Corsica Beaches, France

Calvi beach, Corsica

Calvi beach with the main town and citadel in the background in November.

Best Corsica beaches

Corsica is blessed with a mild south Mediterranean climate, magnificent red and grey rock outcrops, little development compared to the French mainland and is awash with terrific beaches, just about every cove around the island shows some white sand so there’s plenty of seclusion available if you choose to be an adventurous beach-goer. However, here are some options on the more popular north and east coasts. . .

***Calvi (above)

The northwest coast: The best overall beach resort of the island, with warm, shallow, kid-friendly water, soft white sand, an historic (though unexciting) citadel and pleasant town overrun with north Europeans in the summer. Needless to say, any facilities required will be within a few metres of your sweaty body. Calvi is a summer ferry port as well as being near another northern port, Ile Rousse.

**Ile Rousse

Corsica’s centre-north coast port is a comfortable if uninspiring town from where you can watch ferries unloading more desperate sandbaggers. Ile Rousse is a few minutes drive east of Calvi, west of masses more bleached beaches and half an hour’s drive from the sensational hikes around Corte.

***Plage de Saleccia

Plage (beach) de Saleccia. Photo by Pierre Bona.

Off the Désert des Agriates on the north coast and west of Saint-Florent. Bastia is the nearest large town and ferry port. Saleccia is perhaps the Corsica’s best beach, large, little visited, with perfect soft sand, clear azure water and a natural backdrop. BUT, the drawback is a total lack of facilities and difficult access, mainly by 4WD or a summer ferry from St-Florent.


Ostricone beach on Corsica island's east coast, France beaches

Ostricone beach on Corsica’s east coast. Photo by lotangelini.

***Plage de Loto

Plage de Loto beach, Corsica

Plage de Loto and ferry pontoon. Photo by JManners.

North coast, off the Désert des Agriates and near St-Florent, Loto is similar to Saleccia in location, beach size and quality but also in lack of facilities and access.
Get there via small ferries in the summertime from the marina in Saint-Florent or take a hike along a footpath that edges along the coastline of the Agriates desert.
There are no services here so bring everything you need. Saleccia beach is about two kilometers away and does have some facilities.

***Plage de Palombaggia and ***Plage de Santa Giulia

Corsica, palombaggia beach, France

Palombaggia beach out of season; the unpleasant fencing doesn’t continue all the way round the bay, it’s only protecting the sand dune section. Photo by Jplm.

Both on Corsica’s southeast coast near Porto-Vecchio with splendid crescent bays, warm, turquoise water and fine sand backed by protected pine trees. Palombaggia would be the hands-down winner but for:
a) considerable development in the area (but not on the beach which just offers one café) – however, the large numbers of nearby small hotels a couple of kilometres away could be an asset for people who want to stay near the beach.
b) a veritable spaghetti of long and winding access roads makes getting there tiresome.
c) the authorities are now protecting the dunes with unsightly fencing that also limits beach space.

Santa Giulia beach is only just off the main road between Porto Vecchio and Bonifacio and has some discreet low-rise accommodation including the perfectly situated Moby Dick.

Rondinara beach

Rondinara is hidden away in south-east Corsica between Bonifacio and Porto Vecchio, but nearer to Bonifacio.
As Corsica’s beaches become discovered and developed beach-lovers have to trudge further and further in search of the elusive perfect strand. Rondinara is beautiful and easy to find yet mostly commerce-free. A little, winding lane off the N198 has been recently extended to a new car park adjacent to Rondinara that can probably handle a couple of hundred cars at peak times.
Small guest houses and camp sites are scattered around though most will still require wheels to reach the beach.
If Rondinara’s too busy for you then get jump in a motor, drive around and be prepared to walk to find your piece of perfect sand.

Cala Erbaju

In the island’s south-west Cala Erbaju is well off the regular tourist trail, a dazzling yet unfrequented white strip of sand unspoilt by north European beach bums and commercial paraphernalia.
Why not? Well, it’s short of shade and long on access, needing a 45 minute walk along a delightful coastal path to reach it. The nearest road is at Roccapina and don’t forget anything. There are no facilities there and it’s a hefty walk back to the car.

Best season for Corsica beaches

The best time to travel around the Island is May, June, and September when there is plenty of sunshine, flowers and less visitors, though July and August are fine if you like it hot on beach and book ahead. It’s a 40-minute flight from Nice or a few hours by boat from Marseilles or Nice Car Ferry.