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Corsica, a Mediterranean island south of the French mainland, encompasses striking mountains, charming fishing villages and swanky coastal resort towns. Come here to sail the open waters, test your mountain biking skills on narrow paths and sunbathe in the Mediterranean sunshine.
While Corsica is officially part of France and has been since 1768, the island has a distinctive character of its own. The island was ruled by the Italians since the 11th century and has been heavily influenced by Italian architecture and culture. This explains why, although French is the official language, many locals also speak Corsu, a native language resembling Italian.
Venture to Bastia, an old port town packed with charming neighborhoods such as Terra Nova and Terra Vecchia. Walk along the trails of nearby Cap Corse that wind their way to the north of the island. Pause in Erbalunga, a fishing village that has attracted many artists and painters who were inspired by the picturesque views.
Other settlements worth seeking out include the town of Corte in central Corsica, which oozes character. Follow a heritage trail through the cobblestone streets of the old town and buy local cheese from shepherds.
Hikers will be in heaven in the Regional Nature Park of Corsica, which extends across around 40 percent of the island, while prehistoric sites such as Ceccia and Castellu d’Araghju are a must-see for history-obsessed visitors.
In the south of the island, discover the white cliffs of Bonifacio and the relaxing beaches of Saint Cyprien and Cala Rossa.
Corsica has four airports with regular flights to the French mainland arriving and departing year round. Services from other destinations in Europe operate during peak season. Alternatively, arrive by ferry from France or Italy. Book ahead for the best prices and to ensure a spot. Buses do serve the larger towns and cities of Corsica, but for the most control over your vacation, buy a Corsica road map and rent a car.
In addition to exploring Corsica’s major attractions, consider stopping by a local weekend market to meet the locals and gain a deeper understanding of the islanders’ daily customs.
*Savings based on all vacation package bookings with Flight + Hotel on Expedia.ca from January through December 2017, as compared to price of the same components booked separately. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, stay dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages.