Corsica France - Where to Stay for first time travelers

Where to Stay in Corsica for a first time visit? An insider’s guide 2024

Where do I even begin to explain everything the French Riviera has to offer? Obviously, with Corsica! This is an island in the middle of the Mediterranean with an excellent combination of Corsican Alps and white sandy shores background. Did you know why this region is vital to the French people? Napoleon Bonaparte was born in one of the towns of Ajaccio. If you look for pictures of Corsica, you will surely see the flag of this region.

Corsica’s flag resembles the fight against foreign rules and has Moor’s head in black, wearing a bandana on a white background. What is Corsica most remembered for? Firstly, for the charming villages and hiking trails, the richness of the chestnut forest and the pleasant scenic drives.

A Large citadel on a rocky promontory with two towers and six bastions built by Genese between the 13th and 16th centuries should be the first thing you see. Afterwards is Calvi Cathedral, a magnificent building with a wooden triptych and two statues, the most famous of which is Our Lady of Rosary, declared a historical monument.

You must catch the marina and port, which have excellent trendy bars and restaurants. Also, you make time for the 4.5km long beach lined with pine forest.

Question: Where to stay in Corsica for a first-time visit?

The period between May to October is the best time to come to Corsica. If you haven’t been here before and haven’t felt the Corsican sun, you may have a dilemma as to what to visit. Enjoy the so-called Island of Beauty and an easy-to-follow guide on what to see in Corsica.

Whether you are a nature lover, a history enthusiast or an adventure seeker, this magnificent city will not disappoint you. Depending on the area you are landing in, choose where to stay. The best cities for base accommodation are Calvi and Bastia. And which place should be noticed? With little thought, it is the Calanques de Piana.

We know that different types of people require different advice on travel accommodations. This guide includes the best areas for

  • the first time visitor
  • Families
  • Couples
  • Luxury & Design
  • Solo-Traveler
  • on a budget

Are you more of a visual learner/travel planner?

Lucky for you, we’ve included a map with all of our favorite neighborhoods and handpicked hotels for all of your travel needs.

Check it out below to get a better idea of where you should stay for your first or next visit to the Corsica.

This is the extension of our guide to 7 days in Corsica.

(This guide is always up to date, the last updated July 2024.)

But, first things first:

Here is the question: Where to stay in Corsica for a first-time visit?

The answer is simple: Calvi

First of all, this is the city where the airport is located. Therefore, it is an excellent starting point for spending one week on the Island of Beauty. Corsica is an ideal place to learn about the history of an entire region. Start by exploring Santa Maria Maggiore, discover the old house where Christopher Columbus was born, and visit the following locations:

  • Citadelle de Calvi (Calvi Citadel):
  • Calvi Cathedral (Saint-Jean-Baptiste Cathedral)
  • Calvi Marina
  • Calvi Beaches

Why do we recommend these areas?

Genese’s masterpiece is a large citadel with two towers and six bastions. The citadel has a historical meaning as it was built during the 13th and 16th centuries. However, don’t mistake Corsica for a boring and ancient city. There are many unique restaurants and local bars. Also, spare time and walk along the 4.5km beach with pine forest nearby.

Here’s a full map for you to understand the different areas.


Please note: those might not be the exact names of the districts, neither its absolute borders. I just tried to simplify this information.

📍Best Area:Calvi
👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Best for Families:Hotel Restaurant Christophe Colomb
👩‍❤️‍👨 Best for Couples:Le Magnolia
💎 Best Luxury HotelMaria Die
🤩 Best Design Hotel:Hotel Centre Nautique
😎 Best for Groups:Appartement au cœur de la ville
🦸 Best for Solo-Traveller:Monsieur Miot Concept Hotel
💃 Best Hotel for Nightlife:Hôtel Le Mistral
🤑 Cheapest Place to stay:Hôtel Duc De Padoue
👌 Safest Area: Ajaccio

1. Best areas and handpicked hotels for Corsica

Continue scrolling or pick your group and travel type on the menu:

1.1 Families
1.2 Couples
1.3 Luxury Traveler
1.4 Design Traveler
1.5 Groups
1.6 Solo-Traveler
1.7 Nightlife-seeking traveler
1.8 Budget Traveler

1.1 Families

Corsica completely covers all your needs, even if you happen to be with kids. It offers unique styled accommodation and exploration of the towns, all of which contribute to a family vacation that you will not forget. If you are wandering and looking for spacious and shallow beaches, then I have good news for you, Corsica has everything you’ll need!

