Road trip Corsica: 3 itineraries for the ultimate Corsica tour!

In this Corsica itinerary blog you will read all about a possible road trip in Corsica include the top destinations and highlights of this island. We tell you a little more about Corsica itself and name the 12 destinations & highlights of Corsica. Then you will find three different itineraries for a tour of Corsica.

A Corsica itinerary of 2 weeks, an itinerary of 3 weeks and finally a combination itinerary Corsica with neighboring island Sardinia. In addition, in this blog you will find useful tips, we tell you how long you need per destination and we have selected hotels. Have fun planning your Corsica itinerary!


Road trip Corsica: tour across this island full of diversity!

Best beaches of Corsica Plage de santa Giulia France

Corsica is a beautiful green island and is nicknamed Île de beauté. This French island is known for its mountainous landscape, spectacular rock formations and impressive coastline. Typical local products are the wines, many sheep and goat cheeses, chestnuts, citrus fruits and olive oil.

Corsica was originally Genoese and later became French territory. You can see these Genoese influences very clearly in the architectural styles, old traditions and customs and in the tasteful Corsican cuisine. This gives Corsica its unique identity.

Vacations to Corsica attract different types of travelers. The island is perfect for hiking, cycling, snorkeling, diving, skiing, sunbathing, canyoning, sailing but also visiting beautiful historic cities. And then we haven’t even mentioned the good food, many good restaurants and the hospitable Corsicans. In short, a visit to Corsica has something to offer for everyone. And it is the ultimate location for a cool road trip!

Visit Corsica: How to travel here?

Corsica is the largest island in France and is located in the Mediterranean Sea above the island of Sardinia. The fastest way to reach Corsica is by plane. The largest airports in Corsica are Ajaccio airport and Bastia Airport. If you are traveling by plane, consider renting a car upon arrival. That’s the best way to see a lot of the island in a short time. We always rent a car through Sunny Cars, because then you are fully insured and you do not have to deal with shady car rental companies. We recommend you too!How to get to Corsica Corsica Ferries Visit France

Another option is to visit Corsica by ferry, like we did. We took the ferry from Nice to Bastia. You can also catch the ferry to Corsica from Marseille, Toulon, Genoa, Livorno and Savona. There are three major companies that provide the boat services. You can find departure times and prices on this site.

A big advantage of taking the ferry is that you can take a car (with luggage) with you. The latter is very nice if you plan to go camping at one of the many campsites in Corsica. Another advantage of the ferry is the option of a sleeping cabin. This way you arrive rested on this French island. We get seasick pretty quickly, but found the ferry to be more then doable.


12 Highlights and destinations for your Corsica tour!

What are the top destinations in Corsica? Corsica has many hotspots and places of interest that are worth visiting. Below, you can see a map of Corsica with the geographical location of the highlights of Corsica. Following the map, we describe (clockwise, starting from Bastia) all the different sights and destinations in Corsica. This way you can see which places appeal to you and how you want to put together your travel itinerary for the ultimate Corsica road trip.

Our 3 favorite Corsica highlights:

  • Visiting the city Bonifacio
  • The hike to the Calanques de Piana!
  • The beautiful beaches in Corsica. A boat trip to Iles Lavezzi will take you to one of these beautiful beaches!

Map with the highlights of Corsica:Map of Corsica highlights of Corsica France

1. Port city of Bastia: the start of your Corsica tour!

We arrived at Bastia by ferry and proceeded directly south. Bastia is one of the larger towns on the island and, next to Ajaccio, the gateway to Corsica.

In Terra Vecchia (the bustling heart of Bastia, near the old port) you can see influences from the Genoese in the architecture. If you have time to better explore Bastia, consider visiting Terra Nova (citadel surrounded by high city walls) where you’ll find the beautiful Palais des Gouverneurs.Old city center of Bastia Corsica

2. City of Porto-Vecchio: the Corsican St-Tropez

Porto-Vecchio is a popular coastal town. The village has a cute village center with many nice restaurants and all kinds of (expensive) shops. But this place is small and very touristy. Porto-Vecchio is also called the Corsican Saint-Tropez. Half a day or an evening is enough to discover Porto-Vecchio, but to be honest: if you don’t have much time, skip Porto-Vecchio. 

