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After having spent a little over a year so far in France, one of the most culturally widespread obsessions I have observed so far has to be “les vacances.” Suffice to say, I can recall memories of discussing summer vacations with random strangers as early as March. With every employee entitled to 5 weeks of vacation, it didn’t take much to convert me to the French system. This summer, I was determined to join the club, and discover one of the most popular french vacation destinations, “La Corse.”
Having already spent several vacations in the south of France (Nice, Monaco, the Camargue etc) , I was preparing myself for gorgeous coastlines cluttered with extravagant villas. Someone was very pleasantly surprised.
Corsica, with its history of terrorism and strong sense of Corsican identity, was a world away from la promenade des anglais. My boyfriend was happy to inform me upon arrival in Ajaccio that a gas station had been blown up the day before (in Ajaccio) by those manifesting their separatist inclinations. A nice warm welcome, eh?
And yet despite what I had heard (that Corsicans poopoo mainland frenchies), I was greeted by very sweet locals in Propriano, Tizzano, Bonifacio and Porto Vecchio, and I was completely enveloped in a preserved savage beauty on every part of the island I visited.
The island was a cornucopia of natural beauty that included crystal clear water, sandy beaches, imposing cliffs at it’s most southern tip, quaint mountain and beach towns, and a range of solid rock mountains with turquoise colored rivers flowing out of them.
An outdoorsman’s/woman’s paradise, one week was way to short to do the whole island. Not only do you need time to discover the flore and fauna, but there are also all kinds of sport activities available to do. Mainly water sports (scuba diving, snorkling, wakeboarding, waterskiing, wind surfing etc) but also horse-back riding, cycling, rock climbing, and running. In a seven days, I was only able to cover the entire southern region, leaving the north’s treasures for another trip!
And if the nature wasn’t good enough….let me just briefly recount the eats…
- DIVINE goat cheese (taste between a great parmesan and a salty feta) otherwise known in Corsica as “tomme de brebis”
- Tangy Rosé wine (local of course)
- Sweet and perfectly ripe cataloupe
- Deliciously salty jambon ( a dried ham – see photo)
- And last but not least – amazing seafood of all kinds!
Check out my photos of some Corsica goodness, and I added a wee map for those thinking of checking out the same sites!