Corsica is known as l’ile de beauté – the island of beauty. An apt name for this Mediterranean gem of fine sandy beaches, azure seas, dense forests, snowcapped mountains and unspoilt countryside. Despite belonging to France, the island’s close affinity with Italy is clearly to be seen in its wealth of Italianate churches and a language that’s closely linked to the Tuscan dialect.
…L’ile de beauté
The most mountainous and geographically diverse of all the Mediterranean islands, Corsica has something to offer every kind of tourist be they sun-seekers, mountaineers or anglers.
The sunny coastal town of Ajaccio, birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte, is where most people begin their Corsican adventure. Located in a beautiful sweep of the bay, Ajaccio is a pastel-coloured city of yachts, pavement cafes, elegant squares and palm trees.
Head for the Pointe de la Parata, a wild black-granite headland west of the city, famous for its spectacular sunsets. A group of small islands known as the Iles Sanguinaires are visible offshore and turn a beautiful deep red as the sun goes down.
The wildest and most breathtaking coastal scenery can be found running northwards from Ajaccio to Calvi. Don’t miss Les Calanches – the most stunning natural sight in Corsica.
Just south of the seaside town of Porto, Les Calanches is a dramatic mountain landscape of red and orange granite forms in the most amazing and unusual shapes.
The prosperous citadel town of Calvi is located on top of a promontory in the north-west of the island.
The beautiful turquoise waters of the Golfe de Calvi surround the town and the coast between it and l’Ile Rousse to the north is studded with spectacular sandy beaches.
Journey to the extreme south of the island to see the Citadelle of Bonafacio which sits precariously on top of a headland of white limestone cliffs.
The town retains a medieval atmosphere with its narrow alleyways and stone houses. If you’re a keen hiker, head for the fortified old town of Corte in the centre of the island.
As well as being a young, lively town, it makes an excellent base for hiking excursions, ringed as it is with snow-capped mountains.