Every month, My Next Memory gives you our real feedback from a French destination and tells you how it’s really like to travel there. So buckle up, and come with us. This month, we take you to…. Corsica!
We’ll be frank with you: Corsica is no easy destination…BUT this is exactly what makes the island so well-preserved and for the curious traveller, it is guaranteed to be an amazingly rewarding trip! Also, it’s My Next Memory’s hometown, so naturally, we LOVE IT!
When to go to Corsica? And for how long?
While Corsica might not be well known to people outside of Europe, it is a much-praised destination for French and Europeans alike, especially during the summer months. In July and August, you would find crowded places, overpriced accommodation and would probably not come back with the best memories.
We strongly recommend visiting during the shoulder season: May and June, September and October. And because Corsica is located so nicely South, it means that at this period of time, you will enjoy the peacefulness, low prices but also great weather, meaning you should still be able to bath in the seawater at such time of the year!
As for duration, it’s a little tricky. Going to Corsica takes a bit of effort as it is only accessible by plane or by ferry (3 hours fast service, 6 to 7 hours overnight slow service). And in any case, you will need to drive a car there to move around: though the Island is small, 100 kilometres in its longest side, the roads are narrow and winding, driving time are longer than on highways. So you could perfectly go to Corsica for a short escape, visiting a city or a beach town for 3-4 days. But most people will make the most of their investment and stay about 1 to 2 weeks. Allow up to a month if you are into serious hiking or if you wish to visit every region.
Tropical paradise beaches…are here!
Yes, you’ve heard well. Forget about Seychelles, the Caribbean or some other remote exotic places. You’ll be truly amazed to see that some of the world’s best-hidden gems are actually in the Mediterranean sea!
Corsica definitely hosts some of the most amazing beaches in the region, in particular in the South part of the island…and if you follow our advice of going during shoulder season, you’ll have them almost to yourself!
- Palombaggia, near Porto-Vecchio
- Lavezzi pristine sea only accessible during a day boat trip from Bonifacio
- The absolute trophy beach only accessible by 4 x 4 or hiking south of Sartene, 2 kilometres of Robinson Crusoe sand! Contact us for the Island’s best-kept secrets!
Hiking in Corsica
Historically, Corsican culture is one of mountaineers and the hinterland is an absolute joy, with vistas over the sea almost anywhere.
Corsica is known to be home to the “GR 20”, Europe’s most challenging mountain hike which is usually completed in two weeks. If you plan to hike parts or all of it, let’s say for more than 3 days, you should definitely get in touch with professional organizations for a guide.
But you can also access easier hikes on the island: there are plenty of “Mare a Mare” (from sea to sea) or “Mare e Monti” (Mountain & Sea) paths everywhere around the island, offering hiking options from 1 to 6 days, with or without accommodation on the way.
Reconnect to nature: Corsica will take you through pristine rivers, uniquely scented vegetation and incredible landscapes!
Heritage in Corsica
While the Island does not host famous monuments, it does have quite a few interesting sites to check out for travellers interested in history and culture!
Most importantly, Corsica was the hometown of Napoleon and he left a considerable influence, in particular in his home city of Ajaccio. You may wander around the 19th century and colourful architecture, or visit the local museum to learn more about the man who changed the face of Europe after the French Revolution!
Places like Calvi will also be of interest thanks to its splendid fortress overlooking the deep blue sea! The City is famous for its luxury accommodation, marina and beautiful port-side restaurants. It’s also a short drive away from the beautiful Porto scenery!
Further south, you will find the traditional villages of Sartene and Bonifacio! While Bonifacio is picturesque thanks to its tiny houses hanging above the blue sea and provides lots of sea trip options, both villages include wonderful town squares, old streets and a great traditional vibe!
Last but not least, everywhere around the Island you can spot the Genovese watchtowers, the sign of former Italian occupation of Corsica, a truly local landmark.
How about accommodation? And food?
When it comes to accommodation and food, the one word you should keep in mind for Corsica is: rustic! The Island’s environment is very well preserved which also means that the tourism industry has been a little slow developing the comfortable and grand resorts you might find elsewhere in the Mediterranean. But this is exactly the charm of travelling to Corsica!
The Island hosts plenty of little hotels, villa rentals and family pensions in regular houses. Super luxury accommodation has started to develop around the jet-set hot spots of Calvi, Bonifacio and Porto-Vecchio.
As for food, Corsica hosts a mix of fresh and amazing seafood, with the more traditional mountaineers’ homemade stews and roasted meats! But above all, the Island is famous all across Europe for having some of the best cold cuts and sheep cheeses in the region! Don’t miss trying some cut ham (lonzu), coppa or sausage (salsiccia) ! Or how about the speciality of freshly made omelette with wild mint and fresh brocciu (fresh cheese)?
In a nutshell
Corsica is an island of wild nature and a strong local culture. It may not provide the usual touristy resorts and convenience but it will truly not leave anyone indifferent. Corsicans are very proud of their Island and strive to protect its beauty and nature!