Are you curious about exploring an island which perfectly combines Italian charm and French opulence? Plan your one week in Corsica.
Let me introduce you to Corsica, the island of Napoleon Bonaparte. Although the official language here is French, the traditional Corsu, Romance language, is still spoken. However, this shouldn’t make you scared about planning for your one week in Corsica. Everyone here speaks English and will welcome you most pleasantly.
So, without any further ado, delve into my one-week Corsica guide, and find out why this enchanting island is your perfect destination!
Our full guide covers:
- Basic Introduction
- Where to stay in Corsica
- How to get around
- What to see in Corsica
- Things to do in Corsica
- Tickets you have to buy before – must read
- Food and Restaurants
- Day Trips from Corsica
- Itinerary for Corsica
- Packing List
- City Map
1. Basic Introduction
We want to start with a simple intro to the things you need to know before coming to Corsica.
Currency: EUR (€)
Language Spoken: French
Known for: Corsica is known as the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte and Pasquale Paoli, two historic icons important for France civilisation.
Accommodation: This island offers a variety of hotels, guesthouses with Bed & Breakfast options, resorts and Camping complexes
Find more details in our where to stay in Corsica section below.
Public Transport: Buses, Trains, Ferries
More under how to get around.
Safety: generally considered safe for tourists and families.
Electricity: 230V/50Hz (European plug). Remember to pack your travel plug adapter.
2. Where to stay in Corsica
2.1 Where to stay in Ajaccio
Welcome to the capital of Corsica, Ajaccio. If I had to choose only one association for this city, it would definitely be Napoleon Bonaparte. This is because Ajaccio is the birthplace of this French icon. In addition to this historical significance, the city offers a pleasant atmosphere for tourists, enriched with pastel-coloured buildings. This city is considered the sun-kissed jewel of Corsica, making it perfect for your 1 week in Corsica.
And now, let’s explore where you can stay if you are headed to Ajaccio:
Plage de Capo di Feno is a super family-friendly, safe place for families to stay. Also, Trottel Beach is a residential area outside the city centre.
To explore Ajaccio hand-in-hand with your loved one, go to the old town, and from there, go on a one-day romantic boat tour to the Sanguinaires Islands.
If you’re travelling alone, enjoy the local energy of the city centre. And to spend a week in Corsica on a budget, explore the area of Saint Joseph.
Hôtel Spunta Di Mare, City Center
Hôtel Spunta Di Mare has an excellent location in the city centre, and is only 5 minutes away from the airport. It features elegant rooms, some of which have a panoramic view, an indoor swimming pool and a wine bar with exceptional quality wines.
Ajaccio Cosy et Spacieux Avec Terrasse et Vue Mer, Old Town
Ajaccio Cosy et Spacieux Avec Terrasse et Vue Mer is at your disposal, along with an equipped kitchen, a bathroom and a bedroom with a very comfortable bed. It is located near Trottel Beach, right on the coast, making for an incredibly romantic love corner.
Studio Rue Fesch – Vieille Ville. Saint-Roch District
If you are looking for where to stay with your family during your 1 week in Corsica, this studio apartment will make a great fit. It is located only 6 km from the airport and offers a family-friendly atmosphere and excellent WIFI connection.
2.2 Where to stay in Porto-Vecchio
Did you imagine your one week in Corsica on the beach by crystal-clear water? As such, Porto-Vecchio is my suggestion. Some of the best beaches here are Palombaggia and Santa Giulia.
Enjoy the beautiful Old Town overlooking the Gulf of Porto-Vecchio. If something definitely makes you come back here, it’s the food, as this place is the best culinary hotspot in Corsica.
When we talk about what neighbourhood suits what category of travellers, let me provide you with a simple breakdown. If you are travelling with a family, choose Palombaggia Area, the place with the best family-friendly beaches and accommodations with family-oriented services.
Meanwhile, if you are taking your partner on a trip, book accommodation in Old Town, which captivates with the charm of small romantic cafes on the corners and intimate boutique hotels.
If your idea of spending your 1 week in Corsica is to revel in luxury, then choose Santa Giulia Peninsula. The place is known for its upscale resorts, private villas, and high-end amenities, making it ideal for the lavish traveller.
Designers will like stylish boutiques along Marina de Porto-Vecchio, and solo adventurers will fall in love with the versatility of Upper Town.
