By Nathalie

A mosaic of landscapes

Beauty and diversity

Corsica is an island of superlatives. With small, deserted coves and wide bays along more than 1,000km of coastline, its diverse pearly sand beaches are lapped by some of the world’s clearest waters. At its heart are some of the highest mountains in the Mediterranean. And as far as the eye can see, its unspoilt natural landscape gives peace and protection to rare wildlife, especially in its vast forests where over 2,000 plant species flourish.

Surprise and authenticity: Because it’s an island of extremes, both wild and welcoming, open and preserved, gentle and steep, voluptuous and dignified, Corsica is a unique place that generates the strongest emotions and some dazzling surprises. And it’s beautiful in all seasons, even when winter shrouds it in frost and snow.

Along the coast: Corsica’s coastline is a paradise to satisfy the varied desires of visitors: the dramatic calanques at Piana, long, sandy beaches of the Costa Serena, wild coves of the south, wide open bays of the Balagne and Ajaccio... In Corsica, you can choose your own favourite bit of the coast, and enjoy a tailormade holiday.

Heading inland: You can easily start the day at the water’s edge, but then take the small trails and country roads inland and venture to the heart of thousand-year-old forests, climb wild mountains, and dine under the old plane trees of a peaceful village.

Do: Almost every watersport ever invented can be enjoyed in Corsica. It’s ideal for sailors, with favourable winds and thousands of little stop-off points. It’s a paradise for divers with its groupers and coral. It’s a dreamy place for fishermen, kayakers, surfers and kitesurfers, funboarders and waterskiers of all levels, with gently shelving sand and warm water – in fact the sea remains warm right through till late autumn. Corsica can be enjoyed in any season on foot, horseback, by bike or by car, with numerous marked trails allowing you to go astray without ever getting lost.

Discover: The Bouches de Bonifacio nature reserve and the Lavezzi island archipelago: wild, fairytale islets left bare and untamed, where dozens of endangered species of fish abound. The Agriates and its coastline: a mix of dramatic stones, virginal beaches of fine sand and 40km of protected maquis. Castagniccia: a chestnut grove secreting tiny villages of glossy schist perched on rocky spurs, interspersed with Romanesque churches. Ajaccio during the day, and the Sanguinaires islands at dusk for the dramatic sunset. Porto and its deep blue waters; Scandola and its basalt rock formations. The beaches of Ile-Rousse and its red rocks. The narrow pass of Scala di Santa Regina and its chaotic mass of granite. The natural pools of the Restonica gorges.

Short breaks: From the start of winter – why not at Christmas? – until April, ski or freeride on the Alta Strada (GR20 in winter), or go for a day of downhill skiing with the family. In spring, rent a cottage at the heart of the pine forest for a weekend. In May explore Bastia, its procession of the ‘Black Christ’ and its Baroque churches. From June, it’s time for a dip in the already warm waters around Porto-Vecchio. In November, Ajaccio celebrates with a final three-day flourish of the season – and from December, it’s all about the sea urchins freshly plucked from the sea.


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