Once a sleepier isle, Corsica has been heating up lately with fashion-forward tourists visiting its stunningly craggy setting (it's the most mountainous island in the Med) and enjoying its unique culture. A quick jaunt from both the South of France and Tuscany, this technically French "mountain in the sea" is home to diverse beaches that draw the jet set, families, couples, and lone travelers who seek out the mega-yachts, calm beaches, and welcoming fishing villages. Pack up these picks and you're good to go.
Mountains and Valleys by Day
Corsica boasts wonderful hiking trails across the island, and many with splendid sea views and cultural draws (see: The Balagne Craft Trail dotted with picturesque villages). Bring along these hiking shoes in turquoise and gray ($84), to slip on with gear inspired by the Mediterranean: a bright blue hiking tank ($88), aqua hoodie ($70 by North Face), and charcoal-colored hiking pant ($99.99). To cool off post-hike, pack a black and white bikini ($60 for top; $50 for bottom), an easy stone-washed chambray tunic dress as cover-up ($370), and these linen derby shoes with espadrille soles in minty green ($45). Protect your peepers during the day with these versatile Stella McCartney sunglasses in go-with-everything gray ($225).
Cocktails with Views by Night
Chalk it up to the mountainous terrain, but there's something of a rustic-chic feel here. Dress accordingly in these charming Vanessa Bruno mini-stripe gray and white cotton pants ($135). With hilly backdrops, go for a sturdy stacked heel like these in brown and silver, aptly named "Corsica," by Free People ($138). Layer in a few handy wardrobe pieces, like this white and gray tee that's slightly cropped and has a lovely texture and pattern ($78 at Madewell), a print floral tank ($158) with dabs of coral and tangerine, or an orange tank with zip detail ($78). We also like the rustic feel of this orange and straw ikat print clutch ($260) and this sweet and breezy bird print dress ($69.90).
Beaches by Day
Looking to leave the city behind? Head to the Tavignano Valley, which has no roads, just a foot path. Dress in a Patagonia blue zip jacket ($149), athletic pant ($70), and Columbia trail shoe ($47.98). And for beachy days, add these robin's egg blue striped swim trunks ($148 by Marc by Marc Jacobs), a couple of tees like this fun one by Kitsune with a cute burger print ($79.28), and green Havaianas ($18) or sea-worthyblue rubber boat shoes ($150). For cooler days, it'd be wise to pack a lightweight chino in this fresh mossy green hue ($56).
La Balagne by Night
Dress in Corsica stays fairly casual, even in high season. Bring along a raglan tee in gray and cream cotton jersey ($130 by APC), which will go well with a sea blue chino short ($64.50), and a cotton hoodie in a sunset orange ($109) for informal affairs. For finer restaurants, a short-sleeved button, here in a fun multi-direction stripe, has a playful nautical vibe ($130 at Reiss). Then, add a few more design-y touches like this sleek watch in orange ($98), lightweight denim jeans in cream ($49.90), ore this weave leather belt with O-ring closure ($79.50).
Where to Stay
Porto Vecchio with its fresh seafood and fine beaches is often a good starting point for a summer holiday. The lovely Hotel Le Goeland takes full advantage of the setting right on the water. There are also excellent B&B options like Residence Les Jardins de Sainte Lucie and Les Jardins de Mathieu that are more intimate.
Over in Calvi, home to Corsica's most famous stretch of coastline, La Villa is a stylish luxury property with several different package options (including Jeep rental for the adventurous). But for those traveling with family or in larger groups, Villas Mandarine is a smart choice, and offers bang for your buck (er, Euro). Staying awhile? Perhaps go for the Residences Les Lauriers Roses, with 2- to 10-person villa style accommodations featuring full kitchens, located just 5 km from town.
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