Calvi

As I already mentioned, you can find beaches with 50 meters of shallow water. Stay all day if you want, but I still recommend taking some of the time for the covered markets and taking a quad bike tour. If you are already hungry from the thought of all these activities, here you will find the best Corsican sandwich or a variety of seafood dishes.

Porto-Vecchio

Are you looking for where to stay in Corsica with the entire family? I strongly recommend Rondinara Beach and Santa Giulia. Also, you can visit the slightly more vibrant Palombaggia. If you are looking for a family day trip in Corsica, only 45 minutes away from Bonifacio. Port Vecchio Gulf, the best scenic experience, will cost 25 euros to enter.

Handpicked accommodations for families

Hotel Restaurant Christophe Colomb, Calvi

Hotel Restaurant Christophe Colomb is an excellent hotel in Corsica, France near the port but still on a quiet, peaceful street. All rooms are air-conditioned and offer sea or city views.

Book Hotel Restaurant Christophe Colomb here

Relax and unwind at Hotel Restaurant Christophe Colomb

Have a great time at Hotel Restaurant Christophe Colomb

Holzer II, Porto-Vecchio

Holzer II is 10 minutes from the beach and an ideal starting point for a ferry adventure. The complete suite has soundproof rooms, making it perfect for a family-friendly adventure. Furthermore, all rooms have cable TV and free Wi-Fi.

Book Holzer II here

Private room at Holzer II

Have a pleasant stay at Holzer II

 1.2 Couples

Come here for a beautiful, peaceful, romantic getaway. Corsica is a melting pot of pristine beaches, dense forests and perfect hiking trails. Whichever village you choose, they all have a romantic setting. The most passionate of all the ones I visited are Sant’ Antonio and Pianа. However, I recommend that you settle in one of the towns or larger villages and explore more places from there.

Calangues de Piana, a red granite rock along the coast with beautiful turquoise water and dense vegetation, is a must-visit place for couples. Here, you can plan a whole day of enjoyment with a picnic, music, and long sunbathing.

Calvi

Book Calvi, if you are more dynamic and want to enrich your romantic getaway with many activities. Canoeing, climbing, hiking and other nautical activities are offered. Enjoy the view from the lighthouse with a 4WD tour to the Agriates desert or a day trip to Pietra Island, just a 15-minute walk away.

Bonifacio

Only a 30-minute drive from Figari Airport hides the age-old town, Bonifacio, known for its white limestone cliffs and romantic Corsica accommodations. It occupies the southernmost part of the island, which I declare to be the best place to visit in southern Corsica. Discover the most beautiful beaches in Bonifacio on mom: San Giovanni Beach, Paragon Beach, Fazzio Beach and Stagnolu wild and private beach.

Handpicked accommodations for couples

Le Magnolia, Calvi

Just 800 meters from Bonifacio Port, Le Magnolia is a beachfront place to stay in Corsica with a sun terrace for breakfast with a panoramic view. The rooms have a private entrance and are soundproof with a private bathroom. You also have an on-site bar at your disposal.

Book Le Magnolia here

Make yourself at home at Le Magnolia

Enjoy your time at Le Magnolia

Entre Ciel et Mer, Bonifacio

Entre Ciel et Mer is located 400 meters from the central station and is reminiscent of Maisons from French movies. Besides Ciel et Mer being an excellent couple lodging, it has a beautiful classic interior and caring staff, who are always ready to help.

Book Entre Ciel et Mer here

Experience comfort at Entre Ciel et Mer

Have a wonderful stay at Entre Ciel et Mer

1.3 Luxury traveler

You’ll find many resorts and luxurious hotels in Corsica, France for a complete high-end holiday. You can choose from the variety of secluded beaches with private access. Keep in mind to try Corsican food, which is a real treat, from traditional and international flavours. For the best gourmet experiences, find Le Petit Restaurant, Ajaccio Le Voilier, and Bonifacio. If you have time, you can go yachting or on exclusive helicopter tours over the whole of Corsica.

Calvi

The most popular destination for luxury holidays in Corsica. It’s easy to reach from Cote d’Azur and has glitzy resorts. For good Michelin-star food, visit La Table by La Villa or La Signoria.

Porto-Vecchio

Palombaggia, one of the most famous trendy beaches in the world, is known for its splendour. Enjoy a sunset boat tour or organize a day trip to Lavezzi. And how does luxurious accommodation on the shore itself sound to you? Check below.

Handpicked accommodations for the luxury traveler

Maria Die, Calvi

Maria Die is a refined and captivating four-star hotel that guarantees comfort and is a renowned destination for luxury holidays. It is 500 meters from Roncu Beach and offers a swimming pool and a shared lounge. Upon agreement, they can also organize an airport shuttle. Each guest room has modern decor and a sea view.

