Corsica is officially a French island in the Mediterranean Sea. It has many links to France including being the birthplace of Napoleon and having French as the official language. However many residents also speak Corsu and maintain elements of Italian culture, and with it being just over 100km away from the Italian peninsula it’s easy to see why. In fact, if you are undecided on whether to take your next break in France or Italy, Corsica can be an excellent choice. Read on to find out more about this unique and beautiful location.
Ajaccio is the capital of Corsica and a must see place for anyone visiting for the first time. On most travelers’ lists is a visit to the birthplace of the famous French emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte.
Napoleon’s family home is now a museum dedicated to his memory. EU students receives free entry but do be aware that all of the exhibit explanations are in French. That means you will need to brush up your language skills before going or make sure that you have Google translate loaded on your phone.
Ajaccio Cathedral is another popular site in the small city. There you will find some excellent examples of baroque architecture. Although, don’t expect anything on the scale of cathedrals elsewhere in France.
Lastly, in the city of Ajaccio, you do not want to miss the Calanques de Piana. This is a beautiful location that it has been made a UNESCO world heritage site. The red cliffs plunging into the sea are renowned by travelers in the know as one of the most breathtaking places in Europe.
Explore the coastline
Another reason travelers are drawn to the island of Corsica are the wonderful coastlines and beaches. Of course, you can experience these by chilling on a chaise lounge, but if you really want a true taste of Corsican life take a catamaran charter and sail around the coast. You can decide how long to spend in each place and extend your stay when you find somewhere that you partially love.
Just remember to make time to head to the south of the island and visit the Bonifacio marina. Partly because it’s a place with a buzzing atmosphere, and partly because it is the perfect place from which to launch a visit to the stunning Lavezzi Islands. Another location you do not want to miss.
One of the biggest draws for travel to Corsica is the fantastic hiking that is available. In fact, over half of the island is protected as a national park that contains some of the best and most challenging hiking trails in Europe.
In particular, the GR20 is known as the toughest trail in Europe spanning an impressive 180 KM over 15 days. It’s definitely not for the newbie walker.
Happily, there are other trails well suited for the less advanced hiker. These include an easy half-day walk from Palazzo to Monte Stello that will provide you with some stunning views along the way. Another great reason why you should definitely try Corsica for your next break.