2 Days in Cap Corse: Itinerary with Top 15 Things to Do

What to do in Cap Corse?

To visit Cap Corse is to discover the northernmost part of Corsica. 

This coast is one of the wildest places on the island of beauty and it is really a must on a trip to Corsica!

By following the panoramic road that goes all around Cap Corse, you can discover beautiful viewpointssmall typical villages such as Erbalunga or Nonza, and take beautiful walks, including the hike along the coastal path.

To help you plan your stay, I have prepared a list of all the must-see places of interest in Cap Corse as well as the things to do in the surrounding area. 

At the end of the article, I also give you my itinerary advice for visiting Cap Corse by car and my selection of the best accommodation, depending on your budget.

So where to go and what to do in Cap Corse? 

Visiting Cap Corse: the essentials

1. Hike in Cap Corse

If you want to hike in Cap Corse, I advise you to take the coastal path.

It allows you to walk the northern part of Cap Corse along the entire seaside from Macinaggio to Centuri, i.e. nearly 19 km! For those who are frightened by the distance, rest assured, the trail is divided into several sections.

The most famous and interesting starts from Macinaggio beach, just north of the marina, to reach Barcaggio in 3h30 walk one way.

Without particular difficulty (apart from perhaps the lack of shade all along), it allows you to pass by several splendid beaches including those of Cala Genovese and Cala Francese. This is one of the most beautiful walks I have done during my Corsica itinerary!

For the return, you will have 2 possibilities:

  • On foot, taking the path in the opposite direction. I advise you to cut through the Sainte Marie chapel, which reduces the walking time by almost 1 hour.
  • Take a boat to Barcaggio that will take you back to Macinaggio. This is the ideal opportunity to admire Cap Corse from the sea.

Only one company offers this service, you must book your trip at least 24 hours in advance. You will find the information on their website.

You can also choose to do the entire hike.

The other section of the trail, from Barcaggio to Centuri is a little more strenuous and takes about 4h45 of walking. Here, there is not really any possibility of swimming along the way, the path overlooking the sea for a large part of the journey.

Remember that you are on a protected site. Camping, bivouac and fires are therefore prohibited.

Tips for your Cap Corse itinerary:

You can get the map of the customs trail at the Macinaggio tourist office, on the port.

It is also at the level of the port that you will find free car parks where you can leave your car for the time of the hike or the boat trip.

Cap Corse itinerary
Viewpoint over Cap Corse from the coastal footpath

2. Visit Cap Corse by Boat

Good news for those who do not want to visit Cap Corse on foot, you can also opt for a sea trip.

These boat trips to Cap Corse also depart from the port of Macinaggio:

  • 2 departures per day (morning and afternoon) every day in May, June and September.
  • between 3 and 4 departures every day in July and August.

This commented cruise lasts about 2 hours and allows you to discover the Cap Corse marine park. You will pass several Genoese towers as well as off the Finocchiarola Archipelago.

These 3 small islands are classified as a Nature Reserve and are home to the main colony of Audouin’s gulls of France, a very rare species living only in the Mediterranean.

You will then continue to Barcaggio,  the northernmost point of Corsica.

You will also have the chance to enjoy a swim stop, so don’t forget your bathing suits!

This cruise in Cap Corse is really the best alternative to visit the North East coast of the cape if you cannot do the customs trail on foot. There are no roads crossing this part of Corsica .

Information for visiting Cap Corse by boat can be found here. I recommend that you book this excursion at least 1 day before.

Tips for your Cap Corse itinerary:

Do you want to discover Cap Corse by boat far from other tourists?

I have what you need!

The best way to discover Cap Corse is to opt for a private boat trip.

You rent a boat with a skipper, and he will take you to the most beautiful corners of Cap Corse.

Motor boat, sailboat, catamaran or even yacht : it’s up to you to choose the boat that suits you to spend a dream day!

