Corsica is a mountainous island located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Italy. With an area of 8680 km² and timeless beauty, Corsica boasts natural wonders, ancient history and culture.
Read more about Corsica's must-see places, beaches, local delicacies, and ferries to get there. Read our travel tips and book online your ferry tickets to Corsica with no hidden fees!
Ajaccio's waterfront and city beach
Vacation in Corsica
Corsica is a place that captures the soul and nourishes the senses. This Mediterranean gem off the coast of France and Italy has all you need to spend the best holiday.
The island offers countless beaches, mountain landscapes and pristine valleys. Not for nothing, it is called Île de Beauté, the “Island of Beauty”! Get ready to discover historic towns, museums, nature reserves and delicious cuisine.
A road trip in Corsica is the best way to explore freely even the most hidden parts of the island. If, however, you are short on time and prefer a slower-paced vacation, just focus on one area and visit its surroundings.
Find out how to get to beautiful Corsica, read our tips and start planning an unforgettable trip!
How to get to Corsica
There are 2 ways to travel to Corsica: by ferry or by plane.
If you decide to reach the island by sea, you can catch a ferry to different Corsican ports either from Italy or southern France. Ferries to Corsica from Italy depart from the ports of Sardinia (Golfo Aranci, Porto Torres, and Santa Teresa Gallura), Liguria (Genoa and Savona) and Tuscany (Livorno, Piombino and Elba.
Traveling to Corsica by sea will allow you to bring your vehicle and carry more luggage. Also, the view from the ship as you approach Corsica is really worth experiencing!
Corsica's international airports are located in Ajaccio (the capital of the island), Figari, Bastia and Calvi, but there are just a few flights from Italy and they’re quite expensive.
Keep scrolling and find out all about ferries to Corsica below.
The scenic Old Port of Bastia, Corsica
What to do in Corsica
Corsica is a destination that will satisfy everybody’s tastes and preferences. Thanks to the wide variety of landscapes, it is possible to switch from the sea to the mountains in no time.
Corsica's beaches are one prettier than the other, and the coast's crystal-clear waters are perfect for water activities like snorkeling or diving.
Corsica is also one of the most popular places in the Mediterranean for canyoning. There are trails suitable for all levels passing through waterfalls, gorges and natural pools. The island also boasts several nature reserves that preserve its exceptional biodiversity.
The history and culture of Corsica do not go unnoticed either. Cities such as Ajaccio (birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte), Bastia, or Bonifacio offer a fascinating mix of architecture, churches, and picturesque squares. Explore ancient citadels, archaeological sites, museums, and visit the street markets!
Immerse yourself in the local culture and stop by small fishing villages. The slow pace and peaceful atmosphere of these places are ideal for unplugging.
In the summer, Corsica also host a many events and festivals, such as the Ajaccio jazz festival, the Festi Lumi in Bonifacio, and Les Nuits de la Guitare in Patrimonio, near Bastia.
Beaches in Corsica
With more than 1000 km of coastline, Corsica boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean. From long stretches of white sand to secluded bays with crystal clear waters, there are options for all tastes!
Here is non-exhaustive list of 10 amazing beaches in Corsica:
- Palombaggia: very close to Porto-Vecchio, it stretches for about 2 km and is among the most popular of the island. Its lush vegetation, fine white sand, and pink granite rocks contrasting with turquoise waters make for a very striking landscape. You will find several visitor amenities, and there is also ample free parking on the north side of the beach.
- Santa Giulia: located 7 km south of Porto-Vecchio, it is a long stretch of fine white sand overlooking a wide bay. The beach has Caribbean vibes, and the Santa Giulia nautical club offers activities such as water skiing, kitesurfing, flyboarding, and scuba diving.
- Nonza: located about 1 hour from Bastia, it is famous for its black sand acquiring different color tones with the sunlight and the water reflection. We recommend that you wear beach shoes in the summer, since the sand gets pretty hot during the day.
