This summer I had the chance to collaborate with Air Corsica and VisitCorsica to explore what French people call proudly the Island of beauty: Corsica. From Bastia to Ajaccio, crossing the island by the oldest train route ever built in Corsica, I spent four days exploring two of the most famous cities of the region. Here is my little travel guide of what to see, what to do and obviously where to eat (you know me, I am always up for a good meal too!) in Corsica:
Built on the 15th century, the citadel has the charm of an old medieval city. Located on a hill facing the harbor with views over the old town, the citadel is where every trip to Bastia should start from. Reminiscent of a different era, that part of the city brings the visitor back in time. Full of colors, narrowed streets where cars don’t even have access to, the citadel became my favorite part of Bastia at the moment I stepped out from my cab. Don’t hesitate to book a room at l’Hotel des Gouverneurs or simply grab a cocktail to enjoy Bastia’s most magical view from their incredible terrace.
On the way back to the old town, from the Citadel, remains the Romieu Garden. The 19th century garden offers gorgeous vistas above the sea. The garden is also famous for its majestic staircases and should not be missed! The perfect place to enjoy a good book while listening to the sound of the ocean. I swear it’s as paradisal as it sounds!
This is where people of Bastia love to spend their evenings listening to an old folkloric song of the Corsican repertoire. The old harbor offers a selection of good restaurants to enjoy a cocktail or a delicious meal. I had the chance to dine at the Lavezzi which was recommended to me by some friends and I must say that I wasn’t disappointed at all! The restaurant offers some of the best views over the sea and the harbor. A absolute must-do!
After the Citadel, the old Town is the other gem of Bastia. Tainted of orange, yellow and red, the houses of the old town offers an unforgettable visual spectacle. When the sun is low and the weather less warm, the little market square becomes the center of the city. Full of lovely cafes and restaurant, it’s one of the best places in Bastia to meet friends and chat for hours over a glass of prosecco.
More than an emblem of the island, the Micheline is known by every single Corsican. The oldest train line of the region connects the north and the south everyday in about 4 hours. A beautiful (but bumpy!) ride across the mountains and little rivers of Corsica. An absolute must-do!
If Bastia feels like a big village, Ajaccio looks more like a little town. The historic center may be small but really deserves a visit. It goes from Rue Cardinal Fesch to all the little streets around Rue du Roi Jérôme. Located in the center, don’t miss the Maison Bonaparte which really became a symbol of Ajaccio. It’s in this house that the French monarch was born so if you are passionate about history, don’t forget to pay a visit to it!
This is what makes Ajaccio so unique and beautiful! I loved spending sometimes by the beach, especially at sunset where the colors suddenly turns orange, pink and purple! Ajaccio’s beaches are directly accessible in the city on foot and are literally facing the old town. Everything that I love when I am on holiday!
Every time I travel to a new city, I try as much as possible to visit a local market. I love the parfums, the colors, the people and more than that, discovering all the local products and popular dishes that can be found. On my second day in Ajaccio, I woke up really early to see all the little stands getting ready to welcome the first customers. This became one of my favorite experiences in Ajaccio. The market is full of life and I would strongly recommend to get there early and even better than that, to chat with the vendors who are always happy to share their favorite recipes made from products grown on the island.
A little bit outside the center, but no more than 25 minutes walk from Ajaccio’s main attractions, the restaurant and bar Le Cabanon Bleu has one of the best location to enjoy a cocktail by the sea. It is located between the city and one of the most desirable hotel of the region, Le weekend Hotel which faces the beautiful islands of les Sanguinaires which are known to offer one of the most memorable sunsets of the island. I spent my last afternoon here, having lunch at the restaurant trying the gastronomic menu which is absolutely amazing. I will definitely be back soon to enjoy the beach, and hopefully to see one of those amazing sunsets everybody talk about! I sadly had to leave Ajaccio on the beginning of the afternoon to get my flight back to London but fair enough: It’s another good reason to go back to Corsica!
Despite being French, I never had the chance to visit Corsica and I had to wait until my early 30s and move abroad to London to finally getting the opportunity to visit the island of Beauty. And now that Corsica is accessible via a direct flight from London, I am definitely booking my second trip very soon! The journey takes about 2 hours on Air Corsica from Stansted to reach either Bastia or Ajaccio and guess what, the ticket starts at 49£ only.
So tell me, have you ever been to Corsica? What did you like the most about the island? The north or the south? Beaches or mountains? I know, tough choice, right? 😉 but feel free to share your Corsican experience with me on the comments section below!
/Sponsored collaboration with Air Corsica/