One of the most popular tourist destinations in French Island Corsica. Its coastline stretches for 1000 km, where gorgeous beaches alternate with wild bays. In Island Corsica, holidays are chic beaches, secluded coves, unique coastal landscapes, and city attractions. The island of Corsica history began before our era. Different peoples fought for supremacy on the island, but it became part of France only in the XVIII century. Modern Island of Corsica is a great place for those who prefer a peaceful holiday in harmony with nature to noisy resorts.
Geography and climate
If you look on the map where is Corsica France located, you might think that it belongs to Italy. But the island belongs to France, although it is 170 km away from the mainland. Officially, the island is divided into North and South Corsica. It is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the West and the Tyrrhenian Sea to the East. Corsica has an airport in Ajaccio, serving domestic flights. In summer, charters from England, Luxembourg, Norway, Germany and other countries are accepted. The rest of the time, you can fly to the island with a stopover in Paris, nice or Marseille. There are regular ferry services to Italy (Genoa and Livorno) and France (Marseille, Toulon, nice).
You can start your journey from mainland France by spending one day on the crossing. For beginners, this may seem tedious, and to save time and effort, it would be more appropriate to take Corsica yacht charter. You can rent a yacht in Corsica in Ajaccio. In addition to the skipper's certificate, a bareboat Charter will require a radio operator's certificate. There are equipped marinas in Ajaccio, Bastia, Bonifacio, Porto Vecchio, Calvi, Saint Florent. We recommend that you request permission to enter the Harbor in advance. Yachtsmen can count on standard services — water, electricity, shower, repairs, Internet.
In Corsica France weather is influenced by the Mediterranean climate. Winter is moderate and short, with daytime temperatures ranging from 11-12°CC to 16°C. There is almost no sun, and it rains all the time. Leading in terms of precipitation: October, November and December, when the amount of precipitation is 75-98 mm per month. Snow falls only high in the mountains. In summer, the air temperature is 28-30°C. In August, in the South of Corsica, the thermometer rises to 36°C. Water in the sea warms up to 23-25°C, in shallow water this indicator reaches 26°C. The North-West coast of the island is the windiest. It is dominated by the Mistral, which subsides only in the evening. Sometimes there are strong gusts of wind that disperse storm waves and create problems even for experienced yachtsmen.
Newcomers will be more comfortable traveling along the East coast, where the mountains soften the force of westerly winds.
Features of yachting in Corsica
The main Corsica city is Ajaccio, where Napoleon was born and raised. Tourists visit Leticia square, the house-Museum of the great General, the Cathedral and the Palace of cardinal Fesch. The second largest city is Bastia in the North of Corsica. Its hallmark is the Old port, built by the Genoese, it is open to the public only in the summer. The Governor's Palace, the Church of St. John the Baptist and the Church of St. John the Baptist also deserve the attention of tourists. Cross, Terra Nova fortress. If you want to get away from the coast, you can visit the city of Corte. It is considered the first capital of Corsica and has a Museum of Corsican culture. In Ajaccio, Calvi, Bastia and other major cities there are restaurants, night clubs, shopping and entertainment centers. Italian Sardinia is very close to Corsica, but it must be agreed in advance with the Charter Company.
Diving is popular in Corsica. Visibility in Corsican waters reaches 20-30 meters. There are about 80 dive schools with certified instructors all over the island. Wreck lovers prefer to dive in the Calvi area — where ships from the Second World War have been preserved. In addition, the city is famous for the Wind Festival, which gathers yachtsmen, surfers, paragliders. You can go on a fishing tour or take a horse ride.
The best beaches in Corsica are located in the South of the island, between the cities of Bonifacio and Porto Vecchio. They are famous for their sandy shores with a gentle descent into the water. In the North of the island, there are good beaches in the vicinity of Calvi, they occupy a 6-kilometer strip. Nearby you can find bars, clubs, cafes. Ajaccio has up to 16 beaches, one of which is adjacent to the Old town. In terms of infrastructure and comfort, Marinella beach is the leader. Lovers of wild beaches can head north from Ajaccio to the Gulf of Girolata.
Arinella Beach is a quiet beach in the vicinity of Lucio. It is surrounded by green hills that are reflected in the clear water.
When traveling around Corsica, you should definitely visit the Blood Islands. The name is frightening, but it is given to the archipelago for the maroon color of the rocks at sunset. It includes four Islands located near Ajaccio. They are considered a protected area, home to endangered species of seabirds that are absolutely not afraid of people. The archipelago has a 19th-century lighthouse and the Genoese fortress of Castelluccio.
