In September 2017 we hit the road for a camping trip towards Corsica in a rented VW bus. The rough plan was to drive there via Lake Garda and Pisa, take the ferry from Livorno and head back home through Zug in Switzerland.
As you can see from the picture on the left, we had to adjust our pace a bit. What looks like a miscalculation at first glance, turned out to be a pretty accurate estimation (and we even ended up taking the "slow" route east of the mountains). Especially on the west coast of Corsica, the roads are narrow with tall rocks on one side and steep cliffs on the other.
The east coast, on the other hand, is a fully developed tourist area with broad roads, big beaches and plenty of hotels. While this makes it easy to quickly cover a lot of ground, e.g. when you have a ferry to catch, the west coast is by far more beautiful, rough, and genuine.
Unfortunately we missed our chance to explore the central mountainous region since we eventually ran out of time. However, I'm sure this will not have been our last visit to this beautiful island full of "(Macchia)", wild boars, stinky cheese and mediocre (still amazingly delicious) wine.
Also check out the full gallery of pictures.
The road to Bastia
Having no pressure to catch a flight or a train, we managed to leave Nuremberg around lunchtime instead of the originally planned 09:00. We still managed to reach Lake Garda before sunset.
After a delicious dinner at "Trattoria L'Osteria Marengo" and a rainy night, we hit the road for Lucca. However, more heavy rain in the mountains convinced us to spend the night in Pisa instead, before boarding the ferry in Livorno the next morning.
While the factories around the "Camping Village Torre Pendente" make the area look rather grim, the place itself is very nice, clean, and conveniently located in walking distance to the famous Leaning Tower. Additionally, the ferry terminal in Livorno is only half an hour away by car, which makes it the perfect pit stop.
We left the overcrowded piazza soon after taking the mandatory pictures and strolled through the narrow alleyways of Pisa heading south towards the Arno river.
Finishing off the day with delicious wine, cold cuts and good company. If you're in the area, go check out I Porci Comodi!
Saint-Florent and Calvi
We decided to go around Corsica in counter clockwise direction. We got off the ferry in Bastia and continued to Saint-Florent the same night. The crowded and busy city of Bastia is not the reason we came to Corsica.
From the small town of Saint-Florent we continued on to Calvi to explore the old town (supposedly the birthplace of Christopher Columbus), relax on the beach and go climbing in the hills outside Lumio.
The road to the camping ground is narrow and windy and I'm happy we don't drive one of these huge RVs. Actually, the proper vehicle would be a motorcycle.
Not only is it difficult to reach La Morsetta, it's also a good idea to stock up groceries before getting there. The only source of food and drinks is a tiny (overpriced) kiosk and a mediocre restaurant.
The scenery and the crystal clear waters make more than up for that inconvenience. Besides, what's better than cooking your own meal in front of the camper van while enjoying a glass of red wine and the sunset?
The next and final stop on the west coast of Corsica is the bay of Propriano.
We decide to stay at Camping chez Antoine, a very basic camping ground right next to the beach. The place is far from fancy but clean and freshly baked baguettes and chocolate croissants are delivered in the morning, what else could you possibly ask for?
Proporiano itself is good for grocery shopping and maybe an ice cream but not much else, go explore the mountains and beaches around instead.
By now we have reached the southern part of Corsica and the beautiful old town of Bonifacio. We decided to spend the afternoon exploring the old town south of the marine.
While you're here, make sure to check out the mussels at La Minute Moule.
The last stop of the trip is the rather touristy town of Aléria. The beaches are wide and sandy, very much unlike the wild east. For your cultural appetite, there's a museum and an archeological excavation site.
Speaking of appetite, the restaurant "L'écurie" is just spectacular. Built into an old stable (hence the name), it serves classy food, so good we ate there two nights in a row.