- serve as a model for you,
- be adapted for a tour of 8 days in Corsica or 9 days in Corsica or more…
- be adapted according to the starting point of your tour in Corsica because it makes a loop, so you can start it from Bastia, Ajaccio, Calvi or Ile Rousse,
- or simply inspire you to elaborate your own trip on Corsica Island.
Tour of Corsica – My must-seesImpossible to explore all of Corsica in just 1 week! For my 7-day tour of Corsica, I have therefore chosen only the must-see sites of Corsica:
- Corsica Cape
- Agriates Desert
- Saleccia Beach
- Scandola Nature Reserve
- Calanques de Piana
- Roccapina Beach
- The Lavezzi Islands
- Rondinara Beach
- Palombaggia Beach
- Needles of Bavella
- Purcaraccia Hike
Tour of Corsica – Map of my road trip itineraryBefore giving you more details, here is the map tracing the itinerary to go around Corsica in 7 days. Of course, if you have a few extra days, this road trip will be even more pleasant because you will take more time on the sites and enjoy the beautiful beaches. But for an optimized 1 week tour in Corsica (out of season), this itinerary is a good compromise! Indeed, it can be done in 7 days because it only goes around the coast (no visits in the land, to villages perched on the hills, no mountains…). However, in high season, I’m afraid it’s a bit short because there are a lot of people on the roads …
Corsica in 1 week – Tour DAY 1
BastiaMy road-trip starts very early in the morning from Bastia (8h), a city that I advise you to visit quickly in 1h or 1h30 to reserve enough time to do my complete tour. Built on a mountainside, Bastia has some tourist sites not to be missed: The Citadel and the old town they call the Terra Vecchia (Saint Nicholas Square, Market Square, the old port of Cardo).
ErbalungaWith 40 km long and 10 km wide, the Corsican Cape offers beautiful wild beaches, creeks, small fishing ports and unspoilt nature. To reach the Cap Corse from Bastia, you have to go along the coast towards Erbalunga, our 1st stage. After ten kilometres of road, you will arrive in the small village of Erbalunga which has managed to remain authentic and welcoming. It can be visited for its famous Genoese tower, its small streets and its pretty port.
PietracorbaraThen my circuit takes you fifteen kilometers further north to Pietracorbara. It is there that you will discover one of the most beautiful sandy beaches of the Cap Corse. The village is known for its beautiful American houses (former wealthy Corsicans expatriated in America). If you have time, you can make a small 3 km hike (white water trail) along a river (information at the tourist office).
MacinaggioAfter 1 hour drive, you will reach Macinaggio, the next stage of our road trip in Corsica. After a quick lunch, you will spend the afternoon at the beach or walking. Indeed, it is from here that the hike of the customs trail passes. And you will be able to take the Macinaghju-Barcaghju portion of this trail which leads in 3 hours to the beach of Baracaggio. Moreover, this beach offers an exceptional view of the Finocchiarola Islands reserve. For the return trip, you can take a shuttle boat that will take you back to Macinaggio. Remember to book at 06 14 78 14 16 or email@example.com or by ticket (in front of the pharmacy and tobacco in Macinaggio). For the less courageous who prefer a lazy afternoon, there are several coves and beautiful beaches here, accessible on foot (following the customs path) or by boat (Tamarone, Cala Genovese Beach, Cana Francese Beach).
Where to sleep at the Cap Corse?To be well placed (near the beach and in the center), I recommend the hotel Stella Marina in Macinaggio. Indeed, located at 80 meters from the beach and at the departure of the path of the customs officers, you will be able to take advantage of its swimming pool and the convenience of a free car park.
Corsica in 1 week – Tour DAY 2
PinoToday, we pass on the other side of the Cap Corse to go to the village of Pino. This is our first stop of the day to have a small coffee on the edge of the beautiful marina of Scalo and its Genoese tower. And why not a morning swim on the beautiful beach of Anse d’Aliso?
