Going on a family holiday to Southern Corsica, and are after things to do with the kids apart from going to the beach? It gets hot in summer, and the kids are at their happiest on the beach, it’s true. But if you’re not keen on sand or if you go in spring, there’s still a whole load of things for both kids and grownups to discover.
Here are my suggestions for outdoor activities that the whole family can enjoy. Holidays are a time to unwind, everybody knows that, and Corsica offers a picturesque natural setting in which to do so.
Arriving via Figari or Ajaccio
For a stay in Southern Corsica, you can choose between touching down in Figari in the south of Corsica, or in Ajaccio. In Figari you’ll be close to Porto-Vecchio and Bonifacio, but also Propriano and Sartène. Ajaccio will land you 70km away from Propriano, and 135km from Bonifacio.
Family Activities in the Extreme South of Corsica
The Lavezzi Islands
In the south east of Bonifacio you’ll find the Archipelago of Lavezzi, which you can visit by boat from Bonifacio. Stopover on Lavezzu island and discover its idyllic beaches. Remember your snorkelling mask and explore the seabeds. These islands are a nature reserve and part of a protected marine area, so fishing there is prohibited. It’ll take about an hour to walk around this nearly deserted island, following the mandatory marked trail – just don’t pick any flowers (or anything, for that matter).
About an hour later, you can catch the next boat. The return trip takes an hour, instead of the half an hour it took you to arrive to the island. Your cruise comes with a commentary as you discover Cavallo island and the coastline of the extreme south, and you can admire the cliffs of Bonifacio from the sea.
Discover the Prehistoric Site of Filitosa
The site of Filitosa is found in the north of Propriano, near the village of Sollacaro on the D57. A great thing about this prehistoric site is that it appeals to all ages.
Though discovered in 1946 buried in the scrubland, it wasn’t until 1954 that excavation began. It revealed a part of Corsica’s history, with its granite menhirs and pottery dating back three centuries before our time. The level of detail on the menhir statues, which you’ll see on the helmet or the weapons carved out there, is impressive. You can also discover the Torréen monuments and the village of granite huts. In the museum, you’ll have the chance to view at all the artefacts discovered at this site.
Bring the kids to visit this site, which will immerse them naturally in the megalithic era. The family price covers two adults and two children.
A Donkey Ride in Alta Rocca
It’s worth a detour to Alta Rocca to admire its beautiful countryside, and it’s easily accessible from Sotta, which is next to Figari, by taking the D59 road.
Alta Rocc’ânes is located in Serra di Scopamène and offers full or half-day hikes along the paths around the village. Kids need to be aged three or over to ride the donkeys. You can also opt for just an introductory version of this activity, allowing you to discover the farm and its surroundings.
This small farm is something the kids will love. Donkeys, as well as goats, ewes, ponies, chickens, rabbits, and even pigs, as well as explanations throughout the trail, will teach the kids about the daily routines and activities of farm life.
A Ride on a Transparent Sea Kayak
On Pinarello beach, to the north of Porto-Vecchio, you can hire transparent sea kayaks. It’s an amazing way to discover the seabeds as you drift over the water. Naturally, all children must be accompanied by an adult.
Adventure Park Near Porto-Vecchio
The A Tyroliana adventure park is located 23km away in the north of Porto-Vecchio, and you can get there via the D168A to Sainte-Lucie-de-Porto-Vecchio. This park, which opens from April to the beginning of November, is full of activities your children will love: treetop adventure courses, canyoning, electric scooters, and paintball.
This 10-hectare park, located on the bank of a river and surrounded by nature, will thrill kids and grownups alike. The youngest of the bunch (under 3 years of age) can play in the fortified wooden castle, or go on the swings, the slide, etc.
- There are 10 treetop adventure courses, two of which 3 year olds can go on, and then there are some for 5 year olds, some for 9 year olds, and others for older and more sporty people.
- Canyoning is aimed at children 7 and up. There are four different trails taking you along to discover gorgeous waterfalls and natural swimming pools.
- The electric scooters are aimed at children older than 10. Naturally, on these hikes you’ll be accompanied by a guide.
- Paintballing takes place out in the countryside, and anyone 8 or above can take part. You can take part in this activity as a family, in teams of 2 to 24 players.
Family Activities Around Ajaccio
The A Cupulatta Turtle Village
This turtle village is the only one of its kind in Europe. It’s located 20km from Ajaccio, on the T20, towards Bastia.
The A Cupulatta park (‘cupulatta’ means turtle in Corsican), located in a 2.5 hectare nature reserve, is home to no less than 170 different species covering a total of over 3000 animals. They raise, study and protect turtles from all over the world. Your children will be thrilled to learn about how different kinds of turtles feed themselves, how they reproduce, … It might even end up being the topic of their next school presentation!
Turtles hibernate, so the park is closed for winter from mid-November. From April to October, A Cupulatta is open 7 days a week, even on public holidays.
Intro to Rock Climbing in Ajaccio
You always need an indoor activity for the kids in case it rains (and believe it or not, that does happen).
Bloc Session, located in Mezzavia in the outskirts of Ajaccio, has 150 climbing boulders for every level, covering a surface area of 400 m2. Yann loves helping little ones discover this sport by offering introductory courses for children from 4 to 6 years old, and for 7 to 14 year-olds.
Who knows, maybe in a few years they’ll give climbing one of Corsica’s mountains a go?
A Visit to the Naporama Museum in Ajaccio
The very small Naporama Museum in Ajaccio is a treat not just for children, but grownups too. It’s themed around Napoleon and his history, telling his tale with scenes which have been recreated with Playmobil®.
This is a chance to get to grips with Napoleon’s history, and history in general. As you go along the recreated scenes, the passionate owner will be telling you all about the history behind them. It’s best to call ahead and book a visit in advance.
Visiting Southern Corsica as a Family
This is just an overview of the different activities you can share with your children.
Depending on the mountain trail, you may come across animals such as pigs, goats, cows or donkeys, and though this may not be an activity in itself, it’s a change of scenery from everyday life…
Whatever you choose, Corsica is the perfect place for family holidays, and an excellent way to reconnect with nature.