Judging which beaches are meant to be more beautiful than others is a slippery slope. Let’s just say that Corsica has a variety of beaches, from white sandy quiet bays to large stretch of stone or black sand coast and that we are presenting a sample of them below.
If you think some unmissable places have been missed, do not hesitate to contact us with some pictures and references and we might add them to the list.
Cupabia is a large open bay of white sand, accessed through a small winding road from the small coastal village of Porto-Pollo. It is blessed with a beautiful untouched mountain surrounding. It might get difficult to park on the small road access in July or August but space on the beach is plentiful so don’t get put off by the parking experience. Watch the cows off-season, they have priority over you on those grounds!
The village of Campomoro lies on a small quiet bay that is known for the clarity of its waters. The place has become a little over-crowded in summer but the traditional corsican granite houses on the waterfront help the location retain its unique character.
Capo di feno
One of the locals favourite near Ajaccio, the large open bay surrounded by nothing but rocks, maquis and mountains is a scenic place that can only be accessed through two one-way winding and hilly roads both starting around Ajaccio. Even in July or August, you will find plenty of space for yourself there. It is also a surfer’s favourite because of its sand banks and a reef breaking about 100m off the coast. Also worth a wait in the evening for superb sunsets.
Access to the beach of Roccapina is through a rocky unpaved road. It is not recommended to drive all the way there but the walk from the paved road is certainly manageable. The beach is a small bay of turquoise water enclosed by red rocks that fall into the sea. It is dominated by the famous “lion of Roccapina”, a lion-shaped rock dominating the bay that makes for a popular touristic stopover. The unpaved road starts off the main road from the “auberge de Coralli”.
Saleccia et Lodu – desert des agriates
Saleccia, like most of the beaches in the “desert des Agriates”, plays hard to get with its difficult access. The long walk (12 km!) or 4X4 drive (seriously not recommended to try and drive there with a standard car) also prevent overcrowding (and still, July and August can get busy) of this fabulous white sand and transparent water place surrounded by sand dunes. One of the undisputed scenic beaches of the island. Access by boat is also offered from the harbour of St Florent.
The beach of the Lodu is not far away from Saleccia and can be accessed through the same road and bears the similar beautiful characteristics.
Similar scenery and difficulty of access as Saleccia and Lodu but with even less crowd.
L’Ostriconi is probably the most accessible beach of the Agriates, located right at the extreme left of the desert coastal area and where the Ostriconi river reaches the sea. Another turquoise water/white sand place with a little more “wildness” to it, being more open to the sea and therefore windier and with a rougher surf.
Lozari is a beautiful large beach with a wilder touch. Waves can become quite rough at times as it is open to the sea and with the beach shelving steeply, the undertow can become dangerous. It is also less crowded than neighbouring white sand stretches and therefore quite pleasant if you are looking for a little more peace in summer.
The bay of Calvi offers shallow and crystal clear water and white sand but with the additional benefits of a view over the genovese citadel, close access to the city and multiple facilities for watersport, eating, partying. So beautiful, urban and trendy make it a pretty crowded place in summer. Still definitely a hit and the “place to be” for the “in” crowd.
Girolata (Scandola reserve)
Girolata is the lunch stopover place of most boats that take tourists around the Scandola reserve. The place is truly scenic and there is no walkable access. However, the surrounding of boats and the fact that you are likely to be there at peak hour (lunch stopover) with the crowd seriously reduces its attractiveness. However, if you are on a private boat tour or brave enough to walk, and can therefore access the place on your own time, it is definitely worth a visit.
Moriani is a family friednly beach, probably not up to the standards of beauty of the places of the great south but still a lovely beach for those residing on the northern part of the east coast and that offers plenty of space.
Mare e Stagnu – Aleria
Located past aleria in the north, this stretch of sand offers a scenic view as it extends between the sea and the popular “Etang de Diane” reaching up to the mouth of the pond where a genoese tower dominates the landscape. It can be accessed from Aleria, driving 200 m on a gravel road.
First beach of the Great south or last beach of the east coast, Pinarellu is a bay situated 7km north of Porto Vecchio. The 500-year old well-kept Genoese tower situated on a small island in the middle of the bay, along with the pine forest surrounding, give the place a unique feel. The transparent knee-deep water that stretches far out and the white sand complete the scene and have made the place one of the most popular beaches around Porto-Vecchio.
A few kilometres south of Porto-Vecchio, popular Palombaggia is known as “the most beautiful beach” in Corsica. The combination of white sand, transparent water on a background of pine trees, juniper bushes and red rocks do give it a very special feel.
On the downside, the word has travelled about Palombaggia and restaurants, water sport rentals, accomodations have developed fast and it does get very crowded in summer. This is probably one place worth visting off season if you are keen to really get the “postcard” image of it. Easily accesible by car and well signposted.
A secluded bay with white sand and transparent water, Santa Giulia offers a long stretch of knee-deep water before shelving. A nice wood pier also stretches out in the water. The place is popular with water sports, especially windsurfing and kite-surfing, and has a single restaurant with seats/parasols.
Often known as the “little sister” of Palombaggia, Rondinara gets its name from the very round shape of its bay. It bears similar characteristic to Palombaggia with the fabulous turquoise colour of the sea. The surrounding offers a bright beautiful contrast between red rocks and green maquis.
Santa Manza is a great starting point for coastal walks with easy tracks to follow from the beach. The beach does not stretch far out but is really quite wild-looking with its beautiful surrounding of rich maquis. Santa Manza is actually a bay made of a succession of several small beaches. The Santa Manza beach itself being just one of them.
Piantarella – little Sperone
It takes a little walk right from the pier of Piantarella, past the sandwich house, walking along the narrow stretch of beach that faces a large lagoon (yes you can walk through to the island in front!) and past a little rocky peak. You will then arrive on a small cove with the whitest sand you could find, turquoise water and postcard surrounding of white rocks. The ruins you will see on your right when you arrive are worth a stroll around.
Avoid week-ends at all cost in July-August as the water of the lagoon and also in front of the cove gets jam-packed with italian boats coming mostly from Sardinia. The boats will also regularly drop groups of people on the beach, which is even more annoying.
The lagoon mentioned earlier is popular with windsurfers and kite-surfer as you are at the extreme south peak of Corsica and the wind often blows strong from the open sea.
The place has a nice wild feeling; being at the extreme nort of the island it does get windy at times and the access to the place is not straightforward with a little bit of off-road driving (nothing a normal car can’t handle though). The place looks wild, with only a small restaurant at its entrance and it does not seem to get too populated, even at peak season. Barcaggiu is also one of the stops of the famous “sentier des douaniers” (link to the section talking about the place).