The Corsica Rundown
Corsica is a French territory where you can enjoy a leisurely vacation on the sunny beaches or trek to the many mountains that inhabit this volcanic island. If you prefer the beaches, there are many beautiful ones on the island to include Palombaggia Beach, Plage de Saleccia and Santa Giulia Beach. If you go to Corsica for its rugged mountain trails, you will not be disappointed with GR20, the best known hiking trail in the area and possibly the most challenging. It usually takes more than a couple of weeks to cover GR20, so bring your best gear and maps. Other hiking trails of interest are the 11-day Mare e Mare Nord and the shorter five-day Mare e Mare Sud trails. If you prefer looking at nature rather than taking gruelling hikes through it, you can head over to Purcaraccia for its stunning mountain lakes and waterfalls or Gorges de la Restonica for its more leisurely trails. There is one walk everyone should consider taking before leaving Corsica,and that is down the famous King Aragon Steps, which consists of 187 stairs carved into a cliff leading down to the seashore from the city.
When To Go
Corsica enjoys a rather mild climate with four distinct seasons. It is warm and sunny from June through September, with the peak temperatures reaching 27-28°C (81-82°F) in July and August. Autumn is pleasant with highs of 16-17°C (61-63°F) in October, which fall to around 12°C (54°F) in November. Winter months can bring temperatures as low as 4-5°C (39-41°F), and it rarely freezes in Corsica. Spring is cool with highs of 15-17°C (59-63°F) in March and April, warming up to 20°C (68°F) in May. Rainfall is heaviest from October through January, with the peak rainy season in October and November, when Corsica can receive 8-9 cm (3.1-3.5 in) per month of rain. June through August is dry, with less than 2 cm (0.8 in) of rain per month, making it an ideal time to visit.
- Summer highs 27-28°C (81-82°F); winter lows 4-5°C (39-41°F)
- Rainy October through January, 7-9 cm (2.8-3.5 in)
- Dry summer is from June through August
Corsica has airports in the cities of Bastia, Figari, Ajaccio and Calvi. Bastia offers a shuttle bus into town, but the other airports do not have busses or other transportation into the city. You will need to hire a car or arrange a ride from the airport in advance. Since Corsica is an island, the other main option for getting there is by boat. There are high-speed NGV boats from France that will take you to Corsica in a few hours at most. The route is from Nice to Bastia, Calvi, Ajaccio and L'Île-Rousse. There are also French ferries from Nice, Marseille, and Toulon, as well as Italian ferries from Genoa, Naples, Sardinia, and other major ports. Once you are on the island, you can get around by train.
- By air: Four main airports in Bastia, Figari, Ajaccio, and Calvi
- By boat: NGV boat or ferry
- By rail: Best for getting around the island
The island birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte is part of France but feels a world apart. With a distinct culture, geography and even language, Corsica is one of Mediterranean Europe's veritable gems. From rugged coastline resort towns to nature reserves, historic landmarks and fabulous cuisine, the island where more than 300,000 people call home truly has it all.
The capital of Corsica is Ajaccio and while not always a first choice destination on the island, the city has a lot to offer. Start with the old town and of course, the Casa di Napoleon. The former childhood home of the Emperor is now a museum. Another notable site in Ajaccio is the 16th century cathedral, where baby Napoleon had his baptism in 1771. Calvi is very popular with summer tourists to Corsica, with a pretty old town and a famous citadel. Ecotourists will appreciate the relatively pristine beauty of the Scandola Nature Reserve, one of many conservation areas in Corsica.
- Scandola Nature Reserve
- Casa di Napoleon (Ajaccio)
- Patrimonio Guitar Festival
- Old Town Festival
- Sermano Music Festival
- Calvi Jazz Festival
- Calvi on the Rocks
- U Casanu
- Via Marina
- U Pescadore
- U Borgu
- U Casanu
- Via Marina
- U Pescadore
- U Borgu
- Club 24
- Le Pub
- Via Notte
Corsica has a Mediterranean climate, with mild weather throughout the year.
- Winter (December to February) 4-14°C
- Spring (March to May) 6-21°C
- Summer (June to September) 14-28°C
- Fall (October to November) 8-22°C
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