By Johanna the 14/11/2022

Road trip in Corsica: 1 week to discover South Corsica

Discover a week-long road trip itinerary in southern Corsica which takes in both stunning sea and majestic mountain landscapes. We’re including lots of tips and recommendations to make your road trip truly special. In Corsica distances may be measured not in miles but in time, and you’ll find signs that help you make the most of your time and take in the most beautiful scenery Corsica has to offer.

Day 1 AJACCIO: Arrival at Napoleon Bonaparte airport


(About 20 minutes from the city centre)

Vieux port Ajaccio©ATC-S.ALESSANDRI Vieux port Ajaccio©ATC-S.ALESSANDRI


For those who want to rent a vehicle, there are several national car hire companies near the airport.


Ajaccio is the birthplace of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, and there are many legendary sites to discover his legacy in the Imperial city. With its fascinating history, gastronomy and remarkable architecture, Ajaccio will seduce you with its diverse cultural, natural and ancestral diversity.


Discover the city: Our selection of 12 must-see sites during your stay in Ajaccio 


Tickle your tastebuds: Head to the market and taste delicious Corsican food and wine directly sourced from the producer.  


Wander: Take a tour of the Parata Tower. Drive to the Iles Sanguinaires, park in the carpark (paid) and discover the peninsula and its stunning Genoese tower.


Cultural idea: Don't miss the Fesch Museum, which has "Musée de France" status in recognition of its incredible collections which include: Italian paintings, the Napoleonic Collection and Corsican painters. The museum is renowned for its collection of Italian primitives, the second most important and visited collection after the Paris Louvre museum. Also discover the home of Bonaparte, in the heart of the old town. It’s a fun and informative visit to the early 19th century.

Romantic idea: Sail to the Iles Sanguinaires and watch the sunset. There are several companies offering this memorable experience.

Enjoy the “enchantment of the senses in Ajaccio, an unusual promenade by the sea" 

Spend a night in Ajaccio in one of the many superb hotels. The Ajaccio Tourism office website has all the details to help you make your choice.


Day 2 SARTENE: Stopover in PROPRIANO


(About 1h15 from Ajaccio to Propriano then 20 minutes from Propriano to Sartene)




Cross the inland villages of Grosseto Prugna, Petreto Bicchisano and Olmeto to reach Sartène - the “most Corsican of Corsican cities”. During your visit, don't miss a tasty break in the cosy cafés and delectable bakeries that are open all year round. 

Before arriving in Sartène, enjoy a wellness stop in Propriano at the Baracci Baths 


Discover the city: Take a stroll in the winding alleys and discover the Echauguette - built at the end of the 16th century, U Petraghju, the Place Porta and the Church of Saint Mary, which is at the heart of the famous Catenacciu procession


You can also discover the city with an audio guide available at the Tourist Office


Cultural idea: Just a few kilometres south of Sartène, visit A Casa di Roccapina, a former cantonal house, now a museum, which watches over the Lion of Roccapina, a superb natural rock sculpture... 


Immerse yourself in our Roccapina experience 


Tip: Discover the famous vineyard of the AOC Sartène. It extends over the regions of Ortulu and Tizzanu and there are cellar visits where you can taste the different vintages.


Spend the night in Sartène, find information at the Tourist Office


Day 3 and 4: Bonifacio 

(about 1h15 from Sartène)



Offering one of the most beautiful panoramas of Corsica, Bonifacio and its limestone cliffs truly deserve a longer stopover.


Discover the city: Reach the old town La Citadelle by the touristic little train from the marina. You will arrive at the famous 187 steps of King Aragon, the lookout post of Corsica and the marine cemetery. Head to the lighthouse of Pertusatu for exceptional views over the city. On the walk to reach the lighthouse, you’ll enjoy breath-taking views to the island of Sardinia, the Maddalena Islands and the Lavezzi Islands.


Tickle your tastebuds: Taste the traditional Bonifacian aubergines


Relaxing activity idea: snorkelling or paddle at Piantarella beach


Sea activity: Take a half or full day cruise to the Lavezzi Islands with lunch on site

Cultural idea: Discover the four churches of the city and attend a polyphonic concert

Night in Bonifacio, for more information on sea trips and nautical activities, please visit the Bonifacio Tourist Office website


Day 5: Porto Vecchio 

(about 30 minutes from Bonifacio)



Porto-Vecchio is nicknamed "the city of salt" and is known for its magnificent beaches... Here are just a few recommendations for beaches to discover in spring and autumn while you make the most of the mild temperatures. And in the town, there are many lovely streets to wander.


To relax: Head to Rondinara, a magnificent fine sandy bay; Santa Giulia which, with its calm and shallow water is very popular with families; Palombaggia, the chicest and trendiest of the region with silky sand, turquoise water and umbrella pines; and finally, Tamaricciu an extension of Palombaggia which is perfect for families.


Shopping idea: The narrow streets of Porto-Vecchio are lined with cafés and boutiques. Here you will discover many talented Corsican designers who will welcome you to their pretty shops.


Cultural idea: Climb to the top of the “Bastion de France” and from the scenic terrace, you’ll have panoramic views of the Gulf of Porto-Vecchio.


Tickle your tastebuds: Enjoy a refreshing Corsican ice cream at one of the parlours that line the marina.  


Night in Porto Vecchio, Tourist Office website 


Day 6: Ospedale forest and Bavella pass 

(about 30-40 minutes from Porto- Vecchio)


Aiguilles de Bavella©BeBoy AdobeStock Aiguilles de Bavella©BeBoy AdobeStock


A day of hiking!


From Porto-Vecchio, take the D368 which goes inland. Go through the forest and above the lake of Ospedale. Choose between two hikes with spectacular views (if you are sporty, you can do both):

  • Piscia di Gallu approximately two hours walk from the Ospedale lake (N 41.68745° / E 9.199957°)
  • Trou de la Bombe approx. 2h30 round trip from the Bavella pass (parking available N 41.795683° / E 9.224835°)


Walking shoes and water bottle are required. Why not take a picnic and have lunch in the mountains…


For sports fanatics, here's an extra idea: if you are a mountain bike fan, the Bavella area offers about thirty reserved tracks. If "white-water and strong sensations" are more your thing, the Bavella massif is the ideal place to practice canyoning. Several different circuits are suggested according to the level of difficulty (we recommend the activity to be practiced with a professional).


Night in Zonza, make your choice on the Tourist Office website


Day 7 Back to Ajaccio


Last day of your vacations. On your way back why not visit Ajaccio (about 2 hours from the village of Zonza) and if you have time, enjoy the quirky villages of the area…



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