The French island of Corsica, known as the “Island of Beauty,” promises not just azure seas and golden sands, but also a treasure trove of historical sites, lush forests, and mountainous terrains. A road trip from the northwestern city of Calvi to the southern port of Bonifacio offers a chance to explore the island’s incredible diversity. This itinerary will guide you through hidden gems that showcase the authentic Corsican experience.
Start Your Engines: Rent a Car in Calvi
Before setting off on your Corsican adventure, you’ll need a reliable vehicle. We highly recommend Cars-Scanner for your car rental requirements. Whether you need an SUV for a family vacation or a convertible to soak up the Mediterranean sun, Cars-Scanner offers a variety of options. Booking is simple and convenient, click here to reserve your car at Calvi Airport through Cars-Scanner.
First Stop: L’Île-Rousse, The Red Island
Located about 24 km from Calvi, L’Île-Rousse is an enchanting seaside town named after its reddish rocks. Begin your day at Place Paoli, the central square, where you can sip Corsican coffee and watch the world go by. The nearby sandy beaches offer excellent snorkeling and swimming opportunities. Don’t forget to visit the 19th-century lighthouse, which provides panoramic views of the coastline.
Into the Wild: Parc Naturel Régional de Corse
As you venture southeast, immerse yourself in the natural splendor of the Parc Naturel Régional de Corse. Covering an area of over 3,500 square kilometers, this park offers numerous hiking trails, such as the famous GR 20. The picturesque Restonica Valley and the crystalline Lac de Melo are must-visits for nature enthusiasts.
A Dive into History: Corte
Further along, you’ll find Corte, a town laden with Corsican history and culture. Once the capital during Corsica’s brief period of independence, today Corte is home to the University of Corsica. Tour the imposing Citadel and explore the Museum of Corsica to delve deeper into the island’s heritage.
A Secret Oasis: Solenzara
Before you reach Porto Vecchio, consider making a stop at Solenzara. This small town offers access to the Bavella Massif, famous for its “aiguilles,” or needle-like peaks. Solenzara River provides a unique environment for canyoning, and you’ll find secluded pools ideal for swimming.
Porto Vecchio: The Old Port
Porto Vecchio offers a blend of spectacular beaches and cultural activities. Visit Palombaggia Beach for its fine sand and crystal-clear waters, and explore the historical Old Town for a taste of Corsican architecture and local cuisine.
Last Stop: The Cliffside Wonder of Bonifacio
Bonifacio is an architectural masterpiece, poised on a limestone cliff overlooking the Mediterranean. A maze of medieval streets leads to hidden squares, cafes, and galleries. For adventurers, sea caves and watersports await. A boat trip to Lavezzi Islands offers a chance to see diverse marine life and unique granite rock formations.
Car Hire in Ajaccio: The Western Alternative
If you’d like to explore the west coast or need to fly out from Ajaccio, Cars-Scanner has got you covered. For convenient car rental services in Ajaccio, click here to choose your vehicle.
Your journey from Calvi to Bonifacio will not just be a simple road trip, but a passage through Corsica’s diverse landscapes, each telling its own tale of history, culture, and natural beauty. With an itinerary so rich, make sure to take the time to breathe in the scents of the maquis, listen to the songs of the Corsican winds, and feel the warmth of the island’s soul. With your car from Cars-Scanner, you are not just traveling; you are experiencing Corsica in its fullest splendor.