The capital: Ajaccio
The historic capital of Corsica is beautiful Ajaccio (pronounced Ajaxio), which sits on the West coast surrounded by wood covered mountains, a 15th century citadel and a port towards the sea on the Gulf of Ajaccio. This laid back town is filled with a large number of cafes, bars and restaurants, as well as monuments and dedications to Napoleon Bonaparte, who was born here. Ajaccio also enjoys warm weather even during the winter months, so is a popular destination all year round.
Musée National de la Maison Bonaparte: Ajaccio is the birthplace of Napoléon Bonaparte, and this museum, filled with memorabilia, is located in the home he enjoyed for his first nine years.
Citadel: This impressive military fortress was also used as a prison during WWII. It is generally closed to the public, but the council runs guided tours throughout June to September.
Main Market: This exciting and vibrant market is packed to the rafters with fantastic local produce. It’s located opposite the Tourist Information Centre and is a fantastic way to experience some of the local delicacies, such as plum liqueur and spicy Corsican sausage.
Beaches: There are more than 20 beautiful beaches within 20kms of the area, including Plage du Picanto and Plage d’Ariadne, both under 6kms away.
Calanche de Piana and the Réserve Naturelle de Scandola [Scandola Nature Reserve]:This UNESCO World Heritage Site is located on the central western coast of Corsica and boasts a huge unique rock mass on the coastline, with many grottos and sea pillars tucked away into cliffs and islets. The spectacular surroundings and wildlife include clear waters and varieties of sea birds, and the park can only be reached by boat.
Vizzavona: For a charming village surrounded by forests and wonderful restaurants, Vilzzavona is a fantastic stop for a taste of true Corsica. This pleasant mountain resort is a good base for those hiking the surrounding mountains and forests, including the massive Monte d’Oro which sits nearby and the well-known walking route, GR20 (see below).
Cap Corse: Located at the northern end of the island, this 40km long, 10km wide promontory is filled with beautiful coastline, lovely beaches, charming fishing villages and a ridge of mountains, which split it down the middle.
Calvi: Holidaymakers of all types will enjoy visiting Calvi, with its wide range of watersports, shallow waters and great amenities.
Îles Lavezzi: The beautiful and unspoiled Lavezzi Isles are part of the nature reserve off the coast of Bonifacio. They can only be reached by sea but are well worth the boat ride.
Lozari: This large white sandy crescent offers a nice café and plenty of watersports throughout the summer. It’s located close to Lama and the surrounding villages.
U Trinighellu Train: Children and adults love a train journey and this ride between Calvi and L’lle Rousse is an exciting adventure for everyone. This ride hugs the coastline and offers stunning views across the sea and the mountains.
A Cupulatta: Animal lovers will enjoy paying a visit to Europe’s largest tortoise sanctuary, just to the north of Ajaccio, home to over 150 different species of tortoise and turtle.
Via Ferrata: This is a fun adventure park which older children particularly will enjoy, with a range of fun activities such as monkey bridges, Tarzan jumps and cables perched high on the mountainside.
GR20, France: This demanding 15-day (168km, 104mi) trek links Calenzana in the Balagne with Conca, north of Porto Vecchio and is legendary for the diversity of landscapes it traverses, including craters, forests, glacial lakes, bogs, peaks, plains and torrents. This is a remarkable but at times challenging journey, which includes rickety bridges and steep rock faces.
Kayaking: Thanks to clear waters and exciting coves, Corsica is ideal for exploring by kayak, allowing for short or long explorations of its beautiful coastline by sea.
Horse riding:The varied landscape of Corsica makes it perfect for horse riding, with escorted treks of various lengths taking riders to remote beaches and charming villages. Donkey rides in the region are also popular with children.
What's on this Summer in Corsica
- Rencontres Polyphonique de Calvi: Polyphonic singing is an important part of Corsican culture and this is one of the islands most celebrated events. Various venues are used each year including the Cathedral of St. John the Bapsist and the Citadel's Oratory. Choirs have come from as far afield as Bulgaria, Indonesia, Mongolia, Tibet, Cuba and South Africa to take part.