The Cap Corse is one of the essential stops on a voyage of discovery in Corsica.
Visiting the Cap Corse means discovering the wildest sites on the island between remote villages, small fishing ports and hikes in the maquis. Located at the northern end of Corsica, Cap Corse is the perfect synthesis of all that the island has to offer.
The marvellous panoramic road that runs along the sea reveals magnificent views at every turn: you will admire a wild coastline dotted with lonely beaches, Genoese towers and windmills.
Although the tour of the Cap Corse can easily be covered in a day, calculating 118 km for 3 hours without stops, we recommend that you dedicate a couple of days to its exploration, especially if you intend to do some walking or devote a few hours to sea life.
In order to make the most of the light for photos, we suggest that you drive around the Cap Corse anticlockwise, from Bastia to Saint-Florent. This way you will have the sun on the east coast in the morning and until late in the day when you reach the west coast. The other advantage is that by driving to the right you will be on the sea side, so it will be much easier to stop by the side of the road to admire the scenery and take wonderful photographs.
This ‘island within an island’ is a long strip of land 40 km long and 10 km wide: a unique place, almost a world apart, dotted with Genoese towers, charming villages with timeless charm and fishing villages.
Following the magnificent panoramic roads, you can admire the maquis, or tongues of land jutting into the sea, an incredible spectacle of wild beauty.
Scattered throughout this territory are no less than 60 Genoese towers, erected for defensive purposes to protect the island from Saracen raids: they formed a control network with which, by means of signalling, messages spread throughout Corsica in just one hour.
The tiny village of Erbalunga, overlooking the sea, is worth a stop to admire the narrow streets where time seems to stand still.
Go down to the small harbour to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the colourful boats, protected by the Genoese tower, which adds a historical touch to the image that opens up before your eyes.
Erbalunga has become home to several artists who have found here a quiet place to create and find inspiration. In August each year, the Festival de Musique d’Erbalunga takes place.
The Sisco valley stretches 25 km² between the mountains and the sea. This inland part of the Cap Corse attracts with its enchanting environment and rich heritage.
The mountains of the peninsula rise to a height of 1311 metres: with its Mediterranean climate, the valley is perfect for taking a breath of fresh air and discovering its lush flora.
18 km from Bastia, Pietracorbara stretches from the sea to Mount Alticcione. It is divided into seven hamlets.
Authentic and enchanting, the village brings together picturesque houses, Genoese towers and bridges, Baroque chapels, ancient fountains and bread ovens. Marked trails and circuits also allow you to hike in its wilderness. Pietracorbara offers one of the most beautiful sandy beaches in Cap Corse , ideal for a few hours of relaxation.
A must-visit address is the Pietracorbara Distillery, which offers a wide range of regional products, as well as aperitifs, liqueurs and spirits made on site.
Born from the amalgamation of two smaller villages, San Colombano and Chiapella, Rogliano is located 40 km from Bastia.
Rogliano is characterised by a rich architectural heritage, with a history haunted by the wars of the fifth century. Good wine lovers will also appreciate its AOC production developed in the municipality thanks to a vineyard of more than 25 hectares.
30 minutes north of Erbalunga, Macinaggio is the largest marina on the Cap Corse. Attached to the marina of Rogliano, an enchanting maritime atmosphere reigns here: from the harbour one can admire the sight of colourful boats bobbing along the quays.
Macinaggio is also the starting point of a popular excursion, the customs path leading to the beach of Barcaggio, with breathtaking views of the Finocchiarola Islands reserve. Along the way, you will also pass by the beautiful beach of Tamarone.
The village of Ersa, where Barcaggio beach is located, lies at the northern end of the tip of Cap Corse.
Nestled in the mountains of the ancient Luri River, Ersa is rich in natural wonders. But the town also has a historical heritage. Its important structure once gave it a strategic position on the Mediterranean.
The Mattei mill is the last of the many windmills that once dotted the Cap Corse. There is an exceptional view of the coast from here.
After driving along the D80 road, just a 20-minute drive from Macinaggio, you can leave your car at a large car park and discover the most famous vantage point on the peninsula, from where you will have an incredible view of the entire western side of the Cap Corse . Your gaze will range from the village of Centuri to the small islet of Capense and the Agriates desert.
A little-known corner of the Cap Corse, Tollare is a modest hamlet by the ocean. With its small fishermen’s harbour, its old houses covered in grey schist and its Genoese tower, it offers an almost infinite perspective on the Mediterranean Sea.
Of Roman origin, this charming fishing village is a real Cap Corse gem. Clustered around a handful of houses, the village finds its fulcrum in the small harbour coloured with the multicoloured nets of the fishermen, who for centuries have carried on the ancient tradition of lobster fishing.
Authentic, relaxed and romantic at sunset, Centuri is a place that will remain etched in the memory of its visitors.
Surrounded by rich Mediterranean flora, the village of Pino is located near the ancient fortress of Luri. Ideal for a lazy moment in the sun, the beach of Anse d’Aliso boasts crystal-clear water and fine sand.
Also not to be missed is the marina of Scalo with its magnificent Genoese tower.
Like many villages in the western part of the Cap Corse, Canari was born from the union of several hamlets clinging to the slopes of the valleys.
Numerous excursions on foot or on horseback will allow you to explore the region. But don’t miss its vestiges, its central clock and the seascapes of Scala and Canelle for a magnificent sunset on the coast.
Considered one of the most beautiful resorts in Cap Corse, Nonza appears to visitors as a true marvel.
Perched on a rocky peak and topped by a Genoese tower, it dominates a black pebble beach from a height of no less than 150 metres. Don’t miss the small village church with its red and yellow façade, the square tower from which there is a magnificent view of the village and the gulf, and the Santa-Giulia fountain to which miraculous powers are attributed.
A few kilometres from Nonza, Olmeta is famous for its wild vegetation and superb coastal coastline. But the jewel of the place remains the marina of Negru. In the middle of a nature reserve, this monument of 16th century architecture consists of a Genoese tower and a two-arched bridge spanning the river.
The village is also one of the access points to Mount Stello, the highest peak of the Cap Corse.
Just a few kilometres from Saint-Florent, this Nebbio commune is a must-see on the Cap Corse, famous for its historical heritage, with numerous traces of the Neolithic period, as evidenced by the presence of a menhir nearby.
But Patrimonio is best known for its vineyards, from which come its fabulous red and rosé wines and its Moscato AOC, all to be tasted during your stay in Cap Corse. Indeed, Patrimonio is located along the Wine Route, dotted with renowned wineries, including Orenga de Gaffory, famous for its red wine, one of Corsica’s best, Lazzarini, specialising in Muscat, Le Clos de Bernardi and Domaine Gentile.
In the basin of a beautiful gulf that bears its name, Saint-Florent is a magnificent seaside resort, the end point of the tour of the Cap Corse.
Often called the Saint-Tropez of Corsica, the old Genoese town welcomes numerous yachts every year. You will admire all its charm in its historic centre with its colourful houses, its quays perfect for a stroll and its lively pier.
In the following map you can see the location of the main places of interest mentioned in this article
A visit to the Cap Corse is an excellent opportunity to follow Corsica’s most famous hiking trail: the path of the customs officers. Not to be confused with its Brittany namesake, this 19-kilometre-long trail connects Macinaggio to Centuri.
If experienced walkers choose to walk it in its entirety, all others can follow only a section. In fact, the path is divided into 2 sections, which are easily accessible at different points.
The trail is divided into two parts:
The most interesting part of this trail is undoubtedly the first, the most popular with nature walkers. The trail starts at the Macinaggio beach, near the harbour, and ends at Barcaggio. This section is not particularly demanding, despite the presence of a height difference with many ascents and descents. The only drawback is the scarce presence of shady areas: this makes the route tiring, especially in summer when there are high temperatures. It is advisable to start very early in the morning to take advantage of the cooler hours of the day. Along the trail you can also take a swim in the magnificent white beach of Barcaggio, where cows graze undisturbed.
Once you arrive at your destination, you will have to choose whether to continue or return to Macinaggio. If you have run out of energy to walk back, you can take advantage of a boat ride. But beware: the shuttle service must be booked the day before at the Macinaggio Tourist Office.
The second part of the route connects Barcaggio to Centuri and you will have to put in about 5 hours. The route becomes very steep and overhangs the sea. From this point onwards, good physical fitness is essential.
This part of Corsica is not renowned for its beaches, but along your tour of discovery of the Cap Corse, you can always find beautiful beaches where you can take refuge for a refreshing swim.
On the east coast, the best beaches are certainly those of Pietracorbara, the pebble beach of Santa Severa, the beach of Meria, protected by a splendid Genoese tower, the famous beach of Tamarone, along the customs path and the white beach of Barcaggio, surrounded by dunes and beautiful Mediterranean scrub.
On the western side, we recommend Anse d’Aliso, with its transparent waters, the Marina di Scalo and the picturesque black pebble beach of Nonza.
The villages of the Cap Corse have a timeless charm and are the ideal opportunity to immerse yourself in the most authentic atmosphere of the region. Erbalunga, Ersa or Pietrocorbara are good examples of villages where you will find various accommodation options.
If, on the other hand, you prefer towns, the two strategic points for organising a visit to the Cap Corse are definitely Macinaggio and Saint Florent, at the beginning and end of the peninsula tour.
Cap Corse is a peninsula in the north-east of Corsica.