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Corse-du-Sud

Corse-du-Sud is a French department, composed of the southern part of the island of Corsica (the fourth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea). Corsica in one of the most beautiful Mediterranean Sea island with over 1,000 kilometres of coastline.

Geography
The department is surrounded on three sides by the Mediterranean Sea and on the north by the department of Haute-Corse.
The entire island of Corsica is mountainous with many beautiful beaches.
Not far from the glitzy and commercialised Riviera, it still remains unspoiled and unchanged over the years, which only makes it more endearing.
One third of the island consists of Natural Park of Corsica protected by environmental organisation.
The principal towns: Ajaccio, Bonifaccio, Sartene, Porto-Vacchio and Figari.

Climate
The climate is typically Mediterranean (for the 2 thirds of the island) with long, sunny and dry summers with a maximum of 36°c and an average water temperature of 25°c. Winters are and mild with regular rains and an average temperature of 16 °c.
However, it varies greatly depending on the altitude. Between 600-1200m the summers are hot and sunny but in the winters the temperature may drop to 0°c.
An alpine climate (12% of the island territory) prevails, the sun is hot in summer, but the nights are cool, and in winter there is snow from September to May with skiing possible in many places.
The island has an average of greater than 2700 hours of sunshine per year and the average sea temperature in the summer is 24 °C. It’s the hottest region in France.

Towns
The capital of Southern Corsica is elegant town of Ajaccio. The major part dates from the 19th Century with its white stuccoed houses, fountains and palm trees. As it is a birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte, several buildings celebrate his history. There are magnificent views of the bay cradled by mountains, old port, narrow streets and the yacht marina. In the evening, people enjoy the friendly atmosphere on the quays of the Tino Rossi harbour. To the north of the bay you can see the Iles Sanguinaires (rocky island) with beautiful sunsets and 50 species of plants. There are quiet beaches not far from the city, to the north along the Gulf of Ajaccio (that inspired great interest with great writers and poets), with turquoise waters and wild waves.

To the south is the seaside resort of Porticcio, with coves and sandy beaches, popular for all kinds of water sports. Inland begin the chestnut forests, a peaceful haven of giant trees and gushing waterfalls.
Bonifacio is a beautifully restored old town, magnificently situated on its limestone promontory looking out towards the Island of Sardinia with 70 kilometres of coastline. The imposing citadels, the picturesque upper part of the town, the harbour hidden at the far end of the never-ending bottleneck welcome many visitors. Boat excursions around the limestone cliffs and caves, or to Sardinia, are possible. Just a short drive from Bonifacio, are some magnificent beaches and a spectacular golf course.

Sartene is famous for the Catenacciu, the Good Friday procession when a citizen disguised in a red hooded robe acts out Christ’s walk to the Cross, carrying a cross weighing more than 30 kilos. The event draws thousands of visitors every year.

Porto-Vecchio is situated at the heart of a vast gulf with many beautiful beaches. It’s divided into 2 parts: lively modern port and the upper fortified town with remains of the history. The Ospedale Mountains and the dramatic Col de Bavella are within easy reach of Porto-Vecchio. For enthusiast of the beach, Palombaggia is a “must” with the stunning fine white sand beach, turquoise water and pine forests.

Aleria used to be the Roman capital of Corsica. There is the Archaeological Museum and the antique site which are definitely worth visiting. Built on the estuary at the mouth of the River Tavignano, it’s also has a breathtaking view on the 2 peaks- Christie Eleison and Kyrie Eleison.

Culture
Even though Corsica is a part of France, it definitely has slightly more power than other departments in the country and with some essential differences including its language and culture.
French is the official language and is spoken by everybody, but there is also Corsican which is similar to Italian. It’s spoken everywhere, particularly in the villages.
Corsicans are a fiercely independent people.

Activities
The seas are ideal for swimming, sailing, scuba diving, snorkelling, jet skiing and windsurfing. It’s also a perfect region for cannoning, rock climbing, kayaking, horse riding, mountain biking, golfing, hunting and fishing. There are marvellous drives and boat trips that go all around the coast and the red granite cliffs that dip straight into the sea.
For walking enthusiasts the island has everything from easy strolls to challenging mountain treks. There is an intricate network of ancient footpaths and mule paths.
All around the yea, there are numerous festivals to discover traditional music, culture and dance. Between the most popular festivals in Corse-du Sud are: Fesival Ile de Danse in Ajaccio-comteporary dance, Fisherman in Ajaccio-fisherman’s festivals, Journees Medievales in Bonifacio- Middle age festival, La Voix du Lazaret in Ajaccio- singing festival with artists from whole world and Street and Festival des arts de la rue et des arts du cirque in Ajaccio- street and circus arts.

Gastronomy
The island is reputed for the quality of its dished based on their regional products like olive oil, honey, Brin d’Amour (cheese), Broccio (cheese) and chestnut flour. Corsica is also known for its charcuterie, especially for the smoked sausage and ham. There is a rich pork-butchery tradition. Lonzu (fillet of pork with spices), Coppa (dried pork loin), Figatellu (sausage of pig’s liver), Pritzuttu (dried ham) and Panzetta (chest of smokded pig) are most popular products.
This region has at least 9 sorts of wines; however the most wanted wine is Corsican Caspe Muscatel and Cap Corse.
Other traditional foods include Corsican soup with beans and on the top of the menus there is obviously a sea food. The fish are coming from the sea and the rivers and are mainly served with broccio or garlic.

Useful information:

Tourism office in Corsica:
www.francetourism.com

Maps of Corsica:
www.ign.fr
www.viamichelin.com

Gites in Corsica:
www.1000gites.com

Travel from the UK
Airports
Corsica has 3 airports: Bastia, Ajaccio and Figari.

Our team of sale advisers at Sextant Properties will be happy to help you to find a property in Corsica. We have a large network of partners in Corsica. All of them are registered French real estate agents and speak both French and English. Whatever kind of property you are looking for: farmhouse, longere, barn, gite, B&B, country house, mill, castle or chateau, we will do our best to find a property in Corsica matching your requirements.

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