18 Best Places to Visit in Corsica, France (with Map)

Set within the shimmering azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea, Corsica is a beautiful island that offers plenty for the visitor.

Once ruled by the Greeks and Romans, the island is blessed with a rich history and culture. It is also famous for being the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte, as well as the former home of Christopher Columbus. So, numerous sites on the island reflect this legacy, including megalithic structures and medieval buildings that date back thousands of years.

However, Corsica is arguably best known for its fantastic white sandy beaches, which attract sunseekers from all over Europe. It also features a spectacular landscape that includes jagged mountains and lush forests. As well as plenty of pretty meadows, flowing rivers and a stunning coastline that is best explored on foot.

With so many places to visit in Corsica, it can be difficult to know what sites and destinations to prioritize viewing. For this reason, we’ve compiled this list of the island’s main highlights to provide you with the guidance you may need.

Map of Places to Visit in Corsica, France

18. Speloncato

There are several villages in Corsica you can visit. But not many can match Speloncato for its sheer ambience, charm and aesthetic.

Situated within the Balagne region (more on that later), its most striking feature is that it is perched on a rocky outcrop some 570 meters above sea level. From afar, the contrast between its traditional houses and buildings and the granite rock they are set upon is very striking. But looking out from it, you also get to take in stunning views of the coastline and Reginu Valley.

The beautiful town features a labyrinth of tunnels, alleys and homes which are fun to explore. It is also far less touristy than other places, so you will be able to immerse yourself in an authentic slice of Corsica without the crowds.

17. Cap Corse

Cap Corse

Cap Corse is a rugged and beautiful peninsula located in the northernmost part of Corsica. It is known for its stunning coastal views, picturesque villages, and unspoiled natural landscapes.

One of the main attractions of Cap Corse is its scenic coastal road. It winds its way along the cliffs and offers breathtaking views of the sea and surrounding landscape. The road is dotted with small villages and fishing ports, where visitors can stop and explore the local culture and cuisine.

If you only have time to stop at one of these villages, make sure it is Nonza. Situated on a hill overlooking the sea. It is known for its striking black sand beach and the ruins of a medieval tower that once protected the area from pirates.

16. Calanques de Piana

Calanques de Piana

Calanques de Piana is one of our favorite natural sites in Corsica. Situated on the west coast, near the town of Porto, it is characterized by towering red granite cliffs and crystal-clear blue waters that captivate with their beauty.

One of the most stunning natural landscapes on the island, the UNESCO World Heritage site stretches for about five km along the coast. It consists of a series of narrow inlets or coves, which visitors can explore by taking a boat tour from Porto. Alternatively, they can drive along the scenic coastal road that winds its way through the cliffs.

What makes the area so appealing to us is that the cliffs are carved into unique shapes and formations. They include the famous ‘dog’s head’ and ‘heart’ geological formations, which add to the area’s overall mystique.

15. Filitosa


The Filitosa is one of Corsica’s most important archaeological sites. Situated near the town of Propriano, which resides on the southern coast, it contains several megalithic structures like standing stones and menhirs, as well as several ancient ruins.

The site dates back to the Bronze Age and is thought to have been inhabited by the Torréens, an ancient civilization that lived on Corsica between 2500 and 1000 BC. Believed to have been tombs or religious sites, the structures feature unique carvings and engravings that offer fascinating insights into their culture and beliefs.

One of the main attractions here is the row of standing stones known as the ‘menhirs of Filitosa’. They are impressive 3-meter tall stones that are carved with intricate patterns and symbols, including images of human faces and animals.

14. Propriano


Situated between Ajaccio and Bonifacio, Propriano is a famous seaside resort known for its spectacular beaches, gorgeous natural landscapes and azure waters.

Dating back to the Roman era, the town has a rich history as it was also an important trading port during the Middle Ages. Today, it is a lively and bustling town that offers excellent restaurants and a good mix of shops to explore.

If you are feeling energetic, you can choose to venture onto several marked trails that flank the shoreline and take you to wild coves where you can swim. You can also explore the historic architecture of its old town.

13. Hike the GR20

Hike the GR20

If you are a serious hiker, the GR20 is a must. One of the most popular and challenging hiking trails in Europe, it covers a distance of over 200 km. Starting in the northern town of Calenzana and ending in Conca in the south.

Along the way, it crosses the island’s mountainous spine, offering stunning views of rugged peaks, deep valleys, and beautiful forests. The trail takes between 15 and 16 days to complete, and there are several campsites and refuges on the trail.

