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Corsica Bound: A Travel Guide to Mediterranean France

Corsica is an island along the Mediterranean region of France. The island is only 114 miles long and dotted with 120 mountain peaks. A perfect island to visit for either adventure enthusiasts, sea dwellers, or café lovers, Corsica will keep even the pickiest traveller appeased. Enjoy art, coffee, food, skiing, swimming, sailing, fishing, and hiking while you visit this Mediterranean jewel. Here are some key highlights of Corsica to include in your vacation planning. 

Behold the Balagne Region 

Image via Flickr by cremona daniel

On the Northwestern area of the island, you will find the Balagne region. Also known as the garden of Corsica, the rich agriculture and stunning views will take your breath away. The region is considered an island-within-an-island and is a main producer of olives and olive oil. Stroll along the beaches, go river swimming in the Fango river, hike the mountains, or visit the many towns in this region of Corsica. 

Explore Calvi

Image via Flickr by Kjunstorm

In the Balagne Region, Calvi sits on the coastal shores of Corsica. Known for its café culture and white sandy beaches, Calvi attracts people for many reasons. For history buffs or explorers there's The Citadel. It is 13th-century fortress perched atop the mountains. The views are worth the hike up the mountains, both in summer and in winter.

During the winter, the mountains are covered in snow, making the castle and its surroundings look like a winter wonderland. During the summer, you can take the secret passage way that leads down to the harbor then go for a refreshing swim to cool down after the strenuous hike. Mara Beach sits just outside of Calvi with a coastal trail for hikers. 

Travel the Artisan's Route:

Image via Flickr by Mr. Bidou

If you fancy art, culture, and mouth-watering food, the Artisan's Route is for you. From Calvi, head to Lumio to begin the route. Then take Lumio through Aregno, San Antonino, Pigna, and end in Belgodere. Stop in the towns for olive oils, cookies, charcuterie, and cheeses. Each town is known for something specific and you will quickly find out what that specialty is as you walk the streets and dine in the cafes. 

Take the Train:

Image via Flickr by Vincent Desjardens

If navigating the narrow streets of Corsica in a rental car, with only a map and minimal knowledge of the french language doesn't sound exciting to you, then hop on the train. This single-track railway known as Chemins de Fer de Corse runs small, old trains known as U Trinighellu, or "the trembler." They shake, rattle, and roll as they transport you through the mountains and down to the towns, stopping occasionally for wildlife or fallen debris. The Micheline La Corse travels from Calvi to Ile Rouse, stopping at the beach of Bodry on the way. 

If you're looking for transportation to France, look no further than Air France which flies into Ajaccio Napoleon Bonaparte Airport (AJA) in Ajaccio. It is the largest international airport in Corsica. You can book your flight into France with the airline, or plan your next European adventure to follow your Corsica trip.

Explore the Scandola Nature Reserve:

Image via Flickr by Fabrice Terasson

The Scandola Nature Reserve sits on the central western coast of the island of Corsica between Punta Muchillina and Punta Nera. This UNESCO-certified national park houses a Genoes fort and many hiking trails in the Girolata region of the park. Established in 1975, the national park has no roads leading there, so you have to take a boat from Calvi. 

The reserve has two sectors, the Elpa Nera inlet (between Pointe Bianca and Pointe Validori) and the Scandola peninsula. The cliffs along the peninsula house grottos and coves, like Tuara. The coastline is known for its half-mile-high cliffs. 

Get Lost Hiking Corsica:

Image via Flickr by Jean-Baptiste Bellet

For more hiking and exploration, visit the forest of Bonifatu just 30 minutes from Calvi. There, you'll find lush vegetation strapped to mountainsides and clear natural pools of water. Take a break from the hike and cool off in the shade or the pools.

For the people who love nature, there's a 15-day hike along the footpath highway of Corsica that extends from Calenzana in the Northwest and stops in Vizzavona where hikers have to descend a steep rocky path. The Southern part of the hike starts in Vizzavona and ends in Conca. Though these hikes travel through the center of the island, away from the ocean, and you'll still stumble upon natural pools and rivers to break from the journey.

For whatever reason you want to travel to the French Mediterranean, Corsica won't disappoint you. Visit in the winter or the summer, for cafe sampling or outdoor adventure. Which part of Corsica is the most alluring to you? 


  1. wow, I'd love to wander in this very interesting place! Love the trekking/hiking especially!

  2. I’m not really an adventurous person but I love nature. Those are great photos and the places look interesting to visit.

  3. France is one of the country I want to visit someday, I don't mind hiking and walking just seeing these beautiful places.

  4. Wow, even the rocky mountain is beautiful!

  5. wow that place looks like heaven for those adventure and outdoor lovers!! such a nice view with lots of fun!

  6. Very interesting places to explore. Scandola Nature Reserve attracts me more. I love water and nature :))

  7. France is a mixture of modern and classical architecture. Good place to visit.

  8. In a country like France, many beautiful spots are waiting to be visited. On summer, France is sure a nice country to enjoy.

  9. Wow, how love to go hiking there!!♡♡♡ and explore Scandol nature reserve! :)

  10. Scandola...not Scandol, gee I got too excited ♥

  11. This is a great place to explore and wined then. good place to visit when you know there are more nature things to do.

  12. My! This is one great place to visit for nature enthusiast and just anyone who would like to enjoy the nature. Please bring me there!!! Hehehe!

  13. Their natural wonders are different with that of the Philippines but are equally majestic!