Corsica is a dream destination for holidays in family. Also known as the “Île de Beauté” in French, it offers an unparallelled diversity on only a few kilometres and benefits from exceptional weather throughout the year. Between charming hotels, boat trips and mountain hikes, it is perfect for relaxing and discoveries. Let’s head to Corsica for a colourful and tropical getaway, all while staying in Europe with baby.
From the île Rousse in Bonifacio, passing by Ajaccio and the Porto-Vecchio in Bastia, the coastline changes from delightful beaches with pristine waters to equally tantalising rock creeks and wild lowlands. At its centre, the island is crossed by a mountain chain where pine forests subtly merge with the sharp heights of the mountainous summits. From there, waters run to the ground and form natural lakes before flowing straight down again to the sea. Lovely villages blessed with a panoramic view over the azure-blue sea slowly appear as a fresco depicting picturesque local traditions. In this portion of land comprised between the mountains and the sea where the peacefulness of the waves join the calming sound of the flowing rivers from the steep rocky slopes, families discover simple joys. Nature is ubiquitous and procures quietness. Named as « île de Beauté » (Beauty Island), Corsica is the ideal destination to enjoy a restful stay for the younger children. Thanks to our practical guide, you will know when to go, where to stay and what to do on the island with your baby.
When is the best time to leave for Corsica with young children?
The weather in Corsica follows the reputation of the nickname the island was given: warm and sunny. Benefitting from a Mediterranean climate, Corsica offers travellers warm summers as the temperatures reach a 28 °C average. Winters are mild with temperatures ranging from 5 and 20°C. Influenced by the sea, the island knows rainy days here and there, especially during the months of January and February. At the centre of the island, in the mountainous lands, the climate feels much more alpine, and the summits even become snowy up until mid-June. Evening and nights in these mountainous parts are quite chilly, so a cardigan or a pullover would not be too much to bring. In the Haute-Corse, the northern region of the island, several winds blow: the Tramontane, the Mistral and the Libeccio.
The best period to go in Corsica then spans from the beginning of April to November, the warmer season. For relaxing holidays by the water, the months of July and August stand with the highest temperatures and a sea temperature ranging between 19 and 23°C. Yet, they are the months that attract the most tourists, so if you prefer calmer holidays with baby, plan your trip during spring time – you will witness the blossom of the scrublands – or choose autumn when the trees fade into ochre, crimson and mahogany colours, bringer of winter.
Best activities to do in Corsica with a baby
The joys of endless bathing in the pristine waters of the golden sunny beaches
We selected among the most beautiful beaches of Corsica those that are most adapted to our loved young tots:
- The Saleccia beach in Haute-Corse
Bordered with pines, a complete absence of human constructions, this long white-sand beach is secluded on the barren littoral of Agriates. Despite its wide aspect, strongly appreciated by families in search of large spaces and quietness, it is accessible. Not far from the beach, the town of Saint-Florent and its small lively harbour is the ideal place to finish the day around a delicious dinner by the water.
- The Ostriconi beach between Saint-Florent and Calvi
At the mouth of the Ostriconi river and a swampy area is set a lovely cove of a pristine water where children love to bathe. Found in a wild beauty, the beach is accessible after a 10-minute walk from the road where cars can be parked.
- The Ficajola beach in the Calanques de Piana
When exiting the village of Piana, a sinuous road let you reach a small pebble and sand beach. It is the only beach that can be accessed on foot in the orangey rocks calanques, Ficajola is worth the trip.
- The Chiuni beach, near Cargèse
This large beach is a paradise for anyone who likes nautical activities such as jet-skiing, windsurfing, towed buoys, etc. There is a free parking right alongside the beach which offers a very easy access for families in vacation with a baby.
- The Plage d’Argent or the Mare e Sole beach in the Ajaccio Bay
On the southern bank of Ajaccio’s gulf, this large fine sand area shines from afar just like silver, hence its name, as “argent” means “silver” in English. Under an XXL beach hut, fresh fish is cooked accordingly to the local traditions. A tasty moment to share in family, with a wonderful view on the Sanguinaires Islands.
- The beach of Palombaggia in the town of Porto-Vecchio
Very reminiscent of landscapes found on postcards, this beach located at the northern part of the island often is referred to as being part of the most beautiful beaches of Corsica.
- The Rondinara beach in Bonifacio
This dreamlike beach in the form of a near-perfect circle arc is made of calm and shallow waters. Comprised between two closing peninsula covered with scrublands, it offers a safe setting for children. It is possible to rent sunbeds and sunshades, per hour or per day, in order to keep baby away from the sun.
