From glorious white sandy beaches to treacherous mountain peaks, the French island of Corsica is about as geographically diverse as you can possibly get for a small island in the Mediterranean. Thousands of tourists visit Corsica each year to revel in its primitive beauty and enjoy the unspoilt majesty of its resorts.
Although Corsica has been an autonomous region of France for the last 200 years, its proximity to Italy affords Corsica a unique blend of French and Italian cultures. Charming fishing villages and citadels dot the coastline while sprawling vineyards and endless mountain ranges cover the inland, basked in Mediterranean sunshine.
You can take what you like from a Corsican holiday, perfect for those simply looking for a peaceful beach getaway and for those looking for a bit of adventure. The island is divided into 8 regions, each one differing from the last, so if you like your holiday champagne filled and glamorous, or historical and cultured, or even a bit on the wild side Corsica has something to offer you.
Corsica is famous as being the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte but also for being the home of Europe’s toughest hiking trail. The GR20 provides a challenge for even the most experienced hiker as you traverse the length of the island over a 2 week period, tackling every kind of terrain Corsica can throw at you. The GR20 is absolutely not for the faint of heart, however, there are plenty of lower intensity walking trails if you fancy a leisurely wander.
If adventure isn’t ‘your thing’ and you prefer to spend your holidays lazing on a beach with a cocktail in hand, then you will be spoilt for choice in Corsica. Boasting over 200 beaches varying from pebbly coves to wide sweeps of powdery white sand, Corsica could almost be mistaken for a Caribbean island. With clear, shallow waters, Corsica is a hotspot for water sports like snorkelling and kayaking.
For the history buffs, there are plenty of interesting sites to keep your brain ticking while in Corsica. Many of the coastal cities feature fortified citadels high on their cliffs which were built to defend the towns from invasion. Now, they make pretty centrepieces to chic marinas which ooze old-world charm. The citadel at the old village of Bonifacio in southern Corsica in particular is quite outstanding, and well worth a visit!
The Corsican people were traditionally mountain dwellers, so despite being an island, meat takes prominence over fish on most menus serving authentic Corsican cuisine. Heavily influenced by its Mediterranean neighbours, Corsican culinary offerings are both flavoursome and filling.
Wild Boar is considered to be the island delicacy, the meat being cut to make sausages and charcuterie meat products. Arguably however, Wild Boar is best put to use in the island’s signature dish, Wild Boar casserole. Combining the meat with beans, vegetables, herbs and lashings of red wine, the casserole makes a hearty dish and is available on many traditional menus.
Of course, since the introduction of tourism, restaurants offering variations of culinary stylings have appeared in the islands’ cities and main resorts, French and Italian cuisine typically being the favourite.
Although not essentially a well-established wine-producing region of France, Corsica does have an abundance of vineyards and produces a number of local wines. The delicately coloured rosé in particular is delicious!