Dream holiday itinerary: The best places to stay in Corsica for families
With its black sand beaches, flaming rocks and secret caves: embark with your children on a dazzling road trip from north to south Corsica.
When we think of family holidays in Corsica, we immediately imagine the afternoons with our feet in the sand and the boat trips. Heavenly landscapes that we have already seen on thousands of postcards. But the Isle of Beauty is also full of well-hidden treasures: black sand beaches, ornate rocks with unexpected shapes and secret caves carved into cliffs...
It is these images straight out of a marvellous epic that we are taking you to discover today. Embark with your children on a timeless journey, a dazzling road trip in one of our most beautiful luxury holiday destinations.
THE BLACK BEACH OF NONZA
First stop on your family road trip: Cap Corse. Its mountains rise above the Isle of Beauty, at the northern tip, and meet the Mediterranean. When the weather is clear, you think you can see the coasts of the Metropolis that loom in the distance. But it is only the horizon, a mixture of sky and azure blue sea, that plays tricks on your eyes.
Put down your suitcases in the wine-growing valley of Patrimonio, located at the base of the Cap, then continue along the coast towards the village of Nonza. With its point perched above the waves and its black sand beach lined with foam, it is one of our favorite destinations in Corsica. Less frequented and more original than the beaches of Ile Rousse or Porto-Vecchio, it is no less extraordinary. The youngest will imagine themselves as pirates or mermaids on these charcoal-coloured expanses, while the teenagers will have fun forming messages visible from the sky with pebbles.
But beware, this little-known oasis is a trek: with more than 500 steps separating the village from the beach. If you are traveling with very young children, you may prefer to admire it from the top, before continuing your journey to the pretty port of Centuri, where you can feast on freshly caught fish.
THE DESERT OF AGRIATES
A few kilometres south of Cap Corse, on the road to Ile Rousse, hides a desert. But this has nothing to do with arid expanses of sand or salt. On the contrary, the Agriates desert, stretching over 40 kilometres, is the ideal place to introduce your children to the flora and fauna of Corsica!
Formerly reserved for the cultivation of olive trees, the Agriates region is now totally deserted. The inhabitants have long since left these valleys covered with scrub. We recommend that you go there early in the morning to explore the surroundings when the temperatures are still mild. You may come across an old Corsican shepherd along the way, accompanied by his goats, who will reveal the secrets of this raw jewel of the Isle of Beauty. If you are traveling with teenagers, the best way to discover the Agriates desert is to rent mountain bikes. With young children, prefer the 4x4, which will easily carry you through the wilderness.
Head to the coast at lunchtime, and let yourself be guided by the salty air from the sea. The Agriates desert is also known for its paradisiacal beaches. Our favorite? Ostricioni beach, classified as a "Great Picturesque Site", where the maquis meets white sand and turquoise water. A real sample of the best that a family holiday in Corsica has to offer!
THE SANGUINAIRES ISLANDS
Less untouched than the previous destinations, but just as majestic, you cannot miss the archipelago of the Sanguinaires Islands! Nestled in the Gulf of Ajaccio, in the extension of the Parata, these 4 islets are home to many species of birds. It is only accessible by boat: so opt for a glass-bottom shuttle, so that the little ones can admire the seabed during the trip, or rent a sailboat to be adventurous.
Either way, don't miss the sunset over the Sanguinaires Islands, by far the most spectacular in Corsica! Let yourself be amazed by the flamboyant reflections of the last rays of the sun as they fall on the igneous rocks. You might think you see a bear around a bend, but it's only the rocks, which at dusk take on the appearance of fantastic creatures.
In history, people and animals left the Sanguinaires Islands a long time ago. Today, only tourists and a few rare birds come to disturb the Olympian calm of the archipelago. A breathtaking landscape, which in itself is worth a return trip to Corsica!
THE LAVEZZI islands
Let's continue our route towards southern Corsica, until Bonifacio. Stop off in this city clinging to the cliffs, for a walk along the ramparts. Do not miss the Roy d'Aragon Staircase, which descends steeply towards the azure sea. When you arrive at the bottom, you will have a breathtaking view of the cliffs, Sardinia and the Mediterranean, which stretches as far as the eye can see. It will then be necessary to go back up, but the children will be awarded a diploma at the end of the 187 steps.
Spend the night in one of our luxury Bonifacio villas, before heading to your next destination: the Lavezzi islands. Located about half an hour from the coast, the largest of the islands, Lavezzu, is an essential stopover in your family vacation in Corsica. You will discover an extraordinary landscape, where the turquoise sea, rocks polished by the wind and wild flowers mingle.
After a first swim to warm up, board this wild and surprising little island. Along the way, you will probably not come across a living soul, except two cemeteries and a pyramid, vestiges of the Sémillante shipwreck.
Choose a cove, at random from your path, and sit down for a picnic. Here, there is no tourist restaurant or crowded terraces, and we arrive with our arms loaded with Corsican products, bought the day before on the Bonifacio market, and we eat with our feet in the sand. Once your tribe regains strength, don masks and snorkels and dive into the crystal-clear water. Below the surface, dozens of species of fish and shellfish await - the lucky ones may even come across a family of curious dolphins.
THE FOREST OF THE ospedale
When asked "where to go in Corsica with the family", many will answer Porto-Vecchio. And they will be right. But it is not on these paradisiacal beaches, worthy of the Caribbean, that we take you this time. To reach our last destination, we have to get away from the sea and climb to the heights, towards the hilltop village of Ospedale.
Located at an altitude of 900 meters, it houses some old stones, and a breathtaking view of the Gulf of Porto-Vecchio. Stop there for a moment to admire the panorama, then continue your journey to the artificial lake of Ospedale. Nestled in the heart of a forest of lariccio pines and beeches, one would not be surprised to come across fairies and elves...
The culmination of this escapade in magical lands: the waterfall "A Piscia di Ghjaddu" which springs from a mineral wall to tumble down over 70 meters. A little known and little frequented setting, to discover with the family.
You will have understood it by now, from the charcoal black beaches of the north to the deserted islands of the south, Corsica has a thousand treasures to reveal to you. Choose from our luxury Corsica villa rentals and fly with your family for an extraordinary trip to the Isle of Beauty.