It’s summer and you’re figuring out whether to visit Corsica or Sardinia for your holiday. Both islands bask in the Mediterranean sun, have rugged interiors and plenty of gorgeous beaches. The 7 mile channel separating the two islands is crossed via a 50 minute ferry ride. If you’re not able to fit both islands into one trip, here are our thoughts on how the islands are different, the best things about each island and whether Corsica or Sardinia is the right island for you. 🏝
THE CONTENDERS: CORSICA OR SARDINIA?
🇫🇷 Corsica is a 3,350 square mile French island off the western coast of Italy known for wild boards, verdant hills and blue waters. In the summer, Corsica hosts Calvi on the Rocks, one the best summer music festivals in Europe. And did we mention the island has tons of amazing French cheese?
🇮🇹 Sardinia lies 11 kilometers south of Corsica, covering 9,300 square miles (3 times the size of Corsica!). Sardinia has phenomenal sandy beaches, great wind for sailing, windsurfing and kitesurfing and boasts everything that is amazing about Italy – like the food! like the wine! like the style!
So, we’re here to help you decide which island to visit: Corsica or Sardinia? 🗺
Hi, I’m Lids. I’m a U.S. ex-pat who lives in London. I’ve spent a week in Sardinia on summer holiday (stayed in agroturismos and five-star digs and driven up/down the island looking for windy beaches to kite). I’ve also travelled through the rest of Italy on other trips. I’ve spent a ton of time in France and am heading to Corsica this fall (so post to be further updated). That said, a bunch of my friends have visited/spent whole summers on Corsica because of family on island. So I’ve chatted their ear(s) off to get the scoop for Travel Honey and help you figure out whether to visit Corsica or Sardinia below!
THE PROS AND CONS
If you’re limited on time or logistics and need to choose between visiting Corsica or Sardinia, consider this:
If you love beaches, head to Sardinia where you can choose from 200+ sandy and pebble beaches with clear, bright blue water. Our favorite Sardinia beaches include Porto Pollo in the north, La Cinta in the west part of the island and Poetto beach in the south. These beaches have spots for refreshments and are amazing for water sports! If you want to explore, rent a car and beach hop. Sardinia has beaches near camp sites, pine forests, fishing villages and near the luxurious resorts of the Emerald Coast, a 55 kilometer stretch of coast where the ocean is an iridescent green color.
But if you prefer mountains with lush green vegetation, head for Corsica. Corsica is home to steep, granite peaks and rocky trails. It’s home to the legendary GR20 hiking trail which takes 15 days to hike and bisects the island, and Corsica National Park (there are tons of shorter hiking routes through the park). Wild cows and boar run amok in the hills, often straying into beaches and roadways (and causing headaches for local authorities). The island has a long-practiced and respected tradition of hunting in the mountains as well.
If you’re looking for glamour and glitz, look no further than Porto Cervo on Sardinia’s Emerald Coast. This plush stretch of sand is home to Cala Di Volpe, a hotel known for old-school glamour, its enormous pool, beachside location and icon guests (like Jay-Z and Princess Diana). Spend your days shopping for Prada, Bulgari and Valentino near Porto Cervo’s main square, dine at the Porto Cervo Yacht Club, lounge with the cool cats at the Phi Beach or Nikki Beach clubs or hang by the water and spot mega yachts.
If you want a more low key, authentic experience, then Corsica is the better bet. To connect with the land, stay at Domaine de Murtoli, a private nature reserve and working farm with 10+ houses, 3 restaurants (one on the beach, one in a cave, one under ancient trees) located on 5,000 acres of land. Corsica has beautifully designed contemporary hotels like Casadelmar and La Plage Casadelmar as well but they are not as flashy as what you’d find in Sardinia.
Meat-eaters and cheese connoisseurs – head for Corsica where you can feast on wild boars who forage for chestnuts. You can also sample cheeses from sheep and goats who thrive grazing in the hills. Corsican forests are filled with edible mushrooms and island bees make the best honey from nearby wildflower fields. Corsican food is hearty and stays close to land. Anyone who appreciates a good, thick, meaty stew or soup will love the island. When visiting, don’s miss the generous meats and cheeses served at Chez Seraphi, perched high up in the Corsican mountains.🍗
Those who love pasta and fish will do well in Sardinia. The malloreddus is a dumpling shaped pasta with many ridges on its outer shell, made for sopping up sauce. This uniquely Sardinian pasta is traditionally served with tomato and sausage sauce and is available on most restaurant menus. Sardinia is also all about the ocean, seafood is fresh and plentiful. Head for any cafe or shack near the beach and order the grilled lobster or any gorgeous Mediterranean fish (even fish roe!). Our fave seafood spot is Fratirossi. For a more rustic meal, check out Agriturismo Su Connu where veggies and pasta are sourced right from the farm. 🍝
Last and this may be stating the obvious, but the question could come down to whether you simply want a more French (Corscisa!) or Italian (Sardinia!) experience on your holiday. Like French croissants, beret hats and bikes? Then all signs point to French Corsica. Like Italian Aperol Spritzes, fashion and pizza? Then Sardinia is your best bet.
Both islands are great and you can read more about our take on Corsica here and Sardinia here. If you need to decide between visiting Corsica or Sardinia, here is our call: We recommend Sardinia for gorgeous beaches, glamour and delicious seafood. We recommend Corsica for rugged mountains, low key holidays and meat-enthusiasts. The choice may also come down to something as simple as to whether you are seeking a more French (Corsica!) or Italian (Sardinia!) vibe during your time away. So, onward and safe travels ✈🏝