Overall it is well-marked and maintained, although it is notoriously challenging, with steep ascents and descents, rocky terrain and unpredictable weather. Therefore, it is only suitable for experienced hikers, as it requires you to be in good physical condition.

12. Spelunca Gorge

Spelunca Gorge

The Spelunca Gorge is a spectacular natural wonder located in the heart of Regional Natural Park. Also known as the Gorges de la Spelunca, it connects the villages of Ota and Evisa, and it is one of the most popular hiking destinations on the island.

Carved by the crystalline waters of the Fango River, the gorge features towering rock formations, narrow paths, and breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Its hiking trail extends for 12 km and takes most people around four to five hours to complete, so it is a good alternative to the GR20.

Along the way, you will get to see several ancient stone bridges, including the famous Zaglia, which is classified as a historical monument. You can also swim at various points along the trail and spot wildflowers and a diverse range of wildlife.

11. Saint-Florent


Often compared to Saint-Tropez, Saint-Florent is Corsica’s second-largest marina after Ajaccio.

Sandwiched between the mountainous wilds of Cap Corse and the spectacular, untouched Désert des Agriates, the charming town is known for being the gateway to some outstanding beaches. They include Plage de la Roya, Plage du Loto and Plage de Saleccia. All of which are easy to get to on foot or by boat and provide excellent places to sunbathe, swim and relax.

When we don’t fancy a day at the beach, one of our favorite things to do here is to walk along the port. There, we can make our way to the citadel via the village’s charming, narrow alleys. It has some lovely shops and cafes on the ascent, and the views of the shimmering waters of the Gulf of Saint-Florent are always breathtaking.

10. Calvi


The term ‘must-visit’ is often overused in travel writing, but when it comes to Calvi, it is quite apt.

Nestled on Corsica’s northwest coast, the town boasts a crescent-shaped bay and stunning beaches. It also features a dramatic medieval citadel which overlooks the marina from its western end.

You’ll want to spend the best part of a day there at least, as there is a lot to see. It includes the historic church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Saint Anthony’s Oratory, the former palace of the Genoese governors and a historic house that Christopher Columbus once lived in.

Another good sight to visit is the chapel of Notre Dame de la Serra, which is perched atop a hill and showcases splendid panoramic views. It is also worth dining in one of the fabulous restaurants that flank the harbor around Quai Landry Esplanade.

9. Agriates Desert

Agriates Desert

If you fancy a day of doing nothing more than swimming, sunbathing and relaxing on the beach, then pencil in a trip to the Agriates Desert.

Renowned for housing two fantastic beaches, the Plage de Saleccia and the Plage du Loto, they offer white sand, turquoise waters, and stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Visitors can easily get to them by boat from Saint-Florent and enjoy a day of swimming, sunbathing and water sports. Of the two, Saleccia is our favorite because it is flanked by a pine forest which creates a serene and tranquil setting.

As well as the beaches, the Agriates Desert is also steeped in history and culture. They are best discovered in traditional villages like Santo Pietro di Tenda and Olmeta di Tuda, which showcase the local way of life.

8. L’Ile-Rousse


Despite being a small seaside resort, L’Ile Rousse is many people’s first port of call when they arrive in Corsica, as there are regular ferries from Toulon, Nice and Marseille.

But rather than head straight to Calvi and Saint-Florent, which is either side of it, you should really take the time to explore it.

Founded in the 18th century by the Corsican revolutionary leader Pasquale Paoli (who aimed to create an independent Corsican state), the town has a lovely town center. It features narrow streets, traditional Corsican buildings, and a lively square which is a lovely place to people-watch.

What is nice about L’Ile Rousse is that it has several open-air markets where visitors can buy fresh produce, handmade crafts, and other local products. They are terrific places to experience the local culture and taste traditional Corsican delicacies.

7. Corte


Nestled in the heart of Corsica, the lively city of Corte is a fabulous place to visit. Home to the island’s only university, the town has a vibrance and sense of youthful energy that is not present elsewhere.

On any visit to Corte, you should head to its old town. It is divided into an upper and a lower town, which are both interesting places to explore. One of the most impressive sites to take in is the Regional Museum of Anthropology which is located in the citadel. There you will be able to see a fantastic collection of ancient artifacts and objects that date back hundreds of years.

Another notable sight to visit is The Belvedere. Situated just below the citadel, this wonderful viewing platform presents sensational views across the city to the surrounding mountains.

