Haute-Corse is a French department, constituting of the northern part of the Corsica Island, which is the fourth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea (after Sicily, Sardinia, and Cyprus). Greeks were used to naming it “Kalliste”, the island of beauty. Today, Corsica is still one of the most charming places of the Mediterranean.
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The department is surrounded on three sides by the Mediterranean Sea and on the south by the department of Corse-du-Sud.
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 main towns are: Bastia, Ajaccio, Corte, Calvi, Lucciana, Borgo, Ile Rousse, Porto-Vecchio, Sastene and Calezana.
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.
Bastia is a busy and colourful port and the economic capital of Haute-Corse. A stroll around the old port with its 19th century Italian style buildings will remind you that you are on a Mediterranean island. The Place St-Nicolas is the central hub with ferries coming and going to the mainland and Italy. The main Bastia attractions are: St Marie citadel- 15th century church, Chapelle Sainte-Croix- Baroque style church, Church of St-Jean Baptiste, the citadel Terra Nova, not forgetting the oldest port in Bastia- Terra Vecchia. While there, there is a easy reach to the Corse Cap-mystearious seascapes with large stretches, blue rock and The Genoese towers.
Calvi, overlooked by the highest mountain of the island (Monte Cinto), is a popular beach resort with old ruins, narrow stoned streets and luxury buildings. It has very rich past connected to the strategic position for Genoa. Today thanks to its sparkling, turquoise waters of the Golfe de Calvi, it hosts many water sport events. Boat excursions to the seaside ports of Galeria and Girolta are also worthwhile or to bustling beach resort of Ile Rousse founded by Pasquale Paoli in 1758.
Called “the Red Island”, Ile Rousse with surrounding pink granite is one of the first sea resorts in Corsica. Apart from enjoying 3 white sand beach in the city centre there are also many interesting places to see such as Notre-Dame de la Misericorse church or the church of Immaculee Conception de Marie.
Corte is the fourth-largest town in Corsica, located at the heart of the island. In the old town, the liveliest place is the Paoli and Gaffori squares and the most popular sites of interest Museum of Corsica, citadelle (fortress), and university of Corsica and the town hall.
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.
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.
The Haute-Corse runs many festivals all over the year. The most popular are: Rencontres de Cinema Italien in Bastia-Italian cinema, La Mer en Fete in Bastia- the sea festival, English Cinema Festival in Bastia, Calvi Jazz Fstival, Nuits de la Guitar-guitar music and Latin Music Festival in St. Florent and Festival de la Chanson Corse in Bastia- Corsican music.
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.
Tourism office in Corsica:
Maps of Corsica:
Gites in Corsica:
Travel from the UK
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.