Corsica family holiday ideas: Corsica with kids

White sand beach with turquoise sea in Corsica

Why take a Corsica family holiday?

There are lots of great islands in the Mediterranean for a family holiday. So why take a family holiday to Corsica? For me, it’s all about the water – the sea and the rivers in Corsica are pretty special. There is a seemingly endless supply of beautiful sandy beaches. Meanwhile, the interior of Corsica is also stunning with peaceful mountains and forests perfect for hiking.

Swimmer off rocky coast of Corsica
Can you see the tiny swimmer in the turquoise sea?

We enjoyed a Corsica family holiday in 2019 and explored the south east coast around Solenzara and Porto-Vecchio as well as heading inland to enjoy the rivers and mountains. Pre-kids we visited Saint-Florent and Cap Corse in the north – very different to the south but equally enjoyable.

Coastal scenery in Cap Corse, Corsica
Cap Corse scenery

Aside from the beaches, the other great aspect of Corsica holidays for families is the type of accommodation on offer. There are plenty of good campsites and holiday parks in Corsica as well as numerous domaines and residences which are clusters of villas or apartments which share a swimming pool.

If enjoying good food is important on your holiday, you’ll love Corsican cuisine – a mix of French and Italian influences.

And finally, Corsica is a mere two hour flight from the UK – perfect if you prefer not to keep your children cooped up in a plane for too long.

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The Corsican flag

Symbol of Corsica
The symbol of Corsica: the Moor’s head

The Corsican flag depicts a Moor’s head with a bandana around the forehead. This symbol of Corsica – which you’ll see everywhere, and which morphs into the shape of the island – was adopted by the military commander Pasquali Paoli in 1755. Previously the head had the bandana over the eyes but the scarf was moved to the forehead to represent the liberation of the Corsican people from the Genovese.

Where is Corsica?

Shaped like a head floating above the body of Sardinia, Corsica sits in the Mediterranean Sea some 170 kilometres from the south coast of France and 90 kilometres west of Tuscany. At its southern tip, Corsica is just 11 kilometres from the Italian island of Sardinia. 

Although Corsica was ruled by Pisa and Genoa at various points over the centuries and also had a brief moment of independence, the island has been part of France since the mid 18th century. You’ll see much of these influences at play in the local language, the cuisine and the architecture. 

Despite its many attractions and its size (Corsica is the fourth largest island in the Mediterranean),  Corsica remains fairly under the tourist radar for British travellers. During our two Corsica holidays, we met very few people from the UK. Most travellers were French and Italians, with a smattering of Spanish, Germans and Dutch.

Looking for other French holiday ideas? Read my article all about France for families.

How to get to Corsica

Corsica is well served for airports with Ajaccio the capital on the west coast, Bastia in the north east and Figari in the south along with a smaller airport at Calvi in the north west. There are flights from a number of UK and French airports as well numerous ferry routes from mainland France and Italy. We’ve twice taken the ferry from Italy to Corsica as part of a longer road trip holiday

Driving in Corsica

Corsica is a really beautiful island to explore by car. Even if you’re planning a beach holiday, it’s worth driving into the island’s interior at least once to explore the mountain scenery and find one of the lovely rivers to swim in. Once you leave the main roads, you’ll discover empty narrow lanes which twist their way through quiet countryside past abandoned hamlets, through forests and over ancient stone bridges.

Coastal road in Corsica, Corsica family holiday
Coastal road in Corsica

Driving can be slow in Corsica, particularly if you want to visit one of the famous beaches or nature reserves. On both our trips to Corsica, we only explored small sections of the island as there was so much to see and enjoy in each place. We didn’t experience much traffic, even in August, but parking was sometimes an issue and the narrow mountain roads definitely had to be taken slowly. Sheep and goats have the upper hand.

Tips for visiting Corsica with kids

Travelling with pre-schoolers: try to visit Corsica in June or September when there are fewer people and the heat is less intense. Prices at some holiday properties are much cheaper outside of August. Calvi and L’Ile Rousse in the north or the Porto-Vecchio area in the south are great for young families as the beaches are easy to access and most have good facilities and car parks close by. There’s a really good play area next to the marina of Bonifacio!

Travelling with primary school aged children: again, Calvi / L’Ile Rousse and the Porto-Vecchio areas are perfect. May half term is a great time to visit to avoid crowds and heat. If you’re visiting in the main school summer holiday, aim to arrive at the beach early in the morning or in the late afternoon – you’ll find parking easier and it won’t be quite as hot.

