The 4th largest island in the Mediterranean, Corsica is located west of Italy, south-east of France and north of the island of Sardinia. Corsica (with Sardinia) was once a Roman province and was also ruled by a number of Italian republics (Pisa, Genoa) until as recently as 1729. The island then enjoyed a brief independence before being incorporated within France - it is today a French region. Sometimes referred to as the ' Mountain in the Sea', Corsica rises spectacularly out of the Mediterrean to a high point at Monte Cinto (2706m / 8878ft). The island has little flat land, numerous granite peaks and a generally very rugged terrain. One of the greatest of the French Grande Randonee hiking routes, the GR20, cuts across the island south-east to north-west and provides a tough 2-week challenge for mountain walkers. Mountain bikers can also take advantage of Corsica's high valley trails with their own 'Coast to Coast' route. With its mix of Italian and French cultural heritage, Corsica is a unique and appealing adventure travel destination.


The Mediterranean island of Corsica is some 180 kilometres (110 miles) long and 75 kilometres (46 miles) wide. Corsica lies 160 kilometres (100 miles) south of the French mainland and 80 kilometres (50 miles) west of Italy.

For the most part, the terrain in Corsica is mountainous. About two-thirds of it consists of an ancient crystalline massif that divides the island a north-west axis. It is often called ‘The Granite Island'. Corsica has a cluster of 20 peaks exceeding 2,000 m / 6,500 ft. Its high point is at the summit of Monte Cinto (2710m.) (8876ft.)

Much of the island is covered with a scrubby underbrush, called maquis, that is composed of aromatic shrubs, together with holm oak and cork oak. The flowers produce a fragrance that carries far out to sea. Chestnut forests occur at higher elevations, while the Corsican, or laricio pine dominates the higher elevations. Forest covers about one-fifth of the island.

Time Zone

The time in Corsica is GMT +1 hour .

Vaccinations (country)

You should attend your own doctor and dentist for a check-up. No special vaccinations are required for France. UK residents should obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before travelling. The EHIC is normally valid for three to five years and covers any medical treatment that becomes necessary during your trip, because of either illness or an accident. The card gives access to state-provided medical treatment only, and you'll be treated on the same basis as an 'insured' person living in the country you're visiting. Remember, this might not cover all the things you'd expect to get free of charge from the NHS in the UK. You may have to make a contribution to the cost of your care. You can obtain an EHIC from the Department of Health by phone, online, or at the post office.

Additional Sources/Information



In Monte Viso's Horizon. Will McLewin.

GR 20 Corsica. Paddy Dillon (Cicerone Press).

Corsica Walking Guide. Bergverlag Rother GMBH.

Corsica. Insight Guide.

Corsica. Lonely Planet.

The Rough Guide to Corsica.


GR20 - 2 map set  - 1:60,000 Libris


Lonely Planet -

Rough Guides -