With an exceptionally mild climate all-year round, some of the finest beaches in the Mediterranean and one of the most diverse landscapes in the world, Corsica is deservedly popular. Enjoy a range of water sports, visit prehistoric ruins, and trek across rugged mountains. Cycle along gentle coastal routes, or test your mettle on challenging trails in the Niolu. Sample award-winning cuisine, tour the house where Napoleon spent the first nine years of his life, or simply wander through pretty villages.
Arts and culture
Corsica is home to a surprisingly large number of museums and galleries. Explore the finest collection of Italian art in France outside of the Louvre, and more, at the Musee de Beaux-Arts, which houses works by the likes of Boticelli and Bellini. Find out more about the history and culture of the island at the Corsican History Museum. You can also explore a whole host of significant archaeological finds from the Greek, Etruscan, Roman and Carthaginian periods at the island's Museum of Archaeology.
Corsica stages cultural events throughout the year, including Passion Cinema, a festival celebrating contemporary cinema (throughout March) and a Festival of British Cinema (throughout April). The Calvi Jazz Festival is a week of concerts and jam sessions in June, featuring more than 100 artists.
Things to see and do
You'll probably find yourself torn between not wanting to leave Corsica's beautiful beaches and wanting to explore the fabulous range of its landscape. Its crystal-clear waters are ideal for scuba diving and snorkelling, but you can also enjoy surfing and windsurfing, paddle boarding and sailing. Or, further inland, raise your adrenalin levels with a spot of white-water rafting or kayaking.
Corsica's historical settlement by a host of different civilisations has left a rich legacy of buildings stretching back many thousands of years. Filitosa has an extraordinary collection of carved menhirs (standing stones) dating back to prehistoric times. It may be a steep ascent but the trip to Calvis' massive fortified citadel is worth it for the superb 360 degrees views over the island. Make sure not to miss the 13th-century cathedral nearby.
Eating and drinking
For Michelin-starred cooking, book a table at Pasquale Paoli in Ile Rouse, which is surprisingly reasonably priced. Tuck into cheese and charcuterie platters at Kissing Pigs, a restaurant and wine bar on Bonifacio harbour. For a taste of authentic Corsican cuisine, head to U Pampasgiolu in Ajaccio.
Le Glacier de la Place sells beer, 150 types in fact, from around the world. Located in Porto-Vecchio, it also has a wide range of rums and whiskies.
Kick off your evening with a cocktail and spectacular sea views at Chez Tou, a piano bar located high up in the Calvi citadel, or a mojito or two at Le Havanita on the quayside in Calvi, and finish off the evening at a club. Corsica's nightlife really comes to life in the summer, when not to be missed is the open-air Via Notte.
Atelier de Lotus in Levie is the place to go if you want exquisitely crafted leather goods. Or try U Tilaghju near the Ajaccio cathedral for hand-painted silk, ceramics, paintings and woodwork.
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