Luxury travel to Corsica
The captain has dropped the anchor of your private boat, mooring you a few hundred feet away from the beach. You can come here by sea, as you did, or on foot, a five-hour walk from the nearest parking spot, which explains why you are alone.
You lean over the side of the boat and see translucent waters, so clear that you can make out the ridges in the sand, dappled in light by the gentle movement of the waves.
In the distance, the beach, then the maquis in front of rolling hills, themselves in front of steep, sharp mountains.
It’s beautiful. A wild, extravagant beauty you will find only in Corsica.
It’s an immense pleasure to guide for Académie des Arts de Vivre. They understand the beauty and uniqueness of Corsica. The Sea, the Mountains, the History. Itineraries are thoroughly thought out and every little detail is taken into account.Francesca R. Expert Guide
5 things you don’t know
When you think of Corsica, you think right away of Napoleon Bonaparte, probably the most famous of all Corsicans, born on the island in 1769, crowned emperor of the French in after many military successes, defeated at Waterloo, resulting in exile. Corsica is so much more than just the Emperor’s homeland. Here are a few facts that you might not know about Corsica:
Genoa sold Corsica to France in 1768, yet a series of circumstances led to Corsica being under the rule of British King George III from 1794 – 1796.
François Coty, the founder of the famous Coty perfume empire and now a $9 billion business, was Corsican.
Beach cows. The famous roaming cows of Corsica inhabit some of the most beautiful beaches of the island. Some herds have roamed wild for forty years.
The lovely pine trees you see everywhere are unique to the island. Lariccio pine, also known as Corsican pine, is indigenous to Corsica. Some are more than five hundred years old.
Other plants unique to Corsica: niellucciu and sciaccarellu grapes, the basis for most of the Corsican red wines. The unusual varieties of grapes, combined with the perfect climate, create extraordinary wines.
Corsica travel guide
While you discover the island of beauty, you want accomodations which are just as beautiful. Académie des Arts de Vivre (AAV) has selected some extraordinary luxury hotels—retreats and getaways– which will pamper you in breathtaking natural settings.
In a small pine grove in the hills overlooking the fortress of Calvi and the stunning bay, La Villa is a five-star hotel featuring indoor and outdoor swimming pools, gastronomic restaurant, pool bar for lighter dining, and a spa. The luxurious rooms, suites and apartments have private terraces. There are also villas, accommodating up to 10 people, with a private swimming pool and sea views.
In the heart of the bay of Porto-Vecchio, the Cala Rossa prides itself on its warm and intimist atmosphere, known only by the privileged few. Each room and suite in the family-run hotel is elegant and unique, decorated with objects and furniture which the family found during its travels around the world. The Cala Rosa has two restaurants, its own kitchen garden, indoor and outdoor bars, a swimming pool, a spa, and extraordinary seafront location.
Five-star hotel Misíncu is an exceptional mixture of luxury and wilderness, situated among turquoise sea, perfumed Corsican scrubland, secret creeks and hidden beaches. The luxurious rooms, suites and
villas are bohemian chic, decorated in whites and beiges. Each accommodation has an extraordinary view of the sea or the maquis. Infinite nature.
The Version Maquis Citadelle is an intimate hotel with breathtaking views of Bonifacio’s citadel and 22 luxurious rooms and suites, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, restaurant and spa. Combining luxury and discretion, the 5-star hotel, is situated in a beautiful natural setting facing the cliff-side city, as Bonifacio is known, and only 10 minutes from the Sperone golf course.
Also near Bonifacio, the U Capu Biancu is a little jewel. The low buildings are nested in the maquis, right at the edge of the beach. Luxurious rooms, suites and villas, all decorated with bleached wood, stone, and brick to reinforce the feeling of nature, faces the sea. The hotel restaurant uses local ingredients and local flavors, including Corsican olive oil, arbabarone and nepita in its seasonal cuisine.
The luxury hotels AAV has chosen in Corsica are extraordinary, each one in a different way. They will make your honeymoon, family getaway, and luxury holidays unforgettable.
Best luxury experiences in Corsica
An excursion to the Scandola nature reserve
Embark on a private yacht in Calvi for a day trip along the beautiful coastline of the Scandola nature reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will stop for lunch at Girolata, a charming fishing village accessible only by sea or by footpath, then continue your journey along the coast to discover the creeks of Piana.
