Corsica's dramatic mountains, remote hilltop villages and stunning sea views are made for walking holidays. Here are just some of the best places to stay to see the island at its most beautiful.
Put simply, Corsica is a hiker's paradise.
Boasting astounding geographical diversity, with looming mountains stretching up to 2,710m high, glittering bays, verdant valleys, crashing waterfalls and dense forests making up the landscape, it's a playground for anyone looking for a mini-adventure in the great outdoors.
With so much beauty to discover, the only question is: where to stay? To help find you the best base for your walking holiday, we've handpicked the best hotels, villas and résidences that are close to popular hiking trails, while also offering some insight into the best regions to suit your style of holiday.
The north's charming villages of la Balagne are the centre of many walking holidays in Corsica. Trapped in time, they can be accessed from Calvi and nearby villages via an elaborate network of hiking trails.
Backed by mountains that dominate the coastline, the silver sand beaches of Calvi are also a favourite with anyone seeking a much needed top-up of Vitamin D.
Bonifato forest is also just a 30 minutes drive from Calvi centre, so any accommodation in Calvi is ideal for exploring the forest's long scenic road, which is punctuated by the winding Figarella river and small river pools – perfect spots for a cooling swim.
Here are just three of our favourite places to stay in Calvi and the north:
Monticello | Sleeps 8
A hidden gem set on a mountainous ridge above L’Ile Rousse, A Pinarella is most popular for its magnificent views.
A Pinarella’s location is perfect for exploring some of the most intriguing destinations on the island. L’Ile Rousse and the coast are just 4km away, with a charming old town and plenty of shops and eateries making it a great option for evening meals. You're also within hiking distance from many hilltop villages which punctuate la Balagne landscape.
Find out more about A Pinarella
Lumio | Sleeps 6
Villa Gemma can be found nestled into the hillside below the pretty village of Lumio. The emphasis here is very much on space, comfort and convenience and is set up for al fresco living while taking advantage of the magnificent views across Calvi Bay.
You can walk to the abandoned village of Occi, a circular walk of around an hour from Lumio village. Occi was deserted when the water dried up but the view from the top is sublime and the spot very atmospheric. Lumio provides easy access to the Balagne interior which offers a huge array of easy and challenging walks; the craft trail Strada di l’Artigiani will lead you through the villages of la Balagne, with plenty of opportunities to sample local specialities en route.
Find out more about Villla Gemma
Hôtel La Lagune
Lucciana | 4 star hotel
On the other side of island, but still in North Corsica, sits Hôtel La Lagune, a great place to stay for anyone wanting to be close to a beautiful beach, while also having scenic walking trails within driving distance.
This hotel is located just an easy hour's drive from Restonica Valley, one of the most beautiful areas for walking and outdoor adventures in Corsica, with glacial gorges carved into the granite cliffs, covered in verdant pine forests.
Find out more about Hôtel La Lagune
The beach outside Hôtel La Lagune
Corsica's wild and beautiful heart is often coined the best region for walking, mainly in part thanks to the gorgeous Restonica Valley. The valley takes its name from the Restonica River, which flows through the cliffs and gorges to the many pools and lakes dotted around, making it a popular place to walk and picnic.
The two best-known lakes, Lac de Melo and Lac de Capitello, can be reached by foot via a strenuous, scenic – and in some places steep – path, perfect for more experienced walkers.
Hôtel Dominique Colonna
Corte | 4-star hotel
Positioned directly in Corsica's famous Restonica Valley, Hôtel Dominique Colonna is the perfect backdrop for a scenic walking holiday.
Modern in style and with a relaxed atmosphere, the hotel certainly makes the most of its location. The rooms all come with either a balcony or terrace, from which you can enjoy views across the garden and down to the river.
When you're not exploring the valley's natural beauty, wallow in the heated outdoor swimming pool and drink in the tranquillity of your surroundings.
Find out more about Hôtel Dominique Colonna
Les Jardins de la Glacière
Corte | 3-star hotel
Set amidst the granite cliffs and pine forests of the Restonica Valley, with the crystal-clear waters of the river close by, Les Jardins de la Glacière blends effortlessly into its surroundings.
When you’re not exploring the area on foot, breathe in the fresh mountain air from the hotel’s outdoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi, before basking in the sunshine from the comfort of a sunlounger.
There may not be beaches nearby, but as the season passes, you can cool down in the refreshing river below the hotel garden.
Find out more about Les Jardins de la Glacière
Sculpted by wind and sea into otherworldly shapes, the west coast of Corsica is an area of extraordinary landscapes that simply beg to be explored on foot.
