Visit South Corsica in a week: What to do and see?
Do you want to go for a week in Corsica?
In order to help you organize your stay, I have prepared a one-week Corsica itinerary for you which will allow you to discover the unmissable places of interest in the south of the island.
In this itinerary, in addition to day-to-day things to do and travel times, I also give you my selection of the best accommodations for each stage and all my advice. Everything you need to visit Southern Corsica in one week easily!
So, what to do and see in Corsica in a week?
Tips for your Corsica itinerary:
In this article, I give you all my tips for booking your one-week itinerary in South Corsica on your own.
Say goodbye to the stress of preparation, all you have to do is enjoy!
Day 1: Ajaccio
For your week-long Corsica itinerary, I suggest you arrive in Ajaccio.
Quite simply because it is the best-served city to go and then visit the South of Corsica : it has an airport and a port which welcomes boats from the continent, Italy or Sardinia.
You can compare the prices of flights or ferry trips at the end of this article, in the section “Leaving for Corsica”.
Once you arrive at the airport or the port of Ajaccio, it will be time to pick up your rental car. Without it, it is impossible to access certain places, including the most beautiful beaches in the South.
For this first day of your holidays in Corsica, I suggest a short walk in the city center of Ajaccio to discover the main places of interest:
- Passage through the Fesch museum which brings together many works of art by famous Italian artists
- Next door is the Imperial Chapel and the tombs of Napoleon Bonaparte’s parents.
- Discovery of Place Foch where the market is held every morning. From there, if you don’t feel like walking, you can take the little train that goes all around the city.
- Visit of the national museum of the Bonaparte house where Napoleon was born and spent part of his childhood
- If you are interested in the history of Napoleon, I advise you to go through the Napoleon cave where a film on his life is projected. You can watch it while tasting many Corsican specialties (cheese, charcuterie, wine). Book by clicking here!
- Passage by the cathedral of Ajaccio and the place of General de Gaulle
- Go up Cours Grandval to Place d’Austerlitz and Bonaparte’s cave
The historical center of Ajaccio is really not very big, you will quickly have done the tour on foot.
But if you don’t want to walk, you can also get on the little Ajaccio train or even better on the double-decker bus which allows you to visit Ajaccio but also the Parata. Book the bus tour by clicking here!
For the rest of the day, I recommend that you go see the archipelago of the Sanguinaires Islands. For this, there are several options (everything will depend on your time of arrival in Ajaccio and the time you have left for this first day):
1) Take your car (25 min drive) to reach the Parata peninsula where you can walk to the point and admire the view of the Sanguinaires islands.
The best time to admire the Sanguinaires Islands from the tip of Parata is at sunset.
2) Take a cruise around the islands with a stop on the main island to walk to the lighthouse or swim.
3) This cruise also exists in a night version to be able to admire the magnificent sunset over the Sanguinaires Islands.
No stop planned on the island but you can enjoy a tasting of Corsican wines and a buffet of typical products, all accompanied by Corsican songs and guitar.
It’s the best way to immerse yourself in the local atmosphere for the first evening of your 1-week stay in Corsica!
You have several times to choose from, including a sunset outing.
Spend the night in Ajaccio.
Tips for your Corsica itinerary:
I give you all the practical information for visiting Ajaccio in my dedicated article: What to do and see in Ajaccio?
Accommodation in Ajaccio
- Hotel Spunta Di Mare: Located 150 meters from the beach and 2 km from Place Foch. Colorful double room, some with a balcony overlooking the sea from €99, breakfast included. Most: the indoor swimming pool, the view of Ajaccio from the terrace, the proximity to the airport.
- Best Western Plus Ajaccio Amirauté: Located 350 meters from the beach and 1 km from the port. Modern and comfortable double room from €140, breakfast at €12. Most: the swimming pool, the warm welcome, the full and varied breakfast.
- Sofitel Golfe d’Ajaccio Thalassa Sea & Spa: 5-star hotel located opposite the bay of Ajaccio and the Sanguinaires islands. Design double room, warm and comfortable with sea view from €170 per night, breakfast at €29. The pluses: the heated outdoor swimming pool, the breathtaking view of the sea, the Spa. It is our favorite for its exceptional location and setting in Ajaccio!
- Cala di Sole: Located by the sea, between Ajaccio and the Sanguinaires Islands. Spacious and very well equipped double room with sea view from €200, breakfast at €17. Most: the private beach, the swimming pool, the free parking, the splendid view of the Sanguinaires islands. This is our recommendation for an upscale stay in Ajaccio!
