With its beautiful seaside views, towering mountains, and the vast swath of natural forests, Corsica indeed deserves the nickname, ‘Island of Beauty’. Along the stunning coast are charming port towns, and the hillsides are beautiful villages.
The island has no shortage of things to see and do. It is a haven for lovers of the beach, outdoor sports aficionados, and hikers. Corsica boasts of some of the continent’s most inspiring furrowed landscapes and a thousand-kilometer shoreline with clear waters ideal for scuba diving or snorkeling.
Even though Corsica has been part of France since 1769, its culture is unique. Donkeys still meander across the suburbs, the music is distinct, and the cuisine boasts of unique specialties like chestnut polenta, strong spicy cheeses, and chestnut cookies.
>>Also Read: Things To Do In Corsica
Below Are the Best Places to Visit on the Beautiful Island of Corsica to Make Your Trip Worth Visiting:
See the Birthplace of Napoleon
General Napoleon Bonaparte is the island’s most famous native. He was born here in the capital city of Corsica, which is beautifully set on the Gulf of Ajaccio. Also, you can enjoy amazing views of the sea from different spots anywhere in the town. At Ajaccio’s center is the Place de Gaulle, which is a massive square with the general’s equestrian statue (made by Viollet le-Duc in 1865).
Another Napoleon spot is the Maison Bonaparte; there, you can see Napoleon’s crib. It displays memorabilia, portraits, and family documents and a gallery dedicated to the French general (comprising of a collection of coins and medallions) at the Musée des Beaux-Arts (Palais Fesch).
Ajaccio is an old town worth visiting to explore the historic appeal with its trails of winding, cobblestone streets. A highlight here is the 15th-century Cathédrale d’Ajaccio, where the general’s baptism took place in 1771. The cathedral’s most drastic piece of art is La Vierge au Sacré Cour painting by Eugène Delacroix.
>>Also Read: Things To Do In Ajaccio
Explore the Scandola Nature Reserve
Made up of less than 8 miles of the island’s northwest coast, the Scandola Nature Reserve is a UNESCO recognized World Heritage Site for its furrowed beauty and biodiversity. Taking a boat from Port Calvi to the north is the perfect way to experience this region. A tour of the place can take in the volcanic forelands of the coastlines and the coves, caves, beaches, sea stacks, and red cliffs. Sea eagles and dolphins are set to join you if the universe smiles on you.
>>Also Read: What is Corsica Famous For
Marvel at the Bonifacio Citadel
Sitting atop the white limestone cliffs of a peninsula with an impressive 70 m drop down on the rocks under, the Bonifacio Citadel’s setting is definitely spectacular. In the 9th-century, the fortification was built as Tuscany’s first line of defense. Since then, the Genoese and Pisans have occupied and expanded it. In fact, the French Foreign Legion converted for their administrative center. In the walls, residents of Bonifacio conduct their businesses in the middle of the twisting medieval streets.
See the Désert des Agriates
The 15,000 hectares of rich wilderness used to be fertile farmlands. But erosion and wildfires devasted the crops and vegetation, and by the 1970s, it had assumed its present state. The region remains deserted but not without life, as it is encompassed in parts by fields, scrubland, and strikingly colorful beaches. Visitors can see a sign of the former inhabitants of the land in huts (made with stone) that might have been used as housing, warehouses, or barns.
Witness Beauty at Palais Fesch Musée des Beaux-Arts
The cardinal Joseph Fesch was Napoleon’s uncle and is responsible for founding this fine art museum. Today, the art repository contains the biggest collection of Italian paintings in France outside of the Parisian Louvre. Masterpieces by Titian, Bellini, and Botticelli are on display in the incredibly adorned gallery.
Corsican and Italian artworks from the 1600s-1900s are also showcased here. However, the highlight here is the collection of Napoleon-related sculptures. For those desiring to go deeper in that aspect, drawing lessons, guide tours, and art workshops are offered. It is located at 50-52 Rue Cardinal Fesh, Ajaccio.
Go for Some Exhilarating Canyoning
In Corsica, there are lots of sublime canyons, mostly located in the island’s south. Canyoning is an outdoor activity that comprises of rock climbing, swimming, and walking while trailing the waterways and paths cuts through many canyons. Those on the island are in places of ravishing natural beauty, but it can be dangerous sliding there without caution. Many tour organizations offer a range of services to participants. And the cool is that they design participant’s adventure to their level of physical ability and experience.
>>Also Read: Best Canoeing Spots in France
Watch the Bees at Le Jardin des Abeilles
Also called ‘the Garden of Bees’, this unassumingly attractive spot is another place to visit on the island. The Casalta family manages 400 hives, taking about 6 different types of honey from their insect livestock and the beeswax. Health, beauty, and the beautiful blend of sugary treats can be bought at their stall, but ensure that you follow the wooded ‘learning path’ through the close by woods before leaving. And at an attractive location close to the Prunelli River is a glass beehive that perches for inspection. Le Jardin des Abeilles is located at Ocana, Corsica, France.
>>Also Read: Is Corsica Expensive?
Step into Chapelle de Notre-Dame de la Serra
Plodding up the trail to this hilltop sanctuary looks over Calvi is worth every bit of visit. Once you reach the peak, take in the outstanding picturesque views of the town, the bay’s blue waters, and La Revaellata lighthouse. Perching on a massive rock is Our Lady of the Serra’s statue, the unmoving watchman whose open arms beckons every pilgrim who completes the island’s journey. As an intriguing aside, local folklore has it that bringing one’s significant other to the chapel will guarantee a lifetime of happiness.
>>Also Read: Most Beautiful Churches in France
See the Filitosa
In the mid-20th-century, excavations began at this enigmatic and terrific archaeological site. The group of menhirs and dolmens are the highlight here. Dating back millions of years, depictions of weapons, human faces, and armor have been carved into the granite tiles. Located in an old olive grove, the location is believed to have been inhabited from prehistory to the Bronze Age. It is located at Station Préhistorique de Filitosa, Corsica.
>>Also Read: Weekend Trip To Bastia, Corsica
Attend the Polyphonic Song Festival
Held since 1989 every year in Calvi, the island’s Polyphonic Festival attracts soloists and choristers from Corsica and different parts of the world to perform. The highlight of the polyphonic singing was restored in the 1970s and has since become a significant feature of the island’s regional identity.
Concerts take place in massive venues across Calvi, including Calvi’s citadel, the Saint-Antoine oratory, and the Cathedral St-Jean-Baptiste. The singers that come in their drove for the festival are of varying backgrounds and may hail from Cuban, South African, Bulgarian, or Maldivian cultures.
The Adrenaline Rush from Hiking on the GR20 Trail
Advanced hikers and lovers of extreme sports will revere this trail. Corsica’s GR20 trail cuts through the island from north to south, reaching remote and wild hillsides and deep mountainsides. The trail is famous for being Europe’s most challenging long-distance hike. The trail is not only long, but its terrain is also steep and rocky. Those who can face the difficulty will be rewarded with breathtaking views.
Enjoy a Road Drive to Col de Bavella
If you are exploring Corsica by car, the scenic drive through this area should be tried. The road courses through the beautiful scenery and along an old Roman road, going further up to the mountain pass at 1243 m. From that end, there are marvelous panoramas of fields and forests, the sea, and the mountains.
Is Corsica Worth Visiting? – Summary
Beaches with beautiful sand and majestic coasts are perfect for diving, snorkeling, sailing, etc. The gorgeous mountains are also perfect for both extreme and amateur hiking. Ajaccio’s historic lure is irresistible, and Calvi’s architecture will blow your mind. Corsica is a majestic vibe you should definitely visit.