Things to do and see in Corsica
Corsica is an ideal place for many kinds of vacations, but most of all it’s a paradise for hikers and nature lovers. The island’s main attractions are lofty mountains, sunny beaches, picturesque towns and villages, old towers and citadels.
There are several long-distance trails in Corsica. The most famous one (and the toughest one as well) is 180km long GR 20 that traverses Corsica diagonally from north to south. Five to ten day treks Mare e Monti (sea and mountains) and Mare a Mare are still rather for more experienced hikers, while anyone including families with children can enjoy hundreds of short trips.
The best places for hiking are in the central parts around Corte, where there are the highest Corsican peaks and most of glacier lakes, Cap Corse (the north most peninsula) and western coast. Just a few places of the most beautiful ones you shouldn’t miss are:
- Agriates desert and especially its coastline with the most beautiful Corsican beaches — Plage de Saleccia and Plage du Lotto. The Agriates desert is located in the Nebbio region between Saint-Florent and the Ostricone river and is accessible via beautiful coastal path Sentier du Littoral.
- Restonica Valley rising from Corte along the Restonica river to the beautiful glacier lakes Melo and Capitello. Further in the mountains there is another famous lake — Lac de Nino and the two highest Corsican peaks, Monte Cinto (2706 m) and Monte Rotondo (2625 m).
- Calanques de Piana — red granite cliffs carved into bizarre shapes and up to 300m high towers, located in the Gulf of Porto between Calvi and Ajaccio.
- Col de Bavella (Bavella Pass) in the south of Corsica is a beautiful landscape framed by the sharp peaks of Aiguilles de Bavella.
- Bonifacio and its citadel on the top of spectacular cliffs in the south most tip of Corsica.
- Cap Corse, the north most tip of the island, and its coastline full of old Genoese towers, as well as the mountains that offer views of the sea in three out of four directions. Try either a day-hike along Sentier des Douaniers or shorter walk to Monte Stello.
Sightseeing, architecture, history
- Ajaccio as the capital of Corsica and the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte.
- Bonifacio and its citadel, already mentioned above.
- Corte — a symbol of Corsican independence and its citadel on the tall rock.
- Villages of Balagne — Speloncato, San Antonino, Belgodere and many more. See the walk around Balagne from Lumio to Algajola.
- Sartene on the South, called ‘the most Corsican of all Corsican towns’ by M?©rim?©e.
- Filitosa, not so far from Sartene, with Neolithic megaliths and menhirs among 1000-year old olive trees.
Beaches, diving, biking
Corsica has 1000 km of coast and its choice of beaches is really rich. You may prefer Caribbean style beaches on the South-east near Porto Vecchio or romantic and even rather bizarre beaches of the western coast, framed by rugged cliffs and some of them accessible only by boat.
Being on the coast, you needn’t limit your activities to swimming and sunbathing. Corsica is also a popular place for diving and sailing, and seaside is perfect for biking too — definitely better than mountains ;-).
- Rock climbing
- River fishing
- Kayaking, canoeing and rafting
- Horse trekking (as well as dog trekking)
- Skiing (in winter and very early in the spring)