If you say Corsica, you immediately think of beach and sea. Quite logical, because with a 1000 km long coastline Corsica has a lot to offer to shore and beach lovers.
The purpose of my roadtrip through Corsica was mainly to discover nature, especially the mountains. Yet I’ve seen many different coastlines and beaches since we travelled around almost the entire island but also because we had to leave the inland earlier due to bad weather, to my great disappointment. So we drove from Bastia in the north to Calvi and Porto in the west, where the landscape became more rugged. From the rolling hills of Aleria in the east to the paradisiacal coast of Porto Vecchio in the south and from Porto Vecchio to Ajaccio in the west.
Corsica offers kilometers of coastline. From rugged beaches in the west to white tropical-looking beaches in the east, Corsica has it all.
Plage de l’Arinella and Punta Caldanu – Lumio
A few kilometers from the Bay of Calvi you’ll find an idyllic bay in a romantic setting. A beach bar that is almost literally situated in the water welcomes us, but relaxing on a sunbed is not possible with bad weather. On a very stormy day we walk along the coast via a path that leads to Punta Caldanu, a viewpoint with a ruined Genoese tower. The waves are crashing massively against the rocks and they almost look like a geyser releasing itself in the air. A breathtaking show! So much ruggedness in this environment but it also radiates softness and some places really look like a painting.
Western Corsica – Scandola Nature Reserve, Golf of Porto and Calanques de Piana
In my opinion this is the most rugged part of Corsican coast and also one of the most beautiful areas. Typical features of this area are the huge red cliffs that literally plunge in the sea and mountains that seamlessly blend into the azure sea. Among these jagged rocks there are several coves and beaches you sometimes have to search for. The famous bay of Porto has a small sandy beach that is easily accessible. Some smaller beaches hide themselves in and around the creeks of Piana and the Scandola Nature Reserve. These are often only accessible by boat or on foot. It’s really enjoyable to explore this area on foot, as we did at Capo Rosso and the Calanques de Piana. Furthermore, a boat trip on a hot day is highly recommended and these nature reserves are also excellent snorkeling spots.
Plage de Padulone – Aleria
Aleria is situated on the east coast of Corsica. There isn’t much to do in this ancient town but what you will find here is a rugged pristine sandy beach with a couple of delicious typical beach bars, also called paillotes. Ideal for a stopover. The Plage de Mare e Stagnu is situated in line with Plage de Padulone so it’s definitely the right place for a stroll on the beach. Nice to know is that these beaches are located between two lakes, l’Etang de Diane and l’Etang del Salé.
Palombaggia, Tamaricciu and Santa Giulia – Paradisiacal beaches near Porto Vecchio
Unavoidable during a visit to the Porto Vecchio area: the white sandy beaches of Palombaggia, Tamaricciu and Santa Giulia. Palombaggia and Tamaricciu are an extension of each other, Santa Giulia is only a few minutes’ drive from these two beaches. This bounty beaches surrounded by pine trees, crystal clear blue water and red granite cliffs are perfect for sunbathing and swimming but these gems are worth a visit also in the evening. By taking an evening stroll as we did on the beach of Tamaricciu you’ll see the same surroundings in a different light.
The cliffs of Bonifacio
This hilltop village on steep white limestone cliffs is situated sixty meters above the sea. Bonifacio is a real tourist attraction that you can’t skip during a trip to the south of Corsica. Ideally you explore this place with good weather, because with thick clouds I found it a little disappointing. I longed for the perfect images that I saw so many times on the internet, but the promised white cliffs looked rather gray than white and the beautiful azure sea was grayish too. Because of this we didn’t stay here too long. If the weather is good, it’s possible to take a boat from Bonifacio to the Iles Lavezzi. The short hike to the Cap Pertusato is also very nice.
Iles Sanguinaires near Ajaccio
Just before the Bay of Ajaccio you can admire this archipelago of four islands. Sanguinaires literally means “bloodthirsty”. This name would be due to the bright red color of the rocks as the sun sets, but during the day these islands also a great place to visit. You can explore the bigger peninsula on foot and the sporty types among us may go for a sea kayak tour along the smaller islands. One hour is sufficient to visit the largest island. Don’t forget to climb to the Genoese tower at the top, where rewarding stunning views over the coast are awaiting you.
Beach unknown near Ajaccio
Between the Iles Sanguinaires and Ajaccio there are a few small gorgeous beaches. I can’t remember the name of this beach but what has stayed with me is that we enjoyed our last picnic on the island on this beach accompanied by the last but also the only rays of sun that we saw this day. A nice goodbye gift!
Hopefully this article gives a good idea of what to expect during a roadtrip on the Island of Beauty. The landscape changes almost every hour so the coastline is incredibly diverse. Beach and shore lovers will certainly love it here!
Which coastline do you like most?
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Hiking in Corsica: Capo Rosso