Inspiration Destinations 5 Reasons Why Corsica is the Mediterranean’s Next Big Destination

5 Reasons Why Corsica is the Mediterranean’s Next Big Destination

September 19, 2023

The coastal hikes are epic, the old towns medieval and the beaches among Europe’s most stunning – Corsica is climbing the ranks as the Mediterranean’s hottest destination.  

There’s an undeniable magic about the Mediterranean. Those pebbled beaches, sun-dappled waters and a slower, olive-oil-fuelled way of living easily captures the hearts of those that visit. Corsica – the fourth-largest island in the Mediterranean, southeast of the French mainland – is one of the hottest destinations on the Med right now. It’s a mesmerising blend of postcard-worthy beaches, medieval towns and wild nature, with promises of long days spent exploring the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte, tracing coastal cliffs on windy hikes and splashing in true-turquoise ocean waters. 

Keep reading to uncover why Corsica should sit at the top of your travel list. 

Discover more about Corsica on the new season of Luxury Escapes: The World’s Best Holidays, airing Tuesdays 8.30pm AEST* on Foxtel Lifestyle and on demand on Binge and Network 10. *Check your local TV listings for details.

Ready to escape? Browse our France collection here.

1. The beaches are stunning 

White sands are presided over by the island's ancient citadel.

There is no shortage of jaw-dropping beaches to choose from in Corsica. Mountainous backdrops give way to white sand, orange rocks and lagoon-like waters. On the south end of the island, set up camp at Palombaggia Beach, often hailed as Corsica’s most beautiful. Snorkelling gear at the ready? Head to Rondinara, a seashell-shaped beach with sheltered waters that are ideal for young swimmers and snorkellers. A local favourite is Mare E Sole, just a 35-minute drive from Ajaccio. The slightly rosy sand and red granite boulders are often occupied by local families. 

2. It’s a hiker’s dream 

The view from Calanques de Piana.

If you’re an avid hiker keen to try out new treks, Corsica’s plethora of hiking trails will leave you spoilt for choice. To ease into things, the beginner friendly Bonafacio coastal hike is a great place to start. Just eight kilometres long and with no steep inclines, you can direct your attention to the spectacular views over the cliffs and the ocean beyond. For something more challenging, the Capo Rosso hiking trail features several steep inclines and rock scrambling, but the incredible views of the Gulf of Porto make your efforts worthwhile. For the advanced hiker, the Grande Randonnée (GR) 20 hike is one of the toughest hikes in Europe – it stretches 170 kilometres and takes around 16 days to complete. This one is not for the faint hearted.

3. It’s home to an unmissable UNESCO World Heritage site 

The dramatic scenery of the Gulf of Porto is carved by nature.

Red-rock sculptures, towering pinnacles and gnarled, sea-bound volcanic rocks – the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Gulf of Porto sure knows how to put on a show. This boomerang-shaped coastal strip strings together the Calanche of Piana, Porto harbour, the Gulf of Girolata and Scandola Nature Reserve. Don’t skip visiting the Calanche of Piana, where pink granite rocks have been twisted by water and wind into unique shapes, while rugged cliffs plunge 300 metres into the Mediterranean. Reach this natural phenomenon from Ajaccio via a narrow, mountainous road – keeping one eye trained to the sky to spot resident eagles and falcons soaring overhead.   

4. The clifftop beauty of Bonifacio 

A view you can't beat: Bonifacio from the water.

Jaws will drop upon first clapping eyes on Bonifacio, Corsica’s oldest and most spectacular town. It’s best seen from the water: aboard a cruise, you can fully appreciate the drama of the town. The striking cliffs jut over the water and the tall houses cling to the outer perimeter. Within the town’s fortified walls, you’ll discover medieval lanes leading to brasseries, cafes, boutiques, 12th and 13th-century churches and the famous citadel. Take a seat at a bar along the south side of the marina, whose terraces lead right to the waters where superyachts mingle among traditional wooden boats. 

5. It’s loaded with history 

Historic Ajaccio is the birthplace of Napoleon.

Whether you’re a history buff or not, you’re certain to recognise the name Napoleon Bonaparte (especially with the upcoming movie epic on the military commander due for release in November). In Ajaccio, Napoleon’s birthplace, you’ll see him everywhere, from the street signs to the museums and the town’s main square Place Foch, where he’s immortalised in white marble. You don’t need to look hard to discover the island’s centuries of history. If you’re in Bastia – on the northern reaches of the island – Musée de Bastia covers the island’s history back to its early days as a Roman trading port. 

Feature image: Schroptschop / Getty.

Ready to escape? Browse our France collection here.

Discover more about Corsica on the new season of Luxury Escapes: The World’s Best Holidays, airing Tuesdays 8.30pm AEST* on Foxtel Lifestyle and on demand on Binge and Network 10. *Check your local TV listings for details. 

About Felicia Arhontissas
A keen traveller and a margarita enthusiast, Felicia is all about getting to the nitty gritty of each destination she visits and discovering its hidden gems (and then running home to write about it).

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