The Greeks did not refer to Corsica as 'Kalliste', 'the Most Beautiful', without good reason. But with its millennia-old colonial past and rich culture, Southern Corsica is also undoubtedly one of a kind. The best way to explore 'L'Île de la Beauté'? Simply take your time to fully experience all its facets.
Discover the natural wonder of Scandola Nature Reserve, a Unesco World Heritage Site, on an unforgettable boat trip and with a bit of luck... accompanied by dolphins and ospreys. Venture inland via one of the island's most haunting routes and explore the historic and spectacularly located capital Corte.
But Southern Corsica is also renowned for its beautiful beaches with blue-green waters, coves and cliffs. Explore spectacular Bonifacio, the island's most Mediterranean city. And don't forget to stop along the way at the prehistoric menhirs of Filitosa, another World Heritage Site.
Your experiential journey ends in the city of Napoleon, with a spectacular sunset as the grand finale.
DAY 1: Departure to AJACCIO - PIANA
You will fly to Ajaccio, where you will pick up your rental car and drive along the beautiful west coast route towards Porto (due to the winding course, we recommend doing this during the day). The route goes via the beautiful Gulf of Liscia and Cargèse - where Greek traditions have been strongly preserved - to picturesque Piana, where you will spend two nights in a charming Caractère hotel.
DAY 2: THE DAZZLINGLY BEAUTIFUL SCANDOLA NATURE RESERVE
The protected natural park Scandola, Unesco World Heritage Site, is a peninsula that can only be reached on foot or by boat. You can embark to this natural wonder from Porto or Galeria. An unforgettable boat trip will take you past the colourful red ochre cliffs and caves of this impressive nature reserve. With some luck, dolphins and ospreys will accompany you at sea....
DAY 3: THE BEATING HEART OF CORSICA
You now traverse the island via the wild, rugged interior. Through the Spelunca gorges you will first drive over the Col de Vergio. Then over the "Scala di Santa Regina," one of the most captivating routes on the island. In the chestnut groves of Aïtone and of Valdoniello you are sure to encounter wild pigs and cows. You drive through the valley towards Calacuccia, located on the shores of a lake where you can enjoy a panorama of Corsica's highest peak, Monte Cinto. Your journey will continue to the historic and spectacularly located capital city of Corte. You will visit this fascinating city which is the geographical center and ethno-cultural heart of Corsica. Here you will quickly get in touch with the strong Corsican identity! Via Aléria, Solenzara you then descend to the southeast coast towards Porto-Vecchio or Bonifacio, where you will stay three nights in a Caractère hotel.
DAY 4: THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BEACHES AROUND PORTO-VECCHIO OR THE COL DE BAVELLA
You will love the beautiful beaches in this part of Corsica: Palombaggia, Santa Giulia and the wonderful Rondinara, a shell-shaped bay filled with contrasting blue-green waters. Many more small ports, coves and cliffs surround the vast bay of Porto-Vecchio. But even here, the mountainous hinterland beckons. Especially appealing are the jagged peaks of the 'Aiguilles de Bavella', where it is lovely to hike among waterfalls and mystical caves and where wondrous panoramas are guaranteed.
DAY 5: BONIFACIO
You carry on exploring Southern Corsica with another highlight: the spectacularly located Bonifacio, the island's most Mediterranean city, facing Sardinia. Bonifacio was a true pirate's nest, with houses sloping and hanging wonderfully against the steep white cliffs. A boat trip is recommended, as you can see the “hanging houses” even better from the water and get to the natural harbours and caves along the coastline, which can only be reached by sea. You can stroll through the old, fortified town, “la ville haute”, with some beautiful churches and a citadel. Very touching is the “Cimetière Marin”, a cemetery that is stunningly located, hovering almost above the sea, with Sardinia in sight.
DAY 6: PORTO-VECCHIO - BONIFACIO - AJACCIO
Via Figari you will drive to Sartène, according to Prosper Merimée "the most Corsican town in Corsica", spectacularly situated against a mountainside. Along the way, the mystical Corsica strikes again at the "Megalithes de Cauria,"which are several groups of menhirs. On the coast, you can make an invigorating stop at the beautiful seaside resort of Propriano, situated on a beautiful sandy beach in a "horseshoe” bay. Back inland, you will drive via Olmeto to the prehistoric menhirs of Filitosa, the largest Stone Age excavations on the entire island Unesco World Heritage Site. You then set course for the "imperial" capital of Ajaccio, where you will stay for two nights.
DAY 7: AJACCIO AND 'LES ILES SANGUINAIRES'
Ajaccio, located opposite the Sanguinaires Islands, is Napoleon's city and an important port. It is also home to the villa and tomb of another famous Corsican: Tino Rossi. Reminders of the "little dictator" can be found on the "Cours Napoléon", and at the "Casonu" monument, erected to his honor and glory. A little further on is also Bonaparte's birthplace, which is now a museum. The cathedral and citadel are also worth a visit. A drive along the 'Route des Sanguinaires' with a spectacular sunset means “un paysage de rêve”!
DAY 8 : Going home
Your trip is over, today you will return your rental car and get ready to fly back home. Don't feel like returning home yet? Extend your vacation with our second experience trip 'Mysterious Northern Corsica'.
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