Corsica – The scented isle of France

The birthplace of Napoleon, the southernmost region of France, ancient colony of the Greeks and the Romans, the most mountainous of the Mediterranean islands, the home of rare salamanders and red deer, with its own language which (like the island itself) is closer to Italy than France, and a proud history of political autonomy – Corsica is a fascinating island begging to be discovered by the curious traveller.

Corsica is a fascinating island

From the vibrant capital Ajaccio in the west to historic Aleria in the east, from the bustling port of Bastia in the north to the tourist playground of Porto-Vecchio in the south, and the breathtaking scenery of the central highlands to the pristine waters of the unspoilt coastline, holidays in Corsica offer an idyllic balance of familiar and new experiences. Try climbing, canyoning or trekking, snorkelling, scuba diving or wind-surfing; explore ancient Roman remains or get close to the unique wildlife; follow the scenic coast road on four wheels or put your best foot forward and go hiking – the choice is yours! And when all that activity gets too much, take advantage of one of the mildest climates in the Med with a sun lounger, a cool drink and a good book!

is a paradise for gourmets, with many locally sourced products to sample, such as wild boar from the forests, freshwater trout from the mountain streams, or seafood straight from the ocean. Pork is the basis for charcuterie favourites such as ficatellu (coarse smoked sausage), coppa (cured shoulder) and lonza (cured and seasoned fillet), while delicious regional cheeses are still made the traditional way from goat and sheep milk. Pulenta is a traditional Corsican dish made from chestnuts, which grow freely all over the island and are also used to make mouth-watering bread, with six officially certified varieties of Corsican honey to spread on it! Local wines include the famous Muscat from the fertile peninsula of Cap Corse, and the more widely produced reds and rosés of the Nielluccio grape.

Corsica in France Fortress

Accommodation options are many and varied, from premier hotels to independent pensions and from all-inclusive packages to self-catering apartments. For old-style charm, check out the Hotel Imperial on Ajaccio’s historic seafront; spoil yourself rotten at the Sofitel Porticcio with its private beach and state-of-the-art hotel spa; enjoy the breathtaking sea views from Roc e Mare on the corniche at Propriano; explore the laid-back vibe of Bastia and the natural beauty of Cap Corse from the attractively situated Demeure Loredana at Saint-Florent marina; or find the perfect excuse to sample the local restaurants and nightlife at Casa Theodoro bed and breakfast in Muro.

Cheap flights to Corsica’s international airports at Ajaccio and Bastia depart from various UK airports, or why not make the journey a part of your holiday with a relaxing train ride followed by a romantic ferry crossing? Daily departures from Marseille, Toulon and Nice in France or Livorno, Genoa and Savona in Italy allow you to make your first glimpse of the island unforgettable, lapped by the aquamarine waves of the Ligurian Sea.

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