A holiday on Napoleon’s home turf

Napoleon Bonaparte is said to have once declared that he would recognize his home of Corsica by its scent alone. He was referring to the scent of the dense maquis, the perennial shrubland that covers more than half of the island and includes shrubs such as lavender, broom and myrtle. The name Corsica derives from a Phoenician word meaning “cloaked in forests”.

Quick facts Figari (Corsica)

Flight time

1:25 h

Distance

835 km

Time difference

None

Language

French

A cup of cappuccino costs around

CHF 2.10

Mountain peaks and sandy beaches

The French Mediterranean island of Corsica is 114 miles (183 km) long and 52 miles (83 km) wide. It is also very mountainous, with its highest peak at 8878 feet (2706 m) and a whopping 50 other mountains at over 6600 feet (2000 m). It is therefore little surprise that Corsica offers a piece of paradise for hikers, climbers and cyclists – most notably road cyclists who love the island’s slew of mountain passes.

Increasing its appeal even further, Corsica is also blessed with fantastic beaches, many of which are in the south, a mere stone’s throw away from Figari. Porto-Vecchio is literally lined with beautiful, sandy beaches, including Plage de Pinarello. “Santa Giulia” brings Caribbean flair to the Mediterranean and is a magnet for water sports fans and families alike. Surrounded by cliffs and pine forests, “Palombaggia” is widely seen as one of the nicest beaches on the island. Pinarellu has a treasure trove of marine life and is particularly alluring for snorkelers. It also spells camping bliss for camping aficionados – as does the rest of Corsica, with almost 200 campsites to choose from.

A rich history and cuisine

Time permitting, the chance to visit the cities of Bastia, Calvi, Corte and the island capital of Ajaccio (Napoleon’s birthplace) should not be missed. All of these towns are within a two- to two-and-a-half-hour drive from Figari.

Located just 20 minutes by car from Figari, the lovely town of Bonifacio, with its medieval citadel, is one of Corsica’s most coveted attractions. The drive to Sartène takes less than 50 minutes from Figari and is definitely worth the journey: perched on a rock terrace with fantastic views, Sartène is considered to be “the most Corsican of Corsican towns”. Closely packed granite houses afford the town a fortress-like atmosphere. What’s more, centuries-old traditions, such as the Good Friday procession, are held in high regard in Sartène. Food wise, the rich taste of Corsica boasts a host of specialities, such as pork from semi-wild boars and cheese made from ewe’s or goat’s milk.

Whether visiting the mountains or the sea, cycling or hiking, for a beach or family holiday, Corsica promises a blissful getaway for everyone – perfected with predominantly warm and dry weather in summer.