Northern Corsica is a fascinating region of contrasts. From the green inland with rugged mountain streams and impressively located villages to the jagged coastline with secluded bays, long sandy beaches and impressive granite cliffs. It is an island full of mystery and tradition.
Be it the pristine mountain landscapes or the wild maquis, the nature in northern Corsica is simply stunning. Especially during spring, when everything is in bloom. But this experience trip also guides you past old, picturesque villages where time seems to have stood still. You will also visit the world-famous coastline of Les Calanques, where you can admire the natural wonder of the red rocks.
Can't get enough of this impressive island? Then prolong your trip by visiting southern Corsica. Do not hesitate to contact us to organise a lovely trip for you.
DAY 1: Departure to Bastia
Today you will fly to Bastia, where you will first pick up your rental car. You will then head to your Caractère hotel where you will stay for three nights.
DAY 2: CAP CORSE
Today you will already be treated to a Corsican highlight: exploring the northern peninsula that sticks out into the sea like a raised finger, Cap Corse. During your tour of Cap Corse, you will discover unspoilt villages and small fishing ports such as Macinaggio, Centuri, Pino, Nonza and Patrimonio where cows sometimes still walk on the beach. The natural harbours and coastline here are bordered by round Genoese watchtowers as Corsica was under Italian-Genoese rule until 1768. These watchtowers had a dual function: a lighthouse and a military stronghold. As a matter of fact, the Italian influence is abundantly noticeable here in its architecture, language and cuisine. Geologically and linguistically, Corsica belongs to Italy, politically, of course, to France. Many traditions and customs have thus survived and are what make Corsica unique in Europe.
DAY 3: THE MONTE ASTO OF BASTIA
You will drive via the Serra di Pigno to Oletta and San Michele de Murato, where one of Corsica's most charming churches is set in a pristine and stunning mountain landscape. Nature lovers will spend the day further exploring the Monte Asto area. The alternative is to explore Bastia and the surrounding area. First drive to the Roman excavations at La Canonica and Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral on the Fouilles de Mariana before driving along the elongated basin 'Etang de Biguglia' into Corsica's second most important city and economic capital. Bastia may not be Corsica's most polished port city but it is certainly no less interesting because of that.
DAY 4: SAINT-FLORENT - L'ILE ROUSSE
You will leave Cap Corse heading west via the lively seaside town of St-Florent. Afterwards, you will drive through a 'desert', le désert des Agriates. An excellent place to take pictures is Bocca di Vezzu. You then arrive at L'Ile Rousse, a pleasant seaside resort with an immense sandy beach and a lively port where leisure sailors like to moor. The town was founded by legendary Corsican hero Pascal Paoli and takes its name from the nearby ochre-coloured granite archipelago. Continue to Calvi where you will stay two nights in one of our hotels.
DAY 5: THE PROUD CITY OF CALVI AND THE BALAGNE
Calvi boasts an impressive citadel, where you can take a walk on the ramparts to the lower town. The stronghold is located very strategically on top of a protruding rock, between Calvi Bay and the headland of Révellata, and its main task was to keep watch over the thriving fishing port. In the afternoon, you can go for another tour in the unspoilt mountainous landscape of the high Balagne region, where it is great for hiking. You will explore the Balagne in search of old picturesque villages and what used to be Corsica's vegetable garden. You will find villages like Pigna, Aregno and Corbara, where time seems to stand still. Surrounding them are olive groves, almond trees, and Barbary fig trees. Equally memorable is the route past the eagle's nest of St Antonio, near Monte San Angelo. Here, eagles elegantly soar above the vast forest of larch pines.
DAY 6: SCANDOLA AND THE 'CALANQUES' OF PIANA
Today you will visit the world-famous coastline of 'Les Calanques'. To do so, you must first explore the impressive Scandola nature reserve. As the rocks are best seen from the sea, you can admire the natural wonder of the red rocks by boat from Galeria on the eponymous bay. Afterwards, drive to the Gulf of Porto, with its 'calanques' between Porto and the picturesque Piana. You can also catch a boat in both these ports for a beautiful view from the sea. In Piana, you will stay in a Caractère hotel for one night.
DAY 7: THE WILD INLAND
You will now cross the island via the wild, rugged inland. Via the Spelunca gorges, you will first drive over the Col de Vergio. Then over the 'Scala di Santa Regina', one of the island's most haunting, wild and spectacular routes. In the chestnut forests of Aïtone and of Valdoniello, you will certainly encounter wild pigs and cows. You will drive through the valley towards Calacuccia, located on the shores of a lake where you will have a panoramic view of Corsica's highest peak, Monte Cinto. Via Ponte-Leccia and Corte, the ancient historical capital and ethno-cultural heart of Corsica, you descend to the east coast in Erbalunga. Here you will stay another night in a Caractère hotel.
DAY 8: Return home
Your trip is over, today you'll hand in your rental car and get ready to fly back home. Don't feel like returning home yet? Extend your holiday with our second experience trip 'The raw splendour of Southern Corsica'.
Why book with Caractère?
- Best price guarantee
- Caractère extras
selected and approved hotels
instantly in touch with Caractère employees
- Affiliated to Travel Guarantee Fund