Book Maria Die here

Enjoy your stay at Maria Die

Have fun at Maria Die

CALADEA Locations de Vacances 5 étoiles, piscine chauffée, Porto-Vecchio

The CALADEA has a beachfront location with an additional outdoor swimming pool. You will be immediately enchanted by the authenticity of this opulent decor. This hotel in Corsica, France also opens doors to a beautiful brand restaurant and apartments facing the garden. You will have enough space and free parking if you come by car.

Book CALADEA here

Relax and unwind at CALADEA Locations de Vacances 5 étoiles, piscine chauffée

Have a great time at CALADEA Locations de Vacances 5 étoiles, piscine chauffée

1.4 Design-lovers

In addition to beautiful beaches, fans of design and aesthetics will surely find a place where to stay in Corsica. The island is an ideal blend of France and Italy, making for a fascinating cultural tapestry.

You have handicrafts, Corsican knives, textiles, and tiny sweet souvenir shops at every corner. All cities have a citadel that, apart from the city’s history, also speaks of the architectural, spiritual and artistic possibilities of the people who lived and created at that time.

Bonifacio

If you land at Figari Airport, you will be immediately surprised by the nearby attractions. The 9th-century citadel is located in this city and is a good starting point.

However, if you happen to come by car or rent, there are plenty of parking spaces, so you won’t have to look for parking lots for hours. Hike to the Phare de Pertusa viewpoint and search for hotels with an interestingly designed interior below for the city’s most beautiful view.

Calvi

The baroque-styled St. Jean Baptiste Cathedral is the first design gem. From here you have a fabulous view of the whole city. Also, there are many streets near your accommodation, where you can find crafts and souvenirs as a long memory of your trip.

Handpicked accommodations for the design lover

Hotel Centre Nautique, Bonifacio

Every room and suite in Hotel Centre Nautique offers an exciting set of sophisticated, Mediterranean timeless and fairy-tale settings. The rooms are further enriched with design details. Likewise, suites have a private bath, kitchenette and at least one bedroom.

I recommend the Suite Prestige or Master Suite, with additional access to the spa. The location can’t get better, 1.3km from Arinella Beach and 100 meters from Bonifacio Port.

Book Hotel Centre Nautique here

Enjoy your stay at Hotel Centre Nautique

Have fun at Hotel Centre Nautique

KASANO & Spa, Calvi

KASANO & Spa offers a minimalist experience decorated with a simple wood and glass interior. Nestled just 400 meters from Roncu Beach, the complex offers spectacular views and creates a serene atmosphere for a relaxing stay. All rooms and suites have terraces. You also have a spa and a pool to use.

Book KASANO & Spa here

Relax and unwind at KASANO & Spa

Have a great time at KASANO & Spa

1.5 Groups

Corsica offers many activities for group visits. It has scenic diversity, excellent group accommodations, and outdoor challenges for even more exciting team-building opportunities. The best thing is that Corsica is easy to navigate, and you are quickly from one place to another. If you have a mountaineer spirit, visit Monte Cinto, the highest peak in Corsica. Monte Cinto is home to one-of-a-kind red deers, so always keep your eyes open.

Corte

This city was the former capital of Corsica from 1755 to 1769. The old town is perched but reachable. From here, you can reach Bastia in just 15 minutes. And what to visit? First, the citadel, then the oldest European grocery store, the Gitonga. For other days, leave the Vizzavona forest, a 40-minute drive from Corte.

Calvi

In the capital city, four days are more than enough for you to walk around. However, doing the same in one day in Calvi will be a manageable challenge. Start by walking all the attractions, then sit down for lunch by the port, and set aside one day for a trip to the most beautiful Corsica, Bolagne and neighbouring Monacale village.

Handpicked accommodations for groups

Appartement au cœur de la ville, Corte.

A modern, comfortable apartment furnished in wood, with free parking and an excellent mountain view. Appartement au cœur de la ville is pet-friendly, so don’t hesitate to bring your furry friend along.

It has two bedrooms and one private bathroom, and it can host up to four guests. The location is 52 kilometres from the nearest airport. Also, I should mention that previous guests highly rated this apartment.

Book Appartement au cœur de la ville here

Private room at Appartement au cœur de la ville

Have a pleasant stay at Appartement au cœur de la ville

Villa Sandrine T3, Calvi

Stylishly decorated accommodation with modern details and an adorned yard in bright colours. Villa Sandrine T3 is located 800 metres from Pinede Beach and 500 metres from Calvi Train Station. The kitchen is equipped with an oven and microwave. Also, there are two plans for four guests.

