Your family loves outdoor adventures and being on the water? A trip to Corsica would make the ideal vacation. Explore the French island's dramatic coastlines and bathe in pristine waters as you travel south from Calvi to Ajaccio and Bonifacio, three beautiful cities brimming over with history and culture. Whether on land or at sea, you'll be awed by the beauty of the rugged scenery surrounding you.


  • Visit the birthplaces of Columbus and Bonaparte
  • Try canyoning and coasteering in pristine natural surroundings
  • Island hop in the North Sardinian Archipelago
  • Swim, snorkel, and kayak in the warm waters of the Mediterranean

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Calvi Calvi
Day 2 The Agriates Desert by Sailboat & 4WD Calvi
Day 3 Coasteering in Calvi Calvi
Day 4 Canyoning on L'Île-Rousse Calvi
Day 5 Coastal Drive to Ajaccio via Scandola & Girolata Ajaccio
Day 6 Discover Ajaccio, Capo di Feno & Parata Point, Drive to Bonifacio  Bonifacio
Day 7 Explore Bonifacio Bonifacio
Day 8 Catamaran Cruise to Maddalena & Lavezzi Islands Bonifacio
Day 9 Porto Vecchio, Favone Bay Kayak Excursion Bonifacio
Day 10 Drive to Figari, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Calvi

Explore Calvi
Exploring Calvi's medieval citadel will reward you with panoramic views

Welcome to Corsica! Pick up your rental car and start your family holiday in Calvi. This thriving city in a stunning natural setting is a treasure for history buffs. Take the family back in time on a walk through its medieval citadel and marvel at the panoramic views from any of the ramparts. The 16th-century Genoese governor's residences, the Salt Tower and Sampiero Barracks, are impressive, but the high point for many will be the house of Christopher Columbus—local tradition has always held that he grew up in this city. 

Calvi's historic churches provide shady points of reflection and rest along the way—stop at the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Cathedral, the Saint-Antoine Abbé oratory, or the church of Sainte-Marie-Majeure. Hidden inside, you'll find works of art, beautiful frescoes, and ornate tile work and furnishings. Hike the rustic path up to the Revallata Lighthouse—another great lookout point—then take the kids for ice cream on Landry Quay.

Day 2: The Agriates Desert by Sailboat & 4WD

Agriates coastline
Sail the stunning coastline of the Agriates Desert

Spend today exploring one of Western Europe's few desert regions, the Agriates. Start in style with a tour of the coastline by sailboat, setting off from scenic L'Île-Rousse. You and the kids will have the chance not only to learn about the region but also to navigate and sail the boat—with a little help from the skipper! Take a leisurely cruise past Lozari and Ostriconi, two of Corsica's most beautiful beaches, before dropping anchor at Ghignu Cove for a relaxing swim and picnic in the sun. 

Next, the second part of your desert adventure: a 4WD 7.5-mile (12 km) drive through the maquis, Corsica's distinctive shrubland. The kids will love the excitement of off-road driving, but the tour is also a chance to learn about Corsica's rich medicinal and culinary herbal heritage— you'll soon understand why it is nicknamed "the scented isle." After your tour, enjoy dinner back in the city—chances are, you'll be sampling many of the herbs you have learned about this afternoon.

Day 3: Coasteering in Calvi

Marine Canyoning
Explore the Revellata Peninsula coastlines

For families with kids aged 12 and over, experience the natural beauty of Corsica with a memorable half-day coasteering tour of the Revellata Peninsula. The Corsican mountain range drops directly into the Mediterranean here, making this the ideal spot to give this sport a try. On this exciting tour, you'll be swimming, climbing, abseiling, and ziplining, as well as making optional jumps of between 3 and 33 feet (1-10 m).

If your kids are a little younger, or coasteering is not quite your scene, there are plenty of other options for exploring the peninsula—take a full-day cruise of the area, or break up your day with a mix of hiking, swimming, and snorkeling. Whichever option your family chooses, you are headed for a day of excitement and fun in a beautiful marine environment. Finish up the day dining back in the city. 

Day 4: Canyoning on L'Île-Rousse

Ile Rousse
Sunset at L'Île-Rousse 

If your family is into mountain sports, this area is an ideal destination. With stunning beaches and mountains rising swiftly to more than 6,562 feet (2,000 m) above sea level, it could have been made for canyoning. There are four main canyons near Calvi, providing something for every experience level: Le Fango for beginners and older children, the intermediate-level canyons La Mélaghia and La Ruda, and, for experts, Le Dardo. Keen to go climbing, jumping, abseiling, slacklining, or ziplining in paradise? This outing is for you!

If you'd like a lower-key day, there's plenty to see at L'Île-Rousse, the quaint little village nearby. Stroll through the Old Town, visit the classic French market to purchase the makings of a picnic, and then head to the nearby beach where the kids can swim to their hearts' content. If you want to head farther afield, drive to Saint'Antonino, Corsica's oldest inhabited village and one of France's most beautiful, or go hiking in the Tartagine Forest in Corsica's Regional Natural Park.

