Exploring Corsica

Dec 30, 2015 Avatar Florence Brethome Florence Brethome

Corsica is a French island located in the Mediterranean Sea—mostly known for being the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte. It’s an easy hour and half flight from Paris, and French people call it the “Ile de Beaute” (Isle of Beauty). It is one of my favorite islands in the whole world.

I cherish Corsica because its uniqueness; its mountains seem to fall into the sea, offering the most dramatic and breathtaking landscape. No matter where you stand the views are simply amazing. It’s quite a large island and there are several airports to fly into. Europeans usually go there for 2-3 weeks at a time, but from the US—should you only have a few days to spend there—you must choose your spot wisely.

Corsica is the perfect mix of Italy and France. Needless to say, the food is amazing. The East coast is considered the Italian coast and features white sandy beaches while the West coast is considered the French coast and its rocky beaches are surrounded by mountains falling into the sea.

Over the years Corsica has known how to protect its authenticity, and its people are very proud to be ‘Corse’. I personally like to fly into Calvi, located Northwest of the island, as from there it is easy to access some of the most beautiful worldwide nature reserves (Scandola Nature Reserve for example, or Calanques de Piana—only accessible by boat or by foot).

Calvi is also considered as the starting point to the GR-20, one of the most famous hiking trails in the world. The Mare A Monti Trail was my choice for this vacation. Sharing the first two days with the GR-20, this trail is not as strenuous, and rather than going way up in altitude, goes up into the mountains and down into the sea. In hiking this beautiful trail, I was able to access unique spots and experience once in a lifetime moments. A top memory was the 3-hour downhill hike to reach the famously isolated and charming village of Girolata.

There is nothing more satisfying than hiking all day—forgetting about all the trivial worries because one has to focus on each next step – knowing that at the end of the day I was going to swim into pristine water and drink a refreshing Pietra (Chestnut Beer). Simple pleasures in life become the highlights of your days and this is what one searches for when taking an adventure and experiential vacation.

Corsica is home to some unique and luxurious hotel properties. Although, it is possible to sleep in a B&B or a guest house, one can also experience Corsica in style. No need to backpack either, suppliers on the ground can follow you along the way and make sure your adventure is realized as comfortably as possible. The famous trails of Corsica are highly protected and it is mandatory nowadays to reserve your space along the trail and your accommodation ahead of time. Fantastic guides can also enhance your experience in a tremendous way.

Florence Brethome