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It’s France, but not quite as we know it. An enticing Mediterranean blend of French and Italian influences and flavours, Corsica has a distinctive character all its own. Not one but two Italian empires left their mark – Pisa and Genoa – over the centuries, which you can see, hear and taste in everything from the architecture and the language to the cuisine.
Countless gorgeous beaches are tucked within its spectacular coastline, offering lazy days in the sun or active hours spent diving or snorkelling. Soak up the laidback Mediterranean vibe in its coastal towns – Calvi, Porto Vecchio, Bastia, St Florent and Napoleon’s birthplace, Ajaccio – all of which have their own beaches, if you don’t want to stray too far. They also have charming old towns as well as lively ports where you can get a taste of Corsican life at a waterside restaurant.
Head to Corsica’s mountainous heart to discover medieval Corte and its ancient citadel. Along the way, you’ll come across scattered hilltop villages and farms, home to the island’s renowned charcuterie and cheeses. In this wild herb-scented hinterland, you can explore Corsica’s dramatic gorges and imposing mountain ridges – perfect for an active holiday spent hiking and canyoning.
At Corsica’s northern tip is the elongated Cap Corse, a hilly peninsula that feels like a different world. Tiny villages cling to the hillsides and squeeze into little coves, and stone watchtowers left over from the Genoese empire still stand guard.
There’s a reason they call it the Beautiful Island. Discover Corsica for yourself on your next holiday.
Corsica is safe to visit, and there is very little violent crime against tourists. But, as always in any tourist hotspot, keep an eye open for pickpockets and bag thieves. For the most up-to-date travel advice for Corsica, check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.
No, travellers with a full British passport do not need a visa to go to Corsica.
Unless you’re planning a city break of two to three nights in one of Corsica’s major towns, you’ll want to stay for a week. As Corsica is a popular holiday destination, many families will come for two weeks.
During the dry months of July and August, it’s illegal to have barbecues or fires in areas surrounded by trees. Be aware that the legal alcohol limit for drivers is lower than in the UK.
Unless you plan to stay in one of the larger cities only, it’s best to hire a car. There is a rickety train line that connects Ajaccio with Bastia via Corte. While it’s a thrilling experience, it’s not a very reliable service. Similarly, the bus network is patchy even during high season, and dwindles considerably out of season.
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