Desert of AgriatesAfter a 2-hour drive, we arrive at the Agriates desert. No less than forty kilometres of unspoilt coastline await you! Beaches of white sand and turquoise waters, the landscapes are simply PARADISIACAL!! On the other hand, the beaches are complicated to reach because there is no road except for a few small tracks …
Saleccia beachAmong the many beaches of the Agriates desert, each one more beautiful than the other, I recommend you to choose the famous beach of Saleccia, reputed to be one of the most beautiful in Corsica. The best way to do this is to go to Saint Florent and take a taxi boat (reservations can be made on 06 62 16 23 76). The crossing from Saint Florent takes about 20 minutes and allows you to enjoy a beautiful sea walk, to admire the village with its citadel and ramparts, the Agriate coast, the Mortella tower, the Cavallata point and the Lotu beach next to the Saleccia beach.
CalviTo go from Saint Florent to Calvi, count at least 2 hours drive ( in low season). Along this road, you will pass by Ile Rousse leaving the Cap Corse to arrive in the Balagne region which is nicknamed “the garden of Corsica”. Very beautiful small perched villages are to be discovered in Balagne when you have a little more time (Sant Antonio, Pigna, Lumio, Occi or Speloncato). On the other hand, I advise you to visit absolutely Calvi, its citadel, its church Saint-Jean-Baptiste of the 18th century, the place Christophe Colomb, the salt tower, the marina… The ideal would be to enjoy your evening in Calvi and sleep there to program a romantic evening in an idyllic setting.
Where to sleep in Calvi?For this, offer you one of the most beautiful hotels in Calvi: the Hotel Saint Christophe.
Corsica in 1 week – Tour DAY 3This morning again, it will be necessary to leave early… Indeed, it takes at least 2 hours by car to go from Calvi to Porto, the village where the cruises depart for the Scandola nature reserve and the Piana creeks (only accessible by boat).
Porto – Scandola Reserve – Calanques de PianaIt is an essential part of the tours in Corsica: the sea tour to discover the 2 great sites classified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Scandola nature reserve and the Piana creeks. Recommended by Tripadvisor, the backpacker’s guide, the Michelin guide, Lonely Planet… it is with the Alpana Company that I advise you to do this sea walk which lasts about 3h30. Of course, it is strongly advised to book in advance at: 06 69 69 04 05 or: firstname.lastname@example.org.
AjaccioAfter Porto, direction Ajaccio with a drive of about 3 hours. Small walking tour in the old town of Ajaccio. You will be able to stroll through its colourful alleys, visit the cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, the imposing citadel and the Tino-Rossi marina.
Which hotel in Ajaccio?For a stopover hotel on your 1 week road trip in Corsica, I recommend the hotel Kallisté. Very well located in the city centre (only 400 m from the casino and the Saint-François beach), it provides all the comfort and services you need for one night. The little extra is its private car park!
Road trip of 7 days in Corsica – DAY 4
Bloodthirsty Islands (Iles sanguinaires)Here is the program of my 4th day in Corsica:
- Discovery of the Gulf of Ajaccio
- North coast (Tino Rossi’s residence, Marine Cemetery, Ajaccio Citadel…)
- Archipelago of the Bloodthirsty (Iles sanguinaires)
- Free time on the island of Mezumare
Road trip of 7 days in Corsica – DAY 5This morning, we take the road for a very long journey towards the South (Ajaccio-Bonifacio road of 140 Km).
ProprianoYou will be able to take a first break at Propriano after an hour and a half drive. Why not a small coffee in this charming little seaside resort in the heart of the Gulf of Valinco? Then you have to continue the road through Sartene to reach Bonifacio after about 1 hour and a half drive from Propriano. Just a good address if you intend to buy good and authentic Corsican charcuterie :
Roccapina BeachOn the way, we’ll stop at the Lion of Roccapina. It is a lion-shaped rock where you can climb to enjoy a view of the beautiful beach of Roccapina. A short swim and we take the road to Bonifacio.
