A place in history: Corsica's top historical attractions

Whether it's prehistoric remains, links to the Odyssey or Roman ruins, Corsica has a long and rich history that's well worth exploring — here are three spots to start with

Published 8 Apr 2019, 23:39 BST, Updated 14 Jul 2021, 11:51 BST
Filitosa, Corsica

Filitosa, Corsica

Photograph by Getty

Filitosa
Some of the most distinctive – and splendidly situated – prehistoric remains in Europe are to be found on Corsica. Surveying the coastal plains in the southeast of the island is a chain of towers containing the remnants of dwellings and granaries constructed around 1,500BC. But it's in the southwest that you'll find the greatest of all Corsica's archeological sites. In addition to the remains of fortified 'towers' built around rock outcrops, Filitosa holds an assemblage of anthropomorphic standing stones, strikingly carved with faces and swords. Whether memorial stones or warnings to would-be attackers no one is certain, but the menhirs have endured as potent reminders of the people who lived, hunted and farmed the area 8,000 years ago.

Bonifacio Citadel
After petering into a band of wind-bent maquis, the southern tip of Corsica has one final flourish in store before tumbling into the straits. A huge chalk cliff, weirdly eroded by waves and weather, rises sheer from water. The striated white walls screen an extraordinary secret. Behind them huddles a natural harbour, entered through a narrow opening between two headlands.

One of the legendary anchorages of the Mediterranean, Bonifacio has a long history. Homer mentions it in the Odyssey, and everyone from the Romans to the Pisans, Aragonese and French have left their mark. Today, it's a tourist honeypot, but one whose extraordinary location and beautiful medieval architecture effortlessly transcend the crowds that flood its cobbled streets in summer.

Bonifacio Citadel
After petering into a band of wind-bent maquis, the southern tip of Corsica has one final flourish in store before tumbling into the straits. A huge chalk cliff, weirdly eroded by waves and weather, rises sheer from water. The striated white walls screen an extraordinary secret. Behind them huddles a natural harbour, entered through a narrow opening between two headlands.

One of the legendary anchorages of the Mediterranean, Bonifacio has a long history. Homer mentions it in the Odyssey, and everyone from the Romans to the Pisans, Aragonese and French have left their mark. Today, it's a tourist honeypot, but one whose extraordinary location and beautiful medieval architecture effortlessly transcend the crowds that flood its cobbled streets in summer.

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