[CORSICA, FRANCE] — Smack in the middle of the deep blue Mediterranean Sea are two big islands, Sardinia and Corsica. Almost like twins, ripped apart, both jut out of the sea like breeching whales, with huge mountains in the middle and some of the best beaches in all of Europe, if not the world, ringing their rocking shores.
Corsica is a magical adventure land, with an infinite amount of sporty things to do. Hiking. Climbing. Canyoning. Snorkeling. Sailing. Boating. Or just sit on the beach. The middle is spiked with enormous shark-toothed mountains, some as high as the Alps, often dotted with snow year-round. It’s only 200km long, but with a wild spread of geography that would rival entire countries 100x its size. And we’re talking gnarly mountains, huge lumps of rocky, sharp granite that looks like it just bubbled up from below. Nasty mountains, impenetrable in spots and just as hard to navigate. There are no major highways, just windy two-lane roads that rarely have straight spots that weave through the craggy interior. Even though only 200km long, travel times take forever, even over short distances. It can take several hours just to cut across the middle, with zigzagging roads working their way through steep ravines and valleys.
In this post, I’m going to take you on a tour of the southern part of the island and it’s best beaches. Lots of beach pictures.
Here’s a little picture tour of the beaches of Corsica in the south — at least the ones I’ve been able to get to. Moving counter clockwise from around seven o’clock to 4 o’clock.
I think you’d like this place.
This is not Nice. So this is what Corsica looks like. Not the cranky pebbled beaches you might be accustomed to in a lot of southern France and most of Italy. This is smooth, silky stuff you want to scrunch your toes into. The geology of southern Corsica is so similar to the dreamy velvety beaches of nearby Sardinia, it’s almost like they were brothers ripped apart from each other, which they were, long ago.Severe pointy granite mountains inland, lumps of big soft round boulders and feathery sand on the edges, with see-thru martini water lapping on the shores.
This is Plage d’Erbaju, Murtoli’s pristine beach I showed in my previous post. 3km of sandy emptiness, like a fluffy Golden Retriever, just begging to be walked.
This is not one of those travel brochure shots you see, with a smiling matching white-suited fit couple smiling alone and then when you get there it’s actually chock-a-block with rented beach chairs, tacky vendor stalls and crowded with hoards of families, floaties and sunburned Britons. This is about as crowded as I saw it the whole week I was there, save for the random comings-and-goings of the yachts and sailboats dropping anchor to experience this tropical bliss.
Heaven. On Earth.
Okay, the beaches in Corsica are some of the most dramatic I’ve ever seen. The interior of Corsica is loaded with steep soaring granite peaks, mountains lined up like shark teeth, then crashing down to sea, ending in silky sand that feels good between your toes. This is the other side of Roccapina beach. Looks good from any angle. .
The view down from the ancient Tour de Roccapina
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[CLICK ON A PIC TO OPEN UP THE STORIES]:
This is what I like to do.
I tell ya, I spent two full weeks in Corsica and felt like I barely scratched the surface. There is so much to see and do on this little rocky island in the Med. I’ll break these posts into several parts of the island. Also, here’s a picto-map of where all these places are on Corse:
Where to stay in Corsica in Conde Nast Traveler. http://www.cntraveller.com/guides/europe/france/corsica/where-to-stay
The Villages, Valleys and Views of Corsica from Fathom Way to Go http://fathomaway.com/guides/europe/france/itineraries/itinerary-corsica-france/
Garance Doré’s Insider’s Guide to Corsica from the Wall Street Journal http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324021104578550762270667192
High in the Hills of Corsica from the New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/14/travel/high-in-the-hills-of-corsica.html?_r=1
This is a great guide from the UK Conde Nast Traveller “The Best Unspoiled Parts of Corsica” http://www.cntraveller.com/recommended/beaches/hotels-villas-north-coast-corsica
And from the UK’s Telegraph Travel Section “Corsica: An In-Depth Guide” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/france/corsica/733092/Corsica-an-in-depth-guide.html
This is an awesome site on Corsica, called Corsican Plaeces. Here’s their detailed pages and pretty pictures of some of the same beaches. https://www.corsica.co.uk/beaches
And this is a fantastic article from Travel & Leisure called “Corsica’s Wild Beaches, Mountains and Beauty” http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/corsicas-wild-beaches-mountains-and-beauty
I’ve never seen this site before, but it has cool insight into other great beaches I didn’t know were there. On World’s Best Beaches. http://www.worldsbestbeaches.net/destinations/europe-best-beaches/corsicas-best-beaches/
And here’s a video slide show of some great pics of Corsican beaches, some I’ve never heard of. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90CCkiUW4Uw
Another great overview article of the south of Corsica from Conde Nast Traveler http://www.cntraveler.com/stories/2013-01-23/the-south
And finally, here’s a great overview from The Independent. http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/europe/corsica-beach-bliss-on-a-wild-isle-2346380.html
Last visited: July 2015. First visited June 2000.
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