Witness nature's palette in Scandola Nature Reserve, or scan the clear waters around the Lavezzi Islands. Few places have more to offer than Corsica.
It's no easy task to narrow down a list of the best things to see on the Isle of Beauty. This island is not worthy of its sobriquet for only one or two elements of aesthetic value. It is an all-encompassing beauty, whose tendrils caress each corner of this Mediterranean island. Few things in Corsica are not worth seeing. And, as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. One person's list of the best places to see in Corsica might be another's remedy for sleeplessness.
But, as with all of our favourite luxury holiday destinations, we hope to provide an insight for holidaymakers visiting the island of Corsica. To visit Corsica is to be inundated with amazing things to do and breathtaking sites to see. So, here at Le Collectionist, we have taken the liberty to narrow down this joyous excess by listing our best places to see on your Corsica holidays.
Top places to go in Corsica
The Gulf of Porto UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Gulf of Porto, situated on Corsica's west coast, forms part of the Regional Natural Park of Corsica. The area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is comprised of three parts: Calanques de Piana, Gulf of Girolata, and Scandola Nature Reserve.
Scandola Nature Reserve
Red-hued rocks, their faces scarred like dry, ploughed earth, plummet into the azure water below. In parts, rosy pyramids and conicals protrude from the rippling sea. This is a place of bright colours and stark contrasts: outcrops jut from the still sea like a spike on a flatlining heart monitor; the gentle green foliage and bright flowers that undulate with the sea breeze cling to a pink granite grimace of rock. It is the most awe-inspiring of Corsica's natural reserves.
In 1983, Scandola Nature Reserve was added as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Due to the level of protection it benefits from, the reserve can only be visited by boat. Fortunately, it is from the impossibly blue waters of the Gulf of Girolata that the views are at their best.
Calanques de Piana
The wind and the sea have carved intriguing shapes into the walls of these brightly coloured cliffs, coves and creeks. Jagged spires, like the pipes of an organ, are headlands against the clear blue sky. Unlike Scandola, the Calanques de Piana can be reached by car. A road winds its way between the crags, hugging vertiginous drops and sheer walls of rock.
For a panoramic vista of this Jurassic scenery, venture to viewpoint Figaghiola, where you can witness the wondrous landscape's spiny, ridged back slink beneath a blanket of blue sea. Spend a day exploring the Gulf of Porto and the inlets of the Gulf of Girolata.
White sand and turquoise water
Corsica is known for its effortlessly beautiful beaches. Bear in mind though, some of the best beaches are only reached with somewhat more effort. To find out more, read our articles on the best beaches that North Corsica boasts and some the best South Corsican beaches to explore.
Lotu Beach is a curl of pure sand. It's a northern recluse: difficult to get to, but once you've peeled back the layers you're met with nothing but generous and fundamental beauty. This wild stretch of coastline is best accessed by boat from St Florent, otherwise you are faced with a four-hour hike. One can also reach the beach by road, but only if you are equipped with a 4x4 vehicle. With no amenities servicing it, Lotu is a wild and rugged beach that is poised on the fringes of the Agriates Desert.
This vast beach is for those looking for something a little more relaxing and lavishing to do on their holidays. Located on the south-western corner of the island, Campomoro is a glove-fit for those looking to spend idle summer days on silky shores before reclining into a lazy lunch at a nearby restaurant or bar. The arching bay is no less attractive for its restaurants and liveliness. Its shores are a great spot for the sunset, as the sun sinks behind a Genoese tower on the point of the bay's embracing arms.
Corsica: Top things to do
Boat tours to the Lavezzi Islands
Off the south coast is a spattering of rocky islands. Boat trips to the islands, snorkel and goggles in hand, promise countless subaquatic treasures waiting to be unearthed (or unwatered?). The crystalline water laps and slaps against the islets, as boats chug past carrying other equally eager explorers.
Horseride the Désert des Agriates
Take to the saddle and clop your way across the maquis. Here, crossing this geographically peculiar desert, you are back to nature's roots. Once you reach your destination - a deserted beach - wade in with your steed to cool down in the shimmering water.
Explore the town of Bonifacio
Spend the morning meandering the merry streets of the marina, before heading out to sea for views of the old citadel that teeters so perilously between land and sea. It is a mesmerising town and definitely worth witnessing.
Best places to stay in Corsica
Villa Piana, near the town of Bonifacio
This rustic, stone-fronted villa is a quintessential beach house submerged in the coastal flora. Villa Piana is at once lavish and entirely earthy; it breathes life into its visitors in a way that only nature can. The villa trickles down to a quiet beach, its paths wending between the verdant foliage before debouching into a rocky terrace. The villa is located a stone's throw away from the intriguing town of Bonifacio.
Villa Giulietta, for Porto Vecchio and Plage de Palombaggia
Villa Giulietta is bathed in the unique Corsican light, which seems to linger on the spacious wooden deck. The villa presides on the hillside with brilliant views over the bay below. The green carpet of treetops and the maquis slips down to the Mediterranean. Rattan lampshades and furniture are scattered across the cool interior of this villa, a comfy refuge from the heat of the day. Many of Corsica's fun and beautiful attractions are within driving distance of this brilliant holiday home for your luxury France holidays.