Corsica is the fourth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea after Sicily, Sardinia and Cyprus. It is a popular attraction for tourists with both cultural aspects (with its main cities Ajaccio and Bastia and smaller towns like Porto-Vecchio and Sartène) and geographical features (Parc naturel régional de Corse).
The Calanques de Piana and Scandola Nature Reserve are listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The island is 183 kilometres (114 miles) long at longest, 83 kilometres (52 miles) wide at widest, has 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) of coastline, more than 200 beaches, and is very mountainous, with Monte Cinto as the highest peak at 2,706 metres (8,878 feet) and around 120 other summits of more than 2,000 metres (6,600 feet).
Mountains comprise two-thirds of the island, forming a single chain. Forests make up one-fifth of the island.
See also: Attractions in Corsica
Ajaccio is the capital city on the French island of Corsica. It is situated by the side of a large bay on the island’s west coast. Facing south it is sheltered by the mountains lying to the north which makes it popular as an all-year round holiday destination. Ajaccio functions as a seaport and a seaside resort.
Porto-Vecchio (Corsican: Portivechju) is a commune in the Corse-du-Sud department of France on the island of Corsica.It is the seat of the canton of Porto-Vecchio, which it shares with Sari-Solenzara, Conca and Lecci. Port-Vecchio is a medium-sized port city placed on a good harbor, the southernmost of the marshy and alluvial east side of Corsica.
Cargèse is a village in Corsica, to the north of Ajaccio. It sprawls from the top of a hill down to a small harbor. The town is best known for the Cargèse Institute for Physics, just outside to the south, which hosts conferences and summer schools.A bus runs twice a day between Ajaccio and Cargèse. Cargese is tiny: you can comfortably walk anywhere in minutes.
The town of Corte on the French island of Corsica is situated on a rocky outcrop above the valley of the Tavignano, it is clustered around an old fortress on the top of the rock. One side of the rock falls sheer, while the other side slopes more gently, forming the old town of Corte. Corte is situated in the central mountains of Corsica and for a short time between 1755-69 was actually the capital city of the island.
Bastia is situated towards the northern end of the island’s eastern shore at the foot of Cap Corse. The Genoese built a massive fort on the headland overlooking the old harbour. A century later as the town was flourishing, they built enormous battlements and a moat around the new settlement, creating a vast citadel that remains there to this day. In the 19th century a new port was built to the north of the old one and further settlements grew around it.
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