Road trip Corsica in a converted van
Head south to visit between sea and mountains our favorite holiday destination for a total escape Corsica!. In Corsica the average speed is 50 km / hour so do not think in kilometers but in time, day, van the trip is part of the holidays. It’s been more than 20 times since we went to Corsica for one or more weeks and each time it’s a wonder, ideal to disconnect 😉 So enjoy this road trip!
Duration of the itinerary:
April – mid-July & September-October
How to get to Corsica
From your Van-IT agency.Alsace the nearest port to embark to the island of Beauty is Genoa, Italy, which is exactly 522 Km from our Agency. Of course depending on your choice of Ferry you can also transit via Marseille, Toulon, Nice, Savona (IT) or Livorno (IT) to start this 14-day road trip to visit the island of beauty following the itinerary that we have prepared for you with passion.
You have the choice between three ferry companies serving Corsica from the different ports mentioned above, We invite you to take into account all the parameters including the dimensions of your van that you will find on our website van-it.alsace/nos-vans/, as well as the mileage and toll fees to access the port to find the best value for money for your crossing.
Corsica Linéa Ports of departure: Marseille
Corsica Ferries Ports of departure: Toulon – Nice – Savona (IT) – Livorno (IT)
Moby Lines Ports of departure: Genoa (IT) – Livorno (IT)
Le Cap Corse
The road to Cap Corse is magical but narrow and winding, so despite the beauty of the scenery stay focused at the wheel of your van and enjoy this first day of vacation.
Your journey really starts by leaving the ferry at Bastia turn right when leaving the port and head towards Cape Town via the D80. A small stop is necessary in the charming village of Erbalunga for a small visit, coffee break growing in the alleys leading to the port. A car park on the left coming from Bastia will welcome your van for this stop.
At the foot of the pietracorbara valley composed of! Hamlet extends one of the most beautiful beach in Cape Town directly within reach of the D80 is a car park with direct access to the beach a spot of vanlifer on the road for a break facing the sea and who knows a dip in the Mediterranean.
If you decide to stop and enjoy the beach we recommend the campsite La Pietra located a stone’s throw from the beach.
Located on your right on the D80 after the intersection with the D180 in Santa Severa the cellar of the Pieretti estate is an opportunity to taste the muscat of Cape Town or even to buy a few bottles for the aperitifs of your Corsican road trip in a van.
http://www.vinpieretti.com/ Don’t forget your rental company;)
To reach the extreme north of Cap Corse from the D80 turn right on the D253 which will take you to the port of Barcaggio A real end of the world at the extreme tip of Cap Corse with in front of a few cables barely in the open sea, the island of Giraglia. You can access on foot by the path of the customs officers to a large beach of fine sand called A Cala.
After a short hook by Tollare at the end of the world you can reach the D80 by the D153.
The Mill of Mattei
The tip of Cap Corse subject to the wind is bristling with wind turbines but also one of the few windmills in Corsica. The mill of Mattei is visible from the road and dominates with its blades now at a standstill the north-west tip of the Cape. A small stop is necessary for this magnificent point of view.
The coast north of the village of Nonza consists of a huge beach of sand and black pebbles from the exploitation discharges of the old asbestos quarry of Canari-Abro. A unique spectacle in Corsica visible from the D80 that goes around Cape Town.
Wine lover, a stop in Patrimonio is necessary to discover Corsican wines with the different harvesting owners.
The Agriates Desert
To visit the Agriates desert inaccessible by Van or at your own risk you have the possibility to rent Suzuki 4X4 at St Flo 4X4 https://stflo4x4.site-solocal.com/
The beach of Lotu
Very white and soft sand, clear and turquoise water, the lotu beach is a dream beach, located in the middle of the Agriate desert.
It is only accessible by sea or after 12 kilometers of track by 4×4 (Do not try with your Van) with the shuttle from Saint Florent https://www.lepopeye.com/
The beach of Saleccia is a flagship destination of the region, considered one of the most beautiful beaches of Corsica, it is very popular with boaters and summer visitors who flock there every day by the thousands in the heart of summer.
All in length, the beach extends over more than a kilometer of white sand bordered by clear turquoise water that reveals the less fierce fish, but also starfish further offshore.
Like the beach of Lotu it is only accessible by sea or after 12 kilometers of track by 4×4 (Do not try with your Van)https://www.saleccia-off-road.com/ or with the shuttle Le Popeye from Saint Florent with a little walk (1h30 by the coastal path, the route is perfectly signposted) from the pier of Lotu.
Like the other beaches of Agriates the beach of Ghignu is only accessible by sea or after 13 kilometers of track by 4×4 (Do not try with your Van) https://www.saleccia-off-road.com/.
By disembarking by the maritime shuttle at the beach of Lotu you can access it by following the coastal path with a small stop in Saleccia in 4h30 and rent a straw from the conservatory of the coast to spend the night (on reservation https://agriate.org/les-paillers-ghignu), an unforgettable experience day and night.
