Corsica’s transparent seas are rich with underwater life and perfect for snorkelling. As you’d expect, the wilder parts of the coastline offer the richest pickings. For their promixity to deep channels and exceptional water clarity, the boulder islets of Lavezzi, off Bonifacio, are an inspiring place to start. Other great sites include the rocks flanking Roccapina beach in the Sartenais region and the giant chalky boulders submerged off Capu Biancu, in the far south.
A sport that’s really taken off in Corsica in recent years is canyoning, a mixture of climbing and swimming, where you clamber along narrow stream gorges equipped with ropes, harnesses and wetsuits. The payoff is access to some fabulously beautiful nooks and crannies average mortals never get to see: deep, turquoise pools cradled by slabs of smooth granite and amazing waterfalls at inaccessible spots halfway up huge cliffs and mountains. Qualified guides are essential both for safety and to identify the best routes.
Hundreds of miles of bikeable trails wind along Corsica’s coastline and through the forests of the interior. Our top tips: the coast path known as the ‘Sentier des Douaniers’, along the rugged northern tip of Cap Corse, which takes in a string of Genoese watchtowers and deserted beaches; and the beautiful maritime pine forest at the Col de Bavella, in the south. Mountain bikes (VTT) are widely available to hire for around E20/£17 a day (E100/£87 week).
Sea kayaking enables you to reach spectacular stretches of the Corsican coast where even in high summer it’s possible to find deserted coves, undisturbed except for the odd stray cow. Some of the best are hidden along the shoreline of the Desert des Agriates, in the north, and the Sartenais coast, in the southwest – though unless you’re experienced, it’s essential to be accompanied by a qualified guide as wave conditions can change dramatically, and with little warning.
Forest adventure parks
Corsica has several superb forest adventure parks (‘parcs aventures’ in French), featuring circuits of white-knuckle canopy walks, monkey bridges, wire nets, tree platforms and climbing walls – perfect for occupying active children, or for an adrenaline fix after a spell lazing on the beach. They’re usually situated close to streams or rivers, where non-participating members of the party can swim and chill. A particularly good one that’s handy for the resorts in the southeast of the island is Tyroliana, on the D168A north of Porto-Vecchio.
Air Corsica is now operating flights from Stansted to Ajaccio, Bastia and Figari, allowing great flexibility for any itinerary. The service operates from early May to early November, with up to nine flights per week from June to September. Fares start from £49 one way and that price includes a generous 23kg hold luggage allowance, 12kg cabin bag and free seat selection. Car rental is available at each airport and Air Corsica has a preferred arrangement with Hertz so you can book your vehicle at the same time as your flights. aircorsica.com