And finally, if you are eager to experience the nightlife, Quai Pascal Paoli is known for its trendy bars, clubs, and beachside venues.
Now, let’s find the ideal hotel in your preferred neighbourhood so you can properly plan your Corsica one week itinerary:
Hotel Alcyon, Old Town
The three-star hotel is mainly booked by couples, which have rated it the highest. All rooms are decorated in an identical white interior and have a terrace. Moreover, booking your stay here will allow you to enjoy a superior breakfast- something you cannot find at many other places.
Le Village de L’Hacienda – Marina di Santa Giulia- Porto-Vecchio, Santa Giulia Beach Area
If you are searching for luxury, this is where you will find it. This is a complex of apartments with a sea view and a beautiful garden in the middle of a seasonal outdoor pool. If you are coming as a group, you can also use the BBQ facilities available on-site. Moreover, Le Village de L’Hacienda is also the ideal place for pet owners as it allows you to bring your pet with you.
2.3 Where to stay in Bonifacio
Bonifacio, often referred to as the town of cliffs, is located on the island’s south side. It will attract you with the beautiful view of the Citadel, perched on limestone cliffs and the magical labyrinthine old town. Here, you will explore sea caves and natural arches that you simply cannot stop admiring. If you wish to expand your Corsica one week itinerary and visit another place, know that the Bonifacio is only a short boat trip away from Sardinia. If you have time, plan a one-day excursion.
If you are a couple, move around the Citadel Area with breathtaking views and a romantic mediaeval setting.
But how to plan a luxurious one week in Corsica? Head to the Santa Manza Peninsula with its upscale accommodations, private villas, and exclusive experiences.
The cliffs and countryside surrounding Bonifacio provide a perfect setting for solo adventurers seeking outdoor exploration and tranquillity.
On the other hand, Place Sainte-Marie, with its lively square and various events throughout the year, offers a budget-friendly experience.
Where to go if you are an adventure seeker? To the Limestone Coast, of course. On the other hand, the cliffs and countryside surrounding Bonifacio provide a perfect setting for solo adventurers seeking outdoor exploration and tranquillity.
Lastly, Place Sainte-Marie, with its lively square and various events throughout the year, offers a budget-friendly experience.
Santa Teresa, Old Town
This hotel is 5 minutes from the historical hotspot and has colourful, soundproof rooms with sea views and a terrace. The accommodation is ideal for romantic intimacy, making the place worth adding to your one week in Corsica trip.
Appartement Port Bonifacio, Citadel Area
If you have an eye for aesthetics, you will enjoy the beautiful design and the panoramic view of the city here at Appartement Port Bonifacio, especially at night when the whole city is lit up. Here, you are also close to the area’s brimming nightlife, accommodating a maximum of 4 guests.
2.4 Where to stay in Calvi
The whole town has a relaxing vibe but still offers a chance for cultural exploration- exactly what you need for your Corsica one week itinerary. There is something for everyone in each of the neighbourhoods, which makes it challenging to state which part is more suitable for someone. Here, you will feel how every corner is filled with vibrant energy, starting from the picturesque harbour, pine forest parks, and small local markets to the best viewpoint from Calvi Citadel. Also known as the Corsican Riveram the city is best known for the popular Jazz festival, which takes place during June or July.
Casa Santa, Beachfront Areas
If you are looking for a place for your solo trip or on a budget, your search ends here. Apart from being only 1 km away from the train station and one step from the beach, this accommodation also offers free parking, adding to the overall convenience.
Appartement Centre Ville Rue Piétonne, City Center
Stay here if you want to be a step away from the epicentre of nightlife. The apartment is in the central area and features a bedroom, bathroom, equipped kitchen and balcony. Solo travellers can also be accommodated here.
2.5 Where to stay in Corte
If I have to name any part of Corsica as a historical centre, it is Corte. The city citadel is a symbol of nationalism and was the residence of Pasquale Paoli, the man who had a significant role in Corsica’s struggle for independence during the 18th century.
Here, you will get the unique chance to see many museums and learn more about the history of Corsica. If you like hiking, head to Restonica Valley, and if you just want to enjoy the panoramic view, go up to the Belvedere de Corte viewpoint.
