In this beautiful Corsica Road Trip article, you will find my best tips for Visiting Corsica which is also perfect for family travel with young children. This 7-day itinerary will cover North Corsica and the Corte region. Corsica is the best known for its beaches especially in the South near Port Vecchio and Ajaccio, however for this Corsica trip as we were leaving from Nice to Bastia by ferry and were keen to visit more of the untouched and beautiful villages that Corsica offers.
Where is Corsica on the map? and how to get there?
The Island of Corsica is in the Mediterranean Sea and is a region of France. It is in the North of the Italian Island of Sardinia. The capital is Ajaccio with the second largest town being Bastia. The main language spoken is French, Corsican and then Standard Italian.
Getting to Corsica by Air
There are 4 airports in Corsica; Ajaccio, Bastia, Calvi and Figari. If you are arriving internationally; your most likely port of call will be Paris, London, Zurich and Frankfurt.
Getting to Corsica by Ferry
This is a great and fun way to travel. The main ferries are Corsica ferries Corsica Linea, La Meridionale, Moby Lines and NLG.
From France you can catch the Corsica Ferry from Marseille or Nice. You can also catch the ferry to Corsica from the Italian ports of Savona, Livorno, Civitavecchia and Genova. These will take you to the different harbours in Corsica including Port Bonifacio, Port Vecchio, Port Ajaccio, Bastia, I’lle Rousse and Calvi.
Best time to visit Corsica
May to September is a good time to go to Corsica. July and August can get hot and crowded and hotels can get booked up quickly as these are the peak months to travel. September is quite ideal as you can still have a swim and go hiking; so you have the best of both.
We left from Nice to Bastia by ferry; which suited our one week itinerary in Corsica as we would be covering Northern Corsica and Corte.
- When you book the Ferry get yourself a private room on the boat, it is quite reasonable and much more comfortable especially when you have an early departure and young kids. As we left home at 3 am in the morning to catch our 7 am departure boat, we were all ready for a good nap and for a family of 4 we had our own private room.
- We also took our own car, but it is quite easy to rent a car in Corsica and I would definitely suggest driving by car to see all the beautiful coastline and mountain area in Corsica.
Day 1: Bastia/Corte
We arrived in Bastia at around 2.30pm (be ready for boat delays).
We had booked an Airbnb apartment in Corte for 4 nights, so we made our way directly there. Corsica is not cheap but you can find some reasonable accommodations if you book in advance. We had time to relax a bit and freshen up and then spent the evening walking around Corte and the Citadelle.
Corte is a wonderful place to stay in Corsica; it once used to be the Capital of Corsica and is now a bustling, cosmopolitan city set amongst the background of granite mountains. There are numerous bars and restaurants where you can enjoy a meal on the terrace and watch the people go by, we opted for a plate of “fromage et chacuterie” washed down with a nice glass of Corsican wine from the region.
Day 2: Scala di Santa Regina river side
A friend recommended we set out early to the “Scala di Santa Regina” where we were told about a place we could take a little swim in the river. It was a little paradise where we could enjoy the quietness and the views. On this route, you can also visit the dam in Calacuccia. Beyond that, if you want you could visit the col de Vergio; from here you can do a nice hike.
For lunch we ate at the “Le Relais Chez Jacqueline” in Castirla, where you get served by nice “grumpy grannies” (Corsicans don’t smile much) but the food was familial and delicious. You must try the “lasagne fromage”, it is a delight. We ended our day by buying some local charcuterie and enjoyed our aperitif evening.
If you love discovering and trying local cuisines and ingredients then try out some of these:
- Civet de Sanglier is a signature dish of Corsica, it is a wild boar casserole
- Charcuterie is really popular and goes well with a good glass of wine; > * Prisuttu (a smoked ham), Figatellu (liver sausage), Boudin noir (black pudding)
- Grilled Fish
- Brocciu fresh cheese found in many different dishes
- For dessert try the Fiadone; a type of cheesecake made with brocciu and lemon
Day 3: Northern Corsica
We wanted to do a beach day so set out early. The first beach we visited was Plage d’Ostriconi. You will walk approx 1 km through a small cute trail. The trail is easy to do with small kids.
We were not so lucky with the weather, as soon as we started to lay our picnic blanket the sound of thunder started!! followed by a drizzle of rain. We still managed to enjoy looking at the crashing waves and the kids happily playing with the sand, making castles.
After our picnic, we made another stop at the Lozari beach. The waves were even bigger and rougher but such a beautiful view.
Day 4: Restonica Valley
We spent the morning at the beautiful Canyon of Restonica which is covered by pine forests. Go early to avoid the afternoon rush. Be ready for a winding, cliff-edge driving! There is a parking space at the top for 6 euros for the day.
We just decided to stop near one of the trails and had this beautiful
place all to ourselves. Just be aware parking is not so easy on the way
up, in most spaces you have a no parking sign, of course if you are hiking then leave your car at the bottom or the top. You can also swim in the stream, you will find some beautiful clear pools of water and take a little picnic with you. We stopped in one of the restaurants which had a little play area for the kids and so ended up staying for a few hours.
As it was our last evening in Corte, we walked around the town, stopping on our way listening to some live music and then an evening climb to the top of the citadelle where you have an amazing view of the town.
Day 5: Scala di Santa Regina and Bastia
Day 6: Cap Corse
We enjoyed our long and relaxed breakfast at the hotel. Today we would be heading to the Cap Corse. It was really sad to hear that there was a big fire around Cap Corse where over 1800 hectares were destroyed and we were not allowed in some areas.
Cap Corse is the northern tip of Corsica, you can follow the beautiful coastline and find cute villages, fishing villages, beautiful beaches and more inland on the hill you can find some wineries.
We went to Saint Florent which used to be a fishing port and is now a nice place to relax and walk around. You can park at the “parking du stade” which was free at the time we went. If you are after a quick snack lunch, please try the little burger place next to the restaurant Citadella. It looks really simple but the burgers are the best we have tasted, especially the burger bread.
After our lovely ice-cream dosage at the Maison Salge, we went to Nonza. Nonza is at the Western side of Cap Corse; it is an impressive little village with houses perched on the cliff tops. You can visit the church of Saint Julie and take a stroll around the village to the Paoline tower. It is also famous for its black sand beaches, along our drive we spotted one but we did not stop over as it looked like a steep climb down and not so suitable with kids. Otherwise you can also visit the black pebble beach Marine d’Albo with a beautiful Mountain backdrop. Den did a bit of droning and got beautiful videos.
In the evening we decided to relax at the beach, Plage Farinole. It was nice to just relax and watch the sunset; sipping our mojitos and tucking into our pizza directly on the beach.
Other beautiful villages to visit in Cap Corse include Erbalunga, Centuri and Patrimonia.
Day 7: Tollare
We left early to go to Tollare, a very small village in the harbour, there is a little pebble beach, Barcaggio’s beach where you can have a little swim, although when I saw the little jellyfish I was quite happy with sitting and enjoying the view of the Island of Giraglia. If you have time then there are some other lovely villages to visit along the way Barcaggio and Rogliano and port de Centuri.
After our picnic lunch we drove to the Moulin Matei, it is a short walk uphill to the Moulin and you have some beautiful views. You can also go inside the little mill.
As it was our last evening in Bastia we strolled along the pretty port watching the big boats going past and the sunset. A great way to end our lovely holiday.
Our one week in Corsica was such a lovely time we definitely will be back to discover Southern Corsica and to visit more of the Corsican beaches where you can find clear crystal waters. Let us know in the comments what your favourite places have been in Corsica?
Thanks and see you on our next adventure.
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