Corsica

Sitting 100 miles south of the Côte d’Azur, the fragrant isle of Corsica is an unblemished piece of France basking under the hot sunny skies of Italy.
With its dramatic snow-capped mountain peaks, evergreen forests, pristine beaches and intimate little harbour towns, Corsica fully deserves its title of ‘Ile de Beauté'
The fourth largest and most mountainous of the Mediterranean islands Corsica remains the least crowded. With around a third of it designated as National Park, Corsica is lush, wild and scenically breathtaking. Corsica is quite simply hypnotic. The magnificent unspoilt coastline at nearly 650 miles long boasts glorious sandy beaches with warm crystal seas glittering in palest aquamarine and turquoise. Corsica might have been created for those who can’t choose between France and Italy, mixing both with its own unique and beguiling personality. Whether you prefer exhilarating activities or lazing on the beach Corsica offers a dream location for nature and sea lovers in a diverse, sun-drenched paradise that’s just a little bit different.

About Corsica

History

Corsica’s unique flavour is rooted in its heritage. Always a turbulent place, and successively invaded by seemingly every Mediterranean power that owned a boat, Corsica drips with fascinating history. All over the island you encounter towers, bridges, chapels and historic buildings that breathe through the ages. From the pre-historic Filitosa menhirs with their enigmatic carved faces to the heartbreaking WW2 war memorial at the Col de Teghime Corsica’s past confront you and defines its people.
The Corsicans themselves are fiercely protective of their rugged land and have struggled long and hard to maintain its independence. Corsica’s troubled past can be seen in its citadels and fortified towns and in the Genoese watchtowers strung along the coastline. Nelson lost his eye at the siege of Calvi and Corsica’s most famous son Napoleon is viewed by some locals as much-conquered Corsica's revenge upon the world. Pascal Paoli however is considered the islands real hero in his long fight for their independence. Under French governance since 1769, this enigmatic island still feels a very separate country.

History of Corsica

What's On

There is a huge variety of cultural, sporting and artistic events put on throughout the year. These range from food and wine fairs, religious and historical festivals to the renowned polyphony concerts, which add such a characteristic note to Corsica. Easter and Holy week are a busy period of great spectacle and ritual processions. The Assumption is celebrated with elaborate firework displays on 15th August right across Corsica. From Bonifacio’s autumn sailing regattas to the horse racing at the mountain hippodrome at Zonza there is plenty to occupy the most varied of tastes. Calvi plays host to its annual Jazz Festival in June, attracting world-class performers and then in July moves to more youthful sounds with Its ‘Calvi on the Rocks’ concert series. With the difficulty of some of Corsica’s renowned roads rally driving and the famous Tour de Corse attract huge local interest. Numerous festivals promote Corsica’s glorious produce with everything from Venaco’s cheeses to Bocognano’s chestnuts, and pigs to honey all hosting their own particular seasonal celebrations. Corsica Wine Producers from across the island congregate for the Luri Wine Festival in July each year to show off their award-winning wines and compare tasting notes. In 2013 the 100th Tour de France is starting from Porto-Vecchio, the first time the Tour has ever visited the island.

What's On

Climate

Corsica Weather: Mild, clear winters and long, hot summers make up the Mediterranean climate of Corsica. It is the hottest region in France and holds the record for sunshine hours averaging 7.5 per day throughout the year. (2790hrs per year)
The prevailing winds and occasional mistral and sirocco play a role in the weather but summer temperatures average a glorious 25-30°C.
It is generally dry consistently from May through September, especially on the coast. Sea temperatures start to warm up by early June and reach their peak by mid-July, remaining warm enough for swimming until at least mid-October.

In the mountains the Corsican climate is more alpine and varies with altitude. Above 1000 meters the weather is similar to northern Europe, and snow can remain on Corsica's highest peaks throughout much of the year.
In fact with its multitude of differing terrains Corsica sustains a variety of separate micro-climates. 

Cosican Climate

Map & Travelling to Corsica

Corsica is increasingly accessible with 4 international airports: Ajaccio, Bastia, Calvi and Figari (near Porto Vecchio) generous for an island barely 130 miles by 50. These are served by over 15 scheduled and charter airlines with flights from many major French and European cities. From the UK direct charters are currently available to Corsica from May through to October with flight time around 2 hours from London and 3 hours from Scotland.

For those considering driving to Corsica there are 7 commercial ports on the island with 3 ferry companies running frequent and even high-speed services from continental France and Italy. Car hire is the best way to see Corsica as public transport is very patchy and infrequent. The celebrated narrow gauge railway ‘U Trinighellu’ (The trembler) however makes a delightful and often adventurous way to explore the centre of the island, linking as it does Ajaccio, Calvi and Bastia.

Please contact us if you would like specific advice on Corsica travel and also please check out our Links for individual Corsica travel operators.

Map of Corsica