Corsica is a French island situated in Mediterranean Sea. Everybody who has had the good fortune to visit it will confirm that this is one of the most beautiful and romantic places on our planet. Hardly could be a better combination between nature and culture, as the island of Corsica is a cultural and historical crossroad between France and Italy and this is an important part of its magic.
Geographic location, boundaries and size of Corsica. Corsica is located about 12 kilometers from the island of Sardinia, less than 90 kilometers from the coast of the Italian province of Tuscany and approximately 170 km from Monaco and France. Occupies an area of 8681 sq. km and extends about 183 km at the widest point from north to south. The island falls within the northeastern parts of the western Mediterranean, on north of the island is located the Tyrrhenian Sea. Corsica is located between 41 and 43° north latitude and between 8 and 9° east longitude. On the territory of Corsica are 2 of the departments of France.
Relief of Corsica. This is an island which is dominated by mountainous relief forms. The main mountain range stretches from north to south. Many peaks rise to a height of over 2000 meters, but the highest is Monte Cano, which reaches 2706 meters. Coastline for the most part, is highly segmented. Exceptions are the eastern parts of the island where the coastline is straight and almost no curves.
Population of Corsica. About 310,000 is the population of Corsica today. For the majority of locals, Corsican language is official. However, French is spoken almost everywhere as a second official language. English also plays an important role as a principal mean of communication with foreigners. And they are many. Some of them live on the island all year round, others come just for the summer. For some people this island is a place for work, for others – for a holiday. Some people come here to invest in a real estate, other – in business, and third come just to spend money. In any case, diversity is really great. With the development and increasingly progressive integration into the European Union increasing number of inhabitants of England and the Baltic countries remain here throughout the year because of the wonderful climate. The largest city is Ajaccio. It plays the role of capital of Corsica. Ajacco has a population of about 70,000 people. It is located on the southwest coast.
Economy of Corsica. The economy of this beautiful Mediterranean island is heavily dependent on tourism industry. The majority of the population is somehow related with tourism, whether working in the hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, transport companies or produce goods primarily intended for consumption by tourists. Besides being a superb tourist destination, Corsica is famous for its high quality food products it manufactures. Here we must mention the famous local cheeses and wines, whose fame rests far from the borders of the island. Mediterranean as a whole has always been considered to be one of the regions in the world which produces the highest quality food, especially when we talk about France and Italy.
Climate of Corsica. Corsica has an unusually warm and sunny climate compared with other places located on these latitudes. Situated almost equidistant from the equator such as New York, Corsica still enjoys a warm subtropical Mediterranean climate. Alps mountain chain that lies north of Corsica stops cold air masses during winter months. At the same time on the South there are no barriers which to stop warm air masses, coming from Africa. Thus during the winter season from December to March temperatures are moving in the range between 12 and 15°C. Well, of course sometimes it happens to become cooler and even to form a thin snow cover, but it lasts very short. At the same time is not an exception temperatures to become higher than usual. For Corsica temperatures of 17, 18 and even 20°C are possible even in January. For local mild climate helps the Mediterranean, whose waters during the long and hot summers have warmed enough to produce heat during the brief and mild winters. The transitional seasons are short as in any other place in the Mediterranean. April and November are typical spring and autumn months. During these two months the temperatures are around 18°C. From May to October the weather is wonderful, but from June to late September is even hot with daily temperatures above 25 – 26°C. May and October are coolest months of the summer semester. During the day the thermometers show the pleasant 21 – 22°C. During sunny days, the weather is perfect for the beach. During these two months night temperatures are lower.
Weather of Corsica is wet compared to the southern Mediterranean. Here are not typical droughts as it is into the southern and western parts of Mediterranean. Rainy season lasts from October to April. There is autumn and winter maximum of precipitation. Drier months are from May to late September. During the cold winter days is not excluded the forming of a thin and precarious snow cover, but it happens very rarely with the exception of the mountains.
Corsica is one of the best tourist destinations in the world and it is not surprising. Its location between France and Italy played a major role in local cultural development. This has made Corsica to be the perfect Mediterranean island – steeped in history, culture and traditions, offering an incredible culinary wealth.
