Please sign in to post.


I am planning my first trip to Corsica. Husband is French, so we'll be in Nice with his family and will take the ferry to Corsica for 1 week. We are thinking end August, beginning Sept. But we can be flexible. If anybody can help me with where is the best town to stay. What about small hotels? Pet friendly? Do I need to rent a car? Places to visit? Best time to go? Etc.
Any info you can give me it will be greatly appreciated.
Merci! Lucia

Posted by
9363 posts

You might start by looking at a good guidebook. It can answer a lot of your basic questions and give you an idea of what there is to see and do. I'm curious why you want to go there if you don't already know what you want to see.

Posted by
2779 posts

Lucia, in addition to my private message to you avoid riding on the French SNCM ferries. The Italian ones (they also start from Nice) are much better plus you can actually eat their food.

Posted by
251 posts

You are going to need some sort of transportation, unless you plan to spend the whole week on the GR or can afford to take taxis. A car is one way and can be rented there. However, weather permitting, I think Corsica is a great place to rent scooters and see the island. That was my favorite way and the windy roads and hills make it much fun. It is beautiful by the way!. Very rugged, with tiny villettes, and wild goats. One of my favorite places in France (and those Foreign Legion guys....)anyway. However at the height of tourist season, but it will mostly be European tourists and rich people's yachts, which is scene unto itself. (Sorry, can't reccomend places to stay as I was always working/sleeping the boats)

I am answering this on the fly, I will go back and research my notes to let you know some of my favorite places.

Posted by
251 posts

Hi again Lucia, I tried replying to your PM but the link didn't respond. So sorry folks, here it is on the forum.

The reason I was on boats was because I spent several years as chef on privat yachts. It was my job to travel on those monstrosities up and down the French and Italian Riviera often I was forced to go into small towns and villages to shop for provisions, oh the trials....


My favorite places were definately the south and the center. Porto Vechicio and Bonnifacio are two port towns. in Bon. the town sits high above the port on a clif, the entrance is a very narrow canal, I remember swimming in some caves and grottos there. Also if you find a post card of beach it is probably Rondinara, beatiful sandy white beach, great swim. Bavella, the "needles" a natural park and woods, (I did a lot of walking, nothing strenuous)and small crater. but the road coming up from the coast is STUNNING and SCARY.

Also in the South is the Gulf of Valinco, also stunning and some old traditional villages.
I'll continue...

The Middle
Away from the coast is less touristed so it is a bit where you see "real life go on". The towns are old buildings some falling to ruin, but are being restored, the capital and university, and train ride across a bridge (built by Eifle)that crosses a gorge. (I don't remember village names at this point sorry)

The coasts are resorts, and usually croweded, lots of mega-yachts, some HOT clubs and really expensive shopping, lots of hot boys and girls just a different scene, the further south and inner you go there is going to be the old world winding ally streets, crooked apartments, old ladies gossiping in the windows. etc...(The stinkiest cheese and the yummiest charcuterie (wild pigs eating chestnuts) in france.)

Google some images that should get you excited as well as give you some ideas.

Sorry so long

Posted by
2023 posts

I took French classes several years ago and the teacher was from Nice. She said driving in Corsica was very challenging and don't even think of it. If I remember correctly one problem was roads that dead end WO warning--lots of those.

Posted by
576 posts

Last night when I couldn't sleep, I read a chapter (6) on Corsica from "The Pillars of Hercules-A Grand Tour of the Mediterranean" by Paul Theroux,1995. His eloquent descriptions of people and places would greatly enhance the planning of a trip. It's been a surprisingly good read, so far.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you Terry and Troto. Very helpful. I will check out the book it seems could enhance my experience of Corsica.

Troto, Thank you for all the info. I see. It makes sense the coasts are more touristic and the middle of the island is where one can see more of the real life of Corsicans.

The driving I understand can be challenging. We'll see. For now I am going to keep Googling info and pictures. I am have started checking prices and availability in some hotels.

Thank you all for your feedback. Very helpful!

Posted by
1 posts

Hey Lucia, I am very happy to see that you are looking into going to corsica, I was born and raised on the island. You will need a car if you want to travel the Island, if you are looking for a more quiet stay and just go to the beach and focus on one region you should be able to rely on the bus or even better the micheline (our little train). So if you want to focus one region I would stay either in the south Bonifacio, Porto vecchio, santa gulia... the beaches are gorgeous there, your other option is the Balagna rigion, Calvi, Ile Rousse... is my favorite region. Now if you want to see more of our beautiful Island your best bet would be to start in Calvi, La Revelata is a little hotel just outside of Calvi, it is affordable and has nice staff, then you should drive south from there to Piana and its calanches, the drive is a bit long (˜3h) but absolutely beautiful, from there you can go down to Ajaccio and then on to Bonifacio, Porto vecchio..via Propriano, Sartene. Have a great time

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you for all this good info Bruno! The advice of a native is always the best advice, right!?
I have not found the website for the hotel you mentioned. It seems would be a good place to stay.
So, between Calvi and Saint Bonnifacio areas, which one would you suggest to stay? I understand that we can take the Michelin or rent a car to explore all the island (and we will) but what is your advice on where to book a hotel?
What is your advice on traveling to Corsica with my pet dog (15 lbs Maltese) very well behaved and used to traveling?
Thank you again.