Well worth a visit near Porto-Vecchio are the many beaches. But these are also not far from Bonifacio. Conclusion: If time is short, stay in Bonifacio and visit Porto-Vecchio as a day trip.Visit Porto Vecchio old habor Corsica

3.  Beautiful beaches in Corsica

Looking for sun, sand and sea? Then a visit to Corsica is all you need. Corsica has pearly white beaches with turquoise water. Most beaches in Corsica are easy to reach by car and therefore suitable for families with children. A blog about the best beaches in Corsica will follow soon!

Near Porto-Vecchio and Bonifacio you will find several beautiful beaches such as:

  • Plage de Palombaggia: long wide beach with various beach bars
  • Plage de Santa Giulia: Popular beach on a peninsula. Note: the parking space is often full.
  • Beach Rondinara: our favorite beach, quiet, on a beautiful bay!
  • Plage de Saint-Antoine: Narrow beach, but great hike to get there! Note: not accessible by car.

Use the map below for a handy overview of other beautiful beaches that we personally really liked!Best beaches of Corsica beautiful CorsicaBest beaches of Corsica Charlotte Plans a Trip

4. Bonifacio: The city on the cliffs & the pearl of Corsica!

If you ask us, Bonifacio is really the most beautiful city in all of Corsica. It sits atop white limestone cliffs and has a cozy old town. Also impressive is the cemetery that overlooks the harbor.

In the area of Bonifacio you can go hiking. For example, there is a coastal path of more than 5 kilometers from the center of Bonifacio, all the way to the beach of Saint-Antoine. You walk over the white rocks, where you have different viewpoints. You can also see the high limestone formations by boat. Click here to book a boat tour, where we have the tip to combine this with the next highlight: a visit by boat to Lavezzi (see also destination 5). This is really a must when you are in Bonifacio!

We recommend that you stay at least 3 days in Bonifacio. Read our travel guide on Bonifacio full of tips on restaurants and things to do in Bonifacio! Bonifacio boat trip visit Corsica France

Which hotel to pick in Bonifacio?

Hereby three nice hotels in or just outside Bonifacio.

Petra-Bianca €€

Petra Bianca Hotel Bonifacio

Petra-Bianca is located in Bonifacio, 1 km from Bonifacio Port & 4 km from the beach. This beautiful B&B has beautiful bedrooms and a lovely swimming pool. From €99 euros per night.

Click here

Charme a cheda €€

Lodge de Charme a Cheda Bonifacio

Surrounded by a large garden, this lodge is located at the entrance of Bonifacio. Each room has its own atmosphere. The hotel’s chef also gives a cooking workshop here. From €110 per night.

Click here

Hotel Spa Genovese €€€

Hotel Spa Genovese Bonifacio

Hotel Spa Genovese is located in the town of Bonifacio, on top of a cliff with panoramic views of the harbor. There is an outdoor swimming pool with a sun terrace and sun loungers. From €170 per night.

Click here


5. Boat trip to the Lavezzi Islands: snorkeling, swimming and sunbathing

From Bonifacio, visit the Lavezzi Islands and on the way back enjoy a phenomenal view of the high cliffs on which Bonifacio is built.

Most of the Lavezzi Islands are private islands but there is one island that is available to the public. Many boats go here from Ajaccio & Bonifacio. On this Lavezzi island there are beautiful sandy beaches where you can snorkel well in the clear water!