- Petit Sperone: small and secluded, it is located near Bonifacio and is only 100 m long. It has fine sand, turquoise waters and is surrounded by lush vegetation. It’s a 20-minutes walk from the parking lot of Piantarella Beach.
- Saleccia: This pristine oasis is nestled in the picturesque setting of the Agriates Desert, used as a location for the movie The Longest Day. The path to reach it can be quite challenging and the beach has no facilities. You can visit it with experienced guides or get here by taxi boat from the port of Saint Florent.
- Lotu: This paradisiac cove is also located in the Agriates Desert. The vegetation is typical of the Mediterranean scrub, and you can sometimes encounter wild cows strolling around, unbothered. The only way to reach Lotu is getting to Saleccia beach by taxi boat and then walk a walking trail.
- Silver Beach (Plage d'Argent): Located 30 km from Propriano, it is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in southern Corsica. It is wide with fine white sand and is surrounded by a lush pine forest. Its waters are shallow, making it suitable for families with children. Part of it has visitor amenities and a few small restaurants.
- Baracci: about 1 km long, it is a wild and deserted stretch of sand located in the Gulf of Propriano. The beach extends along a protected nature reserve, and its pink sand contrasts with the blue sea. You can reach it by following a short dirt road.
- Tamarone: located 15 minutes from the village of Macinaggio, it is one the most gorgeous beaches of the Cap Corse. It lies in front of the nature reserve of Finocchiarola island has no services. In summer, however, there is a kiosk serving snacks and refreshments for hikers following the customs officers’ path (Sentier des Douaniers).
- Cala Genovese: another natural beauty in the Cap Corse, it is a secluded white beach with crystal clear waters. The ancient turret rising from the waters adds even more charm to the bay. The beach can be reached by boat or foot through a panoramic trail. It is recommended to avoid wearing flip-flops!
Useful info: Most beaches in Corsica are not equipped. For this reason, make sure to carry with you everything you might need for a quiet day at the beach, such as water and food, sunscreen and an umbrella.
Cala Genovese, a paradise in northern Corsica
Sightseeing in Corsica
Corsica has a rich history dating back thousands of years. From ancient archaeological sites to well-preserved medieval towns, every corner of the island tells fascinating stories of its past. Corsica also boasts a big variety of marine and mountainous landscapes offering breathtaking views.
Here are some cultural and natural sights that you should not miss during your stay in Corsica:
Corsica's best cultural attractions
- The Citadel of Bastia, built on a natural promontory back in 1380
- The church of St. John the Baptist (in Bastia), the largest of all Corsica
- The medieval village of Sartène, halfway between Bonifacio and Ajaccio
- The archaeological site of Filitosa, with its famous prehistoric menhirs with anthropomorphic features
- The megaliths of Cauria, included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites
- The fortified village of Cucuruzzu, dating back to the Bronze Age and located in the heart of the Alta Rocca region
- The Old Town of L’Île-Rousse and its market hall, classed as historical monument
- The Museum of Corsica, dedicated to the island and located inside the stronghold of Corte
- The Fesch Museum in Ajaccio, famous for its collection of paintings
- The abandoned village of Occi, in Balagne
- The Genoese towers of the Cap Corse, which stand out along the coast
- The seaside village of Calvi and its Citadel
The imposing Citadel of Calvi overlooking the sea
Corsica's most beautiful natural attractions
- The Regional Natural Park of Corsica, covering more than a third of the island
- The Calanques of Piana, spectacular jagged cliffs made of red ochre
- The Agriates desert, an uninhabited territory with typical Mediterranean vegetation and known for its beaches
- The Nature Reserve of Scandola and the Gulf of Girolata, accessible only by sea
- The Parc Galea, a sensory park to discover Corsica's natural and cultural heritage
- The Nature Reserve of the Étang de Biguglia, 12 km from Bastia
- The white cliffs of Bonifacio, where rises the ancient Citadel
- The Cape Corso peninsula, dotted with scenic roads, beaches, mountain passes and ancient towers
- The 3 mineral water springs of Zilia, Saint-Georges and Orezza
- The lakes Melo and Capitello, in the region of Alta Corsica
Panoramic walking trail crossing the Calanques of Piana, Corsica
Nightlife in Corsica
Although the island offers more daytime activities, the nighttime also gives you plenty of choice!