Corsica with older children: there’s a lot more choice if take a Corsica family holiday with tweens or teens. If you fancy exploring the interior, May half term would be great for hiking in the mountains. The west coast of Corsica with its access to stunning walks as well as its protected coastline is a brilliant base, while the north – around Saint Florent – is a good option for families who fancy a bit of adventure getting to the beach. Alternatively, head into Cap Corse and take a road trip around the rugged coast of the far north of the island.

cows on the beach near Saint Florent
cows on the beach near Saint Florent

The best things to do on a family holiday to Corsica

Although Corsica is very much a beach holiday destination, there are things to do in Corsica for families away from the coast. Here are some of the highlights of Corsica – both coastal and inland – which kids will enjoy.

sandy beach in Corsica, Corsica holidays for families
Beach in southern Corsica

Enjoy Corsica beaches

Right, we might as well start with Corsica’s main attraction.

Where are the best beaches in Corsica? You don’t need to go far to find a good beach in Corsica. There are wonderful stretches of sand, gently shelving coves, wonderful rocks for clambering on and plenty of Corsica beach towns where you can combine culture and sandcastles.

Corsica’s best beaches are found in the north, west and south of the island. The east coast is less attractive – but there is beauty to be found inland from the east.

If you want to visit one of the famous beaches during your family holiday in Corsica, I’d recommend doing this during one of the quieter months such as May, June or September or wait until the late afternoon when the crowds have thinned.

I’ve detailed below some of the best beaches in Corsica for those who have an Instagram habit. But remember, if you want to get that beautiful, perfect shot, you’ll need to be there at 6am or in winter. Beautiful beaches are rarely empty.

Beaches in northern Corsica

In the north of the island, I’d recommend avoiding the famous picture postcard beaches around the Agrigate desert near Saint Florent if you’re travelling with little ones – they are remote and tricky to reach with no shade or facilities. These beaches – Saleccia, Lotu plus Lozari and l’Ostriconi – are great slightly out of season or with older children who don’t mind a bit of a walk in the heat.

Lotu beach Corsica family holiday
Lotu beach in Corsica

Saleccia and Lotu are reached by boat from Saint Florent, or by 4×4 (I’ve also read that you can hire an electric mountain bike one way and take it back on a boat for the inbound journey. Check out Le Popeye for more details). Don’t attempt to drive a standard car to either beach – you’ll risk a huge charge if the car gets stuck.

boat docking at beach in Corsica
Boat docking at Saleccia

On our first trip to Corsica (pre-kids) we took a boat to Saleccia for the day. It was very beautiful. However, I’m not sure if we were just unlucky, but we encountered some particularly aggressive wasps at Saleccia who were intent on sharing our lunch. We ended up eating whilst chest-deep in the sea to try to foil their attacks. It was September – early summer might be less of an issue. Don’t assume the “best” beaches are perfect!

So, if you’re taking a Corsica family holiday with little children, there are some good beaches for children along the coast between Calvi and L’Ile Rousse – a different one for each day of your holiday. Arinella and Bodri are both lovely beaches to visit near Calvi.

Beaches of Cap Corse

There are not any stand-out dramatic beaches in Cap Corse – it’s more of a hiking and driving destination with little pockets of sand and pebbly beaches which you’ll come across from time to time. Hikers will enjoy the Customs Officers Path in the north which includes Macinaggio beach and Cala Genovese beach – the latter is relatively quiet as there is no road access.

beach in Corsica, family holiday to Corsica
Pietracorbara beach in Cap Corse

Elsewhere on the Cap, we spent a lovely late afternoon leaping over the waves at Pietracorbara beach on the south eastern side while the black sand beach of Nonza on the west coast is a great spot to admire from afar – we enjoyed a morning coffee in a tiny café on the cliffs above.

Beaches in southern Corsica

The south coast has perhaps the greatest concentration of famous beaches and they’re all good for a Corsica family holiday. But I must stress that if you’re visiting in high season many of the car parks get very busy – try to arrive early or in the late afternoon. We enjoyed some lovely afternoons at the beaches near Porto Vecchio during our trip there. It was so hot that we didn’t attempt to visit the most popular beaches but instead discovered a few quieter but still lovely areas to while away our afternoons.

