Corsica and its attractions / What to see and visit? Interesting places and monuments

Île de Beauté impresses with amazing landscapes, historic buildings and extraordinary nature. Mountains cut by ravines, high cliffs, beautiful beaches, excellent wines and cold cuts, and charming towns – this is what this French island attracts. Corsica is a holiday destination for virtually everyone, because what this island offers is primarily nature – mountains, glacial lakes, rivers, beaches, cliffs, and the blue sea.

Corsica and its tourist attractions / See what to visit and learn about places and monuments that are worth seeing!
Corsica and its tourist attractions / See what to visit and learn about places and monuments that are worth seeing!

For this reason, there is no shortage of various types of activities for tourists, such as hiking, canyoning, horse riding, and surfing.

Map of Corsica

In Corsica, lovers of good wine will certainly find themselves at home, especially since there are a lot of wineries on the island. To this end, it is worth going to the city of Bastia or Ajaccio. A special place for wine lovers will be the village of Patrimonio, where you can try this drink in all its three varieties: red, white and rose.

Beaches in Corsica

As for one of Corsica’s biggest attractions – beaches, there are apparently over 200 of them on the island. Most of them offer beach service (deckchairs and umbrellas) as well as gastronomy and sanitary facilities plus of course water equipment rentals.

Calvi in Corsica / See the most beautiful beaches on the island of Corsica.
Calvi in Corsica / See the most beautiful beaches on the island of Corsica.

In Corsica, everyone will find their own perfect beach, be it sandy or rocky.

Some will be more crowded, others may be completely alone. The most famous beaches in Corsica are the beaches of Santa Giulia, Saleccia and Palombaggia.

All three are distinguished by the emerald water color and light sand.

As for families with children, probably the most recommended beach on the island is also known Plage de la Roya, sandy with a gentle entrance to the sea.

See on the map where exactly Plage de la Roya beach is located:

Marinella beach, which is wide with sand ideal for playing and full gastronomy facilities, will also work.

See where the Marinella beach is located:

However, if someone is looking for peace and unforgettable views, then a good choice will be San Ciprianu beach, Cala Rossa and the little-known Pinarellu beach, located in the Golf de Pinarellu cove.

Not only beaches – you’ll also find other attractions and places of interest in Corsica.

Attractions of Corsica and monuments that are worth visiting and seeing

Other Corsica attractions include famous island towns and real natural wonders.

Ajaccio is the largest city in Corsica and the place where Napoleon Bonaparte was born. You can visit his museum in Maison Bonaparte and the cathedral of Sainte-Marie where supposedly Napoleon was baptized. Noteworthy is also the Saint-Erasme church from the 17th century and the citadel from the 16th century.

Bonifacio is another famous town on the map of Corsica. Its uniqueness lies in its location on limestone rocks, from where there is a view of nearby Sardinia. The town is divided into two parts: upper and lower. In the first one you can admire the citadel, which you can reach by the Stairs of the King of Aragon, while in the lower part of Bonifacio there is a marina where luxury yachts sail.

Bonifacio in Corsica
Bonifacio in Corsica

Bastia is a port city, where you can visit the 16th century fortress and Sainte-Marie cathedral as well as numerous chapels and churches (including the church of St. John the Baptist or the chapel of the Immaculate Conception). The old port, the old town and the Corsica Ethnographic Museum, located in the former Palace of the Governors of Genoa, are also worth seeing.

Calvi is a quiet resort, another citadel town in Corsica. Its main attraction is a huge fortress towering over the city and a wide promenade connecting the port with the marina. Barracks of the Foreign Legion have their headquarters in the citadel, while bars and restaurants serving local delicacies are located on the waterfront. An interesting fact is that the French believe that it was in Calvi that the great explorer – Christopher Columbus – was born.

Calvi in Corsca
Calvi in Corsca

What else is worth seeing and visiting while in Corsica?

