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Travel Notes: France: Corsica (Corse)

Regional map of France showing the location of Corsica.

Although Corsica is very mountainous - Monte Cinto is the highest peak at 2,706m and some 20 other summits are above 2,000m - the 'Island of Beauty' has 1,000km of coastline and more than 200 beaches.

While the territorial collective (collectivité territoriale) of Corsica is divided into two departments - Corse-du-Sud (2A) and Haute-Corse (2B) - the capital of the territorial collective is Ajaccio; located in Corse-du-Sud.

Quick Links

Around Corsica, Corsica Accommodation, Corsican Language, Corsica Tourism, Travel to Corsica.

Around Corsica

Corsica is about 130 miles long and 50 miles wide.

The island is undoubtedly at its busiest in July and August, when you're well advised to book ahead if you want a place to stay.

We prefer to visit Corsica in June or September, when the tourists are fewer and the sun not so strong.

Corsica Attractions

While the number one summer attraction in Corsica is its beaches, there is a basic network of narrow and winding roads, if you prefer to get away from the sea and penetrate the rugged interior; to discover villages of tall granite houses overlooking deep gorges and wonderful forests of oak, Corsican pine and sweet chestnut.

Corsica Beaches:
William Keyser's look at some of the beaches around Corsica.

The many nature reserves and wildlife areas make Corsica an appealing destination, not just for a beach holiday.

Parc Naturel R�gional de Corse:
The website is only available in French but it does outline some of the exciting walks in Corsica's natural park areas as well as some of the accommodation available along the way.

Grande Randonn�e

Hiking The GR 20 (Fra li monti)

Adventurous hikers can lace up their boots for the fifteen-day, mountain-walking challenge from Calenzana (Haute-Corse) to Conca (Corse-du-Sud), via Vizzavona; where you can get the train to Bastia or Ajaccio if you've had enough. The southern part of the trail is easier though.

GR 20 With Tour Adventure:
If you'd rather walk without your luggage, you can always pay someone to do the transfers for you.

Travel to Corsica

Being an island, the only way to reach Corsica is by plane or boat.

Corsica by Plane

Airlines Serving Corsica

CCM Airlines:
Connecting Corsica with Clermont-Ferrand, Geneva, Lille, Lyon, Marseilles, Nantes, Nice, Paris, Strasbourg, Toulouse and Quimper.

There are also a number of charter flights to Corsica in the summer months.

Charter Flight Centre:
Search for charter flights departing from Great Britain and Ireland.

Airports in Corsica

There are four airports on the island of Corsica: Ajaccio Campo dell'oro (AJA); Bastia Poretta (BIA); Calvi Sainte Catherine (CLY); and Figari Sud Corse (FSC).

Corsica by Boat

The fastest way to Corsica, by boat, is to take the high-speed NGV (Navire Grande Vitesse) from Nice. The boat takes between 2 hours 45 minutes and 3 hours 30 minutes to travel to Calvi, l'Ile-Rousse, Ajaccio and Bastia.

There are also regular ferries from Marseilles, Nice and Toulon.

Ferries to Corsica also sail from Genoa, Livorno and Savona - in Italy - or from Sardinia, to Bonifacio.

Corsica Ferries:
Sail from Savona, Livorno, Nice and Toulon.

Moby Lines:
Sail from Genoa and Livorno to Bastia and also connect Bonifacio with S. Teresa di Gallura (Sardinia).

Société Nationale Maritime Corse Méditerranée sail from Marseilles, Toulon and Nice to Corsica as well as connecting Corsica with Sardinia.

Corsican Language

Although people on the island of Corsica speak French there is a local language of Corsican (also known as Corso, Corsu, Corse or Corsi), with strong similarities to a Tuscan dialect of Italian.

According to its UNESCO classification though, the Corsican language is currently in danger of becoming extinct.

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Local Maps and Travel Guides

Corse-du-Sud, Haute-Corse - Michelin Local Map 345: Top 10 Corsica (DK Eyewitness Travel Guide)


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