When you are planning a one week in Corsica with your family, choose to stay in the Local Flavors District. Here, you will be able to enjoy culinary delights like wild boar, charcuterie, and unique Corsican cheeses. Also, this district offers budget-friendly and family-friendly accommodation, making it perfect for money-conscious travellers.
For couples, romantic panoramic views and serene moments, the Belvédère de Corte is an ideal neighbourhood.
If you come alone and want to get a taste of the local energy and fun, don’t miss the University Quarter and feel its youthful energy.
Hôtel U Passa Tempu, Old Town
The hotel is located in the Old Town, next to many visit-worthy attractions. It has separate family rooms but also offers accommodations for groups.
Hotel de La Paix, City Center
The hotel is ornamented in a contemporary style, with an on-site restaurant with a city view. I highly recommend that solo travellers add it to their Corsica one week itinerary.
Maison Kyprea, Tavignano River Area
It is an adult-only hotel that can be a perfect love nest. It can accommodate 3 people per room. There are also BBQ facilities in the common area.
2.6 Where to stay in L’Île-Rousse
The northwestern part of Corsica is known for its small bays and red porphyry rocks. If I had to find a nickname for L’ile-Rousse, I would call it the Market town of Corsica, thanks to the many covered local markets that offer souvenirs and traditional culinary delights.
L’Île-Rousse Beachfront should be your source for the day or a week in Corsica spent with the family. Here, your children will enjoy the sand and water activities under your watchful but relaxed eye.
On the other hand, if you have come with your loved one, feel the beauty of Old Town Square and the utterly romantic setting with charming cafes and vibrant markets.
And don’t miss the Waterfront Dining Quarter, created for travellers who want to experience Corsica on a budget while still indulging in delicious food and enjoying great views.
Hôtel & Spa Rocabella, City Center
If you are coming on a group trip, this hotel is an excellent option because of the beautiful shared lounge, exceptional breakfast, room service and comfortable rooms.
L’Isula Rossa, Beachfront
You’re on the beachfront and still on a budget here at L’Isula Rossa. You also have a private balcony and private parking, and your room is painted in neutral and relaxing tones.
3. How to get around Corsica
For your one week in Corsica to be stress-free, plan your transportation on time online with just a few clicks. Here are my tips to make it easier:
Car Rental: This is a popular and cost-effective way to see more places or go on day trips. Most often, the agencies wait for you at the airport or ferry port, making your commute easier.
Public Buses: This mode of transportation connects larger cities and villages. Schedules and tickets may vary depending on the season, so I recommend checking before you go. In case you don’t buy the tickets in advance, you can buy them once you get on the bus.
Trains: Chemins de fer de la Corse has routes between major cities, and you can also see a selection of options for your day trips.
4. What to see in Corsica – The Must-Do’s
What to see in Corsica? A very good question!
The Must-Do’s are:
- Calanche de Piana
- Scandola Nature Reserve
- GR20 Hiking Trail
- Bonifacio Citadel
More great sights to see in Corsica are:
- Palombaggia and Santa Giulia Beaches
- Ajaccio and Napoleon’s Birthplace
5. Things to do in Corsica
Corsica captivates the travelling souls with nature wonders, a long beachfront, and historical stories worth hearing. How do you enrich your experience for this one week in Corsica? Let’s explore it below.
- Hike the GR20: Believe it or not, this is one of the most famous European hiking trails, and it is 180 km long. It abounds with forest landscapes and alpine meadows. The trail starts from Calenza and extends to Conca.
- Relax on Palombaggia Beach: Come with me to the sun-soaked serenity of the Corsican coastline. It is located near Porto Vecchio and offers you a tranquil escape, ideal to add to your 1 week in Corsica trip.
- Boat Tour to Scandola Nature Reserve: First, you should know that this place is a UNESCO World Heritage and hides the most beautiful turquoise water you have seen. There is direct access from Calvi, allowing you to witness nature’s oasis. There are also many dolphins and colourful marine life that live between red rocks and hidden caves.
- Explore Bonifacio’s Old Town: And when you want to take a break from nature’s delights, venture into the historical charm of Bonifacio’s Old Town, a testament to Corisca’s rich history. Step on the famous Staircase of King Aragon and enjoy the fantastic panoramic view of the most thrilling one week in Corsica.
