Our Corsica handy guide
We are now closing our Corsican trip with our Corsica handy guide. Here, you will find all our top addresses and tips to make your stay on the Island of Beauty memorable, although it does not take too much effort!
How to get to Corsica?
You have several options to go to Corsica according to your budget and your place of departure. If you want to take the plane, check out Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. It’s great to have an overview of the best dates and best airports to depart from to one the corsican airports located in Bastia, Ajaccio, Figari or Calvi. Living in the South of Fance, the simplest solution for us was to go to Corsica by ferry. We left from Toulon with Corsica Ferries (there are also departures from Nice) with a night ferry. The crossing takes about 8 hours so it is quite nice to be able to pass the time by taking a good night sleep. You will have the choice between various options when booking your trip. We went to Corsica because of the Travel Bloggers Convention and so we split the cost of a 4-places cabin with Fred and Karl from the blogs Yummy Planet and Hobography. It was a good deal and, even though the additional cost might seem expensive, we believe it is essential to book a cabin. If you can’t share the cost of a cabin, you can always book a chair for less than €10 ($11), even if it honestly did not look comfortable, it’s just for one night. There is also the possibility to improvise and sleep on the floor but it is a little haphazard to find a place where there wouldn’t be too many people going by. If you think you will have your breakfast on the boat, you should tick the option when booking, it will end up being cheaper. Regarding prices, the 2-way crossing costs between 50 and 100€ (55 and 110$), but keep in mind that prices fluctuate a lot depending on the time of the year. We didn’t bring a car while crossing, but we saw it was quite expensive to do so. Again, it’s worth it if you can split the bill. We crossed at night so we didn’t really enjoy the boat’s amenities but there really were a lot to do between shops, a game room, a pool, a bar or a restaurant.
Accomodation in Corsica
When we were in Ajaccio, we were accommodated at the La Pinède Hotel, ideally located on the Route des Sanguinaires. This 3-star hotel is ideal for small budget travelers, it offers lovely sea-facing double rooms from 85 to 199€ (93 to 218$) depending on the season. There is nothing better than starting the day with a panoramic view of the horizon! Our room was very nice and comfortable, despite an outdated decor and the breakfast is simple and filling. We deeply regretted not having the time to enjoy the pool!
For a more welcoming scenery, we urge you to go lose yourself on the heights of Pila-Canale at the Villa Guidi. Nath spent an absolutely unforgettable blogtrip day in this beautiful guest house with the very welcoming owners. As a bonus, you will learn a lot about the region and the Corsican culture thanks to the funny anecdotes told by Christian, the master of the house. At the end of a great meal, Nath had the opportunity to visit the rooms, which are decorated with great taste, each with its own theme. Moreover, the panoramic terrace that goes with each room, offers a beautiful view of the Taravo valley below. It is truly an exceptional place!
Finally, if you have higher standards, we have something for you in store. As part of the Travel Bloggers Convention, we had the chance to spend a special evening at the Sofitel in Porticcio, a magnificent 5-star hotel, a first for us! We arrived directly from the convention center, across the Ajaccio bay by motor boat and we were dazzled by the place when we got there. The large garden is absolutely beautiful and offers a great view over the horizon, perfect to watch the sunset! The hotel, which we had the chance to visit on a little private tour, has its own private beach as well as a pool and a spa and the rooms are very nice.
As part of our 2-day blogtrip with Corsica Ferries, we were accommodated at the Les Voyageurs Hotel in Bastia and it was a real favorite. We fell under the spell of its refined decoration focused on the theme of travels which gives it a strong visual identity. We slept in the comfortable Asian themed room and didn’t hesitate to visit the rooms of our blogger friends, being so curious! We also had a crush on the cozy library in the colonial style lobby. We bitterly regretted not having time to read one of its countless books comfortably settled in its big armchairs.
Where to eat in Corsica?
Despite the short time that we had there, we discovered beautiful gourmet addresses in Corsica as part of several partnerships. For a delicious meal at a reasonable price and in an exceptional setting, you can go with your eyes closed at the Villa Guidi in Pila-Canale. Yes, we are rambling, but it is worth it! You will die for Marianne’s simple and delicious cuisine and Christian’s anecdotes will put you in a good mood, for sure! You can also make your senses wriggle at the Chemin des Vignobles, a great wine bar that also provides wine courses. An absolute must for discovering Corsican specialties and wine. The place is owned by Nicolas Stromboni and was awarded to be the best wine shop in France, no less! If you prefer a small tasting of local products on the go, we advise you to go for a walk to Ajaccio‘s central market on the place Foch. There’s no better place to soak up the vibrant Corsican lifestyle and sympathize with merchants each more smiling than the other. Do not miss out the U Cintu fine grocery stand where you will be able to sample the exquisite and authentic Corsican charcuterie, a pure delight! You can even leave with your lonzu or your coppa cut into fine slices and vacuum-packed! Not ideal but perfect if you plan to move around for days, like us!
