Scenery and highlights in Corsica

The scenery in Corsica has many highlights - from the clear blue sea and the palm tree backed beaches to the mountains of the interior, the hill villages of the east and dramatic views across the Mediterranean from many vantage points all over the island...and much more besides.

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Cap Corse guide - the natural beauty of northern Corsica

Situated to the north of Bastia and Saint-Florent, Cap Corse is a 40 kilometre long and 10 km wide promontory, with several attractive fishing villages, much attractive coastline and a couple of good beaches.

A ridge of mountains runs down the center of Cap Corse, with Mont Stello, in the centre of the peninsula, the highest peak at 1307 metres.

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The Iles Sanguinaires, Corsica: a group of islands just off the coast of Corsica

The Isles Sanguinaires (together forming the Archipelago of the Sanguinaires) are about 15km from Ajaccio by boat but only just off the headland at Pointe de la Parata. 

The Parata headland is itself classified as one of the 'grand sites of France' and there is a Genoese lookout tower here.

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The Col de Bavella, scenic mountain pass and forest in southern Corsica

Following the route of the Col de Bavella between Sartene and across Corsica towards the east (north-west of Porto-Vecchio), you pass through the Alta rocca mountains.

These provide a dramatic landscape of rocky needles (aiguilles), spires and cliffs that follow the horizon, with trees at higher levels often stunted by the weather and difficult climatic conditions.

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Desert des Agriates, Corsica and the coastal footpath

The Desert des Agriates is a barren, wild and beautiful wilderness based west of Saint-Florent, along the coast and around Mont Genova, in the Balagne region of northern Corsica.

The Desert des Agriates is the only 'official' desert in Europe. It is more of a dry, scrub covered landscape than the 'typical' type of desert that you might imagine.

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Perched villages of Balagne, Corsica

The perched villages of Balagne is the range of small villages set in the hillsides to the east of Calvi and to the south of L'Ile-Rousse.

There are literally dozens of these small villages, each with their own particular appeal and particular setting, and almost always their own little church.

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Calanches de Piana, dramatic red rock formations on the coast of western Corsica

Follow the coastal road south-west of Porto towards Piana to discover an almost surreal world of weather-carved pink granite, an other-worldly vista of strangely shaped red figures, often plunging dramatically into the turquoise sea below.

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Castagniccia and the hill villages of Corsica

Head about 30km north of Aleria on the east coast, then 50km inland towards Mont San Petrone, and you will discover the region of Corsica that has been least affected by change in the last hundred years, and the largest chestnut forest in the world. The region is called Castagniccia.

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Corsica beaches - Barcaggio, Ostriconi, Restitude, Saleccia, Palombaggia and more

Corsica has literally hundreds of beaches, some are among the best in France and several among the best to be found anywhere. So when in Corsica where should you head to?

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Filitosa, site of menhirs and dolmens in Corsica

The celebrated prehistoric site at Filitosa is inland, in the Taravo Valley at Sollacaro, 17 km north of Propriano and to the south of Ajaccio.

The owner of the land discovered the site in 1946, and excavations began several years later. The excavated region is approached by a track through an olive plantation, and surrounded by forested hills, which further enhances the surprise and impact when you come upon the sculptures.

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Gorges de la Restonica, Corsica

In the heart of Corsica, to the south of Corte, are the Gorges de la Restonica, one of the scenic highlights of the island.

The Restonica River flows through splendid, partly forested, gorges which are accessible both to casual visitors and the more intrepid. They are very popular with both hikers, and bathers looking to escape the Corsican heat in the accessible river pools.

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Gorges de Spelunca, Corsica - short trail through very scenic countryside

Inland from Porto, between the villages of Ota and Evisa, is one of the highlights of Corsica - the Gorges de Spelunca.

The Spelunca river runs through the gorge between great boulders and pools - in places the gorge is almost unbelievably red - where you can cool off while high above you the granite cliffs plunge towards the rivers and streams below.

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Lac de Creno, Corsica

The lake at Creno is a lovely, mirror-surfaced lake near the village of Orto and Mont Rotundo, and is at an altitude of 1310 metres. To reach Soccia, where the path starts, you should follow the winding roads through Sagone, Vico and Guagno-les-Bains.

Surrounded by pine trees, and partly covered with waterlilies, this idyllic lake can only be reached on foot - a reasonably easy walk that takes about one and a half hours each way - it starts at the car park above Soccia.

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Corsica Natural Parc and other Natural Reserves in Corsica

Corsica Natural Park has been established across 350,000 hectares (3,500 square km) of the island - approximately 40% of the total surface of Corsica - to protect the natural wildlife.

Within the confines of the parc you can discover some of the most impressive scenery you have seen anywhere - forests and lakes, mountains and gorges - so even if you are visiting Corsica as part of a 'summer beach holiday' we highly recommend that you also find the time to visit some of the key sites in the parc.

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Nebbio - travel guide for the Nebbio region of Corsica

Nebbio is the name given to the region inland from Saint-Florent, to the east of the Balagne region of Corsica and to the west of Cap Corse, with the Agriates desert to the north. Its name derives from the Corsican word nebbia meaning mist of which apparently there are many in the region in winter.

The central part of the Nebbio around the 'Conca d'Oro' is a low-lying plain, while to the east rise the high mountains including Mont Stellu and Mont Astu.

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Palaghju, site of menhirs and dolmens near Sartene, Corsica

The prehistoric site at Palaghju is found near Tizzani, inland from Sartene in south-west Corsica. it is also referred to as the 'Palaggiu alignment'.

It is the largest array of menhirs and megaliths to be found in the Mediterranean region.

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Scandola Nature Reserve, Corsica

The Scandola Natural Reserve (created 1975) is a World Heritage Site to the south-west of Calvi, on the Cape Girolata peninsula (hal way down the west coast of Corsica).

The reserve covers approximately 900 hectares of land and 1000 hectares of sea, and is an exceptional sight even among the many natural wonders that you will discover in Corsica.

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Casinca, Corsica, quiet hill region with quaint traditional villages

Casinca is a small region just north of Castagniccia and continuing east to the coast (south of Bastia), in north-central Corsica - hence eastern Casinca is largely flat while western Casinca is in the mountains.

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