Corsicans will be quick to tell you that they’re not French. A wild, fiercely beautiful island, it belonged to the Republic of Genoa until 1755, before being conquered by the French in 1769.The Corsican language is still spoken, with an estimated 150,000 native speakers.
Road-tripping in Corsica, with hairpin turns, vertiginous drops, and a blatant disregard for speed limits, is as wild a ride as the scenery you pass. It’s also the most practical way to go, as there’s little public transportation.
Most visitors arrive in Ajaccio or Bastia. From Ajaccio, drive down to Corsica’s southernmost town, Bonifacio, dramatically perched on a sheer cliff face. From here, continue up the east coast to Porte Vecchio, which has some of the island’s prettiest beaches. Hug the coast to Aleria, before cutting inland to Corte, nestled in the mountains and home to Corsica’s sole university. A drive of a little over an hour takes you to Calvi, a seaside town with a medieval fortress that looks like a sandcastle. Follow the coast again from Calvi, either south to Ajaccio, or east to Bastia, depending on your port of departure.