Viewpoint over Cap Corse

3. Erbalunga

Erbalunga is one of the first villages to stop on your tour of Cap Corse by car.

It is just 20 minutes north of Bastia and marks the start of the cape.

The small village was built on a peninsula where the colorful houses line up at the water’s edge. You can walk through the alleys, go see the small port and continue to the Genoese tower in ruins.

It’s very small, but pleasant because the area is entirely pedestrian.

If you go through the village in August during your itinerary in Corsica, you can attend the Music Festival there . Dedicated to French song and Corsican songs, it has notably hosted Coeur de Pirate or Julien Doré.

Tips for your Cap Corse itinerary:

It is in Erbalunga that you can have lunch in one of the most famous restaurants in Cap Corse: “Le Pirate”.

Located on the port, it offers very refined local cuisine. Obviously the prices are affected, but you are guaranteed to enjoy an excellent meal!

Erbalunga, Cap Corse itinerary 2 day

4. The Moulin Mattei Viewpoint

Do you want to know where to go in Cap Corse to contemplate the best panorama?

So, head for the Moulin Mattei viewpoint! It is located on the D80, just 20 minutes from Macinaggio.

You will find a large car park at the foot of the mill to stop and admire the view that awaits you over the entire western slope of Cap Corse!

The panorama over Centuri, the islet of Capense and the Agriates desert is truly sumptuous.

Do not hesitate to go up to the mill (5 minutes on foot) to have an even clearer view. Note that this is the only windmill still standing in Cap Corse.

The stop at Moulin Mattei is clearly a must for a stay in Cap Corse!

Moulin Mattei, Cap Corse
Viewpoint of Moulin Mattei

5. Belts

You were able to get a glimpse of it from the viewpoint of the Moulin, I now suggest you go down to Centuri.

It is considered one of the most beautiful villages to see in Haute-Corse and is therefore an obligatory stop on your tour of Cap Corse.

With Macinaggio, the village of Centuri is the main fishing port of the cape and the only one specialized in lobster fishing.

As you will have understood, lovers of this delicious crustacean will have no choice but to stop at one of the restaurants in the port to taste it.

Century – Cap Corse
Century – Cap Corse

6. Nonza and its Black Beach

Among the main villages to visit on the west coast of Cap Corse, I recommend that you make a stop at Nonza.

Overlooking the sea, this small fortified village offers a unique panorama of the Cap on one side and the Gulf of Saint-Florent on the other side. The best view is from the Paoline tower, built in 1760 to protect the village.

It is from there, that in 1768, the tradition tells that a captain defended the tower alone against 1200 French, thanks to an ingenious system making it possible to draw from several places of the tower.

The village is also known for its huge black pebble beach. It is decorated with lighter pebbles that form designs or messages that can be seen from the top of the road.

It is located below Nonza and is accessible by stairs located at the entrance of the village when arriving from Centuri or by car by a small road.

Tips for your Cap Corse itinerary:

For a drink in Nonza, go to the restaurant “La Sassa”.

A real institution, it is located next to the tower and its terrace is the perfect place to sit down and contemplate the view. Trendy and romantic atmosphere guaranteed!

The village of Nonza, at Cape Corsica
The village of Nonza, at Cape Corsica

7. Patrimonio and the Cap Corse Wine Route

Patrimonio is located at the extreme South West of Cap Corse, just before Saint-Florent and the desert of Agriates.

The village is famous for its wines with a controlled designation of origin, the AOC Patrimonio. It is part of the wine route which brings together several wineries in the region. Most of them also offer tastings.

Among the internationally renowned estates you will find:

Patrimonio Corse, 2 days in Cap Corse
Patrimonio Corse – Wine route

8. Beaches of Cap Corse

There are several pleasant beaches for swimming in Cap Corse, even if the region is not particularly famous for that.

