At the end of June the Tour de France is coming to the beautiful Mediterranean island of Corsica for the first time. The dramatic mountain scenery, with many a hairpin bend and breathtaking views down to the sea, will make the most magnificent setting for what will be the 100th race.

 

View from the Corsican hills to the sea

View from the hills of Corsica looking down to the sea

 

Cycling around the island has always been popular though how people manage to wind their way up those mountains is beyond me. Public transport is limited so the best way to get around the island, for those that don’t fancy cycling, would be to hire a car. Even if you don’t hire one for the whole week, having the use of a car for a day or two would enable you to visit some very special places. Be warned though, exploring Corsica by car is not for the faint hearted as it won’t be long before you find yourself on a single track road with a sheer drop below, a herd of sheep in your way and a local hurtling towards you at an alarming rate!

Without your own transport though you’ll miss out on so many wonderful things. Here are just a few of my favourites.

 

The hilltop village of Pigna

The hilltop village of Pigna which has many lovely craft shops and some lovely restaurants

The view from the village of Sant' Antonio

The view from the village of Sant’ Antonio

The charming hilltop town of Cobara

The charming hilltop town of Cobara

The view looking down across Calvi to the ancient citadel and the sweeping bay of crystal clear water

The view looking down across Calvi to the ancient citadel and the sweeping bay of crystal clear water

One of Corsica's many stunning beaches

One of Corsica’s many stunning beaches

 

It is not just the mountains that are only accessible with your own transport, there are also many wonderful beaches from quiet secluded coves to long stretches of white sand that can get very busy in the height of summer. In their favour the later have all the amenities you might want, including car parks, restaurants and water sports.

 

Palombaggia beach, Southern Corsica

Palombaggia beach, Southern Corsica

Ostriconi beach, North West Corsica

Ostriconi beach, North West Corsica

The view inland from the road where you park to walk down to Ostriconi beach

The view inland from the road where you park to walk down to Ostriconi beach

 

To reach the stunning beach of Ostriconi, which is never busy even in the height of summer, there’s a climb down the hill-side from the road, followed by a river to forge but it is well worth the effort.

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Pigna, home to one of my favourite restaurants

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