Corsica’s breathtaking villages
Your private driver and expert local guide will accompany you to some of the most spectacular sites in Corsica. Depending on the part of Corsica you visit, you can see Piani and its famous calanques (the French version of a fjord), Lumio with its extraordinary panorama, or perhaps Zonza at the foot of the Aiguilles de Bavella with several picturesque hamlets. For more on our architecture experiences.
Visit Bonifacio from the sea
The true beauty of Bonifacio can be appreciated only from the sea, which is why a private boat will take you on an excursion to see this jewel from the water. Perched on limestone cliffs, Bonifacio looks as if the multi-story homes and citadel might tumble into the water at any moment. So beautiful it seems unreal.
The mountains of Corsica
Corsica isn’t just rugged coastline. The island of beauty also has spectacular mountains with breathtaking views and panoramas. Visit the Monte Rotondo, la Paglia Orba or the Aiguilles de Bavella with your private chauffeur and local guide. Go rock climbing or trekking along the GR20. Or why not go canyoning and swimming in the many mountain streams?
When is the best time to visit Corsica?
Corsica is about the sea—mile after mile of rugged coastline– and the mountains, sharp, steep, visible even from the sea. Corsica is a land of contrasts, the pride of its inhabitants and strong culinary traditions.
Corsica in winter:
The winters in Corsica are mild yet rainy, making it a great place for escaping winter. Porto-Vecchio is especially nice at this time of year. From the port of Calvi, you can see the snow on the peaks of the mountains— close enough for a day-trip of skiing. In winter, you can also see dolphins and fin whales in the Golfe de Galeria.
Corsica in spring:
Spring comes early to Corsica. Because of all the natural sites and maquis, the wildflowers, blooming trees and bushes are especially breathtaking. The temperature is perfect for hiking and exploring the many picturesque perched villages, although the sea is still chilly so you will prefer a heated swimming pool. Corsicans have kept many Easter traditions, including spectacular processions in the streets.
Corsica in summer:
May through September is the driest season in Corsica, making summer a great time for your luxury vacation, although this is also the height of the tourist season. The temperature of the sea and rivers rise in summer, so now is the time for canyoning and swimming on the island’s gorgeous beaches.
Corsica in autumn:
Autumn comes late to the island of beauty, so you can hike along the famous GR20 until the end of October. The weather is mild; the crowds, few. Late November, the town of Bocognano holds its annual Chestnut Fair, bringing together gourmets, craftsmen and artisans producing local Corsican specialties made from chestnut flour.
Travel tips about Corsica
Corsica is sea: over 1000 kilometers of coastline and over a third of that is beaches. The island has over 200 beaches, in fact. Corsica has mountains, too. More than 20 summits here are 2000 m above sea level, with Monte Cinto towering above the rest at 2706 m. So many sites of raw natural beauty! AAV and our expert local guides will create a tailor-made luxury holiday unique to you, based on your tastes, wishes and desires. You will have private, exclusive encounters designed just for you—in Corsica, the island of beauty.
For music lovers
Traditional Corsican music is based on polyphonies, several singers together creating an intricate web of melody, evoking the harsh environment, the Corsican desire of independence, and strong cultural identity. Take a moment to listen to A Filetta, perhaps the most well-known group of the genre.
The Bay of Cacao
The Tour de Capo di Muro is a beautiful walk, starting in the village of Aqua Doria and crossing the fragrant Corsican scrub land. You will see the great Bay of Cacao and the lighthouse of Capu di Muro, dividing the gulfs of Ajaccio and Valinco.
The secret life of turtles
A Cupulatta is Europe’s largest turtle park. Representing 170 species from the Mediterranean, the Americans, Asia and Africa, over 3000 land and aquatic turtles live in this beautiful natural site. A Cupulatta is a fun outing for children and a great way to learn about the life and habits of turtles around the world.
In the hills and mountains of the Val d’Ese is peatland, thick, lush cushions of grass. The rivers and streams are captured, creating small pools of water. From above, the irregularly-shaped pozzines (from the Corsican word for well) look like lace and form a breathtaking landscape. Gorgeous! And unique to Corsica.
The Gorges of Spelunca
Overlooking the Gulf of Porto, the Gorges of Spelunca have long been sculpted by the rivers Aïtone, Tavulella and Onca. The gorges are rugged and deep—1 km deep in some places! The bare orange granite walls and dark jagged needles of the surrounding peaks make this one of the most dramatic sceneries you will ever see.
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