To the north of Porto Vecchio you’ll find the stunning beaches of Pinarellu and Saint Cyprien while to the south are Palombaggia and Santa Giulia. Midway between Porto Vecchio and Bonifacio is the beautiful arc of sand at Rondinara – although to appreciate its true beauty you’ll need to take to the skies! Closer to the southern tip of the island, near Bonifacio are Petit Sperone (no facilities) and the unspoilt beaches of the Lavezzi islands.

Aerial view of beach in Corsica
Rondinara beach, photo by Mathilde Cureau on Unsplash

Beaches on the west coast of Corsica

While the east coast of Corsica is fairly flat, the west coast is rugged and incredibly scenic. There are four gulfs along the west coast – Porto is the most northerly with quite a few pebbly coves, although just to the south is a lovely stretch of sand at Plage d’Arone – it shelves quite steeply so it’s definitely one for older children. The coast here is great for kayaking and boat trips.

Next up is the Gulf of Sagone which has a series of good beaches including the long stretches of sand at Lava and Liamone beaches. South of Sagone is the Ajaccio Gulf, home to the island’s capital. Close to Ajaccio is the popular beach of Ricanto. The Gulf of Valinco – where you’ll find the popular resort of Propriano – has arguably the best beaches of the west coast – Cupabia near Porto Pollo, Portigliolo near Propriano, pretty little Roccapina and the lovely shallow waters of Campomoro.

Swim in the rivers in Corsica

You don’t need water parks in Corsica. Mother nature has done a better job than any human could do. We loved swimming in the Solenzara River in eastern Corsica. It was perfect for our children to practice their swimming skills. More adventurous kids could be seen leaping from rocks high above the river but we were happy in the shallows throwing a ball to each other or watching the fish with our mask and snorkel. 

Children playing in the river in Corsica, family holiday ideas in Europe
Solenzara River, eastern Corsica

There are many other great rivers to explore along with waterfalls and naturally formed swimming pools. Areas worth seeking out include the Gorges du Tavignano in the centre of the island which features waterfalls and a huge pool. For particularly lovely falls, head to Cascade des Anglais also tucked away in the interior of the island. I’ve heard the waterfalls tend to be more impressive in early summer before the heat lowers the water levels.

Swimming in river with rocks in background
Refreshing dip in the river at Pont de l’Enfer

One of the highlights of our family holiday to Corsica was the drive to our holiday park on the first day. From Bastia we drove south to the dubious sounding Pont de l’Enfer or Hell Bridge, following a narrow winding road along a rocky forested terrain. Anything but hell, the river swimming at Pont de l’Enfer was a just reward after a rather rubbish night’s sleep aboard the rickety old ferry. 

There’s a great informal restaurant at Pont de l’Enfer so we had a lovely lunch overlooking the river before heading on to our holiday park further south. 

Go horse-riding

Corsica is so much more than just a beach destination so a day out in the interior on horseback is a great way to experience more of what the island has to offer. There are also plenty of horse riding outfits which offer coastal trips too.

Go hiking in Corsica

I would love to return to Corsica in the spring to enjoy some of the hiking routes through the interior of the island. If our visits to Sicily and Crete are anything to go by, I’d imagine visiting Corsica out of season would be really rewarding. On the final day of our family holiday in Corsica we drove through the centre of the island to the old capital Corte, passing mountain peaks and tiny hamlets. The roads were mostly empty and the scenery was incredible – it was August.

Mountains of Corsica
Mountains of Corsica, photo by STxxEN on Pixabay

If you’re up for a serious challenge, Corsica is home to the GR20, billed as the toughest long distance trek in Europe – allow two weeks to complete it. The hike takes you diagonally across Corsica from north to south climbing countless peaks. This might be a good bonding experience for you and your off-spring once they’ve completed their gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award or it could be a really bad idea, you decide! In the meantime, there are plenty of more achievable routes for families. 

If you opt for a Corsica family holiday on the west coast, you’ll have access to the dramatic Gorges de Spelonga and the Foret d’Aitone. In the centre of the island meanwhile are the needle-like peaks of the L’Alta Rocca (Aiguilles de Bavella) – you can access this area from Porto Vecchio on a day trip or stay in one of the villages such as Zonza or Quenza to explore the area properly.

Enjoy water sports in Corsica

If you’re staying in one of the more developed resorts in Corsica, there are plenty of water sports activities – kayaking, windsurfing, sailing and stand up paddle boarding are all popular. There are lots of dive sites along the coast of Corsica including several wrecks. Snorkelling off the beaches is popular too.

