As part of our months cycling trip we visited decided to spend a week in Corsica. Mainly down to chatting to people and hearing great things. Corsica is a small island off the French coast in the Mediterranean sea. Mountains make up two thirds of the island, its 183 km long, 83km wide and has 1000km of coastline with 200 beaches. Monte Cinto has the highest peak at 2,706m and there are 20 other summits of more than 2,000m. There are also large forests on the island which cover 20%.
These stats are all very impressive but on arrival we were BLOWN away, Corsica is absolutely breathtaking. You could be anywhere in the world yet you are just off the French coast. There are 9 different regions each completely different geographically and culturally.
We got an overnight ferry across from Marseille, arriving into port at 7am just as the sun as coming up. We came into Ajancco the Capital, we went out onto the deck to have a look around expecting t see some hills we were faced by a rugged skyline of huge mountains! So much bigger than we expected and a lot of them snow capped.
We spend a week traveling around and covered most of the island either by bike or driving between places in the van. The island is a world apart from the French mainland, some villages feel very French while others very Italian. There is a sense of hostility especially if you go through the more remote parts, there are bullet holes in a lot of the road signs and often the French is spray painted out and just the Italian names left on the signs. We stayed in one small village near the cap le Corse and went for beers in a little bar which felt like someones living room the barman took out order in quite bad French but then continued to speak in Italian to his buddies. Actually Corsica has its own language which we didn’t realize which is much closer to Italian than French which is what he may have been speaking.
The food and drink is amazing, it feels like Corsica is very self sufficient and a lot of the food feels locally produces. There is a lot of dried hams and meats, fresh fruit and veg, inland there is wild board in the spring and autumn where as there is more fish and seafood on the coast. There are plenty of local cheeses but not many cows on the island so you mainly get goat and ewes cheese. To wash it down there are plenty of local drinks there are 3 main beers Pietra being the main one and lots of Corsican wines.
If you are looking for somewhere is Europe with stunning beaches, little coves, huge forests, snow capped mountains, delicious food and wine Corsica has it all. You can be sitting in a modern wine bar in Ajanccio one evening, ski touring the next day, go on amazing treks, Mtb, road rides, hikes, rock climb, go canyoning the list is endless… and its all confined to one island making everything accessible.
Corsica is epic there is defiantly a sense of adventure in the air and its somewhere that we defiantly hope to be revisiting!