The GR20 – no, not yet another group of industrialised nations but France’s most challenging and perhaps most spectacular walking trail. Magnifique!
Dave, Original Traveller
Take two of our favourite countries - France and Italy - blend their cultures (and particularly cuisines), plonk the resulting Franco-Italian population onto a staggeringly beautiful island in the Mediterranean and hey presto, you have Corsica.
Why we think you’ll love it
- Corsican born Napoleon was in a hurry to leave and conquer anything that moved. Once I visited the island I wondered what the rush to escape was all about. Small man complex, clearly!
- Arguably the best beaches in the med; Italian & French influences in the cooking and culture; some charming small hotels. A fabulous all-round package and a real sense of style
From the gallery
Corsica: the Detail
It was the French who eventually claimed the prized island, despite its proximity - a mere seven miles across the Straits of Bonafacio - to the extremely Italian Sardinia, and all history buffs will recall that probably the most famous Frenchmen ever, a certain Napoleon Bonaparte, was born on this beautiful island. The Little Corporal made a habit of invading pretty much everywhere, but his homeland has - to date - avoided an invasion of Brits thanks to a distinct lack of flights from the UK. There are now a couple of direct flight options (Sundays to Sundays only), but if that does not appeal, where there's a will (and there certainly should be) there's always a way - many of those ways distinctly pleasurable in their own right. Combine a luxury Corsica holiday with a night or two in Paris? Enjoy time in Nice or Pisa and then take a civilised ferry across? Fly to Sardinia and enjoy two of the Med's finest islands in combo. None a great hardship, we're sure you'd agree, and whichever way you choose, the eventual destination is well worth the wait.
So, what to do once you're in situ? Well, it's not for nothing that Corsica has been described a continent in miniature, with beautiful beaches, dramatic mountain ranges and cultural sites galore. Some of the Mediterranean's finest beaches ring the island, often in close proximity to heavily fortified (and perfectly preserved) medieval towns, and if all that food gets a little too tempting, then there's incredible walking to be had across the island's mountainous interior, a third of which is protected by the Parc Naturel Régional de Corse. For those looking for a greater challenge, Corsica is also home to France's toughest and most spectacular long distance walking route, the fabled GR20, which follows the spine of sawtooth mountain ranges nearly the length of the country. All in all, a great spot for a luxury getaway.