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Hit the beach

It’s imperative you take a day to bask on one of Corsica’s many sandy crescents. Secret coves and secluded pools punctuate the coastline, perfect for an afternoon’s lazing and sun soaking.

Calvi’s lovely strand stretches for five miles, fronting the resort town – a clutch of bars offer refreshments and the waters are gloriously shallow. Perhaps the most beautiful beach, in the wilderness of Desert des Agriates, is Plage de Saleccia – soft, soft sand gives out to cornflower waters and studded with mossy rocks. The slightly smaller and wilder strand of Plage de Loto lies to the east.

Then there’s the Plage De Palombaggia – probably Corsica’s most famous beach – near Porto-Vecchio. It offers more of the same: white sands and blue waters edged by verdant mountains. This one gets busy in peak season.

Go back to nature

Corsica’s rugged mountain scenery is on par with its beautiful beaches and adventure seekers will revel in the opportunities to hike, bike and boat the best of the island.

For Corsica’s countryside in a microcosm, venture to Scandola Nature Reserve with its red cliffs and secluded bays. Recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the reserve sits in the Gulf of Porto, and can only be taken in by boat. Encompassing nearly four square miles of land and almost another four of protected ocean, it’s the perfect place for bird-watchers, who may spot ospreys or even bald eagles soaring overhead. The marine life is fascinating, too – the waters are home to colourful coral and you may also see the occasional dolphin.

Experienced hikers can try tackling the Fra li Monte (also known as the GR20) – the island’s most famous hiking trail. It stretches for more than 120 miles, from the north of the country (in Calenzana) to the south, beating a path through Corsica’s soaring peaks with a series of gîtes along the way. If you’re after something more laid-back, the terrain around beautiful Bonifacio lends itself perfectly to trekking and mountain biking.

Take a boat to Bonifacio

This encompasses two of Corsica’s essential activities: a boat ride and a trip to the island’s most interesting clifftop town. Bonifacio impresses from the ocean, its citadel perched proudly atop a hulking limestone bluff. Once on land, the town is a delight to explore. Wander the citadel’s sun-dappled streets, purchase wares from local craftspeople and enjoy an evening aperitif on the marina. Come night-time, feast on Corsican cuisine in Aria Nova, a traditional restaurant offering lovely sea views if you’re sat in the right spot.

Explore historical landmarks

A curious megalithic site in southern Corsica, Filitosa offers a glimpse into the island’s prehistoric past. The landmark is a collection of great stone walls and statues, carved with faces and patterns. The megaliths date back thousands of years, but they were uncovered back in 1946 by Charles-Antoine Cesari, the landowner at the time. The stories associated with the megaliths are tangled and uncertain, but a small on-site museum attempts to unpick them and displays fascinating archaeological finds from the area. Whether you’re interested in ancient history or not, the bucolic setting makes this site well worth a visit.

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