The Ostriconi is a small coastal river taking its source in the heights of the Balagne and flowing into the sea at the edge of the Agriates desert. Accessible on foot count 15 minutes walk from the car park located at the end of the access road, this very wild beach is reputed to be dangerous when the sea is rough so stay careful despite the beauty of the place.
Discover a village of character and an exceptional panorama of the Ostriconi. Between sea and mountain in the heart of the pieve di U Canale, this village has long thrived on olive cultivation. The house of the Orabona, great owners, testifies to a rich past where Italian architecture was inspired to adorn the facades and interiors of bourgeois houses. Its imposing belvedere dominates the village.
A short stop in the parking lot of the station at the time of passage of a train connecting Calvi to Ponte Leccia will surely take you back to childhood, so as not to miss the schedules:https://cf-corse.corsica/horaires/
Sant’Antonino is one of the oldest villages in Corsica and one of the highest in the Balagne. Alleys, covered passages and houses merge with the rock. From the remains of the ancient castello, the view of the plain and the sea is splendid.
Essential: enjoy a fresh lemon juice at clos Antonini in front of the church!
It is in the heart of the Balagne, in one of the most beautiful gulfs of Corsica, that L’Ile-Rousse awaits you for moments of relaxation and unforgettable discoveries.
Take the time to live in Paoli Square, under the eyes of the “Babbù” Pascal Paoli. You will enjoy the café terraces with friends and enthusiasts in the shade of the hundred-year-old plane trees.
Enjoy the walk along the promenade A Marinella which runs along one of the three magnificent sandy beaches, napoleon beach. It will take you to the island of ochre porphyry, the Pietra. At its summit is the coastline of Balagne, from Calvi to the tip of Agriate, and the villages that make the history of L’Ile-Rousse. The perfect place to admire the sunsets and immortalize them forever.
The purity of its waters, the richness of its heritage as well as that of its history, present Calvi as a mole in the island of beauty. We invite you to discover this little corner of paradise that is loved in the north-west of Corsica.
The most remarkable is, without a doubt, the spectacle offered by its majestic Genoese citadel. Like a setting on the water, it looks into the distance at the snow-capped massifs of Monte Grossu which reflect their shadow on the sea. Then, if you stroll through the narrow streets of the city, delicatessens, Shops of Corsican designers, beauty, well-being and restaurant terraces await you under the protection of Sainte Marie. They promise you atypical as well as unforgettable encounters!
At the foot of the imposing Genoese building, the boats of fishermen and boaters moor with the colorful navy. A few steps away but still in the city center, is its long beach of fine sand and immaculate white. It is fringed with a pine forest that you can walk along the wooden walkway that borders it. After your swim and your sun cure, this oasis of greenery promises you rejuvenating shade corners. It may be time to put down your van and enjoy a day off to visit the city and its surroundings during your trip before attacking the southern road towards Porto.
One of our favourite Balanéa campsites is located between Ile Rousse and Calvi near the village of Algajola. We were always welcomed even out of season for a day when we were the only ones to enjoy the locations.
The West Coast
Take the road by sea;) not the fastest but so much more beautiful. As in Cape Town stay focused at the wheel of your van despite the dazzling view.
Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Gulf of Porto, the Calanche de Piana, the Scandola reserve, the village of Girolata but also a rich and authentic hinterland, this region of the west of the island is one of the most visited in Corsica every year.
An essential stage of Corsica to discover absolutely and the road to get there and leave is just sublime. We recommend the Camping des Oliviers with its terraced pitches for a total change of scenery
Gulf of Ajaccio
The Gulf of Ajaccio which stretches from Parata Point and its Sanguinaires Islands to Capo di Muro is one of the largest in Corsica. At the bottom of this gulf open to the sunset, nestles the city of Ajaccio, birthplace of Napoleon.
The Grand Site des Iles Sanguinaires is above all, an exceptional natural site renowned for its flamboyant sunsets.
Gulf of Valinco
In South Corsica there is a gulf like no other, that of Valinco (also called Gulf of Propriano), named after this microregion composed of beautiful beaches and small hamlets.
Among the most remarkable corners of the Gulf of Valinco, we find the seaside resorts of Olmeto, Propriano, Porto-Bello or Campomoro which are all havens of peace.
Without a doubt our favorite Campomoro Spot! located 17 km from Propriano at the end of the gulf this village certainly surrounded by many second homes drowned in vegetation is just UNIQUE. At the first bend leading to the bay stay attentive to the road because the view of the bay, its beach and the village is magical.
In Campo you can stop at Camping des Roseaux Phone: 04 95 74 20 52 it is simple and rustic but the only possibility to put down your van to enjoy the magic Campo 😉
Take advantage of your stopover to go to dinner facing the sea at Pierre Paul restaurant U SPUNTINU A very good cuisine of fresh and local products with a sublime view.
