Where to Stay in Corsica France: Best Areas and Hotels
Wondering where to stay in Corsica for the first time, families, best beaches, honeymoon, hiking? Find out the best areas to stay in Corsica in this guide.
Corsica is situated in the Mediterranean Sea and is the fourth largest island. It lies between the west coast of Italy and the north coast of Sardinia. There are different regions of the island and it may be confusing deciding where to stay in Corsica, so let’s look at all the options.
Because the island is so close to Italy it is often mistakenly assumed to be part of Italy, when in fact, it is French. Corsica has belonged to France since 1768.
The island is mountainous although there is a mix of styles in the coastal towns and villages, as well as dense forest areas and rugged peaks. The highest peak is Monte Cinto.
Approximately half the island is park land where hiking trails abound. There are also spectacular beaches.
Where to Stay in Corsica: Tips & Info
If you are planning a visit to Corsica then you would be wise to do some research on where to stay. This will largely depend on what you want from a holiday and who you are taking with you.
- Book early particularly in the high season because the island is very popular, and hotels may soon be fully booked.
- This also goes for a rental car. It is almost impossible to get around the island without a car so make sure you reserve a car as soon as you can.
- Check the weather. While it may be hot on the beach, if you plan on going inland you may find a light sweater is needed.
- Change your money at home. As with any other holiday, you are better getting money for your holiday in your own country as the exchange rate will be better there.
- Additionally, arriving with the local currency is far better than having to find a money changing locale when you get there.
- Consider travel insurance for instances where you might have to change or cancel a flight.
Where to Stay in Corsica, France – 7 Best Area & Neighbourhood
Where to Stay in Corsica France – 7 Best Areas & Neighbourhoods to Stay in Corsica:
- Cap Corse where you will find the capital city of Bastia. This is in the far northern area.
- The Balagne with the city of Calvi which is in the north west.
- Central Corsica with the city of Corte.
- West Coast.
- East Coast.
- The valleys, namely Ajaccio, Taravo, and Prunelli valleys.
- The Great South where you will find Bonifacio.
Where to Stay in Corsica Map
To see more detail of where to stay in Corsica map, go to the Google Map
1. Cap Corse, Where to Stay in Corsica for Wine Lovers
You will find this area in the far north of the island, accessible by winding roads which pass through many pretty towns and villages.
Patrimonio has several excellent wineries where you can do tours of the vineyards and sample wines before buying.
There is plenty of accommodation here, you can choose from budget b & B’s to top class villas.
YOU SHOULD STAY CAP CORSE IF:
- You enjoy dramatic scenery
- You like exploring small villages
- Secluded sandy coves are what you want
- You enjoy tasting local wines
- You prefer the outdoor life
WHERE TO STAY IN CORSICA – CAP CORSE AREA:
- Hotel Le Saint Jean is located in the north Corsican Mountains. It offers spectacular views of the mountains and sea. Rooms are air-conditioned, individually decorated and each has a private bathroom. The restaurant on site serves traditional cuisine and guests can enjoy meals or a quiet drink on the hotel’s panoramic terrace.
- Chambres d’hôtes Multari This apartment situated in a village. You can see many trees around. It’s a green zone. The air is clean, much sun. Breakfast in the open air is very pleasant.
- Casa di Babbo is only 250 m from the beach, this B&B is set in northern Corsica with its lush, Mediterranean vegetation. An outdoor swimming pool with sea views and free Wi-Fi in common areas are just some of the on-site facilities.
2. The Balagne and city of Calvi in the north west, Where to Stay in Corsica for Families
The Balagne and Calvi delivers a mix of chic and cosmopolitan, artistic, and rural. Many people consider it the perfect introduction to the island.
You’ll find attractive villages, sandy beaches and secluded coves, all with a backdrop of high mountains which remain capped with snow until the start of summer.
The city of Calvi can be described as the perfect picture postcard area with colourful buildings and cobblestones streets. Harbourside cafes are plentiful and you will find that the small villages appear to have stood still in time.
