Corsica is a stunning island located in the Mediterranean sea, located southeast of the French mainland and west of the Italian Peninsula and one of the 18 regions of France. It is the fourth largest island in the Mediterranean, after Sicily, Sardinia and Cyprus, yet mountains make up two-thirds of the island. However, there are still many breathtaking and interesting places to visit on the island especially if you are interested in history, beautiful beaches and cosmopolitan cities. Therefore, Corsica is considered a perfect holiday destination and one that is often frequented by the elite.
Because of the mountainous region on the island, it is the perfect place to head if you enjoy hiking. There are many hiking and walking trails in the area available regardless of your ability, from a pleasant stroll to some of the most difficult mountain walks in Europe. However, if hiking is not your thing, not to worry, there is plenty of other things to keep you occupied on this stunning island, so much so, you may not get to see and experience it all during one trip.
How to get there – travel tips
Corsica has four airports, Aéroport de Ajaccio Campo dell’Oro (AJA), which is the largest international airport in Corsica and operates flights to and from many cities and countries around the world. The second largest is Bastia airport together with Figari Sud Corse and Calvi airports. However, a very popular way to get to the island is by one of the ferries to Corsica that run regularly from a number of mainland Italian and French ports. It is a great way of arriving on the island, not only does it allow you to sail through the beautiful clear waters of the Mediterranean sea but it also lets you see the amazing skyline of Corsica from a unique viewpoint.
Corsica benefits from the gorgeous Mediterranean climate, meaning it has long hot summers and the North is hotter than the South. It also has one of the highest sunshine records in France, with an average 7.5 hours a day. It also benefits from moderate, clear winters. The mountain range that almost splits the island in half is, of course, colder, especially the higher you go. During the winter months, you may even see snow on their peaks. Corsica can also see its fair share of rain especially in the months of March, April, October and November. So ensure you check out the weather forecast before you take your trip and pack accordingly depending on the time of year you are visiting.
5 top places to visit to experience history, beauty and nature
Corsica has many amazing places for you to visit and experience during your trip, from busy cosmopolitan cities to breathtaking beaches and not forgetting interesting historic sites. None of which should be missed. However, if your time on the island is limited here are 5 places you really should take the time to explore in Corsica.
Sentier des Douaniers
If dramatic scenery is what you are looking for then Sentier des Douaniers is definitely for you. This is a famous coastal walk along a 19 km long coastal path on the northern most tip of the Cap Corse runs between Perros-Guirec and Ploumanach. The route is open all year round, however, spring and autumn are the best times of the year to walk it as the hot Mediterranean sun can prove too much for some during the summer months. There are many points of interest along the way for you to admire and explore including Santa Maria Chapel, Ile de la Giraglia and Santa Maria Tower.
As the principal port of the island, Bastia is a French commune located in the north-east of the island of Corsica at the base of Cap Corse between the sea and the mountain and also the second largest city in Corsica. With atmospheric streets and boutiques, Bastia is a place you really must spend some time exploring. It is an extremely alluring city which will allow you to see the modern-day side of Corsica mixed with the history of the island including Baroque churches and many old beautiful houses. This old port city is very picturesque and somewhere you could even base yourself during your trip?
Gorges de la Restonica, which is located in the heart of Corsica just a few miles from the city of Corte, is one of the most beautiful and scenic places on the island. This area is extremely popular and can become quite congested, especially during the summer months when people head to the gorges to bathe in the river pools and escape the hustle and bustle and heat of the cities. The area is also a great place for keen hikers who love dramatic scenery, as there are many trails of varying difficulty levels leading through the gorges and around them.
The capital of Corsica is Ajaccio which is located on the west coast of the island and it is a city you must visit when visiting Corsica. It is the largest city in Corsica and has a number of attractions for all the family. Ajaccio is a cosmopolitan city with fine dining restaurants and laid back cocktails bars which appeals to many people including world-famous celebrities. It is the perfect place to grab a drink, eat a great meal and people watch. There is also a lot of history and culture in Ajaccio with many religious sites and museums. Ajaccio’s claim to fame is that it’s Napoleon Bonaparte birthplace and no visit to the city is complete without visiting the house where he was born in and the impressive monument in the Jardins de Casone.
Bonifacio is an ancient and unique fortress town located at the southern tip of Corsica, which draws people from all over the island to see its medieval houses which are located on the edge of the cliffs. The old town is a labyrinth of narrow streets and historic and impressive buildings. There is also a busy marina where you will find bars, restaurants and hotels making this a fashionable resort. There are also many unspoilt beaches to explore and relax on.
With all of these fantastic places to visit, plus many more, Corsica really is somewhere you should add to your list. With so many things to do and see, there really is something for everyone on this beautiful island.
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