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Day 5: Coastal Drive to Ajaccio via Scandola & Girolata

Relax in Girolata

Take some time to explore Corsica's west coast today with a leisurely drive from Calvi toward Ajaccio. Leaving the sandy beaches of Balagne, you'll pass brightly colored granite, volcanic rock cliffs, and beautiful wild beaches. Continue to Galeria, an off-the-beaten-track destination that offers beach relaxation without the crowds. Take the kids to the Fangu River, a popular kayaking destination that offers freshwater swimming—right beside the beach.

This afternoon, drive up the Palmerella Pass and enjoy breathtaking views before the road descends and sweeps you onward to Porto-Ota, a small village located handy to the Scandola Reserve. Created by a collapsed volcano, the reserve is a rich enclave of flora and fauna, embraced by picturesque red-tinted rock. It is well worth booking a cruise of the area and the tiny village of Girolata. The kids will be amazed that it has only 15 inhabitants and is accessible only by boat or on foot. Time your cruise for sunset to see the area at its best, then drive on to Ajaccio.

Day 6: Discover Ajaccio, Capo di Feno & Parata Point, Drive to Bonifacio

Discover the Scandola Reserve and the Calanques Piana

The capital of Corsica, Ajaccio, is a blend of trendy modern cafés, beach life, historical monuments, and picturesque streets. Famous as the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte, you and the kids can learn more at his house, now a museum, and you'll find several monuments scattered around the city. You can also view a wonderful selection of Italian Renaissance artworks collected by his uncle at the Musée Fesch.

When you're ready to get outside again, take a walking tour to Parata Point, the site of an impressive Genoese tower built in 1550, and on to Capo di Feno, one of Corsica's most popular surf spots and a good place for the kids to swim and snorkel, albeit cautiously. Alternatively, if you ran out of time to cruise the Scandola Reserve yesterday, today would be the ideal opportunity. Afterward, drive to Bonifacio.

Day 7: Explore Bonifacio

Explore the Bonifacio citadel
Explore Bonifacio’s citadel

Strikingly located on a clifftop with panoramic views of the Corsican coastline and beyond, the medieval citadel of Bonifacio is best explored on foot. With 40 historical points of interest, you can scarcely make a wrong turn. The kids will be amazed by the steps of the famous Escalier du Roy d'Aragon, carved out of the cliffside. It's hard to believe this steep descent was originally made to carry water back up to the citadel! 

As well as its historic streets, churches, and monuments, Bonifacio is also a good place to encounter quintessential Mediterranean flora and fauna. If you have time, head out with the family on the water for a tour of the nearby cliffs, caves, and islands—and be sure to photograph this seemingly precariously-sited city from its best angle while you're there.

Day 8: Catamaran Cruise to Maddalena & Lavezzi Islands

Catamaran in Corsica
Cruise to Sardinia by catamaran

Head a little farther afield today with a relaxing catamaran cruise day trip from Bonifacio to Maddalena Island in Sardinia. The tour is flexible—activities and routes can be shaped around the weather and your interests, and you can also choose your level of involvement in steering the craft. Your skipper is also a qualified teacher, so now is the time for the kids to learn!

With plenty of breaks to swim, snorkel, and paddle board, your family will explore the white sands and turquoise waters of the North Sardinian Archipelago, passing the islands of Maddalena, Budelli, Razzoli, Cavallo, and the Lavezzi Islands. You'll also get the chance to see the wonders of the Bouches de Bonifacio nature reserve, among the most protected in Europe. 

Day 9: Porto Vecchio, Favone Bay Kayak Excursion

Kayak in Porto Vecchio
Go kayaking in Porto Vecchio

A bustling port since Roman times, Porto Vecchio is now one of Corsica's most popular destinations. Take the family on an intriguing walk through its maze-like old town, where you can see remnants of its Roman and Genoese heritage. The city is most well-known, though, as the center closest to Corsica's most popular beaches, Palombaggia, Santa Giulia, Cala Rossa, and Pinarello. Take your pick! 

This afternoon, continue the seaside theme with a guided kayak trip from Favone Beach. Suitable for any level of experience, choose whether to kayak solo or in pairs. Your guide will tell you everything you need to know before heading out on the water to show you the most beautiful sights in this peaceful area. Afterward, drive back to Bonifacio.

Day 10: Drive to Figari, Depart

Head out for a swim at Palombaggia

Today is the last day of your Corsican family escape. If you have some time before your flight, why not make the most of your gorgeous surroundings and head back to the family's favorite beach for a few hours? When it's finally time to leave paradise, drive to Figaro to drop off your rental car and catch your flight. Safe travels!

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Map of Corsica Family Adventure: Calvi, Ajaccio & Bonifacio - 10 Days
Map of Corsica Family Adventure: Calvi, Ajaccio & Bonifacio - 10 Days