The top things to do in Corsica
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Top things to do in Corsica: 15 sights to see [+ map]

Corsica, also known as the "Island of Beauty", is a jewel in the Mediterranean Sea with incomparable natural beauty, breathtaking landscapes and rich cultural heritage. With its picturesque mountain villages, stunning coastline and unspoiled nature, Corsica has something for everyone. The island is a paradise for hikers, water sports enthusiasts, sun worshippers and culture lovers alike.

We present you here the most beautiful sights in Corsica. Wonderful places that you must see on your next trip.

Updated on 04.03.2023
Die Reiseblogger Biggi Bauer und Florian Westermann

Top 15 sights in Corsica at a glance

With the camper or the roof tent, the nature experience in Corsica is ingenious. You also save a lot of money. Rugged coasts, paradisiacal beaches and imposing mountains characterize the image of the island.

One of the highlights is the 168-kilometer GR20 long-distance hiking trail, which connects Calenzana in the north and Conca in the south of the island across the Corsican high mountains. The best conditions for hiking are between June and October.

Biggi looks into the famous Spelunca Gorge in Corsica
Wir zeigen dir nun die Top-Sehenswürdigkeiten auf Korsika
  1. Hike to Lake Nino
  2. Hike to Lake Melo and Lake Capitello
  3. Corte
  4. Bonifacio
  5. Capo Pertusato
  6. Lake L’Ospédale
  7. Hike to the waterfall Piscia di Gallo
  8. Mountain pass Col de Bavella
  9. Hike to Lake Oriente & Monte Rotondo
  10. Hike to the Bavella Towers
  11. Hike to Capo Rosso
  12. Défilé de la Scala di Santa Regina gorge
  13. Mountain hike to Punta Culaghia
  14. Plage d’Ostriconi
  15. Col de Vergio

Map with the 15 most beautiful sights in Corsica

On our map you will find the top sights in Corsica at a glance.

[mapsmarker layer=”27″]

1. Hike to Lake Nino

The reflection of the mountain Capu a u Tozzu in Corsica in a small lake
Here the Capu a u Tozzu is reflected in Lake Nino, one of the most beautiful places in Corsica

Lake Nino at 1743 meters is one of the absolute must sees in Corsica. In the beginning, the trail that starts at a parking site (Google Maps) is relatively easy and leads through the beautiful high forest Valdu Niellu. The huge European black pines (subspecies laricio) are up to 500 years old and typical for this area. They can reach a height of up to 50 meters and their trunk a diameter of two meters.

The forest is very impressive, but the final ascent to Lake Nino is exhausting. The trail is pretty steep and leads over scree and slabs of rock. In summer, cattle, sheep and the famous Corsican pigs can be found on pastures in this area. That’s also why the lake is not suitable for bathing. For a picnic, however, it’s the ideal spot. The whole hike is about twelve kilometers and covers and elevation gain of more than 700 meters.

2. Hike to Lake Melo and Lake Capitello

The view of Lake Capitello in Corsica from the air
Lake Capitello is one of the top sights in Corsica

The hike up to the two mountain lakes Lake Melo (1711 meters) and Lake Capitello (1930 meters) is a must. Even the drive through the Restonica Valley is breathtaking. The tour starts at the end of the narrow mountain road D623. With a length of 15 kilometers, the D623 covers an elevation gain of almost 1000 meters. From the parking site, the trail leads through the valley that is beautifully located between mountain tops.

Biggi walks along the rocky shore of Lake Melo
Lake Melo is located in a breathtaking mountain panorama

It’s quite mellow in the beginning but it does get a bit more difficult after half an hour. However, even the more difficult patches should be no problem for families with children. After one and a half hours, you reach the picturesquely situated Lake Melo – one of the most beautiful mountain lakes in Corsica.

If you’re not out of breath yet, you can ascend another 200 meters to Lake Capitello in about an hour. This ascent is not that difficult either, but definitely more challenging than the tour to Lake Melo. Lake Capitello, however, is even more striking and dramatic than Lake Melo.

3. Corte

The view from the citadel over Corte in Corsica
The view from the citadel over Corte in Corsica

In comparison with Italian cities like Florence, Verona or Venice, Corsican Cities are relatively simple and plain. There are no pretentious buildings or grand works of art. However, especially Corte is definitely worth a visit. The small town with 6300 inhabitants is located in the centre of the island and is often regarded as the secret capital of Corsica.

