Activities in Corsica

Fantastic nature, sports and cultural activities

The island’s special topography offers visitors numerous possibilities for leisure activities. The fantastic coastal stretches and crystal clear water score points with water sports enthusiasts. The mountains are perfect for mountain bikers, hikers, climbers and nature lovers. The extensive green spaces in Mediterranean surroundings also makes it an attractive place for golfers.

In restaurants visitors can expect French delicacies and traditional dishes from Corsican cuisine (Brocciu, Coppa or Lonzu). Those wanting to go out to dinner in Corsica will find particular good entertainment offers in the larger cities’ ports.

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Corsican cuisine

Traditional Corsican cuisine is prepared from agricultural products from the mountains: Meat, cold meats and cheese from livestock farming (pigs, goats, sheep, calves), chestnuts, honey, fruit and vegetables from gardens, wild herbs from nature (mint, “nepita” catnip, marjoram, thyme…). Hunting expands the menu with aromatic wild game dishes (wild boar, blackbird, partridge…). Areas along the coast cook with products from the sea (rock fish, sea urchin, crayfish…) and grow wine and olives on the hillsides.

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Banking and shopping

EC cards can be used to pay in lots of supermarkets, businesses and restaurants. There are banks in Corsica in all large areas. There will be a fee for withdrawing money with an EC card (Maestro). Banks are usually open from 8:30 am until 12:00 pm and from 2:00 pm until 5:00 pm. Shops in Corsica are open from 9:00/9:30 am until 12 pm and from 2:30 pm until 7:00 pm; supermarkets until 8:00 pm. Small shops are closed on Monday mornings. Some small inland shops first open between 3/4 pm.

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Medical care

Medical care in Corsica is excellent. There is a doctor in every large town. There are hospitals in Bastia, Ajaccio, Corte, Bonifacio and Sartène. In addition there are medical centres in other holiday resorts. Simply look in the daily paper “Corse Matin” for a doctor when required. Doctor’s fees must be paid up front and can be claimed back from your health insurer after the holiday. The telephone number for an ambulance in Corsica is 15. There are numerous pharmacies in Corsica.

Fishing

Fishing on the sea and on wonderfully situated mountain lakes and mountain brooks. Fishing is part of the locals’ everyday lives. Fishing in Corsica without a permit is only allowed with restrictions. Without a fishing permit, you can only fish on the coast with a rod and up to 2 hooks and small nets. Deep-sea fishing is also permitted without a permit with the right experience and equipment. Fishing without a permit is not permitted in all streams and lakes on the island of Corsica.

Bathing and swimming

Bathing in Corsica is not only possible in the sea on the numerous beaches, but also in its many rivers and pools. There are beautiful sandy beaches on the west coast at Ile-Rousse, Calvi, Plage d’Arone and Propriano. The water quality of the beaches is usually very good. When finding a place to bath in a river, you should ensure that the place is upstream of the last built up area. The hot summer months of July and August are perfect for bathing; it is possible from May to October.

Cycling tours

Corsica is a cyclist’s dream thanks to its breathtaking and diverse scenery. The first three stages of the 100th Tour de France were on the island. There are hardly any marked cycle paths on the island and good maps are important. There are a number of organisers on the island that offer organised tours. Mountain bikes and robust touring bikes are more appropriate than light road bikes on the not so simple, sometimes rocky routes.

Golf

Corsica has 6 excellent golf courses (5 golf clubs). One 18-hole golf course, three 9-hole courses and two smaller courses with 6 holes. The 9-hole golf course at Speloncato lies in the north west inland in the small village of Speloncato. After a round of golf, the club invites you for refreshments and snacks and there is a beautiful view of the mountains.

Climbing

Corsica is a climber’s paradise; the forms of granite created by erosion provide extraordinary conditions for every level of difficulty. There are great opportunities close to the sea in the region around Calvi. Les Iles in Ile-Rousse is very popular with beginners (11 routes, 4 and 5). France has a different grading.

Experience nature

The most beautiful time of the year for nature lovers is spring, when the macchia are in full bloom and when the foliage from the beech and chestnut forests are changing colour. In these months you will find an incredible splendour of blossoming flowers and shrubs and the temperatures will not yet be so extreme so hiking and biking will be a special experience in the splendid nature of Corsica.

Horse riding

There are lots of stables and riding schools in Corsica with an extensive range of offers. The bridal paths stretch 1,900 km across the entire island. Suitable for beginners, advanced riders and professionals. The rides, among others, take you along the long sandy beach, through the fragrant macchia, or the small villages of Balagne.

Sailing

Corsica has many ports for sailing boats. Many of the larger ports offer sailing school courses for beginners and advanced sailors. There is the option of hiring a boat with a sailing licence. A day trip along the wild, rugged west coast from Calvi to Porto or further on to Ajaccio is well worth it.

Skiing

Corsica’s winter sport resorts cannot, of course, compete with ski resorts in the Alps or other European low mountain ranges, but at an altitude of 1,400-1,870 m, 10 km of piste and 9 lifts, skiing is possible in Corsica for up to three months a year, usually from December to April. There are three ski resorts (Bastelica, Haut Asco and Ghisoni) and three cross-country ski trails (Evisa, Zicavo, Quenza and Val d’Ese).

Diving

Divers will find great underwater flora and fauna around Corsica and a variety of diving areas and sunken shipwrecks (e.g. Calvi). Diving courses are offered in numerous diving schools for beginners and advanced divers with a medical certificate in accordance with CMAS/PADI and NAUI. Beluga Diving school in Ile-Rousse was founded by its German owners 38 years ago.

Hiking

70 peaks at more than 2,000 metres high – Corsica is also known as the “mountain in the sea”. May is the best time for hiking along the coast and in the foothills. Good equipment is also important for hiking and mountain tours in summer. There are lots of diverse hiking routes at various levels of difficulty in the north west. Capu di a Veta is Calvi’s local mountain, an ascent up the 703 metre-high mountain in the early morning is recommended and it is also suitable for athletic children.

Surfing/kite surfing

Wind surfing is very popular in Corsica. The west coast in particular has the ideal conditions thanks to the 7 different winds. There are surfing schools in almost every bay and advanced surfers can rent surfboards. Kitesurfing in Corsica is not yet so popular, which is why there is only one kitesurfing school at the south of the island on the beach at Palombaggia. Many advanced windsurfers visit the beach at Algajola from mid May. The gently sloping beach at Ile-Rousse is best suited for wind and kitesurfing beginners.

Climate and nature

Fantastic nature away from mass tourism

Arrival and transport

Arrival by plane, ferry and car