- Hôtel Le Week end: Also located between Ajaccio and La Parata, just 50 meters from Terre Sacrée beach. Spacious suite with private terrace and sea view from €390, breakfast €22. Most: the magnificent location, the excellent breakfast, the setting, the calm. This is our recommendation for a luxury stay in Ajaccio!
Day 2-4: Bonifacio
For the second stage of your one-week Corsica itinerary, I suggest you join Bonifacio, in the south of the island.
Without stopping and going inland, it takes about 2h30 by car between Ajaccio and Bonifacio.
But, I recommend that you rather plan a day and go along the coast. And yes, there are plenty of places to see absolutely and very beautiful beaches to discover!
From Ajaccio, start by descending towards Porticcio. Once past the seaside resort, you will find 3 beautiful beaches, ideal if you have to cool off:
- Agosta beach: a long sandy beach but the water gets deep enough quickly.
- Ruppione beach: a very pretty sandy beach with rocks at the water’s edge. She is quite wild.
- Mare e sole beach: also called the silver beach, this large white sand beach is one of the most beautiful in this part of Corsica.
Then continue your journey to Propriano (1h10 drive from Mare e Sole), another well-known seaside resort where a lot of bars and restaurants are concentrated . Perfect if it’s lunch break time!
South of Propriano, you can also go through:
- The beach of Portigliolo, wild and immense, it is located at the mouth of a river, 9 km from Propriano
- The bay of Campomoro from where it is possible to go all around the cape on foot or to opt for a sea kayak excursion.
Then reach Sartène, a pretty little village with typical stone houses.
A mini tourist circuit allows you to visit the old town on foot, starting from the Place de l’Eglise. And if you want to learn more about the history of the village, an audio guide is available from the Sartène tourist office.
The place is very small but really very touristy (bus stop for tour operators). Here you will find souvenir shops, bars and restaurants.
After your visit to Sartène, get back in your car for the last part of the road to Bonifacio (about 1 hour).
Halfway (30 minutes from Sartène), stop at the Casa di Roccapina belvedere where you can observe a natural curiosity: a large rock in the shape of a lying lion. The view also overlooks the pretty beach of Roccapina.
If you want to end this day at the beach before arriving in Bonifacio, I recommend:
- San Giovianni beach: located in the Gulf of Figari, it is really very pretty. Made up of 2 coves at the end of which is the tower of Caldarello.
- Paragan beach which is really great for swimming because it is located in a cove sheltered from the wind and the water is shallow.
- Fazzio beach, located at the bottom of a small fjord, a 15-minute walk from Paragan
- Tunara beach: beautiful sandy beach easily accessible by car but therefore more touristic
- Stagnolu beach: 5 minutes walk from Tunara, it is wilder.
You will therefore be spoiled for choice for swimming before heading to Bonifacio for the night.
The next day, I suggest you continue your 1 week Corsica itinerary, devoting the day to discovering Bonifacio.
Impossible to visit Corsica in a week by car without planning to pass by the emblematic city of the island!
The image of these houses perched more than 70 meters high on the edge of the white limestone cliffs is represented on many postcards and constitutes one of the most beautiful panoramas of Corsica.
Start by exploring the upper town and the citadel on a walking tour.
Go through the Genoa Gate, the entry point to the citadel and stop at the tourist office which is on the right.
You can get the map of the city there but above all buy the “Monument Pass” at 3.50€ per person. It allows to visit the bastion of the standard and the staircase of the King of Aragon, which are among the main tourist attractions of Bonifacio.
The bastion is located just behind the office and includes several underground rooms decorated with explanatory panels on the history of the city and the fortifications.
On leaving, you can walk along the ramparts and contemplate the splendid views of the port and the cliffs.
At the exit of the bastion, turn left to reach the market square (another beautiful viewpoint on the cliffs) then head towards the Sainte-Marie Majeure church, the oldest building in the city.
You can also pass by the 3 other churches in the upper town, the Saint-Jean Baptiste church, the Sainte-Croix church and the Saint-Dominique church, before reaching the King of Aragon staircase.
It is said that this staircase was dug in a single night by soldiers of the King of Aragon who wanted to invade the city. But in reality, this fault has existed for centuries and was cut to provide access to a source of fresh water.
The descent of the 187 steps is particularly vertiginous because at the start you will overlook the sea at nearly 60 meters high. But the most difficult part is undoubtedly the ascent!
