France-Corsica in pictures +previous picture following picture
In brief +
This green island with a strong identity occupies a special place in the Mediterranean basin and is a perfect mix of nature and culture.
In terms of nature, its considerable vegetation is primarily what sets it apart from its Mediterranean sisters. The Regional Nature Park, located between Calvi and Porto-Vecchio, in itself covers more than a third of the surface area of the island and is home to no fewer than 2,000 plant species. With its international marine park, its Cerbicale islands, which are a sanctuary for crested cormorants, its Lavezzi islands, where 68 species of fish have been identified, its Scandola island, France's first land and marine reserve, and its calanques, one of the most impressive areas of Corsica, what else would you want to do but be contemplative? Particularly since, as reflected in the calanques, nature takes care of everything, the elements carve the landscape as they wish, creating admirable natural sculptures here and there and tumultuous landscapes of caves and ravines.
When you see the architecture of the island's towns and villages, such as Corte, the capital of the Corsican nation, nestled up in the hills and protected by the mountains, you'll see that exploring these towns is by no means restful tourism! You will have to climb way up the rocky spur to where the fortified town of Bonifacio reigns over the surrounding area, proudly revealing its imposing Sainte-Marie-Majeure church.
Likewise, visiting the old port and the winding, sloping alleyways of Bastia will take its toll on your shoes and calves! Ravenous, you'll sit down to lunch and realise that walking really helps to work up an appetite! All the same, you will never have a large enough appetite to sample all the local specialties. With pork-based dishes (from animals raised freely and fed on chestnuts and acorns) such as figatellu (liver sausage), coppa (pork ribs), salamu (sausage), prisuttu (raw ham), polenta made using chestnut flour, brocciu, a cheese made from ewe's or goat's milk whey, olive oil and honey? the Corsican kitchen is as varied as its landscapes!
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