One of the most pristine and scenic islands in the Mediterranean, Corsica lies an hour by air from Nice or Marseille. This fascinating place is a logical complement to a vacation in Provence or the Côte d’Azur. Most of Corsica’s 100-mile-long, 50-mile-wide terrain is dominated by jagged peaks rising to more than 7,500 feet.
Despite its French connections since 1768, the island still has a hybrid culture resulting from five earlier centuries of rule under the Genoese. Calvi is particularly delightful and possesses the charming atmosphere of a 1960s Riviera town, its picturesque port backdropped by 16th-century fortifications. Narrow pedestrian passageways thread the fashionable waterfront, where seafood cafés overlook an animated marina.
Try to plan a visit during June, July or September. August should definitely be avoided because of the invasion of French and Italian vacationers, who rapidly outnumber the Corsicans.