Once back up, take a few moments to catch your breath and head towards the marine cemetery whose white chapels contrast nicely with the blue of the sea. On your way out, you will come across the entrance to the Gouvernail, a former blockhouse used during the second World War.
You can visit it for €2.50 (not included in the Monument Pass).
After having visited the upper part of the city, it is now time to admire the panorama of the cliffs and the citadel from the outside.
Exit through the Porte de Gênes and take the Campu Romanilu path from the Saint Roch pass (just in front of the door).
And let’s go for a photo session of Bonifacio from every angle! It is from this path that all the most beautiful photos of Bonifacio are taken .
The path runs along the cliffs to the beach of 3 points for about 1 hour then another path then joins Cape Pertusato (another 1 hour walk). The walk takes you to Saint-Antoine beach, famous for its rock in the shape of a stranded ship.
And if you don’t feel like walking there, you can take your car and park at the Pertusato lighthouse. From there, count only 20 minutes to go to the beach.
You can spend the end of the day on this beach or go to Petit Sperone beach, which is one of the most beautiful around Bonifacio. It can be reached in just 15 minutes by car.
This pretty cove of fine sand and shallow turquoise water is truly one of the most beautiful places to swim during your week-long Corsica itinerary. It is ranked in the top 10 of the most beautiful beaches on the island.
To get there, you will have to park on the road before arriving at Piantarella beach, cross it on the right and walk about 10 minutes to Petit Sperone.
If you continue another ten minutes on foot, you will then come across Grand Sperone beach, a little larger but just as pretty, although a little less sheltered from the wind.
If you don’t like staying long at the beach, you can also practice water activities in Piantarella, including paddle boarding.
Spend a second night in Bonifacio.
You will find all the details for visiting Bonifacio in my other article: What to do in Bonifacio?
For this last day towards Bonifacio, direction another essential of a week-long Southern Corsica itinerary: the Lavezzi Islands.
I’m sure you’ll enjoy the program for the day: a walk on the island and swimming on sublime beaches and coves with turquoise water punctuated by large, ultra-photogenic rocks!
To reach the Lavezzi Islands, you have several options:
1) Take a boat from the port of Bonifacio. There are departures at least every hour and the journey takes half an hour.
You will be landed on Lavezzi Island (or Lavezzu) and all you have to do is find the best spot to put your towel down.
Personally, I preferred La Chiesa beach where the large rocks form a basin and prevent boats from anchoring too close (which is not the case everywhere!).
If you want to walk around the island first , it normally takes 1 hour but that’s not counting the many photo stops which double the cost!
Remember to bring something to eat and drink for the day, there is nothing on the island and no toilets either.
And to end the day in style, on the return trip, the boat offers a commented cruise. You will pass near the island of Cavallo (some stars have luxurious villas there) but also on the side of the beach of Piantarella, Sperone, at the foot of the cliffs to see the Aragon staircase and the grain of sand.
The cruise ends at the Sdragonato cave, where you can see a hole in the rock whose shape represents the map of Corsica.
Tips for your Corsica itinerary:
To take the return boat from Lavezzi Island, plan to reach the quay at least 20 minutes before departure, otherwise you will have to wait for the next one.
On the return boat, try to stand on the right side of the boat, as all the sights are located on this side.
The SPBM (boat company for the Lavezzi Islands) provides 2 free car parks for these customers. So you can leave your car there the day you visit the islands.
If you prefer a VIP experience, I offer 3 other solutions:
1) A day by boat at Lavezzi in a small group (maximum 12 people on the boat)
You will enjoy several swimming stops in the most beautiful coves of Lavezzu Island and the boat can even drop you off on the island if you want to walk as well.
You will also have the chance to taste an excellent clam pasta dish prepared by the captain for lunch.
2) Book a private boat trip from Bonifacio
In my opinion, this is the best way to make the most of your day in the Lavezzi Islands!
You rent a boat with a skipper, and he will take you to the most beautiful places around Bonifacio, including the Lavezzi of course.
Motor boat, sailboat, catamaran or even yacht : it’s up to you to choose the boat that suits you to spend a dream day!
In any case, I recommend that you rent your boat with a skipper as far in advance as possible, because as you can imagine, this type of VIP day at sea is extremely in demand, and it would be a shame not to have room!
3) Rent a boat and discover the surroundings of Bonifacio
If you have a boat license, the second solution for a superb day at sea is simply to rent a boat!