Besides sunbathing, enjoying nature and playing in the water, there is peace to be found here. There are no shops or restaurants. From Ajaccio, you can book your tickets for this day tour here.Best beaches of Corsica Plage de la Cala Achiarina Ile Lavezzu France


6. Ajaccio: the capital of Corsica

Ajaccio is the island’s capital city and the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte. Many buildings and places refer to the former French emperor.

Highlights of Ajaccio are the childhood home of Napolean, the Ajaccio Cathedral, the citadel and the pleasant shopping street Rua Bonaparte. If you like walking, consider the Sentiers des Crêtes walking trail and take in beautiful views of the city.

Tip: book a 1.5-hour bus tour and drive along the highlights of the city. Ideal for families. More information can be found here.Old city center of Ajaccio Corsica

7. Les Calanches de Piana: impressive red limestone cliffs 

Certainly one of the most beautiful places in Corsica in our opinion is the UNESCO region of Calanches of Piana (Les Calanques de Piana). This place just shows how diverse Corsica is! When you are making a road trip, make sure to add this location to your Corsica itinerary! 

Here you will find a landscape of red limestone cliffs that run all the way into the sea. Above water they show a cool landscape, where the red limestone has been worn down to all kinds of unusual shapes by wind and rain. Best of Corsica Calanche de Piana what to see in CorsicaHiking in Calanche de Piana visit Corse

You drive through this area by car, and the road itself is spectacular. But this place is really worth to stay longer. This way you can take a hike and see much more of these beautiful rock formations. Also worth doing here is the tough but beautiful hike to Capo Rosso, a stretch of rocky land that extends far into the sea. At the highest point is a lookout tower and during the hike you have beautiful views from which you can look meters into the depths of the clear sea.

Hotels near Calanches of Piana: we recommend that you stay in the village of Piana. This nice old village is a 10-minute drive from the Calanches, and a 20-minute drive from where the hike to Capo Rosso starts. We stayed in hotel Scandola and that was good!Coastal hikes Corsica genoise du Capo Rosso Piana France

8. Scandola Nature Reserve

The Scandola nature reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is known for its large rock formations. Here you will find red and jagged rocks in all kinds of shapes and figures. A boat trip is the only way to admire this natural wonder.

During the boat trip you will learn how these rock formations originated and what the flora and fauna of this nature reserve is. The rocks are so immense that you feel very small from the water. You can book this 3-hour boat trip from Porto here. Another option is to start the boat trip from Ajaccio and Portificcio. You can find the tickets for the boat trip here.Beach of Porto Corsica

9. The inlands of Corsica: hiking through the mountains.

Corsica is perfect for hikes because of the many hilly hiking trails with beautiful viewpoints (Mare è Monti and the GR20, a hiking trail of 200 km). The highest mountain is Monte Cinto (2706 meters) followed by Monte Rotondo (2622 meters). Not only can you hike along the mountains of Corsica, there are also many cycling routes that go along the peaks of Corsica. For example, the challenging climb to the Col de Bavella and the bike ride to the Col de Verde.

We made beautiful hikes near the mountain village of Evisa, near the Spelunca gorge, and the Aïtone forest. You are already quite high here, with great views of Monte Cinto. There are all kinds of different hike trails here, some just 30 minutes long and easy to do, others two hours, 6 hours or even several days. Several hikes also depart from Corte (next destination).Sunset in Evisa Corsica

10. Corte: The student city of Corsica

Corte is located in the inlands of Corsica and is surrounded by granite mountains and hills. In Corte you will find the only university of Corsica. Corte is a real student city which you immediately recognize when seeing the nice bars, restaurants and cafes. We thought it was a really nice place, bustling and full of life.

