Vineyard Hopping in Corsica: 7 Days
- Cycle through vineyards to the wild, beautiful Cape of Corsica
- Tour Corsica's wineries and famous estates
- Sip award-winning local wines from across the island
- Take a horse-drawn carriage ride through a vineyard
Day 1: Vineyards of the Cape & Patrimonio
Arrive in Bastia and make your way to the Cape of Corsica, a long peninsula where you'll find the island's oldest appellation d'origine contrôlée, or AOC: an area with official French certification that designates the specific type of wine produced there. On the way up the coast, stop in the seaside village of Santa Severa, a key location for the growing of the terraced vineyards of the Muscat du Cap-Corse (a naturally lightly sweet white wine). Formerly a Roman encampment, this cute town is bordered on one side by the bright blue of the Mediterranean and on the other by deep green hills and terraced vineyards. Spend your time here visiting famous Corsican wine cellars, one of which has kept its old wine press for five generations to uphold family tradition.
Next, drive to Nonza, with its black sandy beach, and then to Patrimonio - a well-known wine region in Corsica - to visit a wine estate and taste some of the succulent local wines on offer. Finally, return to Saint Florent, also known as the Saint-Tropez of Corsica, for a night in a luxurious hotel.
Day 2: The Désert des Agriates & Calvi
Start your second day with a drive through the famous Désert des Agriates - a protected natural reserve full of deserted coves and a distinct, rich, herby odor - to the Balagne. The Balagne is famous for light, subtly-flavored wines praised by Seneca during his years of exile on the island. Stop here for another tasting at a wine estate before continuing on to the charming port town of Calvi, with its imposing citadel perched on one of the gulf's promontory rocks. If you're still feeling up for adventure, spend some time exploring Calvi's beaches, citadel, and crescent-shaped bay. Beloved local attractions including the Chapelle de Notre Dame de la Serra and the ruins of Village d'Occi.
Day 3: From Calvi to Porto, Discovering the Island's Wine Heritage
When you wake in Calvi, it's time for some more exploration. If you didn't make it to the Chapelle de Notre Dame de la Serra, the citadel, or the ruins yesterday, now's the time. Once you're done exploring, take to the coastal road toward the Gulf of Porto. It's one of the most beautiful on the island. The gulf is famous for its Calanches de Piana - a series of magnificent granite spires, shaped by the wind. Pause here for a boat ride around these natural wonders. Next, make your way to the Scandola Nature Reserve - a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for striking red cliffs that rise directly out of the sea.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 4: Porto to the Imperial City
Continue along the vista-rich coastal road and make sure to pause at small towns like Cargèse (known for its rich, cultural heritage, its location at the tip of the Gulf of Sagonne, and its Greek-influenced architecture). Continue driving to Ajaccio - also known as the imperial city. Famous for being Napoleon’s hometown, Ajaccio is home to famous historical monuments and a maze of enchanting little streets. If history is your thing, take a moment to wander the streets and ponder the way Napoleon’s early life shaped his future destiny. End today’s adventures with a trip to the highly perfumed vineyards of the Sciaccarellu and a wine tasting session on a 200-year-old wine property. Meaning "crunchy" in Corsican, the Sciaccarellu grape variety is cultivated for its black currant and coffee scents on the most reputed Corsican wine estates.
Day 5: Ajaccio & Cliffs of Bonifacio
Start your fifth day with a scenic drive to Casalabriva, where wine-growers will show you their estates and explain the different traditional processes involved in winemaking on the island. Then, head to Sartène, the town locals refer to as "the most Corsican town of all," to taste the local AOC in another award-winning wine estate. Finally, make your way through the deep south to admire the famous, chalky-white cliffs of Bonifacio.
Day 6: Porto-Vecchio Wine Estates
Start the day with another short, scenic drive to a wine estate in Porto-Vecchio. The town itself is a charmer, so make sure to stop for a few moments to take in the pretty blue-green water dotted with bobbing sailboats. The most famous vineyards in Corsica are calling, so don't linger too long before heading toward the famed Pond of Diana. On the way, another wine estate sprawls over green scrubland between mountain and sea. Stop here for a tasting in the cellar, a horse-drawn carriage ride around the property, and an on-foot exploration of the vineyards.
Day 7: One More Wine Tasting Before Departure
Make the most out of your last day by heading to one last tasting in a Corsican wine cellar. Afterwards, it's time to choose your own adventure: Visit the nearby authentic Corsican hilltop villages of Loreto-di-Casinca and Silvareccio, or drive directly to Bastia, pausing in hilltop Cardo, San Martino di Lota, or Ville di Pietrabugno on the way. Catch your ferry or plane in Bastia from here.
This trip made it to the 30 best European itineraries. See the entire list here