- The Lavezzi islands near Bonifacio
Alongside the coasts, the Lavezzi Islands are part of the most beautiful islands of the Mediterranean Sea. They offer an idyllic setting with incredible wild creeks. They can be accessed by boat from Bonifacio: departures for round trips are proposed to spend a whole day on the islands.
The long strolls on the marked trails that cross the coastline are unforgettable, just as the walks through the narrow alleyways of the villages perched in the heights are
- The sentier des douaniers is a very pleasant hike to do with children not far from Saint-Florent (download the route here). It is easy to do, not too long (roughly 2h30) and feasible while carrying a baby on your back. This trail offers an overview on the sea and starts on the East of Corsica, at the Pointe de la Parata and both follows the coastline and crosses the scrublands to reach the Saint-Antoine beach. This ideal route offers breathtaking views on the deep blue seas, which are dotted with islets here and there to admire from afar.
- In the hinterland, charming villages to be discovered, which all managed to preserve their authenticity. Those panoramic villages are true wonders to contemplate. Every single alleyway is worth a stop for pictures, to capture the exceptional landscapes that provide with the perfect setting for photo souvenirs with baby. In Calvi’s backcountry, perched in the heights of la Balagne, the charming and refined Pigna market town can be found. Sant’Antonino, also known as the “Luberon de la Corse”, another authentic gem of la Balagne is a charming and enchanting place that prevails over Algajola Bay and offers a complete 360° panorama. The medieval town of Sartène is yet another favourite place of ours, situated near Porto-Vecchio. At Cap Corse, the village of Nonza hanging on a cliff and emerging amidst the oak, pine and chestnut forests also is part of all Corsica’s relics. Its sloping alleyways and the wonderful Paoline tower raising so to flirt with the sky, much like the peaks of the Bavella mounts in the background make it a must-see location during a stay in Corsica.
- The visit of the imperial city Ajaccio, birthplace of Napoleon
The Gulf of Ajaccio, blending authentic villages, natural sites and fine sand beaches to perfection is the ideal place where to spend holidays in family. A stay in this wonderful gulf offers the chance to discover the ancient medieval city all together. Go through the Maréchal-Foch square at the heart of the city, rendezvous to Place de Gaulle where fiercely stands the statue of Napoleon – where lots of events take place during summer, it also is there that the Christmas fair occurs in December – visit the Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption cathedral and stop by in the Ajaccio market to discover the many local products.
- The Scandola Nature Reserve, part of the UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites
This reserve, secluded between land and sea is accessible by boat from Porto. For children, exploring this gulf on the sea through its grand granite cliffs, hidden creeks or mysterious caves truly is a magical time. Sea excursions can be done with baby, however, make sure to protect him from the sun. Little Guest wrote for you an article on this topic, with a comparative of the best sunscreen creams for babies.
- Hike to the beautiful Voile de la Mariée waterfall in Bocognano
The trail does not contain any difficult part and allows you to reach a 70-meter tall waterfall where you can bathe. The reputation of this wonderful waterfall is also linked to a legend, depicting a tragic love story that gave the name of this waterfall, « Veil of the Bride« . A rich man deeply fell in love with a young lady from a modest family and decided to marry her. Despite their union was being thwarted by her father who strongly disagreed with their ambition, they chose to marry, secretly. As the father learnt about their alliance, in his wrath, he planned to murder his now son-in-law. As the partners fled in the mountains, the bride slipped, fell from a cliff and disappeared below, with only her veil remaining, hanging on a rocky slope, hence « Le Voile de la Mariée« .
What to pack baby’s suitcase with when going to Corsica?
