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The landmass was formed by intense volcanic eruptions, and it is the most mountainous island of the Mediterranean, sometimes referred to as the “mountain of the sea.” One of the 27 regions of France, Corsica is one of the few places in the country where the native language is commonly used.
Europeans love coming to this unspoiled island of spectacular landscapes. Most recently, an increasing number of Russian millionaires have found themselves seduced by its charm. With an area of 8,680 square km. and a population of 302,000, Corsica rivals the Greek Isles or St Barths for the most spectacular, secluded vacations.
Visitors will find natural reserves, wild life and endangered species, medieval villages, and the striking clifftop city of Bonifacio, among the most desired destinations. The distinct character of the island, and its delightful cuisine, only add to its popularity.
Summer holidays in Corsica are very fashionable for jet setters and celebrities, and a handful of of them have bought properties on the coast, including actors Jean Reno and Christian Clavier. Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis made it their favorite escape during their relationship.
Charlotte Casiraghi and her mother, Princess Caroline of Monaco, the Prince of Hanover, Jean Touitou, and other prestigious French families like the d’Ormessons, de Ribes or Rheimses are frequent visitors to “the island of beauty”, as Corsica is also known.
Actress and fashion model Laetitia Casta continues to visit her family’s birthplace in the northern part of the island. And newlyweds Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys, and Kate Moss and Jamie Hince, chose Corsica as the perfect getaway for their honeymoons.
The select number of tourists who come ashore, do it for the beautiful beaches, sunset cruises, diving, fishing and water skiing. Many venture inland to get lost in medieval villages surrounded by pristine forests, where they can hike and trek through the rugged landscape.
There are several luxury hotels scattered all over the island. Domaine de Murtoli, Casadelmar or Palazzu Serenu are good choices. International foodies will surely delight at the two-Michelin-star Casadelmar restaurant, a mandatory gastronomic experience, as well as Le Pirate or Le Bilboq.
For art and culture lovers, the Palais Fesch Museum in Ajaccio has a magnificent collection of Italian paintings, and the Philharmonic Orchestra of Corsica offers a wonderful series of concerts. ■