- Countryside Mountainous Mediterranean island
- Country life Tour de France
Corsica is the ultimate short-haul adventure, tightly packing in all of the natural world’s best bits. It’s got mountains, fields and shimmering coastline. And it has a wild side too: wild boar wander and tortoises totter freely by your feet.
Unlike the nearest stretch of mainland France, this little island isn’t ritzy in the slightest. In fact, it's closer to Tuscany than St Tropez both geographically and culturally: it’s laid-back, low-key and ever so outdoorsy, so hikers, cyclists and swimmers are all in their element. But beach bums will survive too, getting by on ravishing stretches of coastline and clear, inviting waters. History buffs will find the odd rustic rampart and foodies can venture into isolated hilltop villages for olives and wine in the soothing sun.
Do go/Don’t go
Active types will find the fresher spring and autumn air more conducive to hiking and biking, but September is sunny, blissfully crowd-free and even more affordable than July or August. If you can, do.
Planes Corsica has four international airports, of which two can be reached directly from the UK with easyJet. Fly to Bastia (in the north) from Manchester or Gatwick, or to Ajaccio (in the south-west) from Gatwick.
Boats There are boats from the French mainland from various ports, including Marseilles, Toulon and Nice. Several of the ferries from France carry cars, as does the ferry from Savona on the Italian mainland. Check www.corsica-ferries.co.uk for details.
Trains Take the Eurostar to Paris or Lille, catch an onward TGV to Nice and then take a ferry to one of four ports (www.corsica-ferries.co.uk). You can book the full train journey with Rail Europe (www.raileurope.co.uk). You may need to take a breather in Nice. On the island itself, there's a limited but scenic train service that's worth making a day trip for.
Automobiles If you want to explore this mountainous island, a hire car is your best bet; most of the major rental companies are represented at the airport.