This area offers many luxury hotels, as well as guest houses, self-catering apartments and budget bed and breakfast places, so will suit most people.
YOU SHOULD STAY HERE IF:
- You enjoy small cafes and restaurants
- You like sitting and watching the world go by
- You want to the Corsican way of life at its best
- Powdery white beaches are what you are looking for
- You enjoy old towns and villages
- You like secluded coves
- You enjoy taking your family to interesting places
- You like tasting local food and wines
- You and your partner enjoy solitude
WHERE TO STAY IN CORSICA – BALAGNE AREA:
- Hôtel Casa Bianca Is located in Calvi, a 2-minute walk from the sea and the city centre. The Hotel is Set back from the road, it all feels peaceful and elegant, in a quiet area but convenient for walking to the port for the cafes and restaurants. The location is perfect for town & beach, both in easy walking distance.
- Hotel Davia is located 2 km from the centre of L’Île-Rousse. Bodri beach is a 5-minute drive away.Each air-conditioned room here will provide you with a TV with satellite channels, an electric kettle, a minibar and a balcony with a sea view.
- Stella Marina is located opposite the port and front of the beach in Galeria, 25 km from Calvi. It offers an infinity heated swimming pool and a terrace with sea views, sun beds and free Wi-Fi. Diving and excursions to Scandola Reserve depart in front of the hotel.
3. Central Corsica and the inland city of Corte, Where to Stay in Corsica for History
The central area of the island is divided into four sections:
- Le Niolu which is a high plateau. Here you will find the highest peaks in the country such as monte Cinto. This is also home to the highest villages on the island.
- Le Bozio where you can visit Castagniccia.
- L’Ascu which is an area rich in rivers and streams. You will find many natural pools in the wildlife reserve.
- Le Venacais which is a rural forest area. Here you can see the famous forests of Noceta/Rospigliani and Vizzanova.
Be sure to visit the Citadel (built in 1420), the Annonciade Church (1450), and the Santa Mariona Di Talcini Pieve which was built between the 12th and 13th centuries.
There is a wide selection of accommodation available from apartments and hotels to character properties and hideaway retreats.
YOU SHOULD STAY HERE IF:
- You are interested in history
- You enjoy exploring places like old churches
- You want to see the National Palace
- You like visiting museums
- Your family likes to learn about history
- You and your partner enjoy tranquillity
4. The West Coast, Where to Stay in Corsica for Amazing Sunset
If you enjoy rugged scenery and amazing landscapes then consider the West Coast area. You will find rock formations which look like they were created by aliens, so weird and wonderful are they!
There are several places to camp here, along with resorts and hotels to suit all budgets.
YOU SHOULD STAY IN THE WEST COAST IF:
- You want to see amazing sunsets
- Beautiful blue seas
- Idyllic seaside resorts
- The Gulf of Porto which is one of the most famous landscapes in Corsica
- You take photographs or sketch
- You enjoy secluded coves
- You prefer crystal clear water
- You are interested in the archaeological area of Filisota
- You are interested in learning about Napoleon
5. The East Coast, Where to Stay in Corsica for Lively Seaside Resorts
The East Coast consists of one long sandy coastline which runs from southern Bastia to northern Porto-Veccio. You will find mainly small villages dotted along the way as there is no major seaside resort on this side of the island.
The East Coast is divided into three main sections, namely Costa Verde, Costa Serena, and Côte des Nacres.
There are only two seaside resorts here, namely Solenzara and Moriani-Plage, but if you enjoy nightlife, then this will be ideal for you.
The coastline is unspoiled, and you will notice more solitude once you are away from the resorts. This area also tends to be less populated than other areas, so if taking the ‘road less travelled’ appeals to you, then think about this area.
You’ll find plenty of smaller hotels here, along with bed and breakfasts, and camping.