You can visit the Lavezzi archipelago, located in the Strait between Corsica and Sardinia. It includes 10 Islands and is a national Park. It is forbidden any kind of transport (even bicycles), it is also impossible to burn down fires, to fish, gather herbs and flowers. The rich underwater world attracts divers, and the archipelago is home to groupers, stingrays, anemones, jellyfish, colorful algae and corals. Divers come here to explore the granite rocks that originate at a depth of 30 meters.
Bonifacio is one of the most amazing cities in Corsica with Genoese architecture. The old districts are located high on a limestone cliff that has three descents to the sea. You can moor near the Aragon stairs, cut directly into the rock. It has a population of 187 steps. The climb is tedious, but the difficulties are compensated by the spectacular sea panorama. Propriano is a small town that will appeal to fans of colorful fishing villages. Lovers of history will be interested in the port city of Saint-Florent, built around the Genoese citadel. You can dock near the walls of the fortress.
To the West, in the Bay of Porto, there is the picturesque village of Piana with clean beaches and beautiful scenery. The main attraction of the Bay is the Calanques of Piana-unusual rock formations located between the village and the city of Porto.
The formation of Corsican culture was influenced by the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Arabs, Byzantines, and Romans. Evidence of this is the Baroque churches, defensive fortresses, special cuisine, religious holidays with observance of Catholic rites. Confirms the strong influence of Italy on the island of Corsica language, which is a dialect of Italian. On August 8 and 9, the festival of antiquity is held in Aleria. Residents dress up in togas, and the establishments offer exclusively Roman menu.
The island still has a thriving cult of chestnuts, which have repeatedly saved the islanders from starvation. Chestnut groves were planted by the Genoese as an alternative to grain crops. Local restaurants offer pies, fritters and chestnut flour cakes. In early December, the city Bocognano is the Festival of chestnuts. Guests can enjoy chestnut snacks, pastries, sweets and alcohol. The program culminates in a competition for the best chestnut flour among local farmers. In different parts of the island, the chestnut harvest begins to be celebrated in November.
Corsican cuisine is based on fish and seafood. For refueling, aromatic Mediterranean herbs are used. Treat yourself to seafood: octopus, squid, mussels, lobsters, sea urchins. If you want meat, it is better to try local dishes from young goat. The signature snack is liver sausage, fried on an open fire. Alcoholic beverages include Corsican orange and tangerine wine, chestnut, Myrtle and strawberry liqueur, and cap Corse aperitif. Goat's milk cheese, olives and fruit are served as appetizers.
From gastronomic Souvenirs, you should buy jam from clementine, poppy and chestnut honey, cookies and gingerbread from chestnut flour, goat cheese "Brocciu", dried sausage, spices.
Due to increased demand, it is recommended to book a yacht several months before the trip. The high season is July-August. Marinas and beaches are crowded, and prices for tourist services are inflated. In September, the flow of tourists’ decreases, the sea is still warm, and the rainy season is still far away. If the priority is excursions and coastal walks, it is better to come to Corsica in the spring or in the first half of autumn. At this time, there is no sweltering heat, and the city streets are not crowded with tourists.
Bus and rail connections are well developed between the cities, but there is no transport to small localities on weekends and holidays. It is useless to look for fellow travelers on the road — local residents are still wary of visitors and rarely stop. The rented car must be returned with a full tank.
In Corsica, there are large fines for non-compliance with traffic rules. This is especially true for speeding, incorrect Parking, and phone conversations without accessories.
Lovers of shopping should not count on a large assortment and discounts. There are shopping centers, but often there are stale goods at inflated prices. It makes sense to visit local markets and souvenir shops that sell glass products and Corsican ceramics. To save on Souvenirs and delicacies, it is better to go to the market in the evening, when prices are reduced by 2-3 times.
Corsica is a popular tourist destination among yachtsmen, lovers of sightseeing and beach holidays. There is no hustle and bustle inherent in the resorts of the French Riviera. A sea trip will give you a bright and rich experience. During Parking, you can walk around ancient cities, scuba dive, go on excursions. Guests can rent a car or Bicycle and visit the remote parts of the island. Sunny Corsica is recognized as one of the most picturesque regions of France. Due to the absence of tourist crowds and industrial enterprises, the island has preserved its pristine nature, unique landscapes and excellent ecology. The beach season traditionally lasts from May to September, but Corsica is suitable for cultural holidays and excursions at any time of the year.