled brocciu, a fresh, soft cheese.

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People Also Ask

What is Corsica known for?

Corsica is a popular holiday destination for French tourists. It has a fusion of French and Italian culture (the island belonged to Italy until the 18th century), picture-perfect beaches, and toothy, inhospitable mountains. It’s home to the 16-day GR20 hike, which runs for 112 miles (180 kilometers) through the island.

What is the most beautiful part of Corsica?

The title of Corsica’s best beach is hotly contested. Palombaggia, in the east of the island, looks like a photo from a holiday brochure on the Seychelles, with semi-submerged boulders in crystalline waters. Where towns are concerned, Calvi is beautiful with a sandcastle-like fort on the harbor.

Is Corsica worth visiting?

If you love the beach, the mountains, or both, Corsica is right for you. Even in summer, the accessibility of the island keeps it quiet, making it possible to find a slice of privacy—often an entire beach. Forget the glitz of the Côte d’Azur, get back to nature in Corsica.

How many days do you need in Corsica?

Plan for at least a week. Corsica’s public transport is scarce, so hiring a car is best. Even then, the windy roads get blocked by slow-moving trucks, and driving from one side of the island to the other can take a day. Factor in extra time for the mountains.

Is Corsica good for tourists?

Corsica’s wild, untamed beauty makes it enchanting for the right kind of tourist, but if you’re someone who likes 5-star luxury, it may not be for you. For those who enjoy active holidays, getting outdoors, authentic villages, and traditional cuisine, Corsica delivers, but don’t expect poolside cocktails everywhere you go.

What’s better: Corsica or Sardinia?

Corsica and Sardinia are different, but there’s no “better.” Geographically, the divide is minimal—Corsica is just 8 miles (13 kilometers) from Sardinia. One is French and one is Italian, so expect cuisine variations. Sardinia is more polished, with beach resorts and upmarket towns, while Corsica has mountains and wilder scenery.

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