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Two weeks in Corsica: the first timer’s itinerary

A curated guide to planning your two weeks in Corsica including the best itinerary, where to stay and some of the best restaurants for the perfect holiday.

Corsica felt like a micro universe working as a self-sustaining eco-system, a protected land seemingly unaffected by the change of time. Immersed in dusty olive green and burnt amber fields, the island is very bushy, at patches burnt by the scorching sun. Silhouettes of mountains criss-cross each other, creating beautiful patterns of light and dark against a bare blue sky. The deep blue of the sea reaches the island shores with neat precision. The days in Corsica are filled with pleasures for all senses, a reinvigorating shower of mesmerizing landscapes and wonderful meals.

 

It’s truly a palpable love that the Corsican people have for their island, visible also in the absence of an over development of the land. In fact, the island is very wild, aside from the bigger cities or towns, you can find yourself driving through kilometers and kilometers of untouched forest.

 

Where there is light

there is Corsica

Bastia: Two nights

Bastia is a small harbour town with a beautiful coastline and a vibrant atmosphere. We stayed in an Airbnb close to the center of town, a short walk to supermarkets, restaurants and cafes. During the day we adventured to semi-deserted pebble beaches where we swam in crystal clear waters. At night we mixed with the crowd down by the harbour for exquisite fresh fish dinners, we recommend restaurants A Scaletta or Le Jean Bart. The evenings ended on a sweet note, with the outstanding ice cream at Glacier Raugi.

Portovecchio: 4 nights

Right at the bottom of the island the coastline becomes even more beautiful. The crystal clear water washes onto white-sand powdery beaches, in a landscape that is a mix between the tropics and the Mediterranean. Portovecchio is in the perfect location to make your home-base and explore the surroundings. The walls of a 16th-century Genoese citadel are the backdrop to the old town, from where you can enjoy the views over the yacht-filled marina. For daytime activities, you have a selection of stunning beaches to explore, including Palombaggia, Santa Giulia and Tamaricciu.

 

Insiders tip: Tamaricciu beach

After navigating through a tranquil pine forest you reach an idyllic setting, nothing short of Maldives! This beach is just South of the famous Palombaggia beach. When you see a bunch of cars parked on the side of the road just look out for the sign and walk down a narrow path through the bushes to find it. You will see several restaurants and beach clubs, as well as free areas where you can lay your towel and soak in the pure beauty of nature.

Bonifacio: 2 nights

A medieval yet functioning citadel perched on top of a cliff with mesmerizing views of the deep blue sea. The marina is packed with yachts of gigantic dimensions and all types of restaurants and bars. Our highlight were the King of Aragon Staircase, a set of 187 steps that take you from the top of the citadel down to the sea flanking the cliff. Not suggested for the faint of heart, but don’t be discouraged by the idea, as the view is well worth the sweat. The legend says that the staircase was dug by the troops of the King of Aragon Alfonso V in one night only,  during the unsuccessful siege of Bonifacio in 1420. In reality, the staircase descends to a natural spring and a cave located at the bottom of the stairway, and is believed to have been dug by the Franciscan monks long before the troops of Alfonso V set their feet on Bonifacio.

Propriano: 1 night

While making your way up the west coast of the island you can stop one night in Propriano. A quiet coastal town with a pretty harbour and some beautiful beaches close by such as Campomoro which is close to the town. If you feel like a hike you can adventure to Cala D’Aguila, from Propriano it will take you three hours both ways but you will be rewarded with one of the most beautiful beaches in Corsica. A small secluded beach, not easily visible from the sea, that can only be reached by boat or hiking.

Ajaccio: 2 nights

The biggest city in Corsica, famous for being the birthplace of Napoleone. On one side you will find long beaches that stretch from the harbour up the coast, on the other, bushy green hills with many hiking paths which crisscross through them. An infinite number of hotels and B&B dot the long coast offering any type of accommodation under the sun, from exclusive five-star resorts to more approachable lesser starred ones. Most of the resorts give the possibility to spend the day at their beach or to visit for lunch or dinner. During the day we enjoyed hiking the hills just behind the city, which offers incredible views of the bays. The colors of the island sparkle under the scorching sun, deep blues, amber and lush green.

Calvi: Four nights

Calvi is the perfect Corsican town, blessed by a beautiful natural setting and enriched by old and new architecture. Enclosed in between its 15th-century old citadel and a moon shaped bay, the little town bustles with chic cafes and brasseries. You can enjoy a glass of wine by the harbour facing the magnificent mountain range while watching beautiful yachts and sailboats approach on the glistening water. We recommend dinner at L’Isula, where we had the best dish on the island, a seafood stew cooked in a pastry pot, called Seafood Mongolfiera.

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