Go Corsican wine tasting

Corsica produces some excellent wines which we’ve sampled at vineyards in both the north and south of the island. On our last visit to Corsica we discovered Le Clos d’Orlea near Aléria which not only produces lovely wines but also a delicious liqueur made from chestnuts. I can even confirm that unlike a lot of alcoholic drinks that return home in your luggage, this one still tasted good outside of the holiday destination. It was a great tipple to see in the New Year.

Wine tasting in Corsica
Wine cellar in Corsica

In the north, there are countless vineyards to visit between Saint Florent and Patrimonio. It’s a particularly pleasant day out from Saint Florent through lovely countryside, just make sure you agree who’s doing the driving before you set off.

Take a coastal train ride

Little children will enjoy the train journey which takes visitors between Calvi and L’Ile Rousse. The trip between the two main towns takes around 45 minutes but there are many other stops en route making Calvi a brilliant base for families without a car as you can still take in lots of different Corsica resorts along the coast.

Enjoy a road trip in Corsica

We drove along some beautiful country roads during our family holiday to Corsica. Despite it being August, the mountain roads were frequently deserted and we felt like we stumbled across a forgotten part of the island.

One of the most attractive roads to drive in Corsica takes in the Col de Bavella, the island’s highest pass. The D268 road will take you through the mountain villages of Zonza and Levie and there are plenty of places to stop for a dip in the Solenzara River which runs alongside some of the route. The nearby town of Quenza is also worth a visit for its lovely views and walking routes.

Corsica family holidays
Scenic roads in Corsica

We also loved driving along the Cap Corse in the far north of the island. We visited in September pre-kids and enjoyed amazing food and lovely views. There are Genovese watchtowers overlooking the coast and lovely fishing villages serving up delicious seafood.

Take a boat trip to the Lavezzi Islands

If you’re staying in the south east of Corsica, the Lavezzi islands are a popular day trip from Bonifacio. A protected nature reserve, all but one of the islands are uninhabited. Day trippers visit for the secluded beaches and coves and the excellent snorkelling in the crystal clear waters. The islands are also a great destination for diving in Corsica.

Explore Corsica’s history

It is a tricky business trying to be cultured on an island with such incredible natural beauty. Who wants to go in search of museums when the beach is calling?

However, if you’re staying on the west coast within day trip distance of the capital it’s worth heading into Ajaccio – birth place of Napoleon – for lunch and a wander. Little kids will enjoy the unique Napoleon-Playmobil combo that is NapoRama – scenes from Napoleonic history recreated with lots of little plastic figures. Older children might tolerate Maison Napoleon, the emperor’s childhood home, now a museum, if you promise them a trip to popular Porticcio beach in the afternoon.

Inland from Propriano are some fascinating megalithic statues. Not quite in the same league as Easter Island, but impressive nonetheless at up to three metres in height, these carved standing stones at Filitosa are well worth a visit. Archaeological remains – pottery, tools and arrowheads – show that the area was inhabited from around 3,300BC. Set in beautiful countryside, this is a brilliant place for children to explore.

Bonifacio citadel with harbour in front, Corsica
Bonifacio citadel with harbour in front, Corsica

If you’d rather incorporate a smattering of history into the general day-to-day of your holiday, the citadels of Calvi and Bonifacio are wonderful crumbling settlements with narrow lanes and old churches to discover. Inland, there are old villages to explore such as pretty Zonza, overlooked by the spikey Aiguilles de Bavella mountains.

If you’re taking the car for a spin along the coast of Cap Corse, it’s worth looking out for the 16th century Genovese watch towers which overlook the coast. These defensive structures were an early warning system to alert the locals of attacks from Berber invaders.

Have a long lazy lunch (or dinner) in one of the beautiful old towns or villages

We had plenty of quite average meals in during our family holiday in Corsica – I’m really not good in the heat so I tend to find somewhere and flop on a chair without doing much research. However, we did find a few hidden gems during our trip. Bonifacio and Porto Vecchio were both lovely places to enjoy dinner, each quite different from the other.

Bonifacio restaurant
Eating out in Corsica

Our first trip to Corsica, during September when the weather was cooler, was more of a gastronomic success with some incredible food around Patrimonio and Cap Corse. With its mix of French and Italian influences, Corsica has some excellent cuisine and very enjoyable wine.

Where to visit and where to stay for a Corsica family holiday

We found it very hard to do anything other than play in the sea and the rivers on our Corsica family holiday so despite having visited island twice, I feel like we’ve only scratched the surface. Bear in mind that Corsica is a big island and even during a two week holiday, unless you’re visiting outside of the main summer months, you’ll likely not travel too far. As an example, Ajaccio (the capital) and Bonifacio (one of the island’s most attractive towns) are over a two hour drive apart.

