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Corsica (South and Upper) Property Listings and Info

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Corsica has what it takes

The island of Corsica has long been a popular destination for many, with its stunning beaches, gorgeous fishing villages and dramatic mountains. For those looking for a life in the sun or for those looking to buy a second or holiday home, it seems Corsica has what it takes. The island is divided into two departments, Corse du Sud or South Corsica (2A) and Haute-Corse or Upper Corsica (2B).

1. South Corsica - rich in heritage and with a vibrant culture

South Corsica (Corse du Sud), which as its name implies occupies the southern half of Corsica, is rich in heritage and culture. It has natural sights included on the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage list, a fascinating architectural heritage in the towns and cities, and a vibrant culture, jealously guarded from impurity for centuries, which could not be mistaken for anything other than Corsican.

A windy coast but good for sailing

The southern coastline of Corsica can be windy, but this is, of course, a double edged sword. The area around the charming mediaeval city of Bonifacio is a case in point; the seemingly ever present wind may be an irritant for beach bunnies (although the beaches are so good and the sunshine rate excellent), but it creates the perfect conditions for sailing fans, hence the massive popularity of the sport in this part of South Corsica.

Wonderful beaches with snorkelling and scuba diving on offer

Great beaches are a feature of the department, with some of the best being located around Porto Vecchio. That said, the choice is tremendous, and you are bound to find your own favourites given a little time. Sailing isn't the only activity available on South Corsica's lovely coast, with snorkelling and scuba diving being also great favourites here. There are a number of excellent diving schools and centres for equipment hire in the area, so even newcomers can take up the sport in safety and discover a whole marine world below the blue Mediterranean waters.

Explore picturesque villages, pre-historic sites and unspoilt countryside

The high mountains of Upper Corsica extend into the northern parts of South Corsica, but tail off towards the south, leaving a slightly different hinterland to discover. A great feature of the landscape here is the Calanche de Piana rock formation, UNESCO listed and truly awe-inspiring. History, or rather, pre-history, offers up its evidence of early life on Corsica in the form of the fascinating Filitosa Pre-historic Site. Picturesque traditional villages exist here much as they always have, unchanged by the passing years, and the unspoilt countryside is a joyous riot of flora and fauna. Walking is still the best way to enjoy this lovely inland part of South Corsica.

Ajaccio - the capital city of the island

Ajaccio, which is the capital of the whole Corsica island region, lies in the south, and is a worthy capital. The old quarter of town is historic and interesting, with architectural heritage and also a vibrant culture. Ajaccio is also a port city, with all the bustling activity that accompanies such places, and offers all the usual main city amenities.

Visit spectacular Bonifacio

One of the best loved towns of the department of South Corsica is Bonifacio, which occupies a stunning location on the top of high, white limestone cliffs that drop dizzyingly to the sea below. Bonifacio's heritage buildings, both secular and religious, are a good reason to investigate this town, with the lovely beaches and superb sailing adding yet more incitements to consider Bonifacio as a setting for your Corsican property. The town is a big tourist draw, so gîte rentals and B&B type ventures are likely to do well, helping offset the fairly high cost of property in this very desirable location.

Porto Vecchio - very popular with holidaymakers

Porto Vecchio is definitely worth considering if you want to use the property primarily for holidays, or if you are buying with a view to holiday letting, running a B&B business or a similarly tourism related investment, as the resort town is lively in season and very popular with holidaymakers. Another town you might want to consider is the attractive "Greek" village of Cargèse, which was founded by Greeks who were escaping the Turkish invasion of their own country, and which is heavily influenced by Greek architecture.

2. Upper Corsica - with beaches catering for all

Upper Corsica occupies roughly half of the island of Corsica (the northernmost half), and is a beautiful department. Its coastal areas are popular with holidaymakers, with the beaches varying from long, sandy swathes to hidden romantic coves, allowing something for all tastes. Everyone who loves and knows Upper Corsica will have a different idea of the best beach, but generally speaking, Calvi and Barcaggio are good places to begin if you are seeking that perfect beach. Water sports, especially snorkelling and scuba diving, are popular here as they are in South Corsica, thanks to the clear, clean waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

Go inland to enjoy adventure sports and the Corsican National Park

Inland, the landscape changes to one of rugged drama, with spectacular mountains, rocky outcrops and rushing rivers. This landscape too, has natural attributes that make it a sportsman's paradise. White water fans find the fast flowing waters of the Restonica Gorges perfect for their thrilling sports, while climbers, mountain bikers, walkers and horse riders will also find plenty of opportunities to indulge in their hobbies. The inland Upper Corsica is also where nature lovers can enjoy the glory of a completely unspoilt terrain in the Corsican National Park, much of which falls within the department. Here, golden eagles soar in the blue skies, wild boar roam the hills, shy deer graze amid a wealth of flora and fauna.