For more information on the Lavezzi Islands, do not hesitate to read my article: How to visit the Lavezzi Islands?
Spend one last night in Bonifacio.
You will find all the details for visiting Bonifacio in my other article: What to do in Bonifacio?
Accommodation in Bonifacio
To stay in Bonifacio, you can either choose accommodation in the heart of the city (citadel/port) to be close to everything, or move away a bit if you prefer more calm.
I have prepared a selection of accommodation for you according to these 2 categories.
Stay in the center of Bonifacio
- Best Western Hotel du Roy d’Aragon: Located in the old port of Bonifacio. Modern and welcoming double room from €80, breakfast at €14.50. The pluses: the location at the foot of the citadel, the good breakfast, the free parking. It is our favorite for its price/performance ratio in Bonifacio!
- Solemare: Located 100 meters from the port and 800 meters from the King of Aragon staircase. Modern double room with original decoration overlooking the port from €110, breakfast €15. Most: the heated outdoor swimming pool, the view, the location, the private car park. One of the few hotels in the center with a swimming pool in Bonifacio!
- Santateresa: Located in the upper town of Bonifacio. Design and comfortable double room with sea view from 180€ per night, breakfast at 17€. Most: the excellent location for visiting Bonifacio, the breathtaking view, the neat decoration, the private car park. This is our recommendation for a luxury stay in Bonifacio!
Stay around Bonifacio
- Hotel Maora Village: Located 300 meters from Maora beach and 6 km from Bonifacio. Double room with private terrace from €75, breakfast included. Most: the swimming pool, the jacuzzi, the calm, the excellent breakfast. The best choice for an economical stay in Bonifacio!
- Les Chambres De Casarina: Located 400 meters from Maora beach and 6 km from the center of Bonifacio. Comfortable and tastefully decorated double room, with balcony, from €150, breakfast included and served in your room. Most: the heated swimming pool, the beautiful garden, the setting, the calm.
- Hotel Cala di Greco: Located 2 km from the upper town of Bonifacio. Bright suite decorated with great care, some with a private swimming pool, from €200, breakfast at €16. The pluses: the 2 large heated outdoor swimming pools, the exceptional view of Bonifacio, the magnificent setting. This is our recommendation for a romantic weekend in Bonifacio!
- Hotel Version Maquis Citadelle: This 5* hotel is located 1.5 km from the citadel. It offers sublime suites, spacious and with private terrace from €450 per night, breakfast included. Most: the infinity pool, the calm, the attentive staff, the restaurant. This is our recommendation for a stay in a luxury hotel for your one week stay in Corsica!
Day 5: Porto-Vecchio
Today, for the next stage of this 1-week southern Corsica itinerary, leave Bonifacio to reach Porto-Vecchio, less than 45 minutes away.
The surroundings of Porto-Vecchio are known to be home to sublime beaches, most of which are ranked in the top 10 beaches to go to in Corsica.
Hard hard to determine which is the prettiest between (in order on the road):
- Rondinara beach: a magnificent bay of fine sand forming a perfect arc
- The beach of Santa Giulia and its shallow and calm water particularly popular with families
- Palombaggia beach, known all over the world. It is one of the most chic and trendy beaches in the region: fine sand, turquoise water, umbrella pines, large rocks in the water… It is simply magnificent.
- Tamariccui beach: an extension of Palombaggia, it is also very pretty and the atmosphere is more family-friendly.
It’s up to you to see which one you prefer for swimming!
At the end of the afternoon, join the old town of Porto-Vecchio for a short stroll through the narrow streets lined with cafes and shops.
You can also go up to the Bastion de France to admire the panorama of the Gulf of Porto-Vecchio from its panoramic terrace (€2).
You will find something for an aperitif on the terrace and dinner in the old town or on the marina.
Spend a night in Porto-Vecchio.
I advise you to read my article dedicated to Porto-Vecchio to know everything about things to do and the beaches (access, parking): What to do in Porto-Vecchio?
Tips for your Corsica itinerary:
If you prefer to swim in fresh water and change beaches, I recommend that you go to the Cavu valley, 35 minutes by car from Porto-Vecchio.
Here you will find several large natural pools, waterfalls and large flat rocks ideal for sunbathing. If you do this recommended one-week itinerary in South Corsica with your children, it’s really a good idea for a family outing!