Ajaccio and Bastia, Corsica's main cities, come alive at night, especially in the city centers. Most of the clubs and lounge bars are concentrated here, but there are also several restaurants for a quiet evening.
One of he most popular places to enjoy a night out is Porto-Vecchio, with its open-air nightclubs that often host internationally renowned DJs.
Another lively town is Calvi, perfect for a drink at the pier or an aperitif by the beach, listening to live music. The multi-day festival Calvi on the Rocks, combining electronic music, performance art and traditions, is also held here in July. Save the date!
Food in Corsica
Corsica is an extraordinary culinary destination, offering a unique mix of Italian and French gastronomic influences. From delicious cheeses and cold cuts to fresh seafood dishes and meat specialties, the Corsican cuisine will undoubtedly amaze you!
Here are some delicacies to try while in Corsica:
- local cured meats (including prisutto, figatellu, lonzu and Salamu di Quenza)
- brocciu cheese (similar to cottage cheese)
- stufatu (a lasagna casserole with smoked ham)
- polenta with chestnut flour
- fish soup
- lamb with olives
- wild boar stew
- brocciu puffs
- canistrelli cookies
- fiadone (lemon cake made with brocciu)
- the local beer Pietra
- nielluccio wine
- myrtle liqueur
Tips for Corsica
Here are 5 travel tips to better plan your trip to the island:
- Renting a car in Corsica could be quite expensive, especially during high season. The best way to save money is to embark your vehicle on the ferry.
- Some roads in Corsica are narrow, winding and full of turns, especially those inland and in the north. Make sure to always drive carefully and watch out for wild animals!
- The hiking enthusiasts should definitely explore the amazing trails in the Restonica Valley.
- If you travel with children, one of the best activities to do is a visit to A Cuppulata Park (near Ajaccio), home to about 130 species of tortoises and turtles.
- The Lavezzi Islands is a paradisiac archipelago situated at just 10 km south of Bonifacio, and is a perfect destination for a day trip. You can get there by ferry with the company SPMB from the port of Bonifacio, or you can join an organized mini cruise.
The marvelous granite rocks of the Lavezzi Islands, Corsica
Useful information for Corsica
In order to enjoy the beauty of Corsica, we recommend you spend at least 1 week or more on the island. If you have less time, you can still opt for a 3-4 day getaway that will allow you to explore either the northern or southern regions.
If you are wondering where are the best places to stay in Corsica, you should know that the south is definitely better suited for sea lovers. In fact, some of the most beautiful beaches are located here, such as Palombaggia and Santa Giulia.
However, the cities of Porto-Vecchio and Bonifacio could be quite expensive and crowded during high season. If you travel on a budget, we recommend alternative locations such as Tarco or some small inland villages.
In northern Corsica you will find wilder beaches and more hiking areas. In addition, the resorts of L'Île-Rousse and Calvi are suitable for families and those seeking more tranquility.
As for documents needed to travel to Corsica, you will have to show your passport in order to embark on the ferry (a valid ID card is also accepted for EU citizens). We highly recommend that you travel with a health insurance.
ATMs are easier to find in the island's coastal resorts, but they are rarer in the Corsican hinterland. For this reason, it is always good to have some cash on hand, as the use of credit cards is not widespread in Corsica.
