Greeks were used to naming it “Kalliste”, the island of beauty. Today, Corsica is still one of the most charming places of the Mediterranean.
Corsica consists of 2 départements: Corse-du-Sud (département 2A) and Haute-Corse (département 2B).
Corsica ’s population is 270 000 and its surface area is 8,700 km².
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Crystal clear waters, vast beaches of powder sand, small isolated coves and wild cliffs populated with sea eagles:Corsica offers a range of marine landscapes that are unique to the Mediterranean. With over one thousand kilometres of coastline, the island is a succession of fabulous places to swim, fish, dive or simply walk.
To the northwest of the island, the Agriates beaches that you can reach through the “maquis” are some of the wildest beaches on the island. Further to the south, around Ile Rousse, the Balagne beaches have vibrantly coloured rocks that rise out of turquoise waters. In the Golfe de Porto, there are large and small beaches for you to enjoy in a protected natural setting, and the magnificent landscapes of the Calanches will amaze you. Then between Bonifacio and Porto-Vecchio, fabulous beaches stretch over kilometres, punctuated here and there by coves. Further to the north and up to Solenzara, the Côte des Nacres ( Pearl Coast) has sandy coves that are bathed in emerald green waters. Even at the height of summer it is not difficult to find a quiet little cove where you will feel like Robinson Crusoe. You are sure to be surprised by the temperature of the waters. Even in October swimming in the sea is still common where the water can be up to 20°! Corsica’s charm continues under water, with anemones, gorgonians and coral that light up the seabed with an array of colours. Corsica is a dream place to learn to dive.
Fishes abound everywhere you look with scorpion fish, red mullet, sea bass,
gilt-head bream all of which will delight fishing enthusiasts. Not to forget the sea urchins that will form part of memorable meals during the winter until the start of spring.
Sea kayaking, jet-skiing, water skiing, harpoon fishing, fun-boarding and even surfing – you will have plenty of opportunity to practise your favourite sport in an exceptional setting. As sailing enthusiasts will tell you, nothing beats a tour round Corsica by boat for an unforgettable cruise. That goes for you too; as soon as you discover the shores of Corsica, you will only want to do one thing and that is weigh anchor.
The wealth of tourist interest in this island is indisputably its natural heritage.
Corsica is nothing like the image we have of a Mediterranean island. In fact, no other Mediterranean island has Corsica’s lushness.
With its conservation areas and nature reserves which have been given national recognition or registered on Unesco’s world heritage list, its International marine reserve, and its Regional Nature Reserve which stretches from one side to the other of its mountain range, from Calvi to Porto-Vecchio, Corsica remains for the most part a protected island.
With more than 2000 plant species, Corsica will dazzle you with colour.
Five nature reserves protect some unique flora and fauna with the Cerbicale Isles that provide a sanctuary for crested cormorants, the Lavezzi Isles where 68 species of fish have been recorded, the Finocchiarola and Scandola Isles that are France’s leading land and sea reserve, and the Biguglia lagoon where 127 species of aquatic birds nest.
In the spring everything is in bloom and the maquis is at its most fragrant, autumn is also a delight when the chestnut harvest is celebrated in the hilltop villages, making Corsica a delight to explore whatever the season.
Walking on Corsica is the best way to explore the true Corsica. Wonder at the fortified granite houses and shepherds’ dry-stone shelters, bath in the pure water pools that have formed in the rocks from waterfalls, and enjoy the magnificent landscapes in the forests where you will perhaps come across one of the island’s semi-wild pigs or catch a glimpse of the bearded vulture or the moufflon.
Everywhere you go the many hiking trails take you right to the heart of the real Corsica. The most well known long-distance trail is the GR 20 (long-distance hiking route) that takes you across the upper mountains, from Calenzana
(in the Calvi region) to Conca (in the Porto-Vecchio region).
This difficult path is one of the most beautiful in the world. All along the route you will find a shepherd or villager who will show you a spring where you can stop to drink, and even the route of the old Genoese bridge.
Accessible to everyone, country tracks will take you to the Alta-Rocca, close to the fabulous Bavella peaks. In the Bozio area, your walk will take you to explore ancient Roman chapels decorated with frescos. The Nioloarea is a paradise for mountain climbers and offers easy looped walks that will take you deep into the breathtaking pine forests.
If you prefer mountain biking, you will also not be disappointed. Sporting circuits and loops that are perfect for family outings, with hundreds of forest paths, walking routes and short routes are open all year. Lastly if you like horse riding, you will enjoy Corsica. Almost 2000 km of tracks are open to riders and will take you to areas and villages that cannot be reached by road. So, saddle up!
Corsica’s uniqueness, quite apart from the fact that it is an island that is unique to the Mediterranean, also stems from its heritage.
Everywhere you go, you will see a chapel, a bridge, a tower, or something of interest to explore. From pre-history you can see the remains of watchtowers from the mysterious civilization known as the “civilization toréenne” as well as hundreds of menhir statues, including the famous Filitosa statues with their
enigmatic sculptured faces. This was followed by the Greek and Roman periods. A fantastic collection of artefacts is on display in the Museum of Aléria. However, these ancient colonists left other, far more succulent memories of their time on Corsica, in the form of vineyard cultivation
and oyster farming. In the Middle Ages, a large number of Roman chapels and churches with simple lines were built in the villages of Castagniccia, Nebbio and Balagne. The17th and 18th centuries saw the emergence of churches built in the baroque style and the richness of their interior
decoration will amaze you. Corsica’s turbulent history can be seen through the fortification and citadels of its towns and its Genoese watch-towers dotted along the coastline.
Gastronomy, local wines and celebrations
With a rich heritage of monuments, Corsica is also a wealth of culture, craft and living traditions among which gastronomy plays a significant part. With “prisuttu”, delicious finely-cut ham made from semi-wild pigs that feed on acorns and chestnuts, “figatelli”, liver sausages and “coppa” charcuterie based on pork ribs. Chestnut “pulenta” (with a flour base) will accompany your wild-boar stew and as regards cheese, enjoy tasting “brocciu”, a locally produced goat and sheep’s cheese: all authentic and generous cooking.
By the sea, you can enjoy crawfish, fish, and “aziminu” a Corsican fish-based soup. 8 AOCs (guarantee of origin) compete to produce wine that is both aromatic and full of flavour. Do not hesitate to call in to see the wine cellars. The winegrowers themselves will be delighted to let you taste their products. “A saluta” – “Cheers”! Corsica is also an island where people know how to party. Each village, and there are more than 300, celebrates its patron saint each year. During such celebrations the profane meets the religious with fairs, music, singing, dancing and cinema festivals, and sporting events all year round. And at night, when the “paghjelles” begin – traditional songs sung by three people, it is the Corsican soul, proud and passionate that you will hear sing out.
Tourism office in Corsica:
Gites in Corsica:
Travel from the UK
Corsica has 3 airports: Bastia, Ajaccio and Figari.
Our team of sale advisers at Sextant Properties will be happy to help you to find a property in Corsica. We have a large network of partners in Corsica. All of them are registered French real estate agents and speak both French and English. Whatever kind of property you are looking for: farmhouse, longere, barn, gite, B&B, country house, mill, castle or chateau, we will do our best to find a property in Corsica matching your requirements.