The setting could hardly be more magnificent. The village of Porto stands amid the west coast’s most spectacular scenery, facing the stunning Golfe de Porto – a Unesco World Heritage Site, cradled between flame-red cliffs – and with a thickly forested valley to its rear, where the Gorges de Spelunca offers superb hiking.
A microcosm of Corsica itself, the south boasts two of the island's most alluring port towns – the cliff-hugging citadel of Bonifacio and the glamorous resort of Porto-Vecchio – along with its most remarkable megalithic sites (Filitosa and Cucuruzzu), some of its most breathtaking mountains (Aiguilles de Bavella) and its most beautiful beach (Palombaggia).
The Northeast Coast
Northeastern Corsica encapsulates the island at its very best. Historic Bastia, Corsica’s second city and largest ferry port, is not just a great point of arrival; with its maze of alleyways, bustling medieval harbour, and imposing citadel, it’s also a place where you could happily linger for several days.
Commanding a lovely sweep of bay, the handsome city of Ajaccio has the self-confidence that comes with a starring role in world history. In summer, there’s more than a whiff of the Côte d’Azur to its pastel-toned, cafe-filled historic core and the trendy waterfront promenade that stretches west, buzzing with beachgoers by day and party people later on.
This striking region blends history, culture and beach, with a healthy dash of Mediterranean glam to seal the deal. Whether you’re looking for la dolce vita or la vida loca, you should be able to find it in Calvi or Île Rousse. But try, if you can spare the time, to venture inland, for a day trip at least.
Thanks to its stunning natural setting, the ancient fortress town of Bonifacio is an essential stop for all visitors to Corsica. Protected by vast smooth walls, the town itself stretches along a narrow, top-heavy promontory, undercut by creamy-white limestone cliffs hollowed out by centuries of ceaseless waves.
The Central Mountains
Rearing to astonishing heights, the craggy mountains of central Corsica are in every sense the core of the island. Even when foreign powers like the Genoese controlled the citadel ports along the coast, a uniquely Corsican way of life persisted deep in the interior.
Blessed with a stunning natural setting, circled by jagged peaks at the confluence of several rivers, the mountain stronghold of Corte is as forbidding as it is spectacular. Centring on a towering pinnacle that’s been fortified for over 2000 years, it still stands at the heart of Corsican identity.