Corsica - the Island of beauty

The mountainous Mediterranean island of Corsica sits off the south coast of France and appears to be its little continent. The island, which was formerly part of Italy, has been a popular holiday destination with Parisians for years, and it's no wonder why. Home to prosperous coastal towns, jagged cliffs, and endless hiking trails, Corsica provides a welcome escape from the mainland's nuances. ​

Corsica - the Island of beauty

Although Corsica has been part of France since 1768, the island has managed to retain an air of Italian culture. You'll notice the local cuisine difference, as Italian restaurants dot the island (sample the local specialty of Bonifacio if you get the chance). When you're not soaking up the local melting pot of culture, you'll likely be climbing mountains in Regional Natural Park of Corsica or sunbathing on the remote Saleccia Beach. There's a little something in Corsica for every traveler type. 

If you're arriving in Corsica by boat, you'll likely dock at Porto-Vecchio. This port town sits on the southeast coast of the island and boasts a charming Old Town and a yacht-filled marina. The perfect place to kick-start your time on the island. 

The Capital of Ajaccio
Corsica's capital city is a rugged port city found on the island's west coast. Ajaccio is known for being the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte, and you'll notice a fair few monuments in his name around town. The capital is a good starting point for those interested in history and culture. With this in mind, the Notre-Dame Cathedral, Fesch Museum, and the Maison Bonaparte museum, which sits in Napolean's ancestral home, should be of interest.

Similarly, the Palais Fesch Musee des Beaux-Arts offers a glimpse into the life of Napoleon too. This fine art museum is home to one of the most extensive collections of Italian paintings! Inside you'll find works by Botticelli, Titan, and Bellini. 

Calvi Citadel
Without a doubt, Ajaccio is home to some of the island's best historical landmarks. However, the northern town of Calvi is absolutely worth a visit too. This medieval city is well-known for its beaches, but its the hilltop citadel that steals the show. 

The citadel was fortified in the 12th century and spent the rest of history fending off intruders! Today visitors can explore the grounds on an audio tour. Inside the ramparts, you'll discover cobbled streets, the ruins of Christopher Columbus' home, and the famous Saint Jean-Baptise Cathedral.  

Once you've explored the grounds of Calvi Citadel, return to Calvi Beach. From here, you can enjoy unrivaled views of the former fortress and the surrounding walls. Alternatively, head out on a boat tour of the coast and admire the views from further afield. 

Corisca's Best Beaches
If you'd prefer to spend most of your time on the island hopping from one beach to the other, then read on. Corsica has over 1000km of coastline and nearly 200 beaches, so there's plenty of choices. For a sweeping beach that boasts the most transparent water on the island, head to Calvi Beach. Alternatively, if you enjoy snorkeling, consider Arinella Beach in the town of Lumio. Those who prefer remote coves might prefer the beaches of Loto and Saleccia. Lush green hills back both of these beaches. In the same breath, Palombaggia Beach should be on your to-visit list too. This beautiful stretch of sand looks more aking to the Caribbean than the Mediterranean! 

Les Calanches – the Grand Canyon of Corsica
No trip to Corsica is complete without a trip to Les Calanches. Otherwise known as the 'Grand Canyon of Corsica' this dramatic landscape is a hikers paradise. The area is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site and is located between the towns of Ajaccio and Calvi. 

The dramatic red rock formations that make up western Corsica have attracted hikers for years. Several trails wind through the granite rocks, each one providing spectacular views out to sea at every turn. Alternatively, if you'd like to admire the cliffs from afar, consider exploring the coastline by boat. FranceRent can arrange a luxury yacht charter and ensure you enjoy the very best of Les Calanches. There are numerous blue lagoons to explore too, and these are best visited with a seasoned expert. 

Before leaving the canyons behind, make sure you visit the nearby village of Piana. Despite being quite small, there are a couple of interesting landmarks. Namely, the 18th-century baroque church that stands proud in the village center. 

Scandola Nature Reserve
Another of Corsica's UNESCO World Heritage Sites is the Scandola Nature Reserve. To reach the reserve, take a boat from the port town of Calvi and head north. The journey takes in secret coves, red cliffs, and volcanic headlands before arriving at the reserve. Once there, you'll find a number of walking trails winding through the diverse forest. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins on the way!

Corsica - the Island of beauty

In conclusion, there's so much to do and see in Corsica that forgoing it from your southern France itinerary would be silly. From hiring a boat and touring the coastline, to tracing the steps of Napoleon Bonaparte in the capital, this French island does not disappoint. Whatsmore, getting here from mainland France is easy. 

There are four airports on the island of Corsica in total, and FranceRent can arrange travel to all. Calvi, Bastia, Figari, and Ajaccio Airpor are well linked with the island's main resorts and towns. If you'd like to arrive in style, FranceRent will take care of all your luxury transfers needs. Boat rental, helicopter hire, and car transfers are just some of the ways FranceRent can get you from A to B. 

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