A preserved Island
A Preserved Island
Between sea and mountain, Corsica has many surprises in store
The tourist wealth of this veritable miniature continent lies undeniably in its natural heritage. In this sense, Corsica differs from the idea one has of the Mediterranean islands. In fact, no other island is as green as Corsica: from its Laricio pine forests and emerald-green mountain lakes, to its fragrant maquis [scrub], cooling high mountain pastures and wine-growing lands. If Corsica is an “emerald isle”, it owes it to its unique topography in the Mediterranean: this “mountain in the sea” is well deserving of its nickname, with 120 peaks above an altitude of 2 000 m, which remain snow-capped until the spring. The 25 watercourses that flow through it make the island the best irrigated in the Mediterranean Basin. To top it all, Corsica offers the luxury of 1 000 km of the richest, most varied coastline. With a Parc Naturel Régional [Regional Natural Park] that covers two-thirds of its surface area, Corsica is a well-preserved island divided between nature reserves and listed sites.
The island offers visitors all the very best of nature: rich fauna, the heady scents of its diverse flora, including numbers of endemic species, as well as the captivating colours of its sites. To maintain this balance, the Parc Naturel Régional de Corse [Corsican Regional Natural Park], which stretches over 3 500 km² of both land and sea, is a permanent site for preservation activities carried out by its officers. Five Réserves Naturelles [Nature Reserves] and one Parc Marin International [International Marine Park] have been created for the protection of unique and fragile flora and fauna. Another mission entrusted to the officers of the Corsican Regional Natural Park is to maintain the footpaths, which offer visitors an incomparable view of Corsican nature. Paths such as Da Mare a Mare (‘from sea to sea’, i.e. from west to east), Tra Mare e Monti (‘across sea and mountain: from north to south) and the famous GR20 (one of the most difficult and spectacular walks in Europe) are unforgettable ways to discover Corsican nature.