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Corsica: mountainous island with a wild coast and beautiful beaches

This article is also available in: Italian

Corsica – with an area of 8,680 km², 180 km long and 80 km wide – is the fourth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and the largest island in metropolitan France. The island is located north of Sardinia and west of Tuscany, and is surrounded by the waters of the Ligurian and Tyrrhenian seas, the Bocche di Bonifacio separate it from Sardinia, which is only 10 km away, while the Corsica channel separates it from island of Capraia – which is located just 30 km north-east – and from the island of Elba. The part of France closest to the island is the Côte d’Azur which is about 200 km away.

The two most important cities are Ajaccio, on the west coast, and Bastia, on the east coast. In Corsica, in addition to French, Corsican is spoken, a language very close to Italian, and closely related to Tuscan. The language spoken in Corsica, Corsican, is an Italian dialect similar, especially in its northern version, to the Tuscan language from which current Italian is derived. The region, which has the city of Ajaccio as its capital, is administratively made up of 2 departments: Southern Corsica (Corse-du-Sud, 2A), and Upper Corsica (Haute-Corse, 2B).

Corsica was during the Middle Ages part of the possessions of the Republic of Pisa. Subsequently, starting from the end of the 13th century, it became part of the territories under the control of the Republic of Genoa, to which it remained linked until the island was ceded to France in 1768. Between 1755 and 1769 Corsica was an independent republic . In 1769 Napoleon Bonaparte was born in Ajaccio.


The island is very mountainous and wild, its coasts are mostly rocky and overlooking the sea, even if there is no shortage of beaches. The island is of a wild beauty, with mountains in the center that exceed two thousand meters in height, the highest mountain in Corsica is Monte Cinto (2,706 meters), the coasts are often steep and craggy, especially in the west, the tourism, especially the seaside one, is one of the first economic resources of the island.

The interior of Corsica is largely protected by a natural park (Parc Naturel Régional de Corse), which occupies about 40% of the total area of the island, and which also overlooks the coast in some points. Other protected areas of the island are the nature reserves of Scandola, Finocchiarola, Biguglia, the Cerbicali islands, the Bocche di Bonifacio, the Lavezzi islands, and the Tre Padule di Suartone, all located along the coast.

Among the areas to visit the coast of the Cap Corse, the northern finger of Corsica, the gulfs of Porto and Girolata, the citadel of Calvi, the cliffs and the historic center of Bonifacio, the pinnacles of the Bavella, the gorges of the Restonica and Asco, the gullies of Piana, the Scandola nature reserve.

Paradise for sea lovers, the island presents a variety of impressive landscapes, there are granite cliffs and beautiful sandy beaches, but also gorges and deep canyons, high mountains and dense forests, the long history of the island has left important testimonies, there are prehistoric sites, remains of Phoenician and Roman cities, towers, bridges, churches and Pisan, Genoese and French castles.

Among the most beautiful beaches of Corsica is the beach of Saleccia, in the Agriates Desert. Pero beach, near Cargese. The beaches of the gulf of Porto, such as those of Bussaglia, Caspiu and Gratelle. Cupabia beach in Serra di Ferro. The beaches of the gulf of Figari. Cala Paraguano beach near Bonifacio. Rondinara bay. The beaches of Santa Giulia, Palombaggia and San Ciprianu near Porto Vecchio.

The gulf of Porto, with the gullies of Piana, the gulf of Girolata, and the Scandola nature reserve, all along the west coast of the island, are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The climate of Corsica.

Area: 8,680 km²
Population: 322,000 (2013)
Capital: Ajaccio


This article is also available in: Italian


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