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Corsica, France is an island in the Mediterranean Sea. Complete with gorgeous beaches, a mountainous interior and historic architecture in the cities, there is plenty to see and do on this French island. Chill on the beach, hike the hardest hike in Europe or fill your social media with photos of historic Mediterranean structures during your stay in Corsica. Don’t miss out on these 10 best things to do in Corsica, France.
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Since Corsica is an island, there is no surprise that enjoying the beach is one of the top activities to do here. The Mediterranean beaches here are full of soft sand and blue waters. The island is full of top-notch beaches along its more than 600 miles of coastline. Cities like Calvi and Ajaccio are home to popular beaches that see many tourists. However, no matter where you are along the coast of Corsica, you’re bound to be near a stunning beach. The beaches here are a great way to cool off during the hot summer days on the island.
Head to the town of Bonifacio to view one of the most popular tourists attractions on the island, the Bonifacio Citadel. This historic fortress is found 200 feet above the city’s harbor. If you’re looking for a classic Mediterranean photo opportunity, then you’ll want to visit this citadel. The Bonifacio Citadel was built in the 9th century as a line of defense and also once was used as a prison during World War II. Now however, it’s just a friendly reminder of the area’s past. After viewing the citadel here, don’t miss walking around the charming town full of cobblestone streets and beautiful chapels.
Located in the town of Ajaccio is the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte, referred to as Maison Bonaparte. The family owned this house from 1682 to 1923, but the structure is now a museum and a popular tourist attraction. Tourists can learn about Napoleon’s early life and even view the room where he was born in 1769. Don’t fret if you don’t know French, because the museum accommodates non-French speakers by offering multilingual audio guides. It is truly interesting to see the well-decorated reproductions of what the Bonaparte home once looked like in the 18th century.
Scandola Nature Reserve
Corsica is full of stunning natural attractions, and Scandola Nature Reserve is an area that you shouldn’t miss. The best way to view this beautiful reserve is by a boat tour from Calvi or Ajaccio. As a World Heritage site, Scandola Nature Reserve is on a remote peninsula of the island that is home to a wide variety of wildlife. Wildlife lovers will be able to spot marine life like seals and dolphins, along with birds like falcons and eagles. Wildlife isn’t the only thing that draws people to this reserve, the jaw-dropping coastline with its rugged red rocks is truly a remarkable site.
Go on a Hike
The interior of the island of Corsica is rugged and mountainous. Therefore the island is full of top-notch hiking trails, including the “hardest hike in Europe,” known as the GR 20. No matter if you’re a beginner hiker looking for a simple stroll or a diehard backpacker hoping to traverse some tough trails, you’re sure to find a hiking trail perfect for your ability. You won’t be disappointed by the mountain views here. To say the least, don’t forget to bring your hiking boots while planning your packing list to this Mediterranean island.
Diving or Snorkeling
The waters around the island of Corsica are rich in wildlife and offer plenty of opportunities for diving and snorkeling. There is a great diving spot or snorkeling beach no matter where you are on the coastal areas of the island. Scandola Reserve, as mentioned earlier, is a great spot for divers. Snorkelers will enjoy browsing the waters on Loto beach, one beach among many other great snorkeling spots.
Calanques de Piana
The Calanques de Piana is a steep-walled inlet that features towering red rocks that reach straight down to the sea. There are two ways to enjoy this natural wonder, from the D81 road or by sea from Porto. You can get a great picture from the road, however there are also hiking trails that will give you a more secluded experience and a better view of the Calanques de Piana.
You can spend a day exploring the town of Calvi, and the Calvi Citadel should be on your to-do list. The views from the citadel in Calvi is sure to boast some of the best views of this small, coastal city. The citadel itself was created in the 12th century as a fortress. It is home to a historic house and cathedral.
Aiguilles de Bavella
Aiguilles de Bavella is another natural Corsican wonder that should be added to your to-do list while visiting this Mediterranean island. Lucky enough for tourists, the Aiguilles de Bavella can be seen from the D268 road. The towering limestone columns make for a great view from your vehicle, however the best views of the this natural structure is from the GR20 hiking trail, a strenuous trail that traverses the island.
Gorges de la Restonica
If you’ve grown tired of the beach but still hoping to cool off during the hot summer days, then head to Gorges de Restonica, which is home to a natural swimming hole. Work up a sweat hiking in the area and then take a dip into this refreshing and clear swimming pool. To reach the Gorges de Restonica, a hike is a required. However, your effort is well worth it when you reach this scenic and refreshing spot in Corsica’s interior.