The highlight of this great city is the old citadel, Citadel de Corte, which is built on a rock. Here the first constitution of Corsica was drafted and the first government formed. From Corte there are popular hiking trails to Gorges du Tavignano, Gorges de la Restonica or Lac de Nino.Old City center of Corte Corsica France

11. Calvi: Nice town in northwest Corsica.

According to the locals, Christopher Columbus was born in this touristic city. Highlights of this town are the kilometer-long beach of Calvi, the historic citadel and the many churches such as the Cathedral St-Jean Baptiste and the Sainte-Marie church. You can also enjoy good shopping and dining out in this originally medieval city.Old city center of Calvi Corsica

12. The desert of Corsica: Desert Des Agriates

Les desert des Agriates is located on the north coast of Corsica. Traveling through this inhospitable area can only be done by jeep or on foot. If you cross this green uninhabited area, you will arrive at paradisiacal beaches.

The most beautiful beaches of Desert Des Agriates are: Lotu beach and the sandy beach of Saleccia. Would you like to discover the unique desert landscape by 4×4? You can book this activity here. We had to skip this place due to time constraints, but the stories about it are great!


Three itineraries for Corsica!

Now that you know the 12 highlights of Corsica, it’s time to put together your Corsica itinerary. To help you put together this road trip itinerary, we give you three different itineraries for a tour of Corsica.

Due to the mountainous landscape of Corsica, traveling between different destinations can sometimes take longer than you would expect. Keep this in mind, especially in high season. Especially because in the summer the roads are busy with French tourists and there are regular traffic jams.

Tip: do not visit Corsica in high season (July-August). Then it is very busy here!

We recommend a (rental) car for a Corsica road trip. There are trains and buses in Corsica so traveling by public transport is also possible, but then you are not nearly as flexible and you cannot get everywhere.


1. Itinerary 2 weeks in Corsica: the honeymoon trip!

This was the Corsica itinerary on our honeymoon. After our wedding in France, we immediately went on a honeymoon. From the Champagne region to Nice (with a stopover in Aix-en-Provence) where we then took the ferry to Bastia.

Our Corsica 2 week itinerary was as follows:

Bastia – Porto-Vecchio – Bonifacio – Propriano – Calanques de Piana – Evisa – Corte – St Florent – Bastia

We traveled at a leisurely pace during our honeymoon. From Bastia we drove directly to Porto-Vecchio. Even though we didn’t think this city was that great, we had a lovely hotel and visited fine beaches from here. We stayed here for 2 days. Tip: go directly to Bonifacio and stay there for 5 days instead of Porto-Vecchio.

Then we continued to Bonifacio, which we think is the most beautiful city in Corsica. We also stayed here for 3 days  and visited the islands of Lavezzi. The next stop for us was Propriano (2 days), where few tourists come, but there are many beaches to relax.

After a few days we drove on to the small picturesque village of Piana, to visit, among other things, Les Calanques de Piana. The Scandola Nature Reserve is also not far from here. In 2 days you have seen the most beautiful things here.

After all that sea it was time to go inland and we took a detour to the cute mountain village of Evisa (1 day). After several hikes we traveled on to Corte, the student city of Corsica. The road there is an attraction in itself: numerous beautiful viewpoints over the rocky mountain landscape of the interior of Corsica. We recommend that you stay here for 2 days.

To completely relax, we eventually traveled to St Florent (2 days), where there is not much to do, but we stayed a few days in a lovely luxury hotel. And then our Corsica road trip was over and it was time to go back to Bastia.Itinerary Corsica 2 weeks best of corisca in one roadtrip

2. Itinerary 3 weeks in Corsica: the Grand Tour

Would you like to discover the French island at your own pace? Then consider the 3-week itinerary below, the grand tour through Corsica. You can start this Corsica road trip from Ajaccio or Bastia.

Itinerary Corsica 3 weeks:

Ajaccio – Propriano– Sartene – Bonifacio – Porto-Vecchio – Corte – Saint Florent – ​​Calvi – Porto or Piana – Ajaccio

This Corsica itinerary begins in Ajaccio where you will be introduced to the city of Napoleon. After this cultural experience, you will travel to the beaches of Propriano.