A stop in Sartène to enjoy a coffee or a squeezed fruit juice is essential on the Porta square to feel that there you are well in the most Corsican of Corsican cities 😉
One of the most beautiful wild and turquoise beach with the Lion of Roccapina is a small wonder of nature that is located halfway between Bonifacio and Sartène. You can access it by a small track from the T40, be careful the pebbles are omnipresent ready to eat from the crankcase, but by going cool and checking the terrain on the parking lot you will have a unique moment before continuing your route by van by the turn of the South which will reveal the coast to Bonifacio.
A walk in the old town from the port is necessary to admire the port (seen from above it is “amazing”) the cliffs and Sardinia.For the most motivated the staircase of the King of Aragon composed of 189 steps, classified as a historical monument and picturesque site of Corsica was according to its legend, dug by man in the limestone cliff in one night by the troops of the King of Aragon in 1420. In reality, it is to access the Saint-Barthélemy well, a freshwater well, that this staircase was really dug.
The East Coast
Going up from Bonifacio to Porto Vecchio a photo stop is necessary to see a dip in the Mediterranean to discover the Corsican beaches that make you dream so much on television.
Whether it’s La Rondinara, Santa Giulia or Palombaggia it’s a magazine décor that will spread out at your feet. Counterpart of this notoriety they are almost inaccessible in season so to enjoy them choose the right time for this Corsican road trip.
What to say … the tourist spot of Corsica with its cohort of people and its rates to match.
Nevertheless out of season you can spend the night in the pine forest of the Golfo di Sogno campsite on the sand almost feet in the water 20m from the sea.
The Alta Rocca
After this coastal journey it is time to discover the other side of Corsica during this road trip “A mountain in the sea”. From Porto Vecchio take the D368 which will take you through the Ospedale forest to Zonza village crossroads of the Alta Rocca.
Take the time to visit the village of Zonza located in the heart of the Natural Park of Corsica. Placed at the foot of the Bavella massif, at about 900 meters above sea level, it has been, for centuries, the gateway to all the wonders of the Alta Rocca.
Zonza offers panoramic views of the Bavella needles and the Incudine.
You will discover on the heights of the village old granite houses built on boulders that dominate the Asinao Valley. Thanks to human-scale development, the beauty of the sites has remained intact.
A popular holiday resort for its hotels and restaurants, Zonza offers many opportunities for nature activities in the surrounding area. A little hunger on the road is the opportunity to have lunch or dinner at the good franquette to the Randonneur, with his little myrtle to finish 😉
Also take advantage of your visit during this trip to discover the Viséo racecourse, the highest in Europe, which hosts equestrian days in a particularly friendly atmosphere during the season.
To spend a night at altitude we recommend Camping La Rivière on the road to Quenza. Simple quiet inexpensive with heated toilets everything you need for a night in the mountains.
The village of Quenza rises to 800 meters above sea level in the heart of the Alta Rocca mountains, in an exceptional environment.l is located at the gates of the famous Cuscionu plateau, west of the majestic needles of Bavella and northwest of the high peaks of the Incudine. Quenza also has an important heritage, with its fountains, old ovens and washhouses, pretty granite stone mansions and the presence of fortified houses and watchtowers dating from the 16th century, still bear witness to a rich feudal past.
Plateau du Coscione
From Quenza follow the cuscionu sign, certainly the road is narrow and in poor condition but it is worth it for a hike on foot or mountain bike to discover the plateau.
The landscapes are truly unique. Imagine a huge mountain plateau that is both rocky and green, crossed by a multitude of small streams regularly forming pools of water called pozzines and making the grass spongy. Add free-roaming pigs, horses, goats and cows, a changing sky illuminating huge rocks and you’ll get a feel for the beauty of the place!
The Needles of Bavella
On the way back to the sea you will pass by the needles of Bavella which are part of the most photographed landscapes of Corsica a passage to the pass of Bavella is essential, in order to admire this magnificent and spectacular natural formation.
After this mountainous getaway you can stop at the U Ponte Grossu campsite by the river.
The Eastern Plain
If you take the boat back to Bastia make a last stop at the beach of Pinia in Ghisonaccia. You can walk in a beautiful pine forest setting. In addition, a picnic area is set up a few meters from the beach so that you can have lunch in the middle of nature
To park as close as possible to Pinia beach, follow the D144 towards the Route de la Mer. Then take the D444 turning left 300 m before arriving at the end of the road.
Continue straight ahead and you will reach the first car park in the Pinia Forest. However, the nearest car park is at the end of the dirt road immediately on your right.
This two-week van road trip ends in the eastern plain, there are still a thousand and one places to visit on the island of beauty, the opportunity for us to evolve this route over time. If you find incorrect or outdated information please report it to us at email@example.com so that we can modify this article accordingly.
Road trip designed by VAN-IT.Alsace