Camping & mobile home holidays on Corsica
Campsites we feature in Corsica
The 4* Sole di Sari campsite has a lagoon style pool with whirlpools, lots of facilities & activities for all.
The 4* Marina d'Erba Rossa campsite has direct access to a sandy beach, has a pool, wellness & spa centre + lots more activities.
Corsica, a holiday island of France - Overview
Corsica, a small island in the Mediterranean Sea is one of the 13 regions of France. It is located west of the Italian Peninsula, southeast of the French mainland, and north of the Italian island of Sardinia. A single chain of mountains make up two-thirds of the island. The island is now popular with camping and mobile home holidaymakers.
Arguably, given its position, climate and laid back way of life this is the Jewell in the Crown of the whole Mediterranean, including France, as well as being the birthplace of Napoleon who was born 1769 in the Corsican capital of Ajaccio. His family ancestral home, Maison Bonaparte, is today used as a museum.
To fully understand this next part one must remember that there are Regions in France, and they are split into Departments. So it was then that Corsica was a region until 1975 when it was decided to split it into two departments; Haute-Corse or Upper Corsica and Corse-du-Sud, or Southern Corsica which includes the original capital Ajaccio. Upper Corsica has the second largest city in Bastia.
Due to Corsica's earlier historical ties with the Italian peninsula, the island retains many elements of the culture of Italy to this day. A variation of the native Corsican language is closely related to the Italian language and is recognised as a regional language by the French government.
Corsica has a mix of stylish coastal towns, dense forests and craggy peaks, of which Monte Cinto is the highest. Nearly half of the island falls within a park whose hiking trails include the challenging GR 20. Beaches there range from the busy Pietracorbara to remote Saleccia and Rondinara.
Without any doubt Corsica has a far, far slower pace of life than we do in the UK. Probably this is due to a much warmer climate than ours, or quite probably because there is simply no reason to rush about, but there is most certainly the mañana atmosphere here that one normally associates with southern Spain.
This laid back atmosphere is addictive, especially to Brits who are more used to having rain one day, cloud the next and possibly a few rays of sunshine the next.
Even the seasons are less important here as, even though Autumn and Winter are much cooler than the main holiday periods the island doesn't have the bitingly cold winds of our little island in the North Sea.
Activities on Corsica
Corsica has over 1,000 KM's of coastline - or just over 600 miles - and most of it is home to crystal clear waters, vast fine sandy beaches, small deserted creeks and granite cliffs inhabited by sea birds. In short, the island offers a unique variety of marine landscapes and even in high season there are deserted creeks and inlets in which to dive, fish or simply swim. Corsica is unarguably a paradise for enthusiasts of sea and water sports.
There are boats for hire here – small boats, large boats and sizes in between though the large ones require you to have a licence of competence before you are allowed to hire.
There are yachts for hire here as well, catamarans, sailing vessels and motor boats with or without crew. Or you can go on day cruises (probably the safest option) and there are also luxury yachts for hire, complete with crew though we believe that this is a tad expensive.
For those who have never sailed before but who would like to try then there are training classes made just for you, and English is spoken by the tutors. Basically this entails the tutor being in a motorboat which tows a line of five or six small dinghies. He or she then shouts instructions to you and within an hour or two you are proficient enough to go out on your own - not too far, but at least you can be your own captain for a few hours.
Anyone can have great fun sitting in a rubber ring and being towed at speed by a motorboat. One boat usually tows three or four rings at the same time and it really is an exhilarating ride.
Body boarding here is also fun and if you haven’t tried that before then you would never have believed the speed that the waves bring you into shore. Proper surfing isn’t too popular here in the Med because the tides are so low and unable to generate the large rollers needed for a good ride. If you want surfing then you are better off on the south west coast of France where 5 metre rollers are commonplace.
Diving centres and shops are littered all over the island so if you have a certificate you can dive alone (safer with a buddy though) or if you are a beginner you can go to classes and get your certificate that way. Being well out in the Mediterranean Sea is far better than diving from the shores of southern France as you are immediately cast into a world of crystal clear sea with all sorts of coloured fish and marine creatures literally within reach.
The inland of Corsica is even more interesting than whatever you may find in the sea and, for instance, there are the ruins of Filitosa, an important prehistoric site dating back 8,000 years which is famous for its menhirs (standing stones) and other fascinating remains. The Menhirs are very similar to those found in Carnac, Brittany.
The ancient town of Aléria is well worth a vist too, with its Greek ramparts, pre-Roman necropolis and Roman villa. Also of major historical significance are the archaeological sites of Capula and Cucuruzzu in Levie in the heart of the Alta-Rocca. In short, there is a wealth of early history if that is of interest.
Your history lessons in Corsica don't have to be limited to Greek or Roman excavations and ruins, so if is worth casting your net somewhat wider and visiting some of the old but not yet ancient villages like
Casalta, which is a commune in the Haute-Corse and where chestnut forests and olive groves sit side by side, and it is here you will see houses clinging precariously to their rocky perches, leaning out over the edge of the gorge. How people live in them mystifies me because it gave me vertigo just to look at them!