If your holiday destination in Corsica is dictated by where flights go to from your regional airport in the UK or by the cost of flights on particular days of the week, fear not, whichever area in Corsica you choose, you’ll be rewarded at the very least with fabulous beaches and a decent harbour town.

What follows are some of the places we loved in Corsica and some which we’d like to include on our next trip to the island.

I’ve just detailed the main resorts along the coast – many of the better, more characterful places to stay are located just outside of the resort centres so car hire is essential.

Northern Corsica holidays for families

Appealing harbour towns, stunning coastal drives and great vineyards sum up why we loved northern Corsica. The main airport in northern Corsica is Bastia but there is also a small airport just outside Calvi. If you want to visit Corsica without a car, head to Calvi on the north west of the island.

Harbour town of Saint Florent, Corsica family holiday
Saint Florent

Saint-Florent

Good for: road trips, wine tasting and remote beaches

We loved this laid back little port in the north of the island on our first holiday to Corsica. We ate in some great restaurants and it was a good base for exploring some of the lovely beaches of the north such as picture perfect Saleccia beach and the equally attractive Loto beach.

We really enjoyed wine tasting in this part of Corsica. There are some excellent small vineyards around Patrimonio which welcome visitors. And we had some amazing meals away from the coast – delicious meat stews.

Look for accommodation near Saint-Florent

Cap Corse

Good for: road trips and hiking 

When we visited northern Corsica pre-kids we wandered into the tourist office in Saint-Florent to ask about campsites in Cap Corse as our guide book was rather thin on information. It was the end of the tourist season and the lady working there, no doubt worn down by the long hot summer, looked at us disapprovingly and simply said, “C’est sauvage”. We rather liked this description and hopped in the car and headed north. 

Nonza in Cap Corse
Nonza in Cap Corse

The coastal scenery of Cap Corse is incredible. The wiggly D80 hugs the coast passing Genoese watchtowers and peaceful fishing villages. The road climbs up high above the sea in places with dramatic views of the Mediterranean below. There are so many great little beaches and fun little campsites, it’s a perfect place for a mini road trip adventure if you’re able to visit the area outside the busy summer months. We were there in early September when it was still hot but the crowds had thinned. The food was incredible, far better than what we experienced in the more popular places we visited in southern Corsica.

One of the campsites we enjoyed was Camping La Pietra which was a short walk to the delightful little beach of Pietracorbara.

Look for accommodation in Cap Corse

Calvi

Good for: car-free family holidays in Corsica

If you’d prefer not to hire a car in Corsica, Calvi is definitely worth considering. This charming harbour town on the north west coast is a brilliant base for families. The old town has plenty of shops and restaurants and there’s a sandy beach perfect for little ones.

Calvi citadel in Corsica
Calvi citadel by Memory Catcher on Pixabay

An old train trundles along the coast from Calvi to L’Ile Rousse passing a string of beaches along the way. Just bear in mind that this little rail service is packed in the summer months so if you want a relaxing experience, you’re best off visiting with preschoolers in the shoulder months of June and September. 

Look for accommodation near Calvi

Southern Corsica for families

Southern Corsica has a particularly impressive concentration of beaches including the famous Plage de Palombaggia near Porto-Vecchio. The south of Corsica is also home to Corsica’s most incredibly positioned clifftop town, Bonifacio, which overlooks the tiny islands of Lavezzi. There’s an airport at Figari, 30 kilometres from Bonifacio. 

Bonifacio

Good for: history lovers, beaches and boat trips

It’s very easy to spend a whole week in Corsica and not leave the water. But if you do fancy a spot of culture, this incredible clifftop town on the southernmost tip of Corsica is definitely worth a visit. Bonifacio offers rather a stark contrast of old and new: the crumbling medieval citadel overlooks a modern marina of expensive shiny yachts and there’s also a rather good playground next to the marina.

Bonifacio harbour
Bonifacio harbour

It’s all rather touristy with tons of restaurants encircling the harbour and seemingly every other building in the old town is given over to some sort of tourism enterprise. However, there’s no denying the incredible location of this fortress town, towering over the sea below.

From Bonifacio you can access a great number of lovely beaches to both the east and west as well as the natural reserve of the Lavezzi islands.

