This fabulous active tour is an imaginative combination of discovery on the island of Corsica. Home to stunning granite mountains, this tour touches upon the most famous hiking trail in France – the GR20 - while also offering kayaking in the azure waters near the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Reserve Naturelle de Scandola. This adventurous, yet comfortable hotel-based trip features authentic local cuisine for which the “Isle of Beauty” is well-known. Led by our own skilled bilingual guides, this intimate encounter will reveal to you the flavors and attitude of this island paradise that has its own “corsitude” and is proud that McDonalds and Starbucks have made no inroads.
Corsica is a verdant place, boasting the most rainfall of any island in the Mediterranean. Mountains rise steeply from the sea to peaks that are over 8800’ (2700 meters). From sea to summit there exists three climate zones. These zones are home to more than 2800 plant species including the island’s maquis, which is a thick, tangled forest of juniper, oak, heather and herb. It is almost impassable to travel through and hides things well. Because of this, it was the name for the French WWII resistance movement. In addition to the maquis, there are forests of endemic pines that also call the island home.
Much of life in Corsica revolves around food. Gathering, producing, creating and enjoying the many flavors of the land. You find the influence of the dense maquis forest in the island’s cheeses, honey and grilled meats as well as the iconic chestnuts. The Genoese planted forests of chestnuts during their centuries of occupation of the island and they are a staple that is even an ingredient of Corsica’s most popular beer! Of course there is also fantastic wine and delicious seafood.
Perhaps more than anywhere else in Europe, Corsica has maintained its own musical traditions and resisted modern music. Ancient polyphony thrives on the island we try and seek out a concert. This music is sometimes called “Corsican blues” and there are over 80 groups on the island that practice and perform.
We invited you to join us to discover this intriguing corner of Europe. A place where megalithic stones still stand, every village has monuments to the heros of WWI and WWII, the myth of Napoleon lives on (he was born here in the city of Ajaccio in 1769), and the Corsican language, traditional life, customs and music are nurtured and embraced by young and old alike.
As the British author Dorothy Carrington, who spent half her life on the island and wrote the book Island of Granite, observed, “One cannot know Corsican history without regretting that Shakespeare never heard of its tales.” There is no place in Europe, or France, like Corsica and we promise a wonderful journey of learning and discovery.