After a few days at the beach, the next destination is Sartene. Sartene is a picturesque village located in the mountains. Here you will spend the night. You then drive through the forested region of Alta Rocca to the village of Cauria, where you can see archaeological finds such as menhirs and megaliths.

Off to the east of Corsica!

Your next destination is Bonifacio, the city built on high limestone cliffs and you take a boat trip to Iles Lavezzi. A trip to Porto-Vecchio is possible, but don’t spend too much time on it.

Are you ready for a nice mountain walk with a view of the Aiguilles de Bavella (the characteristic rocky peaks of red granite)? Then consider making a trip or stopover to Zonza before traveling on to the historic city of Corte.

After Corte you visit Saint Florent, a beautiful small village on the coast and a good base for discovering Cap Corse and visiting Corsica’s only desert by 4×4: Desert de Agriates. Then you can make a stop in Ile Rousse for lunch before visiting Calvi. Spend a few days in Calvi.

Here you can also take the boat to the Natural Park of Scandola. Your next stop is Piana. From here you can enjoy the Plage d’Arone beach, walk to Capo Rosso and visit Les Calangues de Piano.

Itinerary Corsica 3 weeks roadtrip Corsica

Itinerary Corsica & Sardinia: the best of 2 islands

A visit to Corsica (France) can also be easily combined with a visit to the Italian island of Sardinia. For example, you fly to Bastia and return from Cagliari.

The crossing between the two islands is made by boat. From Bonifacio you take the ferry to the town of Santa Teresa di Gallura. The distance between these islands is only 16 km. In high season the boat goes 4 times a day.

You do need a rental car for this island road trip. The highlights of this Corsica & Sardinia itinerary are:

Calvi, Les Calanques de Piana, Bonifacio in Corsica and Costa Smeralda, Gola Su Gorropu, Costa Verde and Cagliari in Sardinia.Itinerary Corsica Sardinia Island trip


Corsica’s most special hotels

There are many good and hotels available in Corsica. But below you will find a number of hotels that are very special and immediately stand out!

These are all unique accommodations to stay and are all located in quiet places with a particularly beautiful view. Be quick to book in high season, because these unique hotels in Corsica are fully booked quickly.

Acqua Linda €

Acqua Linda Porticcio

This beautiful apartment complex with swimming pool is located a 30-minute drive from Ajaccio. The rooms are very modern and spotlessly clean. the beach is 350 meters away. From €84 per night.

Click here

La Dimora €€

La Dimora Corsica North

La Dimora is located in northern Corsica, 40-minutes from Bastia. We enjoyed this luxury hotel very much! Rooms are lovely, the restaurant is very good and the pool so nice. From €189 euros a night.

Click here

Bergerie du Prunelli €€€

Bergerie du Prunelli

Bergerie du Prunelli is located in Cauro, 19 km from Ajaccio. The B&B has a spa and wellness center with a hot tub, hammam and pools. The property is 15 km from the beach. From €200 per night.

Click here

 

Are you looking for nice hotels and special lodges in the mountains (inland of Corsica)?

Below we give a few hotel options in the inlands of Corsica for inspiration. Here you can enjoy the beautiful mountain landscape and the tranquility that comes with it. These lodges are conveniently located for hiking.

Dominique Collona €€€

Dominique Colonna

Dominique Colonna is located in Corte. Stylish elegant design hotel in the middle of the mountain. An ideal base for making hikes in the area. From €239 per night.

Click here

Cas Anna Lidia Hotel €€

CasAnna Lida Hotel

This boutique hotel is located in the Corsican village of Feliceto, a 25 minutes drive from Calvi. There are good restaurants and wine tastings nearby. From €129 per night.

Click here

Casa Santa Lucia €€

Casa Santa Lucia

Casa Santa Lucia is located in Bocognano, 40 km from Ajaccio and 44 km from Corte. View of the valley and small villages is great. The hosts make sure you really feel at home. From €140 per night.

Click here


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