Look for accommodation near Bonifacio

Porto Vecchio

Good for: access to some of the best beaches in Corsica, plus inland adventures

We enjoyed a lovely evening in Porto Vecchio during our holiday in Corsica. The town has a modern marina plus an old town above. The latter is packed with restaurants and shops, perfect for an evening’s exploration. The bars down by the marina are fun for a morning coffee before heading to one of the many beaches nearby. 

This is a great base for visits to Bonifacio and the Lavezzi islands but also to the interior of the island. You can reach the beautiful Solenzara river for wild swimming as well as stunning hiking routes in the Aiguilles de Bavella mountains. There are plenty of walks of varying lengths and abilities around the mountain towns of Ospedale, Zonza and Quenza offering rewarding views across the peaks and forested hills. 

Look for accommodation near Porto Vecchio

Western Corsica family holidays

The west coast of Corsica is brilliant for hiking and water sports. While quite a few of the beaches are pebble or shingle, there is still a good range of sandy beaches. Inland, there’s a wealth of history – characterful old villages and an important archaeological site. The scenery of the interior is stunning and popular with walkers.

Porto

Good for: hiking and water sports

Although this little coastal village is mostly made up of holiday accommodation, it is in an attractive position sandwiched between the sea and the mountains. Many of the beaches are pebbly in this part of the west coast so the area is perhaps better suited to families with older children.

Porto Corsica holiday with kids
Porto, photo by Lars Nissen on Pixabay

Porto is brilliantly positioned between two natural wonders. To the north lies the Reserve Naturelle de Scandola – only accessible by boat (take a small one for close up views of caves and coves). To the south are the towering cliffs of Les Calanques which you can walk to from the town of Piana – or hop on a boat to see these colourful rocks from the sea.

This is a great place for active holidays. Kayaking is particularly rewarding along the coast from Porto. Inland, there are some lovely mountain roads to explore leading to remote settlements such as Evisa. There are beautiful hiking routes near Porto too – the dramatic Gorges de Spelonga and the Foret d’Aitone.

Look for accommodation in Porto

Propriano

Good for: water sports, history and beaches

Propriano offers access to a good mix of everything. As with Porto further north, this is a good base for water sports and there are some excellent sandy beaches close by – including the long stretch of sand at Portigliolo. Inland is the attractive town of Sartene as well as the megalithic standing stones at Filitosa.

Propriano is within day trip distance of Ajaccio which is great for a quick history lesson – Napoleon was born here – and lunch on the seafront.

Look for accommodation in Propriano

Look for somewhere to stay in Piana

Eastern Corsica family holiday

We stayed just outside Solenzara on the south east coast during our most recent visit to Corsica with kids. Although the east lacks the picturesque towns and villages you’ll find elsewhere in Corsica, it does boast incredible river swimming which was the highlight of our holiday. And of course there are plenty of great beaches. 

Solenzara River, Corsica
Solenzara River, Corsica

Solenzara

Good for beaches and river swimming, access to the mountains

This is where we spent much of our family summer holiday in Corsica. If you drive inland along the D268 from the town of Solenzara, there are plenty of lovely spots for a swim. We stayed at the holiday park Sole di Sari just outside Solenzara which has an enviable location right on the river. We spent hours swimming in the river – it was like a giant natural swimming pool.

The town itself doesn’t have a huge amount to offer – there is a very good ice cream bar at the marina – but it’s a great base for beaches further south, the river and hiking inland.

Accommodation ideas in Corsica for families

Unlike destinations such as Greece and Spain, There is not a huge range of family-friendly hotels in Corsica or large resorts. What the island does have in abundance however are complexes called residences or domaines. These tend to be small clusters of apartments or villas which have a shared or private pool.

This style of accommodation is perfect if you prefer a step up from camping but you still want the social aspect of being in a group of properties where your children are likely to make friends. 

There are also plenty of campsites in Corsica offering a mix of traditional pitch camping as well as chalet and lodge style holiday parks. Several UK tour operators feature luxury Corsica villas – often with their own swimming pool and sea views. And if you can book early and have the budget there are a few of those hallowed villas which are within walking distance of a sandy beach.

What follows are some suggestions of accommodation for families in Corsica. I have included Corsica family hotels, residences and holiday parks along with some recommended Corsica villa companies. Please note, most of these are not places I have stayed at but I have read up on them and I think they sound suitable. However, places do change so please ensure you do your own research before you book.

I have placed affiliate links throughout this article – if you click on a link and go on to make a booking, I receive a small commission but this does not affect the price you pay.