Important phone numbers for your stay in Corsica
Here are some useful contacts to keep on hand for your trip to Corsica:
- Port Bastia info: +330495552585
- Marina of Bonifacio: +33672363370
- Port Authority of Ajaccio: +33495223198
- Port Authority of Porto-Vecchio: +330495512180
- Port Authority of L'Île-Rousse: +33495602651
- Ajaccio Tourist Office: +330495515303
- Ajaccio Hospital: +33495299090
- Bastia Hospital: +330495591111
- Medical Clinic of Porto-Vecchio: +330495738000
- Emergency Medical Service Unit (SAMU): 15
- Medical guard after 20:00: 116 / 117
- Firefighters: 18
- Police: 17
- European emergency number: 112
Transportation in Corsica
The car is definitely the most recommended means of transportation to easily get around Corsica.
There are no highways on the island, and the main roads are generally in good condition. In July and August you may find traffic, but it is always good to drive carefully, especially on mountain roads.
Buses are the main means of public transportation in Corsica, with routes connecting all major cities. There are also summer bus lines taking you to some beaches, but in more remote areas departures are less frequent.
Moving around Corsica by train, on the other hand, is an exciting experience and perfect for those who are not in a hurry. With the historic "Train de la Balagne," for example, you can travel along the coast from L'Île-Rousse to Calvi, while the famous "U Trinighellu" crosses the mountains from Ajaccio to Bastia via Corte.
Another convenient and fun option is to visit Corsica with a camper van. This way you will save on accommodation and be able to explore new places every day!
Discover Corsica in an RV!
Ports in Corsica
Corsica has 7 main ports: Bastia, Ajaccio, Bonifacio, Porto-Vecchio, L'Île-Rousse and Propriano. These are connected to both Italy and the south of France with regular or seasonal routes.
In the north of the island we find the port of Bastia, located in the heart of the city and among the most important in Corsica. The port area is divided between the commercial port (where ferries depart) and the scenic Old Port (Porto Vecchio), which houses mostly fishing boats and hulls.
The port of Ajaccio is located in the southwestern part of Corsica and is enclosed within a sheltered bay. Located close to the historic center, it offers a variety of services and amenities, and is also very close to the train station.
To the west of Cape Pertusato you’ll find the port of Bonifacio, one of the town's most fascinating places. Its magnificent fjord stretches more than 1 km from the sea to the land and is dominated by the imposing Old Town. The port area of Bonifacio is very lively and busy at night.
Porto-Vecchio is the largest city in eastern Corsica and its port is part of a beautiful natural inlet. The marina is perfect for strolling and relaxing in one of its outdoor cafes.
The small port of L'Île-Rousse is located in the northwest and is the main entrance to the Balagne region. Its history is also linked to the seaside village of Calvi, about 24 km away.
Finally to the south we find Propriano, a well-known Grand Valinco seaside resort. Its marina is very quaint and is located behind the famous church of Notre Dame de la Misericordie.
Keep in mind that there are also other smaller ports and marinas in Corsica.
Corsica: ferries, schedules and tickets
Corsica is connected to Italy and France by ferry with year round and seasonal routes.
You can get to Corsica from as many as 8 Italian ports (Livorno, Piombino, Elba, Genoa, Savona, Santa Teresa Gallura, Porto Torres and Golfo Aranci) and 3 French ports (Nice, Marseille and Toulon).
The ferry companies serving routes to Corsica from Italy and France are Moby Lines, Corsica Ferries, Ichnusa Lines, Corsica Linea and La Méridionale. Ferry crossings can take between 50 min and 15 hr 45 min.
Most ferries to Corsica allow passengers to embark their vehicles and to travel with their pets.
Here is some details about ferry routes to Corsica:
Ferries from Italy to Corsica
- Livorno - Bastia ferry: the ferry route from Livorno to Bastia is available year round with 3 daily departures and the crossing take about 4.5 hours.
- Piombino - Bastia ferry: ferries from Piombino to Bastia are only available from July to September with 2 weekly departures. The trip lasts approximately 2 h 45 min.
