Corsican landscapes

Corsica will amaze you with its varied landscapes: a mountain range plummeting into the sea, magnificent beaches and small creeks, green forests honeycombed with streams and unusual places where rock formations dominate all.

The central mountain range divides Corsica in two.

  • To the south and west, Corsica is granitic (Porto-Vecchio, Sartène, Ajaccio, Calvi...) and volcanic (Scandola, Monte Cintu, Capu Tafunatu...). The landscapes are sharp and accentuated, comprised from high summits, deep, jagged gulfs, capes, creeks, narrow valleys and gorges...
  • To the north and east, schist dominates the land (Cap Corse, Castagniccia, Casinca...). The summits are more moderated and the peaks are abrupt and wide, separated by a multitude of valleys, crests and rocky spurs on which villages are built.
  • Bonifacio and Saint Florent are limestone enclaves where the rock is clear and light.
  • Finally, the eastern plain offers a harmonious and calm landscape where the coast is just a long fine sandy beach that borders the Tyrrhenian Sea.

These major systems cannot reveal the extent of Corsica's mineral richness. Numerous rocks protrude from all types of locations, of different ages, hues and hardness, forming striking contrasts between shapes and colours (Calanques de Piana rocky inlets, Aiguilles de Bavella peaks, Défilé de l'Inzecca gorge, Uomo di Cagna summit...).

With 120 peaks at more than 2,000 m in altitude, Corsica is the tallest island in the Mediterranean. It is also the greenest. From its raised, compartmented mountains run streams, rivers and cascades that bring fresh water as far as the sea, hollowing out gorges and valleys (Asco, Tavignano, Restonica...). The mountains are covered with forests, where water is omnipresent (Castagniccia, Aïtone, Vizzavona…). In the highlands of the mountains (Cuscionu and Ese), alpine grasslands can be seen, forming vast natural prairies irrigated by water sources and strewn with streams.

Corsica also contains 1,000 km of coast bathed in the hot climate of the Mediterranean. The mountains, modelled by the sea, sun and wind, plunge into crystal clear waters where beaches, cliffs, gulfs and creeks succeed each other, creating landscapes of remarkable beauty. With only 15 % of its total surface area urbanised, the Corsican coastline has kept its wilderness. The French Coastline Conservatory in Corsica (CLFC) works to preserve these natural spaces: the Sanguinaires islands, the Agriate desert, Palombaggia, Campuporu, Roccapina or Terrenzana, the latter lying within the Domaine de Riva Bella.