6. Beaches around Porto-Vecchio

Beaches around Porto-Vecchio

Ok, so the tiny town of Porto-Vecchio is pleasant enough, although, truth be told, it is not the most interesting of places to visit in Corsia. But due to its gorgeous location in Southern Corsica, it does have one big drawcard. Or rather several, in the form of its fabulous beaches.

For most people, the main reason to come to Porto-Vecchio is that there are no less than five fantastic beaches within a short distance of it. They are Rondinara Beach, Santa Giulia Beach, Palombaggia Beach, Tamaricciu Beach and Pinarellu Beach.

All of them feature gorgeous white sand and crystal-clear water that is perfect for swimming and sunbathing. If you have overdosed on sightseeing, they are very good places to go for an afternoon of rest and recuperation.

5. Sant’Antonino


The region of Balagne comprises some of the most spectacular scenery in the whole of Corsica.
Located in the northwest part of the island, it incorporates the cities of Calvi and L’Ile-Rousse, as well as plenty of idyllic beaches. Additionally, the area includes lush hinterland, jagged mountains and dense forest, which makes for spectacular terrain to explore by car.

Connected by a scenic drive, the panoramic road takes you through several quaint villages, including Calenzana, Pigna and Lumio. All of them are fabulous places to visit, with gorgeous architecture, friendly locals and delicious food. However, if you can only get to one, we recommend you make it Sant’Antonino.

Nestled on a hillside, the comely town showcases incredible views of Balagne and has some fabulous examples of medieval Corsican architecture. Whilst there, be sure to dine at the I Scalini restaurant – the aubergine tart is sensational!

4. Bastia


Based near the northern tip of the island, Bastia makes an excellent starting point for any visit to Corsica. Serviced by an international airport and a port, you can easily get there by plane or ferry from other parts of France or Italy.

You will want to spend a good few days here as there are lots to see. One of the most notable sites to visit includes Napoleon Street, which is a delightful pedestrian street that has an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants. Similarly, the Romieu gardens and stairs are worth checking out for the wonderful floral display and stunning coastal views.

The church of St. John the Baptist, in the Terra Vecchia district, is a historic building with two impressive bell towers you should visit. While St. Mary’s Cathedral, which dates back to 1619, presents several masterpieces from Italian artists.

3. Scandola Nature Reserve

Scandola Nature Reserve

Considering Corsica has a huge list of stunning natural wonders, the fact that the Scandola Nature Reserve manages to stand out is a testament to its incredible beauty.

A World Heritage Site, it is best known for housing gigantic rock formations that defy belief. Set on an isolated peninsula, you need to take a boat tour from Ajaccio or Calvi to see it. Although it is worth the effort because you also might see pods of dolphins and colonies of seals as you enter the coastal park where they are located.

Once there, your boat will drop anchor, thus allowing you to swim around an inlet with the formations as a backdrop.

If you can, we recommend visiting it an hour before sunset, as you will get to see the rocks tinted a vivid shade of red by the descending sun.

2. Bonifacio


Tucked away on the southernmost part of the island, Bonifacio should be on every visitor’s list.

Featuring those iconic Bonifacio houses that are perched atop a dazzling white cliff that overlooks the water, it is a place where you’ll take plenty of photographs. One of the best places to do this is at the Col Saint Roch, which offers fantastic views of them.

Other landmarks to visit include the stately Pertusato lighthouse and the pristine Saint-Antoine beach, which has a lovely stretch of sand to walk on. The Fortress of the Standard is also an impressive structure to check out. While the chance to scale King of Aragon’s staircase should also appeal.

Once you’ve got your bearings around the city, you can also choose to take a boat to the nearby Lavezzi Islands. They are a spectacular collection of reefs and small granite islands, which will captivate you with their beauty.

1. Ajaccio


Located on the west coast, Ajaccio is the capital city of Corsica. A beautiful city, it offers visitors the perfect mix of history, culture, and stunning natural landscapes.

We love coming to Ajaccio because of its historic city center, which is filled with charming streets, beautiful architecture, and fascinating museums. As the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte, it also has many fascinating sites dedicated to the famous general. They include his childhood home, which is now a museum that offers an insight into his life.

Another reason to come to Ajaccio is that it has beautiful beaches that surround the city, such as the Plage du Trottel and the Plage de Capo di Feno.

Additionally, it is also a foodies paradise, accommodating several excellent restaurants and cafes, where you can enjoy delicious Corsican cuisines like wild boar stew and brocciu cheese.

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