In Corsica, the weather is not something to worry much about. The island then is an ideal place for idleness holidays with a baby. However, be careful, as the sun can quickly turn from ally to enemy if our young tots are not properly protected from it. Make sure to bring a baby waterproof and hypoallergenic sunscreen produced with mineral filters originating from natural sources. Also protect your child from the sun with a hat, light clothes that both cover arms and legs and sunglasses. Little Guest made a comparison of a series of sunglasses and selected 8 trendy pairs of sunglasses that offer a great protection from the UV rays. In order not to forget anything with your young tot, here is a checklist of the most important items to bring while travelling with baby in Corsica:
- The teddy (take 2, to avoid any trouble if the first gets lost)
- A small blanket, slippers and a beanie to keep baby warm when the nights are colder
- A mister for particularly hotter days
- A hat, sunglasses and a 50+ SPF sunscreen to protect baby from UV rays
- Light and long clothing for visits and hikes
- Pyjamas and a baby monitor for the nights
The hotels recommended by Little Guest combine high-end standards and strict hosting norms to ensure to families a quality stay. The establishments listed in this article provide the equipment designed for children and offer personalised services alongside activities specifically dedicated to families. Then, no need for you to bring all your gear, as your hosts put at your disposal all that is needed for the youngest: bottle warmers, baby monitors, biological cosmetics, baby cots and beds, strollers, high chairs…
Our hotel selection in Corsica for families
The Hôtel le Pinarello, at Sainte-Lucie de Porto Vecchio
On the Corsica beautiful Southern part , in a peaceful cove of the Pinarellu Gulf hides a remarkable 4-star hotel. Facing the Mediterranean crystal waters, the Hôtel le Pinarello **** is designed to charm forever those who stay in this remarkable institution. The rooms unfold under the sunlight that enhances the walls and the materials, gilding them with its brightness. Whether they overlook nature or peaceful waters, they are meant for total relaxation. The hotel thrives to suggest the best aquatic animations for your and your family: swimming, paddle, diving, wakeboard or jet-ski are available for countless hours of fun under the sun. The Cinq Mondes spa will relax your body to the fullest and osteopathy sessions will totally rejuvenate you. The perfect opportunity to pass your boating licence in two days and go back home with a nice achievement.
- For baby: yes, the decoration is carefully thought and designed. Yet, the service is also flawless. The staff is mindful and pampers the youngest guests. Upon their arrival, babies, toddlers and children are greeted like kings with a welcome gift and beach-adapted equipment. Qualified babysitters will take care of you little ones while you lounge on warm sand. Icing on the cake, babies are looked after even for the food! May it be at Le Rouf Brasserie or at La Table du Pinarello, homemade purées may be ordered so your children can enjoy their tasty meal with you!
La Signoria, in Calvi
Located at the foot of the Corsican mountain and near the beaches, this ancient Genovese building from the 18th century welcomes families in a lush setting. Nestled in a green bower filled with hundred-year-old pines, olive trees and orange trees giving off delicious scents, this domain boasts with a family pool and a bubble bath where children are allowed. Parents can also relax in the spa of the hotel. Operated by the granddaughter of a healer, Marie Ceccaldin, the Spa Casanera is prosperous. The cares provided are based upon wild Corsican plants, also with biological oils from the île de beauté.
The soothing sound of the water that runs from the stone fountains found here and there in the hotel accompanies you until your room that is furnished with traditional and relaxing decoration. This tranquillity haven is ideally set at 10 minutes from the centre of the historical city of Calvi. Its heritage offers wonderful visits. From the Genovese citadel, the grand ramparts of the city to the Saint-Jean Baptiste, you will discover charming alleyways filled with original boutiques and restaurants that serve a delicious local cuisine.
- For baby: the outdoor pool of the hotel is heated all year round, so children and toddlers can enjoy it at all time and under the gorgeous sun of Corsica. The beach of Calvi is considered to be one of the most beautiful of the island. It provides with sunbeds, towels and sunshades that the hotel can offer to families upon request. To complete the high-standard services of this luxurious and intimate hotel, a welcoming gift, babysitting, connecting rooms and activities for children are made available.
How to go to Corsica?
Corsica can be accessed by plane after a 1h45 flight from Brussels, just 1h30 away from Paris and 2h20 from London, which makes of Corsica the ideal destination for close holidays with a baby. The landing is done in Ajaccio, the capital of the island in which the main airport is located. By plane, babies up to 2 years old travel on their parents’ knees and no charge is required for them. Even if there is no contraindication to fly with a newborn, it is preferable to travel with them abroad at least after they turn 1 month old. Our piece of advice is to install the baby seat on the window seat so to take advantage of the support the windows side offers and to feel more at ease when holding your baby in your arms. Do not forget a baby carrier to board more easily since you will need to leave the stroller in the storage hold of the plane.
For children aged less than 2, you have the right to board with a 12 kg cabin luggage in which you should take with you: a meal for the flight (there is no restriction on baby food in the cabin), diapers, wet wipes, a small blanket to keep baby warm, changing clothes just in case, and toys and games to keep him entertained during the flight (rattle, teddy).
And if your child is already older, Little Guest wrote for you an article full of advice so to make your trip safe and easy.
Have a nice trip in Corsica!
Audrey, 25 years, journalist, from Brussels