Here are the places to swim on the east coast of Cap Corse:

  • Pietracorbara beach, a large sandy beach 40 minutes from Bastia, on the east coast
  • The beach of Cagnano, after the village of Porticciolo
  • The pebble beach of Santa Severa
  • Meria beach, sheltered from the wind and where there is a Genoese tower
  • Tamarone beach, the first beach on the coastal footpath after Macinaggio
  • The beaches of Cala Francese and Cala Genovese on the coastal path, after Tamarone
  • The sandy beach of Barcaggio, bordered by dunes

The western side of Cap Corse is much steeper and therefore there are fewer places to swim, but there are still a few:

  • Anse d’Aliso, 9 km south of Centuri. The main road bypasses it, you have to go through a secondary path.
  • The marina of Scalo, 1 km from Pino
  • La marine de Giottani, 11 km from Pino, you have to leave the D80 to take a secondary road that goes down to the small pebble beach.
  • The black sand beach of Nonza
Beaches of Cape Corsica
Cala Francese and its tour – Beaches of Cape Corsica

9. Other Villages to See in Cap Corse

In addition to the villages of Centuri, Nonza or Patrimonio, there are several small villages to see during your tour of Cap Corse.

  • Luri, a small hamlet with an imposing church
  • Rogliano, built on the hillsides, there are the remains of a castle
  • Morsiglia and its 9 Genoese towers
  • Pino, a pretty village surrounded by abundant vegetation composed of pines, eucalyptus and prickly pears. The marina of Scalo, at the bottom of the village, with the Saint Francois convent, is to be seen
  • Canari where the Santa Maria Assunta church and the costume museum are located, bringing together traditional costumes of the village elders.
Cap Corse itinerary 2 day
The Marine of Scalo – Pino

10. Walk in Cap Corse

Nothing like a short walk to discover the most beautiful corners of Cap Corse!

You will find marked trails from each village. Each based on a theme, they allow you to discover the natural and heritage riches of this part of Corsica, still authentic and preserved from the tourist influx.

These paths do not present any difficulty: they do not exceed 2 hours of walking and there is not much difference in altitude. Ideal for visiting Cap Corse on foot!

Here are some sample itineraries:

  • The living water trail in Pietracorbara
  • The abandoned village in Meria
  • The sheepfolds facing the sea in Centuri
  • The chemin des barbaresques in Ogliastru
  • The villages of the forest in Ersa
  • The marine terraces in Nonza

In all, 18 themed paths have been laid out. You will find each detailed Cap Corse walk sheet on the official website of the community of municipalities.

In addition to these walks and the customs trail I told you about at the beginning of this top, there is another popular hike to do in Cap Corse.

The hike of Monte Stello, the highest peak of Cap Corse, which culminates at 1307 meters above sea level. Arrived at the top, you will enjoy a panoramic view of Cap Corse and a large part of Haute-Corse.

Departure from the car park in the village of Pozzo, above Erbalunga. Then count 6 hours of walking there and back.

Tips for your Cap Corse itinerary:

To admire the sunset over Cap Corse, I advise you to climb the Sénèque tower. 

To reach it, drive up to the Sainte-Lucie pass by car, park your car in the car park and you will have a 20-minute walk to reach the tower.

Cap Corse itinerary 2 day
Mont Stello

11. Activities to Do in Cap Corse

In addition to touring Cap Corse by car and visiting a little on foot, there are plenty of other activities to do:

Cap Corse itinerary 2 day
Diving in Corsica

What to Do around Cap Corse?

After visiting Cap Corse, I suggest you continue your tour in Corsica by visiting the surroundings.

I have therefore prepared a list of the best things to do around Cap Corse!

12. Bastia

Bastia is the largest town to visit around Cap Corse.

This is also probably where you will start your stay in Corsica because the city has an airport and a port which welcomes ferries from Nice, Toulon and Marseille, as well as from Italy.

It is the most practical arrival city for making an itinerary in Haute-Corse.

