Corsica is one of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean. Known for its white sand beaches, cool blue waters, vast wilderness, historical sites, and incredible food, Corsica is a premier tourist destination. Here are the top 5 reasons to go to Corsica, plus two reasons why you may not want to go.
1. The Beach
Corsican beaches are some of the most scenic in the world, with white, sandy stretches and cool, blue waters reminiscent of Caribbean beaches. The island has over 200 beaches in total, most of which are great for activities such as swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, boating, kayaking, fishing, and more.
The beaches are easily accessible, with hotels, inns, and rentals within walking distance from all the most popular beaches. There are also more secluded, secret beaches that you may need to drive or hike to to access, but the trip is more than worth it. Relax with a drink in your hand, or take part in the wide variety of watersports and activities available along the cost. Corsican beaches have something to offer to every vacationer.
2. The Trails
Whether you prefer to walk, cycle, or horseback ride, the trails that cross the Corsican countryside are perfect for getting around the island and enjoying Corsica’s vast, beautiful scenery.
The Corsican landscape encapsulates bucolic Mediterranean scenery at its finest. The rocky hills, lazy rivers, vast vineyards, forests, and mountains make breathtaking backdrops for any trip. The island has year-round good weather, so you can enjoy the trails in any season. The countryside is dotted with picturesque towns and farms, and have many bed-and-breakfasts, making it possible to take a multiple-days long trip through the country, stopping just to stay overnight along the way.
3. The Food
Corsican food is incredible, with influences from both French and Italian cooking, as well as unique Corsican dishes, and plenty of fresh seafood. Chestnuts feature prominently in Corsican cooking, especially in classic dishes like polenta, and in their ham dishes. Corsica is famous for its cheeses, in particular its sheep and goat milk cheeses, which can be eaten fresh or aged.
Corsican charcuterie is world famous. Corsican pigs, which are free range, semi-feral, and cross breed with wild boar, feature prominently in Corsican charcuterie. During the summer and autumn months, the boar mainly eat chestnuts and chestnut flour, which gives their meat a distinct taste.
Olive oil is also a mainstay of the Corsican diet. Unlike much of mainland France, Corsicans prefer olive oil to butter, and use it in many of their dishes, and as a dip for their bread.
Corsica is also well known for its vast vineyards and wine. Corsica has a rich history of winemaking, dating back to when the island was settled by Greek colonists. Corsican wine has strict rules and regulations, which make it some of the best wine available in the Mediterranean region.
4. Historical Sites
Corsica has a long history, dating back at least to the 6th century B.C. when it was inhabited by Phoenicians and Greeks. Since then, the island has changed hands and been settled variously by Etruscans, Carthaginians, Romans. Vandals, Byzantines, Saracens, and more.
Perhaps most famous as the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte, Corsica’s long and storied history has left it littered with historical sites, dating from ancient times to the Middle Ages, the renaissance, the Revolutionary era, and modern times. Must-see sites include La Cittadella, Chapelle de Notre Dame de la Serra, Citadelle Saint Florent, and the Cimetiere Marin de Bonifacio.
5. Visit the Cities
Corsica is home to a number of small cities, including its capital, Ajaccio, which combines many of the best features listed above. Ajaccio has beaches, historical sites, great restaurants, and is surrounded by beautiful nature trails.
While in the city, be sure to visit the historic market, which is just as lively today as it was 500 years ago, the marina and bay, the Stade François Coty soccer stadium, and the historic sites, including the Bonaparte House and the Genoese Tower.
2 Reasons You Might Not Want To Visit Corsica
After the five reasons listed above, you may be left wondering “why would I not visit Corsica?” Although Corsica is a great place to visit, and the good strongly outweighs the bad, there are two reasons why you may not want to visit.
1. You have no grasp of the French language
Corsica is off the beaten trail from the main hubs of French tourism. In the major cities on the mainland, you will be able to get by just fine speaking only English, but in Corsica, English proficiency is very limited, even in some tourist-heavy areas.
If you get frustrated easily by language barriers, or have certain special needs that you need to be able to communicate at meals or other times, Corsica may not be the ideal destination for you. That being said, Corsica is very friendly and accommodating, and even if you don’t speak fluent French, you will be able to get around just fine on the island. It would be useful to learn at least a few basic French phrase, however, before making the trip, and the effort to speak a little French will be much appreciated by the locals.
2. You want a strictly laid-back vacation
Corsica has so much to offer that it’s difficult to stay in one place on the island. If you are looking to spend a week on the beach, Corsica is a great place to do that, but the allure of the island might pull you off the beach and into the countryside, vineyards, mountains, and cities. So if you are not interested in going on adventures and exploring the island, you may want to look elsewhere, as the rest of Corsica may be too tempting for you to spend the whole vacation on the beach.