A little speck on the map surrounded by emerald coastline, Corsica is a gem of an island in the Mediterranean Sea. Located southeast of the French mainland and west of the Italian Peninsula, the cultural blend is apparent in the language, cuisine and the nomenclature of most towns.
Corsica has been on our list for a while and despite the expensive coastline, we have never spoken to anyone who has been. So, we talked a couple of our friends into it and set off on our adventure back in July.
A 2-hour direct flight from London Stansted, took us directly to Ajaccio, where we hired our car and set off to drop our bags off at our Airbnb and immediately went exploring. The aim of the trip was to spend as long as we possibly could at a beach.
Being a curious being that I am, I read a fair few blogs and travel sites to map out which beaches were the best to laze around on from morning to night. Most of them recommended that you either go to Porto Vecchio or La Bonifacio or a number of others. My advice? Go to the closest one you can find and relax! Nothing against the “must-see” lists, but it’s a testament to the beauty of the entire island. On one of the days we drove all the way to Porto Vecchio from Ajaccio (3-hour drive), to find the beach that looks just as spectacular as the one that was only 15-minutes’ drive from where we stayed.
So, apart from laying on the beach, what else should you do when visiting Corsica?
- Walking Tour – Ajaccio is the birth-place of Napoleon Bonaparte. Given serene surroundings, it still baffles me that it’s most infamous export is Napoleon, but there you have it. While we strictly concentrated on soaking up the sun, the rich history and beautiful city centre is worth exploring with a free walking tour.
- Stay calm – Following on from the above, for some reason, majority of locals on the island were noticeably miserable and rude. From the guy who yelled at us from his balcony for playing some music [softly] at 6.00pm on a Saturday, to the girl at the bakery who threw my change on the counter and the car-hire people who were extremely unhelpful, wanting to charge us €70 to clean the sand from the car, which wasn’t there. Either it was our luck, or people in Corsica are just grumpy all the time with everything.
- Eat your heart out – The pinnacle of French cuisine, mixed with the beautiful simplicity of Italian makes for a unique culinary experience. We particularly recommend a meal at a family-run restaurant called U Bistrotellu. You will be served by the owner and his three sons, who will later serenade you with live music, performed by the whole family.
- Get your kit off – Even though it was accidental for us, but if you are a fan of sunning every single inch of your existence, head to Palombaggia Beach, where a section of the beach is dedicated to families (with their children) walking around in their birthday suit.