Piana Village
Go to Figari (Corsica)

Extra-large island holidays: round trip in Corsica

This time it should be Corsica, the French Mediterranean island with its ancient citadels, spectacular rock caves, beautiful beaches and natural rock pools? A very good choice. From spring to the end of September, when the beaches are perfect for sunbathing and swimming, is the best time to visit. For an individual round trip, we recommend booking a hire car at Figari airport. And: it's better to plan a few extra days - that way you have the chance to stay a little longer in the most beautiful places. Here are the highlights.

Young man snorkeling at Palombaggia
Restaurant Corsica

Porto-Vecchio: Dream beaches and Michelin-starred cuisine

From Figari airport, it's a 25-minute drive to Porto-Vecchio. There are dream beaches such as the Plage de Palombaggia, shaded by umbrella pines. Or the Plage de Santa Giulia: turquoise water, fine sand and picturesque rocks. To celebrate the first evening, we recommend the town's Michelin-starred restaurants: the "Casadelmar" with fine dishes such as cannelloni de denti au tourteau - with crab meat, caviar, fresh vegetables and cedar flavours. Or the "U Santa Marina" at the marina, for example with a Pigeon de Pornic: pigeon suprêmes, roasted in butter, and leg confit with dates and lemon. For a digestif, you could switch to one of the bars in the old town. 

Bonifacio on a cliff
Staircase

Bonifacio: The fortress on the rock

From Porto-Vecchio to Bonifacio, it's a good half hour's drive south. The town is perched on mighty limestone cliffs and offers spectacular views. An absolute must is the Staircase of Aragon, which is cut into the cliffs and leads down over 187 steps. At the bottom, boat tours depart along the cliffs and sea caves - ideal for admiring the play of light on the rocks at sunset. The town is rich in historical sights, including the citadel, the sea cemetery, the fortifications and the old town. A special restaurant here is "Chez Ciccio", which specialises in local ingredients and home-made products. 

Maison Bonaparte
Cheese

Ajaccio: The birthplace of Napoleon

Ajaccio, the capital of Corsica, is just under two and a half hours away from Bonifacio. The Maison Bonaparte, Napoleon's birthplace, is located here. It is now a museum dedicated to the history of the entire Bonaparte family, who have lived in Ajaccio since the 15th century. At the Ajaccio market, you can sample a wide range of sausages, cheese, wine and fish. The changing of the guard of the imperial guard takes place every Thursday afternoon at the Place des Palmiers. This is also the starting point for the funicular railway to the Îles Sanguinaires, an offshore archipelago with seabirds and dolphins. The old town of Ajaccio has artists' studios, restaurants and pubs - and plenty of opportunities for shopping.

Calanches de Piana
House with flowers

Calanches de Piana: Rocks in a riot of colour

Anyone who has ever experienced a sunset on the red granite cliffs of the Calanches de Piana will never forget it. These steep coastal coves, which can be reached from Ajaccio in one hour and 45 minutes, are among Corsica's most famous landscapes. Legend has it that the devil created the Calanches when he turned a shepherdess, who had refused his seduction, to stone. Like the Calanches, the village of Piana is a Unesco World Heritage Site and is considered one of the most beautiful villages in France with its partly white, partly earth-coloured stone houses, sometimes with blue, sometimes with brown shutters and balconies full of flowers. The Sainte-Marie church and the tower on Capo Rosso are further highlights. 

Port of Galéria
Fishing boats in Calvi

Galéria and Calvi: First diving, then city life

In the picturesque fishing village of Galéria, around an hour and a half from Piana, diving enthusiasts can discover Corsica's dazzling underwater world. There is also a beautiful sandy and pebble beach to relax on. In Calvi, probably the prettiest citadel town on the island, the alleyways of the old town and the harbour promenade lined with cafés and restaurants invite you to stroll through the town. For dinner, we recommend the "Île de Beauté" restaurant on the harbour. There you can order a Corsican menu centred around mullet, for example, and finish off with a semi-frozen dish with chocolate. The spacious terrace also offers a great view of the sea.

Genoese tower
Cala Genovese

Macinaggio: Hiking on the customs officers' trail

The next stage leads to the northern tip of Cap Corse. From the village of Macinaggio, which can be reached from Calvi in just over two and a half hours, the customs officers' path leads across the beaches of Tamarone and Santa Maria, past the Genoese towers of Santa Maria and Agnello, through the small hamlet of Tollare and along the rugged west coast to Centuri Port. Along the way you will find information boards about the unique flora and fauna of this stretch of coast. For those who find the 26-kilometre route too long, there are refreshment stops along the way, such as Santa Maria beach or the small hamlet of Barcaggio, from where you can take the boat back to Macinaggio. 

Port of Bastia
Promenade Aldilonda

Bastia: Port city with ambitions

Bastia is working hard to beautify the city. The bid to become the EU Capital of Culture in 2028 is on the cards and the new "Aldilonda" promenade is proving very popular. The angular connection between the upper and lower town, the "Mantinum" staircase, named after the Roman city on whose foundations Bastia stands and inaugurated in 2020, is particularly eye-catching. The two famous churches, the eponymous Bastiglia and the Église Saint-Jean-Baptiste, are also worth a visit. With new attractions such as the Théâtre de Verdure and the Jardin Romieu, as well as many cultural events in summer, the city is moving away from its status as an insider tip.

Asco valley
Genoese bridge

Asco: Hike through the pools with ice-cold refreshment

The final highlight of the round trip is a short hike inland. From Bastia, it's a one-hour drive to the mountain village of Asco. There and in the Tassineta Valley, about two kilometres further towards Haut-Asco, you can hike in and along the river, jump from stone to stone and swim in natural stone pools. These bathing spots, called pools, offer fairly cold water even in summer - but it is wonderfully refreshing. The Asco Valley offers great photo opportunities with Genoese bridges in the forest. After the hike, the mountain village invites you to stop for a bite to eat before setting off on the almost two-and-a-half-hour return journey south to Porto-Vecchio.

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