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Tourism on Korsika


Tourism is a contentious issue for many Corsicans. Although the island is reliant on the associated revenue, its inhabitants are worried about preserving their already threatened cultural heritage.

Tourism in figures

The island’s 246,000 inhabitants played host to 1.4 million tourists in 2001, of which 73 per cent were from the French mainland, 17 per cent were Corsican-born people who live on the mainland and 10 per cent were not French, whereby half of these were of Italian origin. Nevertheless, although the ratio of occupied hotel beds per 1,000 inhabitants is therefore roughly five times higher on Corsica than on the French mainland, Corsica has so far been spared the excesses of mass tourism.
Camping has been particularly popular on the island since the 1980s, whereby the interior regions remote from the towns particularly lend themselves to camping since there are fewer hotels and hostels here. There are also of course many campsites along the coast, whose favourable climatic and geographical features offer optimum conditions.

Tourism focussed along Corsica’s coasts

Because three out of five tourists remain on Corsica’s coasts, the hotel industry and the holiday resorts have focussed on this sector. Those living inland complain, however, that the poorly connected interior of the country has been neglected in developing the infrastructure, and that the renewal of roads and the electricity grid has been given priority in tourist areas. A further aspect regretted by Corsicans is the high concentration of tourism during the three summer months, during which the population of some towns more than triples. After the end of the season, much of the revenue generated is lost to the mainland, from where almost 13,000 workers come to Corsica during the summer months and, with their often better tourism qualifications, are given preference over the locals.

We recommend coming in spring and autumn

For those visitors who like it quieter, we would certainly recommend coming during the spring or autumn months. The weather can still get you sweating in October and the sea is still pleasantly warm after the long summer. Although the water is somewhat cooler in spring, with a little luck you can go skiing in the mountains on one day and spend the next day basking in the sun on a beach.

Cycling and outdoor sports on Corsica

In addition to sun worshippers, sports enthusiasts are also fully catered for on Corsica. This island is simply too beautiful to not venture inland, whereby it provides excellent opportunities for forest walks, horse riding and cycling tours. Experienced cyclists can embrace the challenges provided by the steeper slopes while fun bike riders will appreciate the wonderful landscape and sights. The mountains offer excellent hiking opportunities and in recent years rock climbers have also discovered Corsica as a destination. Those who eventually have enough of the mountains can then spend a few wonderful days on the beach and rent a windsurfing board or take sailing lessons.