BonifacioHere we are, at last, in the extreme South of Corsica, in Bonifacio built on beautiful limestone cliffs! If you drove well and left early enough, you will most likely arrive at lunchtime. Walk around the Citadel and have a quick lunch on the port of Bonifacio.
Lavezzi IslandsThe archipelago of the Lavezzi Islands located south of Bonifacio are characterized by landscapes of granite rocks set on magnificent beaches where the sea reserves splendid seabeds. In order to be able to enjoy the superb landscapes of the Lavezzi Islands, you will have to plan to spend half a day there. You can choose to :
- take a cruise (Lavessi Islands, Island of the Billionaires, of Cavallo, Lagoon of Piantarella, caves…) ;
- or prefer a taxi boat that will drop you off directly on a small island of the archipelago: Lavezzu Island.
What hotel in Bonifacio?Here is my favorite hotel located on the Citadel of Bonifacio: the Hotel Genovese. Undeniably, it has all the advantages:
- Perfect geographical location;
- Panoramic view;
- Beautiful swimming pool;
- Restaurant on site;
- Good WIFI;
- and above all free parking !!!
Road trip of 7 days in Corsica – DAY 6
Rondinara BayMorning departure in the direction of Porto-Vecchio for a 1st swimming stop at the beach of Rondinara. Only 18 km from Bonifacio, in a shell-shaped gulf, the bay of Rondinara beach is a marvel!
Palombaggia BeachAbout 20 km from the beach of Rondinara (1 hour drive) is a second exceptional beach of South Corsica: the beach of Palonbaggia. This is one of my favourite beaches in South Corsica but only in the off-season because otherwise it is really too crowded! White sand, turquoise sea, this beach is a postcard. You will be able to stay there until about noon.
Porto-VecchioA short walk in Porto Vecchio, an ancient Genoese citadel, on a hill facing the sea. To discover it quickly, I advise you to take the little tourist train or just go up in about fifteen minutes to the Citadel and walk through the old town. For lunch, I can only recommend you the only restaurant I tested in Porto Vecchio: the Alta Rocca restaurant (6 Rue Aspirant Michelin). In the heart of the citadel, it offers a Corsican cuisine with of course Corsican charcuterie and cheeses!
ZonzaTo finish this 6th day of road trip in Corsica, you have to take the road again to go from Porto-Vecchio to Zonza. Zonza is a village which attracts many tourists because it is close to the sea and in the mountains. It is from there that the hikes in the needles of Bavella leave (planned in the program of the next day).
Which hotel in Zonza?It is a sure value that I recommend as hotel: the hotel Claire de Lune :
- it’s not too expensive,
- it’s centrally located,
- it has a swimming pool and free parking.
More information about this hotel
Tour of Corsica in 7 days – DAY 7
Aiguilles de BavellaEarly in the morning, you will take the beautiful road through the Col de Bavella and the sanctuary of Our Lady of the Snows on the road to Solenzara.
Purcaraccia HikeHow to go to Corsica without discovering its mountains, its torrents, its forests? Among the must-see hikes on the island of Beauty, I recommend the Purcaraccia waterfalls trail. Very busy in summer, this path alternates with slides, natural pools and waterfalls. The hike is wonderfull, not too long (3.5 km) but it has some small difficult passages. So don’t go in flip-flops! To get there, you will have to go to the Col Bocca di Larone (between the Col de Bavella and Solenzara). The start is next to the parking lot after a hairpin bend. A small hiking path is signposted there.
Back to BastiaReturn to Bastia in the evening after a 3-hour drive along the east coast of Corsica.
Which hotel in Bastia ?For a simple night in Bastia, no need to take a 5-star hotel! I advise you the Bonaparte hotel. Indeed, it is very well located in the city centre, less than 10 minutes walk from the train station and the ferry port and 2 minutes walk from the Place Saint-Nicolas. Its great advantage is its car park!
Do you want to continue with a small tour in France? See my tour in the South of France