6. Tickets you have to buy before (Must Read)
7. Food & Restaurants
In Corsica, you will taste a combination of Mediterranean flavours you will never forget, making you not want to return from your one week in Corsica. Here are some suggestions for what to try:
- Corsican Charcuterie
- Wild Boar
- Aubergine Bonifacienne
- Chestnut-Based Dishes
And where to find these specialities?
- A Nepita(Bonifacio)
- U Santa Marina(Calvi)
- Le Saint Jean (Corte)
- Le Cabanon Bleu (L’Île-Rousse)
8. Day Trips from Corsica
Explore Corsica’s beauty with captivating day trips that unveil stunning landscapes and cultural gems. From Ajaccio’s historical charm to the sun-soaked beaches of Porto-Vecchio, the medieval wonders of Bonifacio, and the coastal allure of Calvi—each day trip promises a unique adventure on this Mediterranean gem.
How to do the day trips? There are 3 options:
- Napoleon Bonaparte’s Birthplace: Explore the ancestral home of Napoleon Bonaparte, which is now a museum.
- Ajaccio Cathedral: Visit the historic cathedral known for its Baroque architecture.
- Citadel of Ajaccio: Discover the ancient fortress offering panoramic views of the city.
- Palombaggia Beach: Relax on the pristine sandy beaches and enjoy the crystal-clear waters.
- Old Town: Wander through the charming streets of the old town with its shops and restaurants.
- Santa Giulia Beach: Another beautiful beach known for its turquoise waters and white sand.
- Bonifacio Citadel: Explore the medieval fortress perched on the cliffs with breathtaking views.
- Staircase of the King of Aragon: Descend the dramatic cliffside staircase for stunning coastal views.
- Lavezzi Islands: Take a boat trip to the nearby Lavezzi archipelago for beautiful landscapes and marine life.
- Calvi Citadel: Visit the historic citadel offering panoramic views of the bay and mountains.
- Calvi Beach: Relax on the sandy shores and enjoy water activities in the Mediterranean.
- Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist: Explore the impressive cathedral with its Genoese architecture.
9. Itinerary for 7 days
Day 1: Arrival in Ajaccio
If your first stop is Ajaccio, you will arrive at Ajaccio Napoleon Bonaparte Airport, 5 km from the price point, or by boat from other cities from Granzia or Italy.
Day 2: Ajaccio to Bonifacio
After exploring the beauties of the capital, you can drive to historic Bonifacio (135 km) along scenic roads.
Day 3: Bonifacio and Lavezzi Islands
Just 30 minutes by ferry from Bonifacio is Lavezzi Island, which offers opportunities for snorkelling, diving, and all-day enjoyment of the beautiful flora, fauna, and walking tours. After you finish this little trip of yours, you can return to Bonifacio by ferry.
Day 4: Bonifacio to Porto-Vecchio
The fourth day of your one week in Corsica is ideal for Porto-Vecchio. Getting there is rather convenient, given you are only 25 km away from the D859 road or 1 hour by bus.
Day 5: Porto-Vecchio to Calvi
From Porto Vecchio, go straight to Calvi to relax at the beach. The trip will take 4-5 hours (230 km). I highly recommend you take it by car, as the bus lines are infrequent.
Day 6: Calvi and Scandola Nature Reserve
From Calvi, you can head to Scandola Nature Reserve, taking a boat tour which lasts 3-4 hours. Keep in mind to book your tour early, to ensure your spot.
Day 7: Calvi to Île-Rousse
And finally, go to Ile-Rousse, only 25 km away, by car or train. After summarising the excellent impressions, return to Calvi to catch a plane at Calvi Airport and prepare to take home the impressions from your one week in Corsica.
10. Packing List
Here are five essential items to pack for your trip to Corsica:
- Comfortable Footwear
- Light Clothing and Swimwear
- Sun Protection
- Daypack and Hydration
- Travel plug adapter
Tailor your essential packing before your 1 week in Corsica and enjoy your trip!
Optional but always useful:
11. Printed Guides & Map
These guides are best for the ones looking for a printed version.
Once you come to Corsica, you will also receive a paper map of the city.
Here is again our map of Corsica with the recommended hotels and neighborhoods.
Questions? Contact us
I tried to make this guide as useful and complete as possible. However, chances are you still have questions left.
Therefore, any questions? Anything not clear?
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