Visit Corsica Tour Snapshot
Visit Corsica’s rugged coast, strikingly beautiful landscapes, villages perched on rocky hillsides and beautiful beaches. Since Corsica is situated in between the Italian coast of Tuscany and the southern French Riviera, we decided to start and end the tour on each of these beautiful coasts – an ideal way to visit Corsica!
Tour Price: $6,499
Tour price includes:
- Roundtrip airfare from New York or Boston; tour begins in Pisa, Italy and finishes in Nice, France
- 11 nights in small, elegant accommodations of regional character
- 2 nights on Tuscan coast; 7 nights in Corsica: 2 in Bonifacio; 2 in Ajaccio; 3 in Calvi; 2 nights in Saint Paul de Vence, France
- 11 breakfasts, 10 dinners, 2 special lunches
- Transportation by air-conditioned minivan
- Ferry from Livorno to Bastia, Corsica, and from Calvi, Corsica, to Nice, France
- Day excursion by boat to Sardinia, Italy
- Archeological guided visit to prehistoric monuments of Sartène region
- All local tour guides, museum, winery and monument entrance fees
- All tips and taxes
Arriving at the Pisa Airport, we meet and begin our adventure. Since we are in Pisa— which is a wonderful, friendly Tuscan city— we stop to visit the famous monuments in the Piazza dei Miraculi: the 11th century cathedral; the Torre Pendente (the Leaning Tower); the magnificent Baptistery; and the Monumental Cemetery. We then head south along the coast to our lovely ocean-front hotel on the Tuscan coast. We can have a swim in the pool or the ocean before cocktails on a beautiful terrace where we can watch the sun set over the sea, followed by a delicious home cooked Tuscan dinner.
Today we explore this beautiful region of Tuscany, following the coast and exploring two fascinating ancient towns: Grosseto and Massa Marittima. We return to our seaside villa for another wonderful dinner.
A short drive takes us to the port of Livorno, where we board the ferry to visit Corsica. A pleasant three hour journey on a luxury ferry that feels more like a cruise ship brings us to the port of Bastia, on Corsica’s northeast coast. Our French/Corsican guide, Pascal, shows us around this charming harbor town, and then we head south along the eastern shore. We stop for photos along the way, and arrive at Corsica’s southernmost town, Bonifacio. This amazing town is perched on a narrow limestone peninsula about one mile long which parallels the coast and forms a harbor on the southernmost point of Corsica. Founded as a defense against pirates in the 9th century by a Marquis from Tuscany, Bonifacio was fought over by the Pisans, the Genoese, and the French for many centuries. We check into our lovely seaside hotel before a delicious seafood dinner.
This morning we explore the beautiful town of Bonifacio. From the tip of the peninsula we look out over the Straits of Bonifacio to the beautiful wild islands of Cavallo and Lavezzi. Just beyond lie the shores of Sardinia. A one hour boat ride takes us across the straits to the seaside town of Santa Teresa di Gallura. From here we visit a fascinating prehistoric village, La Brandall. We see the Tomba del Giganta, a vast communal grave that was used from the 14th to the 10th centuries before Christ. We enjoy lunch by the harbor in Santa Teresa and return by boat to Bonifacio. We enjoy another wonderful dinner tonight on the waterfront.
Corsica’s prehistoric megalithic monuments dating from as far back as the Neolithic era (roughly 6,000 B.C.) are reason alone to visit this enchanting island. Departing Bonifacio, we head north to the Valley of Taravo, where we discover a number of extraordinary statues and dolmens. We visit Corsica’s fascinating menhir-statues in Filitosa and the beautiful dolmen of Funtanaccia in Sartène. We’ll see “cardial ware”, a type of pottery dating from the 7th millennium B.C. On the Cauria plateau we see many of the best preserved menhirs and dolmens. The nearby seaside resort of Propriano, an ancient town pre-dating the Romans, is a perfect place for lunch. We then continue north to visit Corsica’s capital city, Ajaccio, and check into our hotel in the old historic center. After dinner tonight we stroll the elegant palm tree-lined boulevards.
We have all day to discover this wonderful waterfront city, known foremost as Napoleon’s birthplace. We’ll visit the house he grew up in, the lively port, the 16th century cathedral, and the renowned Fesch Museum. Ajaccio is a delight to wander around, and we have free time to relax or explore.
Departing Ajaccio, today we head north into the mountains of the interior of the island. We stop in the beautiful town of Corte, surrounded by mountains and dominated by a citadel built under Louis XV. Founded by Pascal Paoli, Corsica’s beloved hero, this city was the capital of the Republic of Corsica for the few years in the 1700s when Paoli won Corsica’s independence. It is also home to a large university and The Museum of Corsica, which we can visit. We continue on to a tiny mountain village, where we meet Pascal’s cousins. We enjoy their hospitality and get a lesson on local charcuterie (cold cuts) with a hearty sampling. Continuing north, we visit Corsica’s northern coast and follow a stunningly scenic route to our next destination, Calvi. This is home to our guides, Dominique and Pascal, who give us a warm welcome. We check into our beautiful hotel and enjoy a gourmet French Corsican dinner overlooking the water.
Today we explore the charming port of Calvi with its 12th century citadel steeped in history. We meet some local Corsicans and visit a Corsican winery and olive oil producer. We then enjoy a Corsican cooking class, and with our new Corsican friends taste many Corsican dishes we have helped to prepare.
On our last day to visit Corsica we take a boat ride from Calvi down the beautiful rocky western coast to see the most spectacular of Corsica’s sensational rock formations, now part of the Regional National Park of Corsica. After returning to Calvi we have time to relax at our beautiful hotel before our farewell to Corsica dinner.
We say goodbye to our Corsican friends and board a ferry in Calvi which takes us on a lovely four hour Mediterranean cruise to the French Riviera, where we disembark at the old port of Nice. We take a walk around Vieux Nice near the old flower market, and then take a short drive along the coast to our beautiful little hotel in Saint Paul de Vence. We have cocktails by the pool before heading out to a gourmet French dinner.
We have two full days to explore this gorgeous part of the Côte d’Azur. We’ll visit the ancient port of Antibes with its world famous Picasso Museum; the tiny village of Biot, where we watch a unique glass blowing demonstration; the Roman town of Vence, where we see the famous Matisse Chapel and have an unforgettable Provençal dinner; and of course visit Saint Paul de Vence, made famous by the French Impressionist painters who put this incredibly beautiful village on the map. Our farewell dinner is at the Colombe d’Or inn, where many artists used to stay and paid for their lodging with their art. In the morning we drive to the Nice Airport for the flight home.