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With around 2,750 hours of sunshine and 230 sunny days a year, Corsica is one of France’s sunniest regions. The considerably different heights on the island mean that the island also has various climate zones. For example, the typical central Mediterranean climate prevails to a height of 200 metres, with hot, dry summers and mild, damp winters in which the sea acts as a heat storage reservoir. 


The town of Ajaccio, which is situated on the west coast, has a mean maximum temperature of almost 30 C. In July and August the temperature is frequently over 35 C. The annual mean minimum is around 6 C, whereby frost is extremely rare here.
A climatic transitional zone prevails between an altitude of 200 metres and approximately 1,000 metres. Here there is 1,500 mm of rain each year, which is three times the amount in the lower-lying areas. A mild climate prevails between 1,000 and 1,500 metres, and above 1,500 metres there is an alpine climate zone in which snow can still be frequently found in summer. Winter sports are possible here well into late spring.

Winds on Corsica

As an island, Corsica is exposed to a lot of winds. During the summer months, the Libeccio blows most of all – a moderately strong southwesterly wind that can herald temperature fluctuations and rain. If there is an unusually clear day, this is probably due to the cold Mistral, which comes from the northwest. The Tramontane from the far side of the Alps also brings with it cool, dry air. With its warm and moist air, the Levant from the east forms the characteristic dunes along the east coast of Corsica and helps form lagoons. The northeasterly Grecale wind also brings with it moist air, but also causes sultry weather. Really hot air comes from the northeast, from where the Sirocco often brings with it thunderstorms. The last of the Corsican winds is the hot westerly Ponente wind, which only occasionally appears.

Land and sea breezes

Because the land and sea heat up by different amounts during the course of the day, as is typical for the Mediterranean climate, this creates additional land and sea breezes. For example, the Mezzogiorno sea breeze begins around two to four hours after sunrise and continues blowing across the island until a few hours before sunset. After sunset, this is replaced by the Terranu land breeze that blows the fragrance of the Macchia bushes away from the land out to sea. If, for example, you are out sailing just before the onset of dark, you need to take particular care so as not to be caught out by surprise. However, treacherous currents can also form during the day because the wind can blow in different directions and with different strengths between the capes. This often creates a cross sea, particularly where steep cliffs rise out of the sea.