Domaine and residence accommodation in Corsica

Domaine San Sebastiano, near Porto Vecchio

This collection of villas sits on a hillside with sea views. There’s a swimming pool, play area and daily delivery of bread – something which would go down well with members of my family! There’s a mix of villas, studios and apartments with units sleeping up to six guests.

Check availability at Domaine San Sebastiano

Résidence Les Toits de Santa Giulia, near Porto Vecchio

This collection of 15 residences is set in attractive gardens. Les Toits de Santa Giulia has an enviable location, just five minutes drive south to Santa Giulia beach while Porto Vecchio is 10 minutes to the north.

This is a good option for larger families – some of the villas can sleep up to 10 people. All have their own section of outdoor space. There are two shared swimming pools, both heated, one of which is for children.

Check availability at Les Toits de Santa Giulia

Résidence Santa Monica, between Porto-Vecchio and Bonifacio

This is a similar set up to Les Toits de Santa Giulia but it’s located a little further south, midway between Porto-Vecchio and Bonifacio – handy if you’d like to visit both towns, less handy if you want one of them on your doorstep.

Villas at Santa Monica sleep up to six guests, there’s an idyllic pool surrounded by rocks and the complex has a bakery service.

Check availability at Residence Santa Monica

Résidence Terra Marina, near Bonifacio

This residence is a step up from some of the others in the area – the villas, sleeping up to six guests, have quite a contemporary feel. The views towards Bonifacio are impressive and the heated infinity pool looks really appealing.

Guests can take breakfast at the adjoining hotel Cala di Greco where there’s also a pool bar serving light meals, drinks and ice creams. Bonifacio is a 10 minute drive.

Check availability at Residence Terra Marina

Résidence Frusteru, near Propriano

Each property at Frusteru has a good sized outdoor space – one boasting a hot tub, all have sea views and a BBQ. The shared pool is heated. It’s only one kilometre into the centre of Propriano, possibly not much fun in the heat of summer to walk it but a handy location nonetheless.

Check availability at Residence Frusteru

Résidence La Plage, near Olmeto and Propriano

These luxurious villas have a brilliant position overlooking the Gulf of Valinco. They’re within walking distance of the beach, shops and restaurants. A short drive inland takes you to the pretty hillside village of Olmeto while along the coast is the little harbour of Propriano.

The villas can accommodate up to six guests, some have a hot tub in the garden. The residence has a shared heated pool.

Check availability at Résidence La Plage

Résidence de Vacances Marina d’Arone, near Piana

Let me just say first that although I have described this as “near Piana” it isn’t particularly near – around a 20 minute drive – this is simply to indicate its rough location. If you’re after a peaceful base away from tourist resorts with access to beautiful hiking and within walking distance of a great sandy beach – I reckon this would be hard to beat.

Check availability at Résidence de Vacances Marina d’Arone

Casa del Torrente, near Porto

These rustic chalets have a great location right on the river Le Portu, perfect for a refreshing dip if you fancy a change from the swimming pool. The seaside village of Porto is a short drive where you’ll find shops, restaurants, and a beach. This part of Corsica is a lot quieter than the southern and northern coasts. A good option for larger family holidays in Corsica and groups, some units sleep up to 10 guests.

Unlike many properties in Corsica, this one isn’t air conditioned so this might be a better bet outside of August. The location – on Corsica’s rugged west coast – means this is a great destination for boat trips and hiking (another reason to come when it’s less hot), there’s the Scandola nature reserve, the Spelunca gorges and the rather lovely looking Aitone forest. May half term perhaps?

Check availability at Casa del Torrente

Villas Mandarine, Calvi

This collection of luxury villas are in a great location a few minutes drive from the centre of Calvi. Each of the 15 villas features a private pool and there’s a shared pool too along with a spa. This is a great option for large families and multi-generational trips – villas have up to six bedrooms.

Check availability at Villas Manadarine

Residence Dary, Ile Rousse

If you’re looking for a hassle-free holiday – no car, short airport transfer, beach access and quality self catering accommodation with everything within easy reach (it’s right in the centre of Ile Rousse), I’d say this is a good bet. Obviously, by ticking all of these boxes the accommodation doesn’t come cheap!

Check availability at Residence Dary

Villas Celia, L’Ile Rousse

This collection of nine luxury villas, each with its own swimming pool, is located a 10 minute drive from L’Ile Rousse. This is a great option if you prefer your own space on holiday but you still want to have everything close at hand.