The most noteworthy sight in Corte is the citadel. The fortress sits on a huge rock and is visible even from a distance. Cobbled alleys lead all the way up to the citadel. Corte’s city centre isn’t particularly big – after a few minutes, you’re already in front of the majestic castle walls. The fortress is in its original state and offers a glimpse into what life was like hundreds of years ago. In addition, the view over Corte from the citadel is just spectacular. When walking through the city, watch out for bullet holes in the old buildings that stem from the freedom fights around 1750.

4. Bonifacio

The view over the sea to the coastal town of Bonifacio in Corsica in the evening
Bonifacio in the south of Corsica is one of the top sights of the island

The small town Bonifacio is located at the southern tip of Corsica. It is known for its harbour and the medieval citadel. Bonifacio is also one of the top photo locations in Corsica – namely because the town is situated directly at the rugged cliff coast. When the sun sets in the sea in the evening and illuminates the sky, the coastline with the city make for an incredible photo.

5. Capo Pertusato

The sea with a rock at Capo Pertusato in Corsica
For the Golden Hour at Capo Pertusato, be sure to go in the evening to enjoy the breathtaking view

Capo Pertusato is located in close proximity to the small town Bonifacio on Corsica’s southern coast. From the parking site at a radar station (Google Maps), a gravel trail leads down to Capo Pertusato.

Even before you reach the lighthouse Phare de Pertusato, there’s a narrow trail on the right-hand side that leads down to the beach. You do need a bit of surefootedness, but nothing too dramatic. Capo Pertusato is known for the impressive rock formations that surround the beach.

6. Lake L’Ospédale

The half dried up L'Ospédale reservoir in Corsica with the tree stumps on the bottom of the lake
Hundreds of trees were cut down during the construction of the reservoir. Today the stumps stick out of the dried mud like silent witnesses

The artificial lake L’Ospédale (Google Maps) is also one of our favourite sights in Corsica. When we were there, the lake had almost no water. In front of us, there was only a huge, flat area with hundreds or thousands of rotting tree stumps. When walking through this surreal landscape, you almost feel like you’re on a different planet.

An aerial view of L'Ospédale reservoir in Corsica
L’Ospédale reservoir captured from the air by drone

The L’Ospedale reservoir is a true natural jewel that is worth a visit. The lake is picturesquely situated amidst mountains and is surrounded by dense forest. A walk around the lake offers the opportunity to fully enjoy the beauty of nature. The path leads along the lake and through the forest, passing a variety of plant and animal species. The lake itself is a highlight, the crystal clear water and untouched nature impress every visitor.

The lake is also a popular place for anglers, who have the opportunity to catch various species of fish here. Water sports enthusiasts have the opportunity to try various activities here, such as boating. The lake is also an excellent opportunity for couples who want to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature and enjoy togetherness.

7. Hike to the waterfall Piscia di Gallo

The waterfall Piscia di Gallo in Corsica
The waterfall Piscia di Gallo is one of the highlights of Corsica that you should have seen

The relatively short hike to the waterfall Piscia di Gallo – in English “rooster piss” – is extremely popular with holidaymakers. Thus, the parking site (Google Maps) is quite big and possibly still crowded in summer.

The total trail length is 5.5 kilometers and, as this hike isn’t particularly difficult, suitable for families with children. The trail is marked very well and leads through the forest along the Oso stream in the beginning.

Only the last part down to an observation deck is pretty steep, but it is secured with ropes. You should be sure-footed for this part, though. The trail is always wet and slippery and there are some big rocky steps to overcome. If you dare, you can descend a bit further down for an even more impressive view of the Piscia di Gallo. You have to use your hands and be very careful – one false step might cost you dearly.

8. Mountain pass Col de Bavella

The sunrise at the mountain pass Col de Bavella in Corsica
The mountain pass Col de Bavella is for me one of the most beautiful places in Corsica and also easy to reach by car

The mountain pass Col de Bavella (Google Maps) is not only the starting point of many beautiful hikes, but also a top photo location in Corsica. It’s worth walking around at Col de Bavella – there are some spots from where you can take fantastic photos. Especially impressive photo opportunities might arise in the morning and in the evening, when Corsica is lying at your feet while the colours in the sky are exploding.

9. Hike to Lake Oriente and Monte Rotondo

The Lake Orient with the surrounding mountains in the midday light
The first destination of the hike: the Lake Orient

With 2622 meters, Monte Rotondo is Corsica’s second highest mountain after Monte Cinto (2706 meters). Starting point is a small parking bay in the Restonica Valley (Google Maps). The ascent through the forest initially requires pure diligence. After about an hour, the forest clears and you can catch a first glimpse of the surrounding mountains. In summer (July and August), it’s worth taking a detour to the Bergerie de Timozzu, where you can buy fresh cheese. After three hours, you’ll reach Lake Oriente situated at 2061 meters.