Book Villa Sandrine T3 here

Make yourself at home at Villa Sandrine T3

Enjoy your time at Villa Sandrine T3

1.6 Solo-travelers

Corsica is safe even for solo adventurers. Even though, at first, it may seem like a relaxed area, you can spice it up with various activities and explorations. For instance, go hiking on the famous GR20 trail, explore the local restaurants for great local food, and connect with the natives.

If you want to learn more about history, explore one of the many megalithic sites like Dolomes. Choose your own pace and destinations, or let the Corsican lifestyle guide you.

Bastia

This neighbourhood has many bars and restaurants and is well connected to other parts, so you can easily travel to Furani or Santa Maria Lota as a day trip. While you’re here, take advantage of the Roman Garden, which connects Terra Vecchia and Nova Vecchia, the island’s two main staples. Look for Ficajola Beach, Arinella Beach and Marana Beach for good beaches with local energy.

Ajaccio

This is the largest city and the most convenient for solo adventurers to arrive in. You must have heard that it is also the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte. Therefore, you can see the museum dedicated to him. Fesch Museum and Imperial Chapel are excellent attractions. Every morning, you can feel the local energy at Foch Square Market. This city is relatively compact, so you only need half a day to explore it.

Handpicked accommodations for a solo traveler

Monsieur Miot Concept Hotel – Bastia centre, Bastia

It is located in Bastia Centre, 1.5km from the beach. Monsieur Miot Concept Hotel also offers a restaurant of excellent quality, where breakfast is included in the price. For the best experience, choose the Small Double Room.

Book Monsieur Miot Concept Hotel here

Experience comfort at Monsieur Miot Concept Hotel

Have a wonderful stay at Monsieur Miot Concept Hotel

Les Studios du Pêcheur – Hypercentre – Clim – City Trip, Ajaccio

In the very centre, this is another Corsica accommodation with a beautiful sea view. The rooms are air-conditioned and non-smoking. Les Studios du Pêcheur is easy to find and access. It is located 1.4 km from Trottel Beach and 12 km from the must-see Sanguinarian Islands. The entire studio has a kitchenette with a microwave, one bedroom and a private bath.

Book Les Studios du Pêcheur here

Enjoy your stay at Les Studios du Pêcheur

Have fun at Les Studios du Pêcheur

1.7 Nightlife Traveler

Although it is known for its relaxing pace, you can find where to stay in Corsica where nightlife thrives. The best bars and pubs are in Ajaccio, Bastia and Calvi, and you can ask the locals or the hotel receptionist for exact directions from your accommodation. During the season, there are parties at beach clubs and even late-night cafes and eateries.

Porto-Vecchio

If you are a casino lover, then go to Porto Vecchio. It is a trendy tourist spot and even better known as the “City of The Salt.”. What contributes to its nightlife scene? It’s precisely this:

Via Notre, a luxurious venue with frequent pool parties, Le Reserve Club, and local energy by the marina. B52 Club with a vibrant atmosphere. Look for daytime parties at Baie de Rondinara, Palombaggia, and Santa Giulia Beach.

Calvi

If you’re here in July, you’re in luck. Welcome to the spectacle across Calvi on the Rock. It is an excellent festival for which a one-day pass costs 50 euros. Also, Calvi has another exciting event in late summer or early autumn, the Polyphonic Song Festival.

For exact dates, check three months in advance on their official website. You can have fun in La Villa Club, with interesting themed parties, Chez Tao, an electronic venue And Propriu, a place with the best dancers.

Handpicked accommodations for nightlife

Hôtel Le Mistral Porto-Vecchio

Hôtel Le Mistral Porto is a stylishly renovated place to stay in Corsica near the citadel and next to the restaurants and nightclubs. Enjoy your stay in this family-run hotel with a daily buffet breakfast and an excellent cozy bar.

Book Hôtel Le Mistral here

Relax and unwind at Hôtel Le Mistral

Have a great time at Hôtel Le Mistral

Casa di a Murza, Calvi

A local highlight spot 500 metres from Roncu Beach. It guarantees extra space and free Wi-Fi, private parking and bike rental. Casa di a Murza can host five people in two bedrooms.