- Elba - Bastia ferry: ferries to Corsica from Elba Island depart from the main port of Portoferraio.The route is seasonal, with 2 weekly departures. The crossing takes only 1.5 hour.
- Genoa - Bastia ferry: the ferry route from Genoa to Bastia is available from May to October with 1-2 daily ferries according to the season. The ferry trip can take between 5 and 9 hr 45 min, depending on the type of vessel.
- Savona - Bastia ferry: the connection to Bastia from Savona runs year round with 1-2 departures per day according on the season. The ferry trip ranges roughly from 6.5 to 9 hours depending on the itinerary and type of ship.
- Savona - L'Île-Rousse ferry: this route is seasonal, operating from mid-July to September. There are usually 1-3 departures per week, and the crossing takes about 7-8.5 hours depending on the itinerary and type of ship.
- Santa Teresa Gallura - Bonifacio ferry: the ferry route from Santa Teresa Gallura in Sardinia and Bonifacio runs all year round and is very popular. There are usually up to 7 daily departures and the crossings take about 1 hour.
- Porto Torres - Ajaccio ferry: this route also connects Sardinia to Corsica from October to June with up to 2 crossings per week taking about 4 hr 45 min.
- Porto Torres - Porto-Vecchio ferry: this route is active sporadically in May, June, September and October. There are usually 2-3 monthly connections taking about 5-7 hours.
- Golfo Aranci - Bastia ferry: the route to Bastia from Golfo Aranci is only active a few months a year with occasional weekly departures. Crossings can be direct or with stopovers and can take 6.5 hours or 15 hr 45 min on the itinerary.
Bonifacio and its beautiful white cliffs
Ferries from France to Corsica
- Nice to Bastia ferry: the route from the port of Nice to Bastia is seasonal and runs up to 1 daily departure. Crossings usually last 6.5 hours.
- Nice to Ajaccio ferry: this route operates daily from late July to early September and the ferry trip takes about 9 hr.
- Nice - Porto-Vecchio ferry: ferries from Nice to Porto-Vecchio run almost daily from late July to mid-September with overnight as well as morning departures. The trip can take 13-14.5 hours depending on the itinerary.
- Marseille - Bastia ferry: the connection to Bastia from the port of Marseille is available all year long with 5 daily departures. The ferry trip last about 12 hr 45 min.
- Marseille - Ajaccio ferry: this route is active all year round with 3 weekly departures. The journey takes between 10 and 13 hours depending on the ferry company you travel with.
- Marseille - Propriano ferry: connections between Marseille and Propriano are available all year round. There are usually 1-2 daily departures and the crossings take about 13 hours.
- Marseille - Porto-Vecchio ferry: ferries from Marseille to Porto-Vecchio run all year long with up to 1 daily connection taking about 14 hours.
- Toulon - Ajaccio ferry: this ferry route is active all year round with up to 3 daily departures and crossings ranging from 7 to 11 hours.
- Toulon - Bastia ferry: this year long route is very popular, with 1 daily departures and overnight crossings of about 10.5 hours.
- Toulon - L'Île-Rousse ferry: ferries to L'Île-Rousse from the port of Toulon generally run from May to October with 2-3 crossings per week of about 6.5 hours.
- Toulon - Porto-Vecchio ferry: this route is served with 2-3 weekly connections in the summer and 1 ferry per week the rest of the year. The ferry trip lasts approximately 15 hours.
The beautiful bay of Porto-Vecchio, Corsica
Book your ferry tickets to Corsica online
On Ferryhopper you can book cheap ferry tickets to Corsica in just a few clicks. Check all available routes in our map of ferries and start planning your trip to the Island of Beauty!
Corsica ferry timetable
View the complete ferry schedule from and to Corsica for the upcoming week. Find up-to-date trip information, including departure and arrival dates and times, ferry operators and ticket prices.