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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   3 min read

There is nothing cooler than Corsica right now, especially before the summer’s tourist season starts. This island is where it’s all happening. Nestled off the coast from Nice, Corsica enjoys sea, sun, culture, mountain climbing and of course wine, all year round.

Corsica’s coast line is more than 1000 kilometres long and is lined with equally as many great places to visit and explore. Chic towns have set up shop close to the seaside while the interior remains rugged with mountain sides, steep cliffs, grape vines and forests made of pine and chestnut trees. As Napoleon Bonaparte‘s birthplace you can be sure to uproot a few history lessons while you’re here. Corsica is the perfect place for those who want to chill out on the beach, hike to the top of a mountain, taste freshly-made cheese from sheep’s milk, drink authentic wine, meet the locals and learn a few Corsican phrases.

Although crowed in July an August, spring and autumn are ideal times to visit. There is plenty of space and the weather is fine with temperatures in the 20s.

Where to go:

house perched on a cliff in Corsica
Corsica's interior landscape (Dino Oliviera / flickr)

  • Bastia: the northern shore is especially luring if you like to take it slow. This laid back town is for people who like everyday to be Sunday. Take a stroll, sit down for a coffee or a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice and watch the people pass. Sit under the shade of a tree and lose yourself in an adventure novel. Visit the Place St-Nicolas, a 19th century square lined with trees and cafés, note the statue of Napoleon on the south side of the square.
  • Calvi: Some say that Christopher Columbus was from Calvi, others not. It is none the less extremely popular in the summer months for its pristine beaches, outstanding music and cultural festivals and of course the scenery. Located at the bottom of Monte Cinto, which stays snow-capped until July some years, Calvi is a breathtaking example of a Mediterranean paradise. It’s main site is the citadel, which still remains as a reminder of the city’s importance as a military out-look in the 13th and 15th centuries.
  • Corte: There are 3 must-see stops in this Haute-Corsica city: the citadel, the Museum of Corsica and the island’s university which was founded in 1765. This city is where you’ll find real Corsican culture, where you’ll hear more Corsican language than French and taste flavours of wild boar or fresh caught trout from a nearby river. It is the mid-way point on the Mar a Mar trail and offers some of the island’s best hiking just outside the city limits.
  • Ajaccio: Visit the house where Napoleon Bonaparte was born in 1769 in this south-western seaside town, appropriately named the Maison Bonaparte, now a National Museum. After visiting a museum, snapping a picture of one of the dozens of statues, drink up the cosmopolitan atmosphere of this city at a waterfront restaurant or at one of the many designer boutiques in the city centre.

If you’re thinking about travelling to Corsica this summer, take a look at the cheap flights on to Ajaccio, Bastia and Calvi, the most popular airport on the island. You can also travel to Corsica by ferry from both France and Italy. Have you been to Corsica? What are your must-sees on this beautiful French island? Share them below!

Top image source: sebastien.b / flickr

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