Book Casa di a Murza here

Private room at Casa di a Murza

Have a pleasant stay at Casa di a Murza

1.8 For the Budget Traveler

Corsica is the queen of the Mediterranean, but believe it or not, it can cost us a fortune. There are many free or budget-friendly attractions with entrance fees ranging from 2 to 4 euros. If you also want to have fun, then here is a list of budget-friendly nightclubs:

  • La Catamaran, Porto Vecchio
  • Le 7eme Ciel, Porto Vecchio
  • L’Enoteca, Calvi

And for cheap lounges:

  • U Finale, Calvi
  • Le Rendez-vous, Porto Vecchio

Corte

University town with a beautiful beach coastline. If you have time to pay a visit to Tavignano Valley, it won’t cost you much. If you want a free shuttle bus to a beach, then catch the free shuttle bus to Arinella Beach every 20 minutes from 8 am to 9:30 pm. If you are looking for budget-friendly exploration, visit Biguglia Pond Reserve for only 2 euros.

Bastia

The most important port and the nearby airport are located here, so you will only spend a little money on transportation from one place to another after your arrival. On Sunday morning, visit the attractive large flea market, eat on a budget and feel the local energy first-hand. Take a walk along Napoleon Street. One day in Bastia will be quite enough for you.

Handpicked accommodations for budget traveler

Hôtel Duc De Padoue, Corte

Hôtel Duc De Padoue has clean, comfortable rooms within walking distance of local attractions. One night costs 100 euros for two. In the room, you have a private bathroom.

Book Hôtel Duc De Padoue here

Make yourself at home at Hôtel Duc De Padoue

Enjoy your time at Hôtel Duc De Padoue

Pépite Bastiaise Place du Marché, Bastia

Perfect location to visit all attractions. There is one bedroom for two guests, and the price is suitable for travellers with tight budgets. In Pépite Bastiaise Place du Marché, you have clean towels and bed linen.

Book Pépite Bastiaise Place du Marché here

Experience comfort at Pépite Bastiaise Place du Marché

Have a wonderful stay at Pépite Bastiaise Place du Marché

2. Best Neighborhood to Stay in Corsica

This is the ultimate guide to where to stay in Corsica, and these are the neighbourhoods you should definitely check out:

  • Porto-Vecchio
  • Ajaccio
  • Corte
  • Bonifacio
  • Calvi

Which neighbourhood is your perfect match?

If you like history, get stuck in Bonifacio or Ajaccio’s walls; for a budget-friendly holiday, go to Bastia. I direct night birds to Porto Vecchio and to the most beautiful beaches, Calvi and Corte.

3. FAQs

What is the best neighborhood to stay in Corsica?

For a memorable stay in Corsica, consider the vibrant neighborhoods of Porto-Vecchio, Ajaccio, Corte, Bonifacio, and Calvi. Each offers its unique charm, from historical significance to stunning beaches and vibrant nightlife. Choose based on your preferences and interests to make the most of your Corsican experience.

Where should you not stay in Corsica?

While Corsica is generally safe and welcoming, some areas may not suit everyone's preferences. It's advisable to avoid secluded or poorly lit areas, especially at night, to ensure personal safety. Additionally, some neighborhoods may lack amenities or proximity to attractions, making them less ideal for visitors seeking convenience and accessibility.

What should I avoid in Corsica?

When visiting Corsica, it's essential to respect local customs and traditions. Avoid littering or damaging the pristine natural environment, as Corsicans take great pride in their island's beauty. Furthermore, be mindful of cultural sensitivities, such as speaking loudly in public spaces or dressing inappropriately in religious sites. By being respectful and considerate, you can fully enjoy your Corsican experience while fostering positive interactions with locals.

Where should I stay in Corsica for the first time?

For a memorable first-time visit to Corsica, consider staying in Calvi. Not only does Calvi boast a convenient airport, but it also offers a perfect blend of historical charm, stunning beaches, and vibrant nightlife. Explore attractions like the Calvi Citadel, Saint-Jean-Baptiste Cathedral, and Calvi Marina while enjoying the city's trendy bars and restaurants. With its central location and diverse activities, Calvi serves as an excellent base for exploring the rest of the island.

4. Map + All Sights

From the sun-kissed shores to the rugged inland, each corner of this French island tells a story of beauty, history, and culture. Dive into our map and set sail for your Corsican adventure. 

5. Summary of Where to stay in Corsica

I hope you have already decided where to stay in Corsica. This French gem will surely provide a fantastic holiday, so prepare for an amazing experience!

Check the latest posts on my travel blog for more destinations and tips.

Other European Destinations

Before you run off, here is a few more handwritten articles for you. These will help you to find more unique experiences and enjoy your holidays at fullest.

Any Questions?

There you have it. I hope you have no questions and found your home in my home town.

However, please remember: I am not perfect, and it is likely I missed a few things to point out.

Therefore: Do you have questions? Is anything not clear?

Please please please drop me a comment below with your email! I will reply to you ASAP via email and here in the comments.

In fact, your questions help me to make this article better. So I help you to help me.

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