The coast of the Gulf of Porto is the West's most famous landscape, and rightly so. Officially a UNESCO World Heritage site, it's home to the beautiful village of Piana, the Girolata peninsula and the Scandola nature reserve – a playground for walkers!
Scandola Nature Reserve
Hôtel Capo Rosso
Piana | 4-star hotel
Situated in the heart of unspoilt beauty and surrounded by untamed nature, Hôtel Capo Rosso will tick any keen hiker's boxes.
It's set in Piana, a remote village balanced on plunging cliffs overlooking the Calanches, which has managed to retain a sleepy, quiet atmosphere free from hoards of tourists.
On your days away from the heated pool, buckle up your walking boots and explore the pinnacles and ravines of the red granite Calanches that jut out of the beautifully blue sea.
Find out more about Hôtel Capo Rosso
Campomoro | One-bedroom apartment
A striking and attractive one-bedroom apartment perfect for holidaying couples, Casetta Peretti enjoys an excellent location on the church square in the heart of Olmeto, with its age-old Corsican charm and sweeping mountain views. The property’s exposed stone walls and colourful tiles add a rustic, authentic feel to the apartment, very much in keeping with the identity of traditional Olmeto.
There are a huge number of walks in this area, the Mare a Mare South starts close to Olmeto, an there are a maze of marked and unmarked trails across this region for you to explore. Venture on foot and discover an extraordinary landscape of granite outcrops, secluded beaches and perfumed maquis.
Find out more about Casetta Peretti
Résidence Mare e Macchia
Tizzano | 2 bedroom apartments
Situated in the small, secluded village of Tizzano on Corsica's south-western coast, this résidence is the ideal base for an off-the-beaten-track getaway by the sea.
Sunloungers are dotted around the shared pool, while Tizzano’s gorgeous sandy beach is just a short walk away. Walking enthusiasts can follow the coastal path leading to Capu di Senetosa and Campomoro, where they'll witness some of the wildest and most stunning coastal scenery in the whole of Corsica.
Find out more about Résidence Mare e Macchia
Not only is South Corsica home to some of the island's most idyllic beaches, but its rugged, mountainous interior has plenty to offer the more adventurous tourist.
Within an hour’s drive from Porto Vecchio, you can be exploring the stunning mountain villages of Zonza and Levie, passing l’Ospedale Lake and some beautiful hiking spots along the way.
There are also endless walking trails to enjoy from Solenzara, a town on the south-east coast, most of which can be easily accessed from the main town. Breathe in the brisk mountain air, soak up the panoramic vistas that stretch as far as Sardinia, and take a refreshing dip in the cool water of the rivers.
For anyone thinking of staying in Bonifacio, you can follow a great walking route along the cliffs to the Pertusato lighthouse, where you can admire the stunning views back to the town and out towards Sardinia.
Top 10 things to do in South Corsica
Bonifacio's Pertusato lighthouse
Casa di L'Olivu
Tarrabucceta | Sleeps 4
This beautiful bergerie-style property, set in peaceful grounds, is situated between Bonifacio and Porto Vecchio, making it a great base for walkers looking to explore South Corsica.
Being a tranquil countryside retreat, there are plenty of rural walks in this area and scenic roads leading to the central mountains. On your days off from walking, drive to nearby Porto Vecchio or inland to the spectacular Col de Bavella, one of the most dramatic passes in Corsica with stunning views across extensive forest, ocean and mountains.
Find out more about Casa di L'Olivu
Casa di Pruno
Tarrabucceta | Sleeps 4
Situated in the same grounds as Casa di l'Olivu and Villa Bicu Rossu, Casa di Pruno is another bergerie-style property in South Corsica boasting stunning mountain views.
Away from the villa, be sure to visit the fortress town of Bonifacio and the attractive town of Porto Vecchio, both of which are a 15-minute drive away.
Find out more about Casa di Pruno
Hotel La Solenzara
Solenzara | 3-star hotel
New to our collection for summer 2020, this charming hotel is a great base from which to explore one of Corsica's lesser known coastlines or mountainous interior.
Set in the small seaside town of Solenzara at the base of the Bavella mountain range, a stay here promises you lots of natural beauty.
When you’re not losing yourself in a book by the pool or relaxing in the on-site spa, step outside to discover the river beaches, waterfalls and walking trails that lay close by.
Find out more about Hotel La Solenzara
At Corsican Places, we also offer a range of self-guided walking holidays that are tailor-made to showcase the very best scenery the island has to offer.