Accommodation in Porto-Vecchio
- Residence Marina Di Santa Giulia: Located 800 meters from the beach of Santa Giulia. Modern and bright apartments and villas, fully equipped with dishwasher, barbecue, private terrace from 70€. Most: the swimming pool, the location, the view of the sea, the comfort of the apartments. It is our favorite for its price/performance ratio in Porto-Vecchio!
- Hotel Costa Salina: Located at the end of the Porto-Vecchio marina. Modern and spacious double room with balcony and some with sea view, from €115, breakfast at €16. Most: the swimming pool, free private parking, good bedding, very friendly staff.
- Le Balamina: Located 2 km from the port. Very spacious and bright double room with refined decoration from €140, breakfast at €17. Most: the indoor swimming pool, the roof terrace, the welcoming staff.
- Residence Santa Giulia Palace: Located 800 meters from Santa Giulia beach. Modern and comfortable apartment, super well equipped with crockery and small appliances, which can accommodate up to 6 people, from €160. Most: the swimming pool, the geographical location, the view of the bay, the relaxing setting. This is our recommendation for a stay with family or friends in Porto-Vecchio!
- Hotel Le Roi Théodore & Spa : Located 5 minutes by car from downtown Porto-Vecchio. The hotel offers spacious double rooms with lounge area and beautiful stone bathroom from €200 per night, breakfast at €12. Most: the outdoor setting and the beautiful swimming pool, the Spa, the heated indoor swimming pool, the excellent breakfast, the restaurant. This is our recommendation for a luxury stay in Porto-Vecchio!
Day 6: The Ospedale and the Col de Bavella
As it would be a shame to go to Corsica for a week without at least hiking, that’s what I’m suggesting for this penultimate day.
From Porto-Vecchio, take the D368 road which goes inland and offers beautiful views of the bay below. You will pass through the Ospedale forest and past the lake of the same name, which is somewhat reminiscent of Canada.
A little further, you can take the hike that leads to the largest waterfall in Corsica: the Piscia di Gallu. It takes about 1h30 to 2h of walking there and back with a very steep last part to reach the foot of the waterfall.
Then continue by car to the Bavella pass, and park in one of the car parks. I now suggest that you do the most famous hike in the Aiguilles de Bavella sector: the Trou de la Bombe.
On a shady path without major difficulty (starting at the end of the paid car park), you can reach the hole of the Bombe, a hole 8 meters in diameter in the rock and which plunges directly into the ravine.
Count 2h30 for the round trip.
You don’t have to do the 2 hikes if you think it’s too much for a day. Choose one, bring your picnic and enjoy the mountain peacefully.
If you choose not to do the Trou de la Bombe hike, it is worth going all the way to Col de Bavella just for the view from the car park!
For the night, reach the village of Zonza, through which you will have already passed in the morning (take the opportunity to leave your suitcases at the hotel), about ten kilometers from the Bavella pass.
Tips for your Corsica itinerary:
If you are a mountain bike lover, know that the Bavella sector offers 30 trails reserved for this sport. So you can have fun hurtling down the mountain in complete peace of mind! The information is right here!
The Bavella massif is also the ideal place to practice canyoning. Several circuits are offered depending on the canyon where the activity takes place and the difficulty.
Accommodation in Zonza
- Hotel Restaurant L’Aiglon: located in the village. Typical mountain hotel with double room with a slightly outdated decor but very clean, from €70 per night, breakfast at €8. most: very friendly hosts, very good restaurant with local products.
- Hotel Clair de Lune: located 6 km from the Aiguilles de Bavella. Bright double room from €80 per night, breakfast at €10. Most: the swimming pool, the reception and the pleasant staff.
- Hotel La Terrasse: also located in the village. Warm and very clean double room from 86€ per night, breakfast at 9€. Most: the calm, the beautiful view, the quality of the meals.
- Hotel Le Tourisme: located in Zonza. Modern and comfortable double room from €100 per night, breakfast included. Most: the swimming pool, the jacuzzi, the exceptional location and view, the excellent breakfast. Definitely one of the best places to stay in Zonza!
Day 7: Return to Ajaccio
You have arrived at the last day of your 1 week Corsica vacation, from Zonza, reach Ajaccio to take your plane or the ferry back.
It is approximately 2 hours by road between Zonza and Ajaccio. If you need to be at the airport or port early enough, I recommend spending your last night in Ajaccio instead of Zonza.
Do not hesitate to give us your opinion and suggestions on our one-week itinerary in Corsica!
And if you have any questions about visiting South Corsica in a week, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments.
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