Bastia - the lively capital of Upper Corsica

The port town of Bastia is the capital city of Upper Corsica, and is also the point of arrival for many visitors to Upper Corsica, being a ferry port receiving boats from France and Italy as well as boasting a marina and fishing harbour. This means there is always a lively, holiday feeling to Bastia, although it is far busier in summer than in winter.

Visit vibrant Calvi and pretty Saint Florent

Among the other towns and villages of the northern part of the island, Calvi is one of the most important. Beloved of holidaymakers, the vibrant town offers a good blend of historical heritage and also modern facilities, making it a good place to consider if you are thinking of purchasing property in Upper Corsica. The beaches here are among the best on the island and the climate is superb. Smaller, but perfect for those wanting to own property near a sailing marina, is pretty little Saint Florent. It's not a large place, but very popular with the sailing fraternity, and has good beaches too.

Explore the hilltop town of Corte and picturesque Pigna

Moving inland, property becomes cheaper, and often more traditional in style. There are some truly charming villages in the hills of Upper Corsica, and although the market doesn't offer as many properties as at the coast, diligent searches can be rewarded by some really special finds. It is important to note that the infrastructure in the more remote inland areas is nowhere near as developed as at the coast, though, and some degree of willingness to live in splendid semi-isolation may be called for! To get a flavour of a traditional inland Corsican village, take a look at the impossibly picturesque Pigna, where Corsican culture shines through every aspect of life, or head for the mountains to discover the majestic hilltop town of Corte.

Gastronomy of South and Upper Corsica

The gastronomy of the island is similar in both Upper Corsica and South Corsica, with a preponderance of fish and seafood at the coast, and delicacies such as honey, chestnuts and wild boar and other game found inland. The meat of the native black pig is highly regarded too. Goats and sheep find the hilly terrain an ideal habitat, and delicious cheeses (including the famed Brocciu) are made from their milk. Upper Corsica is also known for its wines, and there are a good number of vineyards to be found in the department.

Weather in South and Upper Corsica

The climate of Upper Corsica is said to be marginally the warmest on the island, with long, hot, sunny summers, at least at the coast. In South Corsica, although with a similar very appealing climate, some coastal areas can be windy, but fans of yachting and windsurfing see this as an added attraction! Meanwhile the summers inland are usually sun-filled and very pleasant. It's a different story in the mountains in the winter, of course, where it can be cold in both departments, particularly in Upper Corsica where the winters can be quite harsh.

How to get there

The easiest way of getting to South Corsica is to fly to Ajaccio direct from the UK. Ajaccio is served by easyJet. Otherwise, you can fly or drive to Nice or Marseille and take a ferry crossing to the ports of Ajaccio, Porto Vecchio or Propriano. To get to Upper Corsica you can take a flight from the UK to Bastia using easyJet. There is a ferry port here too should you prefer to travel from Nice or Marseille in mainland France and enjoy the ferry crossing instead. L'Ile Rousse is another ferry port to consider.

Property prices in South and Upper Corsica

Corsica is such a desirable destination that property tends to be expensive, with coastal properties in popular resorts coming with a higher price tag than inland property. The island has nowhere near the same extensive amount of property coming onto the market, and demand can outstrip supply. However, new developments offer the prospect of leasehold arrangements, bringing Corsican property within the budgets of many more potential buyers and creating greater availability. Inland, old village houses, if and when they become available, can represent less expensive options, and the occasional star comes on to the market in the form of an old water mill, or a wine grower's home.

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Corsica (South and Upper) AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Corsica (South and Upper)?

Corsica lies to the south-east of mainlaind France, and is divided into the two departments of South Corsica and Upper Corsica.

Corsica (South and Upper) Property Map


Corsica Guide

Corsica Property Map


GUIDES TO THE TOWNS/CITIES IN Corsica (South and Upper)

Lecci Guide


Sextant France
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