The view from Monte Rotondo to the surrounding mountains in Corsica
The view from the top of Monte Rotondo is breathtaking and cannot be surpassed by any other viewpoint in Corsica

Directly behind the lake, the enormous massif of Monte Rotondo rises up to the sky. Until early summer, there can be a snowfield at the bottom of the scree field leading up to the peak that can cause problems. The ascent up to Monte Rotondo leads through a steep scree field, where you will often times need to use your hands. This trail is definitely only recommended for experienced hikers. The view from Monte Rotondo over the Corsican high alpine zone makes up for the struggle. The total trail amounts to 13.4 kilometers with an elevation gain of 1530 meters.

10. Hike to the needles of Bavella

The view of Towers I and II of the Bavella Towers is an unforgettable sightseeing experience. However, there is no hiking trail leading up here

The needles of Bavella are rocky spikes of red granite that dominate the hill of the same name. The hike starts at the mountain pass Col de Bavella (Google Maps) and is quite challenging. To reach the needles of Bavella, you have to climb at some parts of the trail. It might be a good idea to turn the hike into a round trip.

At the end of the tour, the GPS shows a total trail length of 12.2 kilometers and an elevation gain of 760 meters. The impressions you gain on the hike are absolutely phenomenal. The tour is highly recommended for experienced hikers. By the way, the Aiguilles de Bavella are also called the Dolomites of Corsica.

11. Hike to Capo Rosso

Der Blick am Abend über die Küste am Capo Rosso auf Korsika
The evening view from Capo Rosso in Corsica is a stunning photo spot. The red rocky coast in the golden light of the setting sun is a true photo motif

From the parking site (Google Maps), a broad gravel trail leads to Capo Rosso. After about 45 minutes, you reach a pretty unremarkable path that branches off from the main trail. This is a rather challenging option to reach Capo Rosso with some easy climbing parts. This route is only suitable for absolutely sure-footed hikers. Everyone else should stay on the broad hiking trail that leads up to the rocky cliff quite comfortably.

The view from Capo Rosso onto the Corsican mainland is stunning. One of the highlights is an old watchtower. If you want, you can even go inside and onto the roof. The stone stairs are, however, pretty steep and not secured. The whole tour amounts to about seven kilometers and an elevation gain of 460 meters.

12. Défilé de la Scala di Santa Regina Gorge

The gorge Défilé de la Scala di Santa Regina in Corsica
The Défilé de la Scala di Santa Regina gorge is really imposing

The Défilé de la Scala di Santa Regina Gorge (Google Maps) is traversed by the D84. The course of this road is marvellous. When you’re on holiday in Corsica, you have to drive here at least once. The road winds in sharp bends through the bleak, piny valley. Unfortunately, there aren’t many opportunities to stop your car.

13. Mountain hike to Punta Culaghia

The trail in the mountains to Punta Culaghia
The trail to Punta Culaghia

The circular hike via Punta Culaghia is incredibly beautiful. However, this route is pretty challenging and requires surefootedness, stamina and appropriate gear. The ascent is steep and exhausting, the ridge walk demands surefootedness and the descent awaits with a lot of scree. The circular trail is 7.4 kilometers long and covers an elevation gain of almost 700 meters. The starting point is at the end of the Asco Valley (Google Maps).

14. Plage d’Ostriconi

The view from above the white sandy beach of Ostriconi in Corsica
The beach of Ostriconi on the edge of the Désert des Agriates is one of the most beautiful beaches in the north of Corsica

The sand dunes of Plage d’Ostriconi (Google Maps) are a must see. In summer, this beautiful sandy beach can get pretty crowded. That’s no surprise, though, because its location is amazing and definitely worth a visit.

15. Col de Vergio

A floodlit mountain peak in the morning at the Col de Vergio mountain pass in Corsica
Sunrise on the Col de Vergio. The peaks shine in the first light of the day

The mountain pass Col de Vergio (Google Maps) offers incredible views. It’s definitely worth taking a break here and discovering the beautiful surroundings.

Tip: Cap Corse

Cap Corse is a peninsula that belongs to Corsica. It forms the northernmost tip of the island and is still above Bastia. Because of its shape it is also called the index finger of Corsica. It almost looks like the island is raising its finger, because the narrow arm of the peninsula reaches into the sea.

Here you will find ruins of some windmills, which obviously profited from the wind here. But also the castle Merlacce as well as the chapel Saint Antoine are worth seeing.

Numbers and facts about Corsica

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