South east of France and west of northern Italy lies the intriguing island of Corsica. The island has over 1000 kilometres of coastline and a very mountainous interior. Corsica has had an interesting history, being ruled by many different empires over the ages, including the Greeks, Romans, the Genoese and Pisa to name just a few. The island became briefly independent in the mid 18th century before finally being incorporated into France later in the same century.
Today Corsica is a popular tourist destination and the combination of the varied landscape and the diverse cultural influences make it a destination that is out of the ordinary. Corsica has a great many excellent beaches where visitors can swim, snorkel, dive or just relax. Many beaches are also very good for sailboarding or kite surfing. The mountains and inland trails are another reason the adventurous love Corsica, there are many walking trails in and around the interior, some can be tackled in less than an hour while there are quite a few walks that can take several days. Corsica is the location of the GR20, one of the Grande Randonnée, a series of the best paths and trails throughout Europe. The GR20 is regarded by some as the toughest long distance walking trail in Europe, traversing over 180 kilometres of rugged mountainous terrain, and taking some 15 days or more to complete.
Those who are less athletically inclined may choose to explore one of the many seaside towns, however be aware that in summer these can be full to bursting, particularly if the day is not a good one for the beaches. There are many restaurants and bars and the cuisine has a range of italian and french influences as well as traditional Corsican dishes such as herb seasoned lamb, locally made cheeses and sausages and of course excellent local wines and beers.
Despite the fact that Corsica is such a well loved destination for travellers, it remains relatively unspoilt by tourist developments and has retained it’s own culture and style. It is easy to understand why many refer to Corsica as the “Island of Beauty”.