If you’d rather eat with a nice view on the water, we have what you need! La Marinuccia, a chic restaurant in Saint-Florent, and the Urbinu, a family restaurant located on the Etang d’Urbinu in Ghisonaccia. These two addresses offer stunning views of the horizon and you will absolutely love their waterfront terraces. For maximum benefit, we suggest you to go eat there for sunset!
Corsican specialties to try
Know that the Corsican gastronomy is very varied and rich and we have been able to taste a tiny part of it. We’ll tell you about the things we tried during our stay and it is clear that we still have many good Corsican dishes to taste!
Even if you don’t like it, when leaving you will be sure of who I am – Christian (Villa Guidi)
In Corsica, cow’s milk is not exploited. You will only find cheese made from ewe or goat milk. You won’t be able to taste corsican gastronomy without tasting the brocciu because it is declined in so many different dishes ! It’s a pretty creamy cheese obtained by heating whey to which cold milk is added. We tasted it as an omelette, fritters or dessert, in the fiadone, and each time it was a pure delight! We also tasted the tomme de brebis which has a much stronger flavor but is also very good.
Charcuterie is one of Corsican’s great pride and after having tasted it, we totally understand why! Corsican pigs are raised outdoor in the maquis and fed exclusively with chestnuts. They give an exquisite charcuterie with a fine and spicy taste but it is also the rarest. The island is small and they would need to raise more pigs than there are people on there to meet the demand. So, as you can understand, this type of charcuterie is primarily reserved to locals but you will be able to find some in markets or grocer’s shops, don’t hesitate to ask for advice. There is also semi-industrial charcuterie where pigs are only fed chestnuts shortly before slaughter and industrial charcuterie where carcasses are imported from the mainland and are only processed in Corsica. Obviously, there is a price difference between the 3 ranges of charcuterie but the traditional one is worth the expense, if you have the opportunity to taste it! We tasted saucisson, lonzu and coppa and had a preference for the latter which is certainly not light but offers a slightly peppery aftertaste, a pure delight! Warning, the so-called typical Corsican donkey saucisson is a myth, it does not exist!
Meat and seafood
Like all animals on the island, the Corsican calf is exclusively raised outdoor which gives it a better taste. We had the opportunity to taste veal as tartare as well as roasted and the meat was melting and delicious! Regarding seafood, we tested delicious oysters at our afterwork party at the Sofitel hotel. You should know that there are only two oyster farmers on the island, one of which is the Etang d’Urbinu (Urbinu Pond). Due to very favorable climatic conditions, it takes only a year for oysters to develop there versus the 4 years required in Normandy, for instance.
Besides the delicious brucciu fiadone we tasted in Ajaccio, we also discovered Nuciola, Corsican Nutella, and it was a revelation! This spread is worth the trip and don’t make the same mistake we did, you should buy several jars at a time! We were depressed when we quickly finished ours!
We only spent one week on the island but we tasted countless different wines, each more delicious than the other. You should know that Corsican white wines are very renowned. Special mention to the Necruzzi wine, one of the best French wines. We had the chance to taste it at the Villa Guidi and it can’t be found in store. There is also the Blanc de Noirs wine, we tasted at the Urbinu restaurant, a white wine made from black grapes. Surprising and delicious. During our day around Ghisoni, we also tasted delicious chestnut wine ! For an apéritif, nothing like a good Cap Corse, a soft and very sweet wine, or a good fresh Corsican mojito. Did you know that there is a typically Corsican beer? Well neither did we before going there! Think about testing the Pietra beer once there!
Things to see and do in Corsica
The advantage with an event like the Travel Bloggers Convention, the main reason we were in Corsica, is that many bloggers were in the same place at the same time and have tried out many activities there. So, here is a non exhaustive list of activities you can do in Corsica. We tested some of them ourselves but there are also some of the activities tested and approved by our blogger buddies, so you have the most complete information possible, even though some of the posts are in french.
– La Saleccia beach
– Calanques de Piana
– The Scandola Reserve
– Biking on the heights of Ghisoni
– Canyoning in the Richjusa
– Trekking on the Sentier des Douaniers
– Sea kayaking around the Isolella peninsula
– Trekking on the Sentier des Crêtes
– Escape Game
– Stand up paddling at sea
– Listening to polyphonic corsican songs
– The Col de Teghime
– The Road of senses
– Visiting Ajaccio in the footsteps of Napoléon
– Corsican wine tasting
– Prehistoric site of Filitosa[/one_third_last]
Gwénaëlle • Et pourtant elle tourne...
Oh, merci pour la mention ! Great article 🙂
De rien, mais c’est avec plaisir! On est ravis que l’article te plaise! 😉
Please help me. I am trying to buy a very nice bottle of wine a bordeaux or a burgundy. I would like to order on line or purchase it over the phone and have it sent to a friend who lives in Porticcio. I am not sure how to do this. Could you help point me in the direction of wine shops.
Sorry Joanne, we can’t help on that matter. Good luck :)!