Spotlight on Corsica

Situated above Sardinia in the sun-drenched Mediterranean sits the French island of Corsica. After a fairly colourful past with numerous changes in who it belonged to, it is now part of France and has been for the past 200 years. Even though it’s been part of the country for so long, it still maintains its own strong identity and a lot of the locals speak Corsican. This unique culture and heritage is what makes it such a fascinating place to visit. Of course, the stunning landscape and endless hours of gorgeous sunshine definitely add to its appeal!

Bastia from the water

Bastia Harbour

As soon as you approach the island either by ferry or plane, it’s the striking landscape that really entices you in. While around the edge of the island the coastlines vary from rocky inlets to gorgeous white sandy beaches, it’s the green imposing mountainous interior that really makes you want to get out there and explore.

Bastia & the area surrounding Domaine d’Anghione campsite

While Corsica is a great place to visit if you fancy trying your hand at water sports, it’s also great for hiking. The infamous GR 20 hiking trail – the longest in Europe is there waiting if you fancy the ultimate challenge! It’s definitely not for the faint-hearted though as it traverses the whole island diagonally from north to south and takes around 15 days to complete. Around the campsite, which is a few miles from Bastia, hikers (or bikers) can enjoy the many trails that take you through pretty mountain and seaside villages. Bastia was the capital of the island until 1811 and is a fascinating harbour town. It’s a must to spend an afternoon wandering around the busy port and exploring the narrow streets with their unique architecture – a mix of both Baroque and Genovese. The Baroque churches in the town, particularly Saint Jean Baptiste, the Sainte Croix chapel and the Oratoire de Saint Roch are definitely worth seeing.

Culture & history

Corte

Corte Citadel

For those interested in visiting places rich in culture and history, then Corsica should hit the spot. Its colourful history can still be seen by the citadels and watch towers that pepper the coastline. These were built to help protect the island from attack, mainly by North Africa back in the 13th century. The island had many turbulent years as its ruling changed frequently. The mountain town of Corte was made the capital and it is here that one of the grandest citadels still stands. Of course, there is one name that features heavily in Corsican history – Napolean Bonaparte. He was born on the island into a military family in 1769 and consequently fought hard for the island’s independence. You can find out more about Napolean and visit the family home at the National Museum of the Bonaparte Residence in Ajaccio.

Food and drink

We do love our food here at Canvas and part of the appeal of going on holiday to different regions and countries is trying their various delicacies. In Corsica, the local food is a real reflection of the people and culture of the island. The delicious food of the island takes its inspiration from the land – there are lots of juicy sun-ripened fruits, vegetables and fresh meats and cheeses.

Of course, you can always try your hand at creating a delicious Corsican feast as there are lots of markets where you can pick up colourful fresh produce. Markets in Corsica aren’t just all about the food. For the small towns these are the hub of the local community  and a great place to enjoy a glimpse of traditional Corsican day-to-day life. A visit to a local market should definitely be part of a holiday on the island.

Fast facts

  • Capital: Ajaccio
  • Currency: Euro
  • Language: French (some residents also speak Corsu which is quite similar to Italian)
  • Flying time from UK: Between 2-3 hours
  • Average summer temperature: 22°c

Canvas Holidays has one campsite on the gorgeous island of Corsica. To find out more about Camping D’Anghione, please click here. 

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