Coast. Corsica has some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe and even in the world, but those which you will find in the vicinity of Porto Vecchio in the southeast of the island just will take your breath! Santa Julia, Rondinara, Spiaggia di Balistra, Santa Manza, Palombaggia, St. Cyprien (San Ciprianu), Golfe de Pinarelu are some names to remember if you want to experience unforgettable moments on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. In the small bays in this part of the island were formed paradise beautiful turquoise lagoons with the whitest sand and the clearest and cleanest waters, you can imagine. Nature is very well preserved, greenery is abundant and small towns and villages in the region just will enchant you with their quiet and romantic atmosphere. The narrow streets will make you feel like you are in the Middle Ages. Here you’ll find small and charming cafes and restaurants where to eat seafood with fresh vegetables. And everything radiates so much style! Corsica hotels are not big and this applies completely about the southeast of the island, which in our opinion is really the most beautiful part of Corsica.
Inside. Mountainous interior of the island is very well preserved. Unlike the coast, there are very few people to live into the mountains. Here you can see surprisingly small hotel or restaurant. The interior of the island is a paradise not only for wildlife but also for tourists who want to experience contact with nature. Among the covered with dense Mediterranean vegetation mountain ridges there are wonderful small villages. Sometimes you will encounter some small romantic churches and chapels. The island also has a wide variety of wildlife such as mouflon, wild goats, wild boars, wild cats, and a huge variety of rodents, birds, amphibians and reptiles. One of the biggest attractions of Corsica lies off the coast. In the northwestern part of the island is located the village of Monte Maggiore. It is situated atop a picturesque hill. There are narrow streets and lazy provincial Mediterranean atmosphere.
Cities. It would be craziness if you miss the steeped in culture small coastal towns on the island. One of the most charming places is Bonifacio. It is located on a small and narrow peninsula in the south of the island. The buildings are old and the streets – narrow. You can feel the spirit of Europe. Between the peninsula and the rest of Corsica has formed a creek, in whose most sheltered end you will find a small marina. The outer part of the peninsula is steep and rocky, but the buildings are just to the edge of the cliffs. Porto Vecchio is also charming. It is most famous with its picturesque location. Nearby the town there are unbelievable beaches and vegetation is abundant. On the northeast edge of Corsica is one of the largest and most important urban centers on the island – Bastia. It supports numerous ferry lines with different cities in the Mediterranean – Nice, Marseilles, Genoa, Livorno, Civitavecchia, Vado Ligure. Visit also Saint Florent, which is located on the north coast, about 20 kilometers west of Bastia. It is famous for its yacht harbour, located in the estuary of Aliso river, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Asunta and the citadel, located next to the marina and beach. On the west coast of Corsica is the island’s capital and one of the largest cities (together with Bastia) – this is Ajaccio. Similar to Bastia, Ajaccio also supports numerous ferry connections. The city is linked with Porto Torres, Marseille, Toulon and Nice. The difference between Ajaccio and Bastia is that while Bastia is an important hub for transport links with Italy, Ajaccio it is more important port about the transport connections with the French cities. In Ajaccio is located also the International Airport of Corsica – Campo del Oro.
What is the best time for tourism in Corsica? The best time for tourism on the island of Corsica is the summer semester from May to October. Then the daily temperatures are above 20 degrees, the sun is abundant and the weather is generally the best. In this part of the year you will see Corsica in its best. Beach season here lasts six months, but for those who hold the higher temperatures the months of May and October may not be warm enough for swimming and sunbathing. Winter is less suitable for tourism, but also has its advantages. The biggest advantage of this season is that you will avoid the crowds of tourists and you can enjoy the tranquility while exploring the island. Also do not forget that this is the Mediterranean and the weather is mild even in January. This makes Corsica a nice place for wintering for the population of northern Europe.
What clothes to wear for tourism in Corsica? From May to October you have to wear summer clothes but still add to your luggage and a pair of jeans plus an anorak. These clothes will be useful if the weather become cooler. In April and November Spring clothing is appropriate. Conditions are suitable for long sleeves and long pants, but avoid too warm clothes. A thin jacket or warm anorak are adequate even for the coolest April and November days. If you travel in the period from December to March do not travel without a jacket. If you encounter a good weather maybe you will do not need to use it, but note that there may sometimes can form even a thin snow cover, although such a phenomenon is rare and occurs once per 10 years.