Corsica is an idyllic island, just off the coast of Italy which boasts more than 600 miles of beautiful unspoilt coastline. Despite its beauty, and relative closeness to the Italian mainland; Corsica remains largely untouched by mass tourism and considers itself to be closer to the French way of life. It’s still possible to travel to this island gem and feel that your family are amongst the first to discover its charms – but holidays to Corsica are much cheaper than many would expect and there are some excellent deals and offers available, including package holidays. For some of the best bargains, online travel agents are a good place to look – particularly for late deals, early booking offers or unspecified accommodation discounts.
In recent years, family trips to Corsica are becoming increasingly affordable; with many package deals, including all inclusive offers, now available at bargain prices. For low cost trips, many online tour operators can often be the best option with some of the cheapest package prices ever available and many deals such as ‘children stay free’. Even luxury holidays can be found online at a fraction of the usual cost, and many resorts in Corsica participate in late booking deals which can provide bargains with up to 30% off. The resorts themselves are diverse and offer excellent value for money, with a feeling of remoteness and peaceful isolation – whilst all modern facilities and attractions remain easily accessible.
History and Culture
Corsica’s history has been full of turbulence and invasions; lending to the unique architecture and providing some fascinating insights in the island’s museums. For many years Corsica was ruled by France, and many Corsicans still consider their island to have strong links to the French. The official language of Corsica is French, although many Corsicans speak a native language known as u Corsu which is based on Genoese with strong influences from all the nations who have occupied Corsica over the years. Whilst this may be confusing for some tourists, many local people speak English and all tend to be appreciative of even basic attempts to communicate in French.
Local festivals, farmer’s markets and fairs are a great way to explore the Corsican culture; and there are often traditional events during the summer season in the island’s towns and villages. Corsica is famed for its wine, and tastings are important social events for visitors and local people alike. Red and rose wines are more popular on the island than their white counterparts, and Corsican Muscat is a delight. In season game and boar are popular purchases from the island’s farmers markets; and these delicacies are usually served simply, with emphasis on quality and rustic presentation rather than fiddly techniques.
Restaurants and Dining
Food is of central importance to the Corsican way of life, and dining out is taken very seriously by the locals! Restaurants concentrate on local produce, so when by the coast the fish and seafood will be freshly caught and well prepared; whereas inland chicken, wild pig and game dishes may be the specialities. Corsican food has learnt much from their Italian neighbours, and dishes are deeply flavoured and simply served. Specialised children’s menus are much rarer than in the UK, but all restaurants are more than happy to cater for children, young people and special diets and offer smaller portions of adult meals. Ewe and goat’s cheese remain popular throughout Corsica; and in regions where they forage for chestnuts – wild boar and other game are often served.
Ferme-auberges are traditional ‘farm inns’ which serve authentic local food. For fresh, quality produce and traditional Corsican fare, these can often be amongst the best places to eat. They serve meats and vegetables which are in-season, and rather than having the usual ‘menu’ system – they simply base their special dishes on what’s freshest and best for the day. Ferme-auberges are very popular amongst local Corsicans and are a fabulous way to experience the Corsican relationship with food and dining. Italian dishes are also very popular, and there are a number of excellent pizza and pasta restaurants which cater for an Italian market and are amongst the best places to eat on the island for vegetarians and vegans.
The rugged landscape, beautiful woodlands and perfect sandy beaches are the perfect backdrop for many activities and sports. On the sea, there are many water sports to enjoy; including diving, windsurfing, sailing, water skiing, jet skiing and sailing; and many local instructors and hire firms cater to the tourist market, providing safe and fun experiences.
Corsica has often been referred to as a ‘mountain in the sea’ and this rocky terrain is perfect for canyoning, mountain biking, rock-climbing, abseiling, hiking and trekking. Many are also attracted to the possibilities of adventure sports; with visitors able to take part in hang-gliding, quad biking, parachuting, paragliding, bungee jumping and hunting. For those seeking some more relaxing pursuits, Corsica is also famed for its golf, fishing, leisurely walks and horse riding.