When you see some pictures of the Corsican beaches, difficult to believe that such landscapes can be French and, what’s more, that they are just a few hours from Marseille or Nice! This is commonly called the “Island of Beauty”. It has more than 1,000 km of coastline and the beaches have nothing to be envious of the world other resorts as they are heavenly! Among the places not to be missed during a stay in Corsica, Ajaccio and the Sanguinaires islands!
It is easier to have a car in Corsica, so if you do not come with your own, be sure to reserve one before you arrive, especially in the summer season! The most economical way is by boat, even if the trip can be a bit long, try to book a speedboat. Sunrise on the island, however, should quickly make you forget the inconvenience!
St. Francois: a sandy beach below the Citadel
Ajaccio is a city linked to Napoleon Bonaparte, many monuments testify to his passage. For example, you can visit the house where he was born in 1769.
Tino Rossi harbour at the old city of Ajaccio
The harbour from the port to the Citadel
You can begin the visit by the small Tino Rossi harbour. This is the boat departure point for discovering the Bay of Porto or the cliffs of Bonifacio. Everywhere, there are cafes. Then you can continue to Fesch street, which starts from the Place du Maréchal Foch on which you can return for the evening market. It is the shopping street of the city, take the time to stroll and have time to admire the Imperial Chapel and the Fesch palace, which hides a museum.
Market on the Place Foch in Ajaccio next to the Tino Rossi harbour
Down the street, the “Cours Napoleon” is the local Champs Elysees and the “Place du General de Gaulle” overlooks the sea and the casino. As for beaches in Ajaccio, you have a wide choice, they number around thirty! Saint François Beach, below and near the Casino, is bordered by an attractive promenade and the citadel. Choose Santa Lina Beach if you come with your family; the beach is supervised in the summer season.
The end of the Santa Lina Beach with its straw hut (photo taken in the winter)
Grand Capo Beach, untamed environment but often rough seas
If you are in Corsica on August 15, you can attend the numerous events (concerts, fireworks ...) given in honour of Napoleon's birthday and take the opportunity to visit the museum dedicated to him in rue Saint-Charles. Another museum to discover is the Fesch which exhibits fine arts including Italian paintings; this is where you will find the most comprehensive collection of the country after the Louvre.
Mare e Sole: a beautiful beach south of Ajaccio
The most beautiful beach, according to the locals, lies thirty kilometres from Ajaccio, it's Mare Sole but there are also small paradises along the road to the Sanguinaires Islands, such as the Marinella Beach with its view to the Capo di Muro at the end of the Bay of Ajaccio. This is where you will find the archipelago of the Sanguinaires. At the entrance to the Bay of Ajaccio, the islands are a haven for many species of birds and have a rare flora. You can reach them by shuttle from the Ajaccio’s Tino Rossi harbour, in this case, watch the waves well, it is not uncommon to see dolphins on the way!
There are also beautiful beaches in Porticcio, easily accessible by boat from the port of Ajaccio.
Otherwise, a small train or car will take you to the point of the peninsula of la Parata. These 4 granite islands offer an unforgettable sight, especially at sunset when the rocks change to a red colour, hence the name. Here and there, at the end of the islands, you can still admire the remains of Genoese towers (at the point of the Parata, for example) sometimes replaced by a lighthouse but seem to continue to monitor the area ... There are many tours for those who love to walk, along the coastline. The site is classified and you can relax on one of its beaches or even go diving ...
Ajaccio and the Sanguinaires Islands are a must-see during your trip to Corsica!