YOU SHOULD STAY IN EAST COAST IF:
- You like lively seaside resorts
- You like unspoiled coastlines
- You prefer your beaches not to be monitored
- You holiday with your family – this is a great family location
- You prefer calmer seas – it is calmer here that the West Coast
- Secluded coves suit you
6. Ajaccio, the Taravo and Prunelli valleys, Where to Stay in Corsica for Waterfall
The Taravo and Prunelli rivers offer amazing nature in the valleys. You will find scenic waterfalls and wondrous mountain views.
The area is less popular than other sections of the island. Both valleys have mountains that reach over 1200 meters in altitude.
Where the rivers reach the sea, you will find beautiful beaches. There are lively markets held in the old town.
Don’t forget to visit the Museum of Corsica (Museo Fesch) where you can learn about Napoleon. Also visit his birthplace in Ajaccio.
No need to worry about accommodation in this region as there is plenty of it, ranging from luxury villas, hotels, and pensions, to budget bed and breakfast and camping.
YOU SHOULD STAY HERE IF:
- Waterfalls appeal to you
- Beautiful beaches are what you want to see
- You enjoy museums
- Markets days appeal to you
- Spectacular sunsets are what you like
- Water sports are what you want from a vacation (scuba, diving, jet-skiing)
- If you enjoy fishing
- You like walking (follow the Chemin de Crêtes)
- Enjoy local delicacies and wines
- Like visiting casinos
- Walking and hiking are what you like
7. The Great South – where to Stay in Corsica to See Bonifacio
If you do not enjoy mass tourism, then you might want to consider this area of Corsica. Secluded towns, narrow streets and small cafes give you a chance to relax and get away from the stress of daily life.
Head for L’Arinella where you will find a secluded beach. What you will appreciate is the panoramic view of the coastal hiking route.
A not-to-miss place – Bonifacio
- This is a commune in the southern part of the Island. There are several interesting facts about this place:
- The setting of Guy de Maupassant’s story ‘Vendetta.’
- It is where the French leg of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Cup takes place.
- It is located on the only major harbor of the southern coast.
Although this is classed as the Hinterland it is only a stone’s throw away from the beach. The road leads you through magnificent valleys with stunning mountain views. Valleys are dotted with villages.
For walkers and hikers this is the place to be! You will find walks of every level all over the place. The scenery changes all the time. One minute you may be climbing up the ridges and the next in deep chestnut forests.
The waterfall of Voile de la Mariée is impressive at more than 70m in height.
There are several mountain gites and refuges in this area, along with camp sites, apartments to rent, hotels, and B&B’s.
YOU SHOULD STAY HERE IF:
- You walk or hike
- You enjoy different landscapes
- You like visiting unique villages
- You enjoy the great outdoors
- You enjoy taking photographs
- Magnificent views appeal to you
- Where to stay in Corsica without a car?
- Where is the best place to stay in Corsica?
- Where to stay in Corsica with family?
- Where to stay in Corsica for beaches?
- Where to stay in Corsica for hiking?
- Where to stay in Corsica on honeymoon?
- North or South Corsica – which is better?
- Why is Corsica famous?
- Is Corsica expensive to visit?
- Is Corsica safe?
- What language is spoken in Corsica?
- Sardinia or Corsica – which is better?
Where to stay in Corsica without a car?
Unfortunately, the public transport system in Corsica is almost non-existent. Corte is on the train line and hiking is accessible by this.
Some beach resorts are also on the train line, but most require a car to visit. To truly explore the island, you will need a car.
Where is the best place to stay in Corsica?
This really depends on what you like to do on your vacation. This is a country with plenty to do and a great variety of opportunities for everyone who visits it.
You will find some of the best hiking on the island, as well as white sandy beaches. Some beaches are extremely popular, and can become crowded, while others are more secluded.
If you are a gastronomical buff then you will be able to find local restaurants wherever you travel, along with many smaller cafes in most villages.
Where to stay in Corsica with family?
