Corsica travel is a relatively unknown travel destination, but it’s got a lot offer outdoor enthusiasts.
Lonely beaches and beautiful nature are the two main things that you can be sure to find when visiting Corsica.
Corsica can without any doubt be described as a paradise for hikers and those who love to spend time in the nature. Many also know Corsica and the capital Ajaccio as the birth place of Napoleon Bonaparte (Emperor of the French from 1804-1815).
Corsica can look back to a history dating back to the Mesolithic era. Through the centuries the island was occupied by the Greeks, Roman Empire, Saracens, Franks and Genoese. The year 1729 is remembered as the start of the Corsican Revolution for Independence. In 1755, after 26 years the independent Corsican Republic was formed and remained sovereign to the year 1769 when it was conquered by France.
Corsica is not the cheapest place to visit, but you can find normal price apartment or bungalows if you do some research. There are also plenty of camping grounds to choose from.
Check out our post on the best sunglasses for the beach.
Corsica travel guide
We’ve got everything that you need to know in our Corsica travel guide.
What language is spoken in Corsica?
The French and Italian are known as “language shy” people. So it is highly advised that you should learn at least some French or Italian phrases. Or else be prepared to use hand signs. Many people also speak Corsican (Corsu) that is quite similar to Italian.
How to get to Corsica
Corsica is located in the Mediterranean Sea, southeast of mainland France and north of Sardinia. The island has good (2 or more daily) ferry connections with Italy (Livorno, Genova, Savona…) and French southern coast (Nice, Toulon,…). There are also ferry crossings to Sardinia (Italy).
You can find cheap ferry prices if bought in advance. The prices can be lowered if your dates are flexible. This way you can make good use of the special prices for late crossings or take advantage of special “Joker” prices.
There are also plenty options for flights from big European cities, for those who wish to fly to Corsica. The only big international airport is in Ajaccio.
How to get around Corsica
Public transport is very poor in Corsica, so getting around by car is the best option, either you hire one, have your own, or hitchhike. Railways offer stunning views hidden to road travellers, but the trains are slower and limited to the three lines connecting Ajaccio with Corte, Bastia and Calvi. Getting around Corsica by bus can turn into a nightmare, so try to avoid buses if possible.
Main Bus routes
- Bastia to Corte (1hr 30 min) and Ajaccio (3 hours);
- Bastia to Ill Rousse (1 hr 40 min) and Calvi (2 hr 20 min);
- Calvi to Porto (2 hr 30 min);
- Ajaccio to Propriano (2 hr) and Porto Vecchio (3 hr 30 min);
- Porto Vecchio to Bastia;
Things to do in Corsica
Hiking in Corsia
The Island is a paradise for hikers. It offers a lot of well-marked trails. Probably the most famous is the 200km GR20, which attracts thousands of hikers every year. The best hiking places are in central Corsica (it’s listed as one of the best places for hiking and camping in Europe).
Some must see places for hikers include the valleys of Restonica and Tavignano, located in central Corsica.
The island also offers other long and short distance walking paths like: Mare a Mare (North, Center, Sud), Sentier l’Ile Rousse – Corte, Monte Stello on Cap Corse.
Sports / Beaches in Corsica
From skiing in the winter months to watersports in other seasons of the year. Corsica has it all. Many sandy beaches located all over the island will convince single, couple and family travelers as well.
The more tourist known beaches in the north (around Calvi, Llle Rousse and Algajola) are very crowded in the summer months (July, August) and therefore should be avoided. Nice beaches can be found all over the island. So everyone will find some beach for himself.
Other things to do in Corsica
Rock climbing, River fishing, Kayaking, canoeing, rafting, Horse trekking (as well as dog trekking), Paragliding, Biking, Diving
Sightseeing in Corsica
Based on the reach and long history there are plenty of places to see. Galleries and museums are mostly located in big cities like Ajaccio, Bastia, Boniffaccio, Corte and Porto Vecchio. Especially the citadel and castle in Boniffacio and Corte should not be missed. Genoese watching towers can be seen all over the island.
Other places to see include:
- 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”;
- Filitosa, not so far from Sartene, with Neolithic megaliths and menhirs among 1000-year old olive trees.
Nightlife in Corsica
The nightlife and clubbing scene is located in tourist centers and big cities.
Where to stay in Corsica
The island can offer many good places to stay, for moderate prices. It is recommended that you book in advance. The summer months are sometimes reserved 1 year ahead.
To those who like to camp and be one with the nature, there are many camps to choose from. Reservations in camps are mostly not possible, so you should be in the camp as soon as possible in the morning. Camping prices for 2 persons, car, tent and electricity are around 32€/day. Those who travel with pets will be happy to see that a lot of camps allowing pets.
With the exception of camping or mountain huts, always book your accommodation in advance, especially if you are going to Corsica during the high season.
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Insider Corsica Travel Tips
- Avoid traveling to Corsica in the crowded tourist summer months (July, August). In July and August many Italian and French spend their summer vacation on Corsica. Often the roads are flooded with cars. The best months to visit are May, June, September and October.
- Book the flight/ferry ticket in advance.
- Book the accommodation in advance.
- Try some local specialties
- Chestnut based products
- Sheep cheese
- Wild boar sausage
- Sea food specialties
- Drive the scenic coastal roads on the western part of Corsica.
- Hike the GR20 (normally takes 10-14 days).
Corsica is a beautiful island with much to see and try. My next visit will take me on the GR20 hiking trail.