There’s a bakery service to the villas each morning and I rather like the sound of the vegetable garden where visitors are free to pick food for their dinner.

Check availability at Villas Celia

Domaine A Marella

Although these good value, modern apartments might lack character, they make up for it in practicalities – there’s a shared pool, breakfast service and the centre of L’Ile Rousse is a two minute drive away (or a 15 minute walk). There are 17 apartments sleeping up to six guests.

Check availability at Domaine A Marella

Family hotels Corsica

If you’re looking for big resorts in Corsica, you’ll be disappointed. Most of the hotels in Corsica are small affairs and there’s also plenty of lovely bed and breakfast options too. Families tend to head to the residences or campsites but the following Corsica hotels all work well for families.

Best Western Premier Santa Maria, L’Île-Rousse

This good value hotel has contemporary style rooms – including suites for families – and direct beach access. There’s a swimming pool and it’s within walking distance of the town centre.

Check availability at the Best Western Santa Maria

Le Mariana, Calvi

The 3 star Mariana is just a five minute walk from central Calvi so it’s perfect for families who’d prefer not to hire a car. The hotel has a couple of suites which can sleep a family of four. There’s a roof top swimming pool and a small spa.

Check availability at the Mariana

Hotel La Roya, St Florent

If you’re after a luxury hotel in Corsica for families in the north of the island, the Roya has a lovely waterfront setting and suites to sleep a family of four. The hotel is about a mile from the centre of St Florent. It has a very good restaurant and a swimming pool as well as beach access.

Check availability at the Roya

Hotel le Pinarello, near Porto Vecchio

This beachfront hotel is about 20km north of Porto Vecchio and close to some really lovely beaches (as well as the one it faces). As well as hotel suites which can sleep four, there is also a collection of apartments nearby.

Check availability at Hotel le Pinarello

Grand Hotel de Cala Rossa, near Porto Vecchio

If you’re looking for a luxury family hotel in Corsica, this Grand Hotel de Cala Rossa will take some beating. There’s a spa, a delicious sounding restaurant and the hotel has its own little boat to take guests out along the coast. Families are accommodated in the hotel suites.

Check availability at Grand Hotel de Cala Rossa

Hotel Bartaccia, near Propriano

This looks like one of the best family hotels in Corsica – there are several different types of family room ranging from standard rooms to suites. There are two swimming pools and it’s a short walk to the beach and a slightly longer walk into the port town of Propriano.

Check availability at Hotel Bartaccia

Campsites and holiday parks in Corsica

The usual camping operators have units available in Corsica: Eurocamp, Canvas and Al Fresco Holidays but there are plenty of other operator to consider too such as Pierre et Vacances, Homair and Yelloh.

And I like the look of the website Les Plus Beaux Campings – definitely worth a browse.

On our family holiday to Corsica, we stayed at Sole di Sari, a small holiday park on the south east coast featuring a mix of accommodation ranging from safari tents to air conditioned chalets (there are no actual camping pitches). Our chalet was located on the hillside overlooking the park and featured a large shady terrace. 

Holiday park in Corsica for families
Sari di Solenzara holiday park, Corsica

Although there are some small swimming pools at Sole di Sari plus a play area, kids club and café, what really sets it apart is the riverside location. The holiday park is fairly small and felt really peaceful even in high season. There was a low-key nightly disco organised by the kids club which was very popular with all the children. 

Corsica family villas

There are several operators who specialise in villa holidays in Corsica along with residences and apartments. Some can put together a package for you with flights and car hire included.

Simpson Travel

This company has a great range of villas and apartments and has a special section for families travelling to Corsica. You can book accommodation only in Corsica with Simpson Travel or a Corsica package holiday which can be a safer option financially. 

Corsican Places

This tour operator specialises in Corsica and offers packages as well as accommodation only bookings. Corsican Places has a range of villas, apartments and residences.

Just Corsica

Another Corsica specialist who’s been around a long time is Just Corsica. As with Corsican Places you’ll find a good range of family-friendly accommodation.

The Thinking Traveller

This operator has grown from its beginnings as a Sicily villa company and has now expanded to include other islands such as Corsica. The Thinking Traveller specialises in high end properties, perfect if you’re after somewhere really special.

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Have you had any family holidays in Corsica? Do you have any tips to add? Let me know in the comments below.

Visited Corsica before and fancy trying a different Mediterranean island? How about Sicily? Read my guide on things to do in Sicily with kids for some ideas.

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