The Santa Maria Nunciata parish church dates from the 17th century and flanks the flower filled and shaded square. All this is relatively modern history but it is still awesome in its own way.
There are some beautifully laid out botanical gardens on Corsica and one of them is the Parc de Saleccia, a delightfully landscaped botanic garden, laid out across 7 hectares, and situated by the sea close to the town of Ile-Rousse. The garden's botanic trail will teach you all about the art of gardening in the heart of the Corsican Maquis. There are many more similar and one could easily spend several days just following the Botanic trail and soaking up the splendor and beauty of them all.
To leave describing Corsica without at least trying to delve into the island's cuisine would be nigh on blasphemy, so we will try to give you an insight into what the island has to offer you in the way of food and drink.
Corsicans take their food and drink very seriously and it is quite common for locals to take a leisurely three-course lunch accompanied by a few glasses of Corsican wine.
Probably few people, myself included, would not have thought that Corsica supported a flourishing population of wild boar. Wrong! Civet de sanglier or wild boar casserole is arguably, the signature dish of Corsica. Yes, wild boar is possibly the island's most celebrated dish, a rich, hearty casserole with the “gamey” flavour of boar, mixed with onions, carrots, garlic, chestnuts, fennel and generous quantities of eau de vie and, of course, red wine forms a fundamental part of the recipe.
Veau aux olives or Veal with olives is a popular slow cooked stew, full of flavour with tender veal, olives, tomatoes, onions and herbs from the Maquis as well as a generous dash of white or rosé wine.
Obviously, being located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea then seafood is pretty well bound to feature highly in the diet of the Corsican. So yes, fish and general seafood is found all around the island, and you will find a nice selection but sadly seafood is unlikely to be cheap due to various countries over fishing and reducing the stocks swimming in the sea.
Look out for red mullet (rouget) which are reasonably common sea bream (loup de mer) and crayfish (langoustine). Oysters (huitres) are particularly recommended in the east and trout caught in the unpolluted rivers is a good alternative to meat inland.
Dairy food is probably not a speciality of the island as much of the mountain cooking is based around the locally produced dairy products, and in particular the ewe's cheese brocciu which is similar to goat's cheese. Brousse is a cow's milk alternative which is often available in the summer but is not nearly as good. Forget that one then.
Some several hundreds of years ago in the 16th century it was ruled that every landowner plant four trees each year – one olive, one fig, one mulberry and one chestnut tree. The chestnut in particular became an important part of the economy and the cuisine. Not only do Corsican’s famous wild boar eat them producing exquisite sausages and patés, you’ll also find chestnut flour in bread, cakes, pastries, pastas, nougat, porridge and, even in Corsica’s most famous beer, Pietra.
It follows then that many of the desserts on offer feature the chestnut in some way, shape or form, and examples of this are: Flan a la Farine de Chataigne which combines the staple ingredients of a typical Corsican recipe namely chestnut flour, eggs, milk, sugar, flavoured with vanilla and eau de vie - water of life.
Chestnut flour beignets are deep-fried doughnuts, sprinkled with sugar, sometimes stuffed with brocciu or flavoured with lemon, orange, aniseed or even eau de vie. You’ll find them being freshly fried in boiling fat at every Corsican celebration, from weddings to elections. Sounds good but diabetics beware!
Fig jam with chestnuts - oh we could go on and on but it seems that the chestnut has taken over in the dessert world of Corsica.
For wine buffs only
From the little research we have done into Corsican wine it appears that vineyards only came into their own from the 1960's onwards, though of course there were some dating back hundreds if not thousands of years but these were fairly low key and the wine being kept for local use rather than the outside world.
Corsica has just nine 9 wine regions, or AOC’s - Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée. Vin de Corse AOC, the regional AOC, administratively covers the entire island, but technically encompasses most of the east coast of the island. Within the regional AOC lie five 5 sub-appellations, regions smaller in size and yields. These include: Vins de Corse, Coteaux du Cap Corse, Calvi (famous for Gris de Calvi rosé), Sartène, Figari, and Porto Vecchio.
The island’s other four wine regions include: Ajaccio AOC, Patrimonio AOC (and Corsica’s first AOC), Muscat du Cap Corse AOC, and Vins de Pays (VDP’s). Corsica’s VDP wines are those typically produced with less restrictions and greater yields than those of the AOC’s, but with more restrictions than VDT (Vin de Table) wines. Corsica boasts two (2) VDP’s – VDP I’lle de Beauté, (responsible for 60% of all Corsican wine production), and VDP Pays de Mediteranée, which includes Rhône, Provence, and Corsica.
Many consider Corsica the most exciting wine region in France today, offering up pours of depth, drama, and soulfulness – many from traditional grapes, most grown organically.
Last update: 02.01.2018
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