Jutting from the foaming Mediterranean like an impregnable fortress, Corsica resembles a miniature continent with astounding geographical diversity. Within half an hour's drive, the landscape ranges from glittering bays and vibrant coastal cities to sawtooth mountain ridges, verdant valleys, and dense forests. Holidays in Corsica offer tremendously varying opportunities: from hiking and canyoning to snorkeling and sunbathing, enjoying a leisurely boat trip, or delving into the island's multifaceted history.
The island has been inhabited since prehistoric times. It was later settled by the Greeks, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, and Vandals. Corsica was conquered by the Arabs in the 8th century but was retaken by the Genoese in 1077. The island became a possession of France in 1768. Napoleon Bonaparte was born in Corsica in 1769.
Though Corsica has been part of France for more than 200 years, it feels different from the mainland in everything from customs and cuisine to language and character. Locals love to explain their Corsican identity, so plenty of engaging evenings await, especially if the holy trilogy of food, wine, and harmonious Corsican music is involved.
Corsica's coastline is one of the most beautiful in the Mediterranean – craggy cliffs plunge into azure waters dotted with coral reefs and tiny islets. Beaches range from secluded coves accessible only by boat to vast stretches of golden sand lapped by gentle waves. Inland, mountains soar skyward, their lower slopes covered in olive groves, citrus trees, and vineyards. Medieval villages cling to rocky outcrops, while deep gorges carve through forested hillsides.