In Corsica, in addition to larger cities and towns, it’s worth looking into smaller towns. They have their unique charm and sometimes make a better impression than their larger counterparts. That is why it is worth visiting at least one of them:

In Port Saint-Florent you can see the waterfront with its characteristic houses with facades, as well as the marina with numerous boats. The village of Evisa is worth visiting in November, because this is where the annual festival of chestnuts takes place. Nonza is a town located on a high, black cliff. It is here that the famous black beach is located, whose color is the result of shale extracted from a nearby mine. It is also worth visiting Sant Antonino, the oldest village (considered the most beautiful on the island) and the small town of Pigna known for its music festival and buildings with blue shutters.

Soujanya Rosso in Corsica
Soujanya Rosso in Corsica

Nature attractions in Corsica

Cap Corse, literally Cape Finger, is located in the northern part of Corsica, where thanks to the built road you can admire the fortified buildings of this peninsula and picturesque landscapes.

See on the map how to get to Cap Corse:

Les Calanches, in turn, is a miracle of nature in the form of red-granite rocks, from which nature formed various sculptures, falling straight into the sea. The best spectacle can be seen here in the light of the setting sun.

Porto bay is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is located among red cliffs where a settlement through which a river flows was built in the middle.

Scandola Nature Reserve is a place that can be visited only from the sea. No routes or hiking trails have been created on land. This reserve can be seen by buying a cruise ship that flows along the waterfront. This protected area is inhabited mainly by birds, and numerous species of fish, lobsters and crabs live in the coastal waters. There is also a small coral reef, which divers use.

The Spelunca Gorge is a place carved by the Spelunca River among boulders and red rocks. On hot days, you can immerse yourself in rock pools, you only need to be prepared for the fact that the water in the river is icy. On the way, while hiking through the gorge, we can see stone bridges from the 18th century. The most famous are Pont du Zaglia and Pont de Pianella.

It is in the Spelunca gorge that the longest and most difficult European mountain trail GR 20 (Grande Randonnee No. 20) has its beginning (or end). Its route leads for almost 200 kilometers (in some sources “only” 160 or 180 km) and it is covered for several days (about two weeks), dividing the journey into installments (stages). The GR 20 route runs almost all of Corsica, north-south. It should also be added that in some places the trail reaches almost 2000 m a.s.l. altitude, and also leads through the national park.

Hikers and mountaineers can also try climbing the highest mountain in Corsica – Monte Cinto (2706 m a.s.l.). The location of this mountain allows you to enjoy amazing panoramic views of the European continent, from Marseille to Rome. Apparently, you can even see the Swiss Dufourspitze from the Monte Cinto summit!

The Agriates Desert is a region located south of the Corse Peninsula. It is covered with bare rocks and Mediterranean poppy. Unfortunately, this desert area was created due to human activity, which sterilized the land by burning it before crops. The Agriates desert consists of several beaches, including the famous Saleccia. They are not too crowded, because they are rather difficult to access for tourists. You can get here only by organized cruises from nearby towns. You should also remember that these beaches are devoid of tourist infrastructure.

Tourist attractions in Corsica
Tourist attractions in Corsica

Interesting places in Corsica

The Lavezzi Islands are a populated archipelago of reefs and granite rocks, located in the Strait of Saint Boniface, between the town of Bonifacio and the Italian island of Sardinia. The private island of Cavallo also belongs to the archipelago, where an airport and port for the wealthiest people and world-class stars was created. For sufficient pay, they spend their holidays there in a luxury hotel.

Filitosa is a megalithic site, discovered by a complete accident in 1946. It is located in the southern part of Corsica, exactly in the valley of the Taravo River. Stone statues have carved faces, but it is still unknown for what purpose they were made. Some see in them a resemblance to the famous statues from Easter Island.

An interesting and, above all, a very picturesque place in Corsica is the viewpoint on Capo Pertusato. From it you can admire the extraordinary panorama of Bonifacio and the white rock cliffs. A camera is compulsory here. Capo Pertusato viewpoint can be reached from the town of Bonifacio, by a road leading for about 4 kilometers.

At the end we present a curiosity that is the Genoese towers visible throughout the island . These are fortifications built and scattered throughout Corsica, which were to protect the island against pirate attacks. As many as 85 watchtowers were built under the Genoese rule, only 65 have survived to this day in various states (some are only ruins).

Finally, another video showing the beautiful attractions of Corsica:

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