In Bastia, a walk in the city will allow you to discover:

  • Place Saint-Nicolas lined with many restaurants and with a view of the port
  • Rue Napoléon where there are 2 oratories
  • The Church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste, the largest church in Corsica
  • The old Port
  • The citadel of Bastia
  • The Bastia History Museum located in the Governors’ Palace

More information about Bastia? It’s in my article: Top things to do in Bastia.

Cap Corse itinerary 2 day

13. Saint Florent

In the vicinity of Cap Corse, I recommend that you go to Saint-Florent. 

The village is just 10 minutes from Patrimonio and it is located in one of the most beautiful gulfs in the Mediterranean.

Saint-Florent has the second marina on the island and many people choose to moor their boat there in summer. This small Corsican town is often compared to Saint-Tropez.

You can take a walk on the quays, then take the alleys to go up to the citadel and enjoy the view from the esplanade.

But Saint-Florent above all allows you to reach the Agriates by boat, which I will tell you about just after.

Cap Corse itinerary 2 day
Saint Florent

14. The Agriates Desert

Look no further, the most beautiful beaches around Cap Corse are in the Agriates desert!

To get there, you will need to take the boat to Saint-Florent. In less than 30 minutes, you will reach 2 splendid beaches: Saleccia beach and Lotu beach.

Fine sand, turquoise water, the setting is heavenly!

To learn more about the Agriates desert and practical information on how to get there, I recommend that you read my article: Visiting the Agriates desert.

Cap Corse itinerary 2 day
Desert of Agriates

15. Saleccia Park

For a family outing around Cap Corse, I recommend Saleccia Park.

It is located on the road between Saint-Florent and Ile-Rousse.

This landscaped park of 7 hectares, very well laid out, allows you to discover the Corsican and Mediterranean vegetation. Very well maintained and enhanced, the park has been awarded the “Remarkable Garden” label.

For children, it has a playground, a bird observatory and you will also find a mini-farm.

The park is open daily from April to October. Information on timetables and fare can be found on the official website.

saleccia park, Cap Corse itinerary 2 day
saleccia park

How long to visit Cap Corse?

To visit Cap Corse, I recommend that you plan 2 full days.

You can devote one day to the East Coast and the second day to travel the West Coast.

I explain how to visit Cap Corse in 2 days below:

1 Day Cap Corse Itinerary

It is possible to do the complete tour of Cap Corse by car in 1 day.

You just have to follow the east coast from Bastia to Macinaggio or Barcaggio then go down all along the west coast to Saint-Florent.

But that would be a shame because you would only be browsing it and you won’t necessarily have time to walk around a bit.

If you only have one day to visit Cap Corse, the best is to choose only one side.

  • The North East part is nicer if you want to walk (by doing the customs path I am talking about in point #1 of this article)
  • The west coast of Cap Corse is more suitable for a visit by car, with stops in villages and viewpoints.
Cap Corse itinerary 2 day
Cap Corse panoramic wheel

2 Days Cap Corse Itinerary

If you have planned to spend 2 days in Cap Corse, I recommend the following itinerary:

Day 1:

  • From Bastia, go up the east coast
  • Short stop at Erbalunga for the souvenir photo
  • Rejoignez Macinaggio
  • Hike the Customs Trail from Macinaggio to Barcaggio
  • If you don’t feel like walking, take the cruise!
  • Spend the night in Macinaggio (see hotel list below)

Day 2:

  • Stop at the Moulin Mattei viewpoint
  • Descent to Centuri
  • Passage through the typical villages of Cap Corse with why a short walk on one of the themed trails
  • Stop at Nonza for the black pebble beach
  • Wine tasting at Patrimonio
  • Overnight in Saint Florent

Tips for your Cap Corse itinerary:

After these 2 days in Cap Corse, if you wish to continue your stay on the island, I recommend that you consult my itinerary to visit Northern Corsica in 7 days.

