The many Corsica beaches provide you with wide choices—from types of sand and presence of lifeguards to condition of surf and things to do. Which beach in Corsica you might choose to visit really depends on you and your preferences. There are about 200 beaches here that stretch for about a cumulative 600 miles around the island.
While a Corsican beach vacation is quite popular, especially with tourists from other parts of Europe, it has not yet gained the popularity of other world-famous coastal areas in the geographical neighborhood, like the Nice beaches along the nearby Riviera of France and Spain’s Ibiza. Some of the Corsica beaches are, as a result, virtually deserted. Another result is the fact that most of the more secluded beaches have no lifeguards. Many of the more popular ones have lifeguards only during the May to October tourist season.
Many claim that the best beach in Corsica is Palombaggia south of Porto Vecchio. While it is only about three miles south of the seaport city as the crow flies, Palombaggia is a good ten mile drive on a narrow road that winds its way off the main north-south highway between Porto Vecchio and Bonifacio. Nonetheless, it is generally quite crowded during the peak summer month when bus transportation is available and lifeguards are present. This means that Palombaggia is an excellent place for vacations with children and novice swimmers during the summer. Its long stretch of fine white sand is overlooked by large red granite rocks and cliffs. Combine this with the crystal clear blue waters and forest of green pine, and you have an extraordinary location.
On the other end of the island is the Plage de Saleccia in the north between Bastia and Calvi. This lovely beach in Corsica is more difficult to reach, as you can only get there on foot, off-road bikes, or four-wheel drive vehicle so there are fewer crowds. Quad bikes can be rented from the village of St. Florent. This is a bit of a trek (about ten miles), and once you get here, you will find no hotels or other tourist facilities, so come prepared.
The most accessible Corsica beaches will be found closest to the largest cities and towns or at the locations of more secluded resorts. Many of these resorts are set on their own private stretch of beach. Calvi Beach is quite long and is located very close to restaurants, hotels, and things to do. It has the added advantage of being dominated by the huge Calvi Citadel that sits out on one tip of the lovely curving bay. There are two main Bastia beaches. The one closest to the city center is rather pebbly. A little further on is Place de ‘Arinella, which is sandy and offers restaurants and other services. Ricanto is the main beach of Ajaccio, and it is just a short drive from the city center.
The best way to find a beach in Corsica that is truly secluded is by boat. You can charter sailing yachts for cruises around the coastline, and many diving trips will include putting in at deserted coves and lagoons. A good source is to ask locals for their recommendations. The recommendation may well come from someone with a boat who is willing to take you.