From wingfoiling to abandon mountaineering: why Corsica is France’s journey capital | Island of magnificence

Wingfoiling is mainly windsurfing with a hydrofoil: grabbing a two-handed wing and driving a paddleboard elevated about 90cm above the water. It takes some apply, which explains why Balistra seaside represents a savvy place to study. For, on this undeveloped white-sand surprise between Bonifacio and Porto-Vecchio – its rutted, 1.2 mile entry monitor fortunately precluding crowds – novice classes start on a big, calm lagoon. You then progress to the ocean, and may hire gear when able to fly solo.

90-minute classes price from €60 (£50)

In essence, strap your self to an enormous energy kite, leap on a surfboard and whoosh … off you go! However a little bit tuition can go a good distance, so learners are greatest heading for Corsica Kiteboarding, a protracted established college, which chooses scenic spots based mostly on every day situations – generally Plage de Piantarella, beneath an excavated Roman villa; generally the idyllic Lavezzi islands. Regardless of the location, non-public, beach-based classes, plus package rent, can be found. In case you’re an skilled kiteboarder, head for the bay by Bonifacio’s historical clifftop citadel, the place robust winds create the proper situations.

90-minute classes price from €150 (£130)

The GT20 is a 370 mile Corsican biking route that zigzags south. It’s now doable to effortlessly journey its northern – and arguably most picturesque – elements on an electrical bike. From Bastia, you’ll see crumbling Genoese watchtowers and France’s first lobster-fishing port alongside the slow-paced Cap Corse peninsula earlier than pausing at vineyards, crossing the Agriates desert and ascending to La Balagne’s cutest hill cities. Nice for folks and children, the six-night itinerary finishes in Calvi, a beachside metropolis that claims to be Christopher Columbus’s actual birthplace.

From €853 (£735) – self-guided, together with transport, baggage transfers and B&B

Sea kayaking across the Corsican coast. {Photograph}: Robert Palomba/Onlyfrance/4Corners Photos

Aerial mountaineering
Think about a mountain climbing and mountaineering hybrid – if that feels like your type of factor, head for Calvi, the place to begin for half-day adventures on Corsica’s most family-friendly Through Cordata course. After a brief switch, you’ll climb cliffs rising from the Mediterranean as waves crash and seagulls squawk. It’s sufficient to get your adrenaline going, however secure for anybody aged 10 or over. Need extra of a problem? A wilder various close to Ajaccio includes scaling the 70-metre Bridal Veil waterfall earlier than abseiling and ziplining down. Multi-level via-ferrata choices – utilizing iron bars and steps – additionally proliferate throughout the island.

From €35 (£30), together with gear rent

Desert mountaineering
That GT20 biking route follows the Agriates desert’s lone street. North of that, you’ll discover tracts of scrubby rock, sweetly scented by the maquis shrub, after which a wild coast path. Connecting a collection of sugar-white shores – some abandoned – the 25 mile Sentier du Littoral hyperlinks Ostriconi seaside with Saint-Florent. Three-day itineraries are suggested, tenting in a single day on Ghignu and Saleccia’s sensational seashores. Carry water aplenty; sultry and shadeless, the Agriates is genuinely a desert.

Straw huts price €15 (£12) at Ghignu; tents from €6 (£5) at Saleccia

Gorges galore make Corsica a canyoning hotspot. Particularly well-liked is Verghellu canyon, south of the sleepy former capital Corte and simply east of a chic, Eiffel-built railway bridge. As soon as your helmet and harness are assembled, half-day excursions right here soak up difficult rope programs, rappelling, ledge leaps into swirling waters, a protracted zipline and pure chutes sliding into plunge swimming pools. You’ll be guided, after all, and in teams no bigger than 12. Expertise isn’t required, however swimming prowess actually is.

From €55 (£47)

Sea kayaking
Corsica’s craggy shoreline makes for memorable sea kayaking outings. Most tempting is the northwestern shore: paddlers there can gawp on the Calanques de Piana – a granite forest of jagged spires and spikes that flip pink in daylight – then search for ospreys within the Scandola Nature Reserve’s waters. Unghalak runs five-night guided journeys for small teams every summer season – from €590 (£510); should you’d reasonably go it alone, rent single or double kayaks from Cors’Aventure’s base outdoors Ajaccio, then drive to Piana.

Single-seater kayaks from €43 (£37) per day

Paragliding in Corsica.
Take to the air within the Gulf of Sagone. {Photograph}: Loïc Colonna/Getty Photos

The Gulf of Sagone – between Ajaccio and people crimson Calanques – is likely one of the Mediterranean’s greatest locations to take flight. Paragliding jaunts with Corsic Journey – towed should you want – begin from Liscia Seashore; you ascend to the San-Bastiano go, then leap into thermal air currents, having fun with the spectacular ocean and mountain views earlier than touchdown again on that very same sandy fringe. Different island choices embrace Altore’s assortment of north-coast websites.

Towed paragliding from €75 (£65)

Corsica’s craggy inside helps 5 established mountain climbing places. 4 are river valleys near Corte, together with the well-known Restonica. Additionally shaped of reddish granite, however additional memorable and adventurous, is the extra southerly Aiguilles de Bavella. Right here, as wispy needles prolong dramatically from an eponymous massif, an array of mountain climbing grades and pitch numbers can be found.

Cédric Specia leads single-day, from €109 (£95) and six-day, from €545 (£470), Bavella journeys

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