Nico Schnee and his dive into Corsica

Tour name: Chemnitz – Corsica
Degree of difficulty: easy

Overall length: 3082 km
Total elevation: 16182 m ascent and 16182 m descent
Alignment: south
Highest point: 1982 m

GPS:  route and track as GPX 

Actually Sweden was the first planned destination with our modified Land Rover Discovery 3, but unfortunately or luckily we met a breeder for French Water Dogs (Barbet) from Switzerland shortly before our departure. Since we have been thinking about adding such a small curly friend to our family for almost two years, it was clear that we would have to pay Switzerland a visit. Now the way from Central Germany via Switzerland to Sweden is a not to be neglected detour of about 1200 km. So we changed our plans at short notice and drove south via Switzerland to Corsica.

After our visit at Lake Constance at the very nice breeder we took the fastest way to Savonna (Italy) to take a ferry to Bastia (Corsica, France). Arrival and departure with the ferry were the only planned points on our trip. And of course one goal:

Taking a dive into the sea from the roof of a car in Corsica

on our way to the ferry
on our way to the ferry ©Nico Schnee

After the ferry docked late at night we drove to the nearest campsite for the first night. What we did not know: Due to the favourable location (about 4 km away from the harbour of Bastia) all motorhomes, caravans and vans drove to exactly this camping site. Also all tourists which waited for the ferry the next morning slept already on this place. Thus the whole camping site as well as the whole access road was completely overcrowded. Luckily we have, compared to several motorhomes, a quite small vehicle and were able to get hold of a small gap right next to the hotel restaurant / bar and had a “great” first night in our roof tent – about 20 m next to an open air techno party of the neighbouring club.

The next morning after breakfast we drove south to one of the most beautiful spots of our trip – camping directly at the beach. Here we stayed almost 2 days and used the time for swimming, sunbathing or just doing nothing. It was really cool to wake up in the morning with such a view from the roof tent, go for a swim and have breakfast on the beach. At this point the awning paid off for the first time, as it provided the only shade on the beach.

  • just us
  • first night on the beach
  • our view on this day

Our next destination was the south of Corsica. Bonifacio, a small commune with a nice historical Our next destination was in southern Corsica. Bonifacio has a very nice historical old town on the cliffs at a height of about 70 m. We got a place on a camping site directly at the marina of Bonifacio to stroll a little through the small shops and to be spoiled by the restaurants in the harbour.

impressions of Bonifacio
impressions of Bonifacio ©Nico Schnee

The next evening we went on to our next offroad spot. Because we wanted to have dinner in Bonifacio we reached the offroad part of the track after sunset.

The desire for more headlights on the car was born. Also the use of normal street tyres caused some anxiety, as we were afraid to damage the tyres by the sharp stones of the track. Here, too, we will have to optimize for the next trip.

After another day on the beach in a small private bay directly below our stand we drove north towards the interior. Destination: Plateau du Coscione. Plateau du Coscione is the biggest plateau of the island at a height of approximately 1500 m. Here live wild horses, free living cows, mouflons and corsican pigs. The rich green pastures and humid meadows offer a contrast to the rest of Corsica. We explored the plateau during two hikes. Unfortunately, the last hike was interrupted abruptly due to a fast approaching thunderstorm. Thunderstorm: not the most comfortable situation in the middle of a plateau. Fortunately we reached the car in the last minute with dry feet.

  • us having a break
  • surprising encounter
  • so cute

After this thrill we decided to spend the next night in the comfort zone again – close to the sea. Again we found a nice place near Tizzano on the west coast of the island. Hidden behind some bushes we had a great dinner – pasta, beer, sunset and the sound of the sea.

Corsica’s coast is famous for genoa towers.
These towers were used from the middle of the 16th century to defend the island against pirates.
67 of these towers still stand today. They can be found on beaches, on cliffs or in flooded areas in the sea. The next goal was to explore such a tower and we went to Capo Rosso – the Genoa tower on the red rocks. The hike to the tower was quite hard. 35°C and almost no shadow place on the whole route. Besides we were clever enough to start the tour at noon. The climb on the rocks was like walking in an oven because of the hot stony ground and the glowing midday sun.

  • capo-rosso
  • say cheeeese
  • romantic time

Our journey led us further north through Calanche, a bizarre rock landscape of red granite.

Near Porto we found a small abandoned harbour – the best spot of our trip. Here we stayed almost two days. With a 30 minutes walk through the forest along the coast we could reach Porto. So we could enjoy the culinary delights in the small restaurants at the harbour of Porto without always having to fold up the roof tent again and use the car. And the best: now towards the end of our trip we found the spot for flat tipping in Corsica from the roof of the car into the sea.

  • back on the harbor
  • one of the last nights on Corsica
  • but we will come back for sure
finally the perfect place
finally the perfect place ©Nico Schnee

On the way north we crossed the Fango Valley. We used some nice spots for cooling off in the cool water and a little canyoning.

We went on to the northernmost point of Corsica for another small hike to another Genoa tower – the Genoa tower of Santa Maria della Chiappella, which is only half of it left in the sea. A really beautiful place. Also driving from Bastia towards the north on the east coast of the Cap Corse promises an unforgettable view of the sea.

We went back to Bastia to the already mentioned camping site near the harbour. Again we were lucky to get a small gap – for our last night on Corsica, this time without open air techno party. Early in the morning we started our tour with the ferry towards Savonna to drive back home.

back to the ferry
back to the ferry ©Nico Schnee

Conclusion after surrounding the island:
Corsica has a lot of different faces – the Mediterranean east coast with sandy beaches, beautiful green plateaus in the center and a hot, rough and stony west coast.

You can find campsites all over the island. Wild camping is like everywhere in France forbidden but on some spots accepted when you follow the rules of behavior.

A trip to Corsica is definitely worth it. 

Elevation map
Elevation map

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