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.
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.