The town of Calvi is extremely ‘kid-friendly’ as is Balagne. St Florent and the north East are regarded as family places, along with the town of Patrimonio.
Truly, all over the island you will find things to do with kids of all ages. Locals absolutely love children so don’t be surprised to find them talking to your children.
Kids are welcomed in most restaurants, although some will advertise that under a certain age is not permitted.
Some of the more rugged areas may be difficult for kids to handle and will make pushchairs almost impossible so be sure to check before you go about how suitable the area is for babies.
Where to stay in Corsica for beaches?
You will find some of the most amazing beaches on the island, and in most areas.
Look for Arinella Beach, Calvi Beach, Loto Beach, Saleccia Beach, Santa Guilia Beach and Pinarello Beach.
Where to stay in Corsica for hiking?
With more than 709 hiking routes on the island you will be able to find a hike that suits your level of experience easily.
There are 41 long-distance hikes, 1 nature trail and 6 that have yet to be classified. Upper Corsica offers 460 hiking routes, while Corse-de-Sud has 428 routes.
If hiking is your ‘thing’ make sure you head to Asco Valley. Here you will find excellent hiking along with giant zip lines.
You can enjoy a half day Canyon descent in Santa-Maria-Poggio. Even though the Prunelli and Gravona Valley are close to the beaches, they offer excellent hiking conditions.
Where to stay in Corsica on honeymoon?
With most weddings taking place in summer, it is not surprising that couples head to Corsica as the summer is when the island is at its best.
The main attraction, apart from the cheap flights, is the food – a combination of French and Italian cuisine.
There are many luxury hotels that offer special honeymoon packages in the most beautiful of locations.
Several companies offer packages which include walking tours, snorkelling kitesurfing and speedboating.
Beach weddings are extremely popular and most hotels within the proximity of the beach will offer wedding packages.
North or South Corsica – which is better?
This is a personal preference, with many people having very definite views of the best part of the island to visit.
There are interesting and beautiful places in both parts. Calvi in the north is simply stunning, as are the many small villages in the area. There are great beaches in the north and they may be less populated than those in the south.
The south is renowned for its beauty, hence the reason why so many people head there. Great beaches, sandy secluded coves, and interesting architecture here.
The mountainous interior of the island is also worth a visit. Not as many luxury hotels but great if you enjoy hiking.
Why is Corsica famous?
The main attraction of Corsica are the beaches, crystal clear waters and stunning sand. The scenery is what makes the island as famous as it is.
Mountain interior, rugged backdrops, with awesome beaches make this an island to explore often.
Is Corsica expensive to visit?
Yes, unfortunately it is expensive. While you get what you pay for, many people think that Corsica is worth the expense.
You can eat cheaply if you shop and cook yourself, and the Corsican wine is good value, but eating out is costly.
Is Corsica safe?
As with any other city in the world, you will find pickpockets and thieves. There will always be a scam artist ready to take money from an unsuspecting tourist.
Rural areas also suffer from thefts, and beaches are prime spots for handbags to be stolen while people are swimming.
So, just like any other place, leave your valuables at home, and watch your belongings at all times.
What language is spoken in Corsica?
The official language is French although many Corsicans can speak English. You may even find some can speak Italian.
Sardinia or Corsica – which is better?
Corsica has unique mountain villages and secluded coves while Sardinia has better beaches.
Corsica makes better cheeses and stews while Sardinia offers the best pasta and seafood.
If you prefer history, then Sardinia offers more, while Corsica has better landscapes.
Sardinia is slightly cheaper than Corsica.
The climate is similar in both places and both attract thousands of tourists each year.
Corsica is full of interesting and unique villages and towns. It is truly a land of diversity and beauty.
Bonafacio is the oldest town and dates to 830 AD so if possible, try to include this on your agenda.
Whether you enjoy history, beaches, secluded coves, waterfalls, hiking, or simply relaxing in a small café, the island of Corsica will offer something special for your vacation.