Are you heading to the Island of Beauty for the holidays this year? We help you choose in which city to stay in Corsica!
The fourth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, Corsica is called the Island of Beauty and this nickname was not given by chance: from Bastia to Bonifacio, from Ajaccio to Corte, Propriano, or Porto Vecchio, Corsica is home to innumerable idyllic treasures. Filled with charms, the island boasts stunning scenery, great hiking trails, calm and heavenly beaches offering the perfect setting to relax, picturesque and authentic Corsican villages, as well succulent gastronomy. Who needs more?
Though the island has only 327,283 inhabitants, its population increases to 7.4 million if you add all the visitors who go there every year. Finding accommodation in Corsica can be expensive, very expensive. Here is a review of the cities where to stay in Corsica.
Ajaccio and the west coast
Photo credit: Flickr – dmytrok
From the bay of Ajaccio to the Sanguinaires Archipelago – from where the sun delightfully blazes into the sea at dusk – to the majestic Calanques de Piana and the picturesque village of Porto, you will be literally charmed, bewitched by the beauty of the west coast’s jaw-dropping landscapes. Of course, the crowds of tourists in summer are bound to annoy a few – including the Corsicans themselves – but the west coast is really worth seeing. To stay in Ajaccio or in some place along the coast, several accommodation options are available: hotels, homestay rooms, campsites, or why not a night under the stars on the beach (without a tent, wild camping is prohibited).
The advantage of Corsican beaches is that even in summer, you can be on your own and enjoy peace and quiet, provided you go there early in the morning and leave before the heat becomes unbearable, around 11 o’clock. The Sagone beach is our personal favourite: ideal for swimming in clear, calm waters, and snorkeling. Further north, the Calanques de Piana – via the Capo d’Orto path – are simply breathtaking, and definitely not to be missed.
Photo credit: Flickr – Sheila Bandini
A popular tourist destination, Calvi is known for its citadel, its lively terraces, its sandy beach, its pine groves, and its port. A small garden of Eden where life is good. Come and stay in Calvi to enjoy the charms of its port where fishing boats rub shoulders with luxurious yachts. Of course, such a beautiful place is bound to attract the well-heeled… Take to the time to immerse yourself in Calvi’s laid-back atmosphere, wander along through its maze of streets, and don’t forget to visit the cathedral Saint Jean-Baptiste. To get away from the tourists, try the trip to Corbara and Pigna, two very charming small villages that are definitely worth a visit.
Bonifacio, Porto-Vecchio and the south of Corsica
Photo credit: Flickr – Musiu Puti
Situated at the southern tip of Corsica, Bonifacio is perched on a vertiginous rocky outcrop of limestone cliffs overlooking the sea. To describe Bonifacio as a splendid site is an understatement. After winding through its narrow streets, head for the beaches of Palombaggia and the city of Porto Vecchio. Though very pretty these places are often crowded, which is not ideal. However, it’s useful to stay in Porto-Vecchio if you plan to explore this south-eastern part of Corsica.
Photo credit: Flickr – Robert Brands
Corsica is not just about sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. In the center of the island, the scenery takes on an alpine character, with its high mountains and wild gorges. In the Regional Natural Park of Corsica, you will enjoy the rigour of Corte, the lake of Calacuccia, and Mount Cinto if you are a hiker or if you love climbing, canyoning, kayaking, and mountain biking. To visit the center of Corsica, choose to stay in Corte.
Main photo credit: Flickr – jean françois bonachera