It resumes these stages in Cap Corse and allows you to continue your circuit in Haute-Corse through the desert of Agriates, Calvi and the calanques of Piana.

You will find all the visits to do each day with the travel times, as well as the list of the best places to stay at each stage.

Accommodation in Cap Corse

Stay on the east coast of Cap Corse

To visit the east coast of Cap Corse, I recommend that you stay near Macinaggio, which will allow you to hike the coastal path.

Here is my selection of hotels to sleep in Macinaggio:

  • Marina D’oro:  Located on the port of Macinaggio, 100 meters from the beach. Double room with sober decoration from €70, breakfast at €7.50. Most: terrace with Jacuzzi, location near restaurants and shops. Perfect for a cheap tour of Corsica by car or motorbike!
  • Adonis Macinaggio:  Located opposite the port. Studio and apartment with kitchenette and balcony overlooking the garden or the sea from €75. Most: refurbished accommodation, cleanliness, free private parking.
  • Stella Marina:  Located 100 meters from the port. Renovated, modern and bright double room with a large terrace, from €78, breakfast at €9.50. Most: the swimming pool, the calm, the private car park, the warm welcome. It is our favorite for its performance / price ratio in Macinaggio!
  • Hotel U Ricordu:  Located 150 meters from the port. Modern and welcoming double room from €80, breakfast at €14. The pluses: the 2 heated outdoor swimming pools, the jacuzzi, the comfort of the bedding, the calm.
  • Le Tomino:  Located on the heights of Macinaggio. Very comfortable and spacious suite with private terrace and sea view from €345, breakfast €19. Most: the infinity pool, the exceptional view of the bay, the restaurant, the calm and relaxing environment.  This is our recommendation for a luxury stay in Cap Corse!

Stay on the west coast of Cap Corse

To visit the west coast of Cap Corse, I recommend that you stay near Saint-Florent, just south of the cape. The other villages in this part of Cap Corse do not really have hotels.

  • Adonis Saint-Florent:  Located 600 meters from the center of Saint-Florent. Air-conditioned studios and apartments with kitchenette and balcony from €70, breakfast at €9.50. Most: the swimming pool, the cleanliness, the price/performance ratio. This is the best choice for an economical stay in Saint-Florent!
  • Hotel Tettola:  Located 1.5 km from the port of Saint-Florent. Double room from 90€. Most: the swimming pool, the situation in front of the sea and access to the beach, the friendliness of the staff.
  • U Palazzu Serenu:  Very nice charming hotel located in Oletta, just 10 minutes by car from Saint-Florent. Overlooking the gulf and the Agriates desert, the hotel, a former 17th century palace, offers splendid, elegant and spacious rooms decorated with original works of art. Intimate setting guaranteed with only 6 rooms and 2 suites, which means you should book as soon as possible to be sure you can stay there! From €180 in low season and €340 in summer, breakfast included. Most: the large outdoor swimming pool, the magnificent view (and even more so at sunset), the warm welcome, the calm. This is our recommendation for a luxury stay in Saint-Florent!
Cap Corse itinerary 2 day
The Serene Palace – Oletta

How to Get to Cap Corse?

To start your stay in Corsica by visiting Cap Corse by car, the most practical way is to arrive in Bastia.

Bastia is only 1 hour drive from Macinaggio for example.

You can reach Bastia by plane or ferry from Nice, Marseille, Toulon or Italy.

Tourist Map of Cap Corse

To help you visualize the cape a little better, I made you a tourist map of Cap Corse listing the places to visit that I talk about in this top 15 things to do in Cap Corse.

You can display the map legend by clicking on the top left button with a small arrow.

And you, what do you plan to see in Cap Corse? 

Are you going to Corsica, Read also

Discover all our articles on Corsica: all articles on Corsica are listed here.

Camille L.

Passionate about foreign languages, cooking and writing. I wish to share with you the places, the meetings and the gastronomic discoveries which gave relief to my travels.

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