Best for small children – Santa Giulia
A necklace of exquisite turquoise bays heralds your approach to Figari airport, arrival point for Air Corsica’s flights to the south of the island from Stansted. The most inviting of these if you’ve tots in tow is definitely Santa Giulia – a glorious, 270-degree sweep of pearl-white sand and transparent water that’s reassuringly shallow even 100ft out. Bring a parasol, and a stroller or backpack for the walk from the car parks.
Best for views – Plage du Lodo
Jewel in the crown of the beaches indenting the wild coastline of the Desert des Agriates, in the Bastia region, is this sublime spread of Champagne-coloured sand and clear, jade-green water. It’s only accessible by launch (regular departures from nearby Saint-Florent), but the views of Cap Corse’s grey mountains from the boat as it bobs over the bay are worth the trouble. Lodo’s herd of long-horned cows offer an iconic photo opp.
Best by public transport – Palombaggia
In the summer months, you can travel from Corsica’s prettiest market town to one of its most heavenly beaches by direct bus. Services leave Porto-Vecchio each morning for Palombaggia, half an hour’s drive south. The name derives from the dove-white colour of the sand, but it’s the rank of stately umbrella pines on the dunes behind that make this perfect arc of turquoise water so distinctive.
Best for camping – Rondinara
A conch-shaped lagoon of green-blue water streaked with wavy bars of shell sand and posidonia weed, Rondinara ranks among the hot contenders for the title of ‘Corsica’s most exotic-looking beach’. What really sets it apart is the excellent campsite behind. The pitches are well spaced and well shaded, and there’s a nice little grocery allowing you to stay put for days on end if you wish. And with a beach like that on the doorstep, who wouldn’t? Rondinara is easily accessible from Figari airport.
Best for snorkelling – Iles Lavezzi
The seas off Bonifacio are the clearest in the region, and this collection of tiny granite islets, which you can travel to by excursion boat from May through October, provide the perfect springboard for underwater adventures. Rainbow wrasse is the standout species, but you may even come across a stray grouper or two drifting through deeper clefts between submerged boulders. A word of advice: don’t miss your boat back as these islands are totally wild.
Best for avoiding the crowds – Saleccia
Escape the summer hordes at this large beach on the north coast of the Desert des Agriates, served by inflatable launches from Saint-Florent marina. When the sun is shining, the water turns a sublime colour, best enjoyed from the dunes behind. Bring a picnic as there’s no cafe here: this is a place for a truly quiet, relaxed day.
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