Corsica’s beaches are a bottomless bag of treats, each one containing a different joy, encased in a uniquely beautiful wrapper. The Isle of Beauty makes one promise to all those who visit it and it’s in the name. Among all of the Mediterranean islands, Corsica is perhaps the most deserving of such an epithet. It is a true gem that presides over these tideless waters. The cobalt blue of the sea meets the island with a turquoise twinkle, lapping against sandy beaches and dramatic cliffs.
To find the best of Corsica’s sandy beaches, follow us along this inimitable coastline as we proffer our favourites from north to south. Each of these sandy beaches varies like the island’s terrain, from soft and gentle, urban in parts, to wild, untamed, and rugged. Your Corsica holidays will be remembered for Corsica’s outdoor, feet-in-the-sand lifestyle.
On the fringes of the Gulf of Saint-Florent and the Agriates Desert, Lotu beach is a hidden gem on the island of Corsica. The beach is a quiet, undisturbed realm of nature, where cattle can often be seen sheltering from the midday sun beneath the trees. A small natural pond debouches onto the beach, steadily trickling over the fine golden sand and away into the Mediterranean.
Plage de Lotu is a challenge to access, with the best possible route being a sea shuttle from St Florent. Alternatively, if you have a penchant for off-roading, take a 4x4 along the track before embarking on a 45-minute walk through the maquis to the beach.
A golden arch set against the northern coast of Corsica, Saleccia beach is, like its smaller sister Lotu, an untamed and off-the-beaten-track beach. Its beauty will leave an indelible mark on the bank of memories you will make on your luxury France holidays to Corsica. The beach is lapped against by impossibly blue waters; the marbling reflection of the sea's surface dancing on the bed of the sandy shallows.
This beach is, too, poised between desert and sea, giving it even greater allure to those who find awe in nature. Similarly, Saleccia is in the far-flung reaches of the north, but rest assured that any difficulties in accessing it are well worth it. The sea shuttle departs from Saint-Florent every half an hour or so.
To the west of L'Île-Rousse, buried against the headland that plays host to Lotu and Saleccia on its other side, you will find a tranquil idyll. Ostriconi is a 700-metre long stretch of dusty white sand that lies flat beneath the rise and fall of the dunes and surrounding dome-like hills. The beach marks the beginning of the Agriates Desert footpath that eventually stumbles upon other serene beaches. The mouth of the Ostriconi River lends to the wildness of this beach: birds, fish, and desert fauna flourish in this seaside oasis.
On Corsica's eastern coast you will find beaches of a different kind. The sometimes harsh and always striking beauty of the north slowly softens into a more hospitable kind of paradise that is serviced by roads and offers you ice cream or skiing lessons on arrival. One of the longest and most famous of these beaches is undoubtedly Palombaggia.
This sweeping beach curls its way in front of an audience of restaurants and pine trees, bars and red-tinged rocks. While this beach benefits from better services and access, and it can be very busy in the summer, it still manages not to cling on to its uniquely Corsican attractiveness. The golden-white sand is broken by intervals of rocks and photogenic pines that offer refuge from the heat of the day.
Santa Giulia has been dubbed by many the most beautiful beach on the Isle of Beauty, which is saying something! It is not only a stunning beach but it is hugged into a bulging inlet that creates a still and sandy cove perfect for families and fun-filled days. The gently sloping beach catches the light as it sinks beneath the lazily shimmering surface, giving the bay a breathtakingly azure vibrance.
Due to the stillness, this beach has become an excellent place for watersports. Take to the sea armed with your trusty stand-up paddleboard and a paddle to explore this bay from the sea, or, as the sun begins to sink beneath the horizon, waterski over the mirror-like surface. Read our article on Santa Giulia Corsica to discover more.
Porticcio is a seaside resort town just a stone's throw from Ajaccio on Corsica's west coast. Porticcio beach is a great destination to while away languid summer days. The sunsets from here are awe-inspiring. While this beach of golden sand and limpid water will be hard to peel yourself away from, it also boasts a plethora of other nearby coves and beaches to discover.
Follow the roads and paths to Sofitel and Domaine coves on the point of the bay, where the sea life will keep keen adventurists occupied for hours on end. Further south you will find Agosta beach, where family boat trips and jet ski rides can be arranged with ease. Porticcio beach and its equally joyous neighbours allow you to explore Corsica in all its glory.
The piquant scents of pine and sea and scorched soil pierce the air like the shrill scream of a gull, only they are received with a light dance of the senses. The beach is a long, arching sickle of white sand that is soft beneath bare feet. All of its 6km boast superb views of the surrounding mountains that shelter this bay. Cafes and restaurants spill out onto the beach in parts, couriering refreshments to those committed to worshipping the sun. The steadily sloping sandy shelf makes it an ideal place for children to safely swim.
To the south of Porto Vecchio, Rondinara beach will beckon you to lay down your towel and lap up the spectacular views and soak up the sun's rays. You won't be able to resist its charm as you drift between frolicking in the crystal-clear water and dozing on the beach. The headland provides shelter to this bay, leaving the water still and transparent - perfect for snorkelling and frolicking in the shallows. For a small adventure, explore the small coves to the south. Or, simply recline on the beach and drift into a blissful daze on one of Corsica's most beautiful sandy beaches.
On either side of a peninsula that is crested by a majestic rock formation in the shape of a lion and a Genoese tower, you will find a beach. Each of these beaches represents a different side of Corsican life. One, Roccapina beach, is serviced; accessible by car and often busy in the summer. It represents the ease with which you can attain parts of natural splendour in Corsica. The other, Erbaju beach, represents Corsica's wilder side, open only to the more daring.
In the summer Roccapina's white shores can get busy, but over the rocky hill, you will find a 2km stretch of beach that is comparatively peaceful. Each beach is an awe-inspiring exemplar of the reason for this magical island being called the Isle of Beauty.
Discover more of the best sandy beaches from one of our luxury Corsica villa rentals.
There are too many excellent beaches in Corsica's picturesque south to squeeze into one article. Instead, we have highlighted seven of our favourites for you to explore.