Love in Corsica

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I must.

I must, I must, I must: return to Corsica.

My time in Corsica was very short and very sweet. Here's why I must return. #Corsica #France #TheProfessionalHobo
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Whew! This is the last stop on my Club Carlson Global Traveler program; a 3-week, 8-country adventure through Europe, paid for and compensated by Club CarlsonSM (now Radisson Rewards). During the trip, I’m exploring the world of hotel points and how to take advantage of accommodations and upgrades with various strategies. 

In all cases, opinions expressed herein are my own; don’t worry – I haven’t sold my soul.

This article was originally published in 2013, and has since been updated for accuracy of links and formatting.

I must return to Corsica.

It’s not because a driver was waiting for me at the airport, like a heavenly beacon of light after the most harrowing series of connecting flights from Kiev that I’ve ever endured.

And not because I arrived just in time for an awesome sunset after a VIP welcome from Radisson Blu Ajaccio Resort & Spa.

Nora Dunn, The Professional Hobo, watching the sunset over the ocean in Corsica

It’s certainly not because I had a chance to practice my French – which I actually impressed myself to speak almost in totality without reverting to English.

It has nothing to do with the unexpected tour I received, which allowed me to see the capital city of Ajaccio (pronounced ah-shahxx-ee-oh), the various incredible viewpoints (really no matter where you look the views are awesome), have lunch on the harbour, and even a peek at “the real Corsica” in the old-world mountain village towns, with buildings made entirely of stone (no cement).

The countryside in Corsica

Nor my two hours of treatments in the largest spa in Corsica (which just happened to be in my hotel) to unwind and rejuvenate.

And Corsica certainly didn’t lure me in with its  incredible gastronomy (I ate more things-”tartare” than you could imagine in 24 hours).

Nor the props I got from people when I admitted to thinking of Corsica as its own country, which many of the residents would like. Some refer to the rest of France as “zee mainland” with a hint of distaste, given that they are working hard to preserve their own language (Corsican, similar to Italian) in addition to speaking French, and have a long history that has seen it as part of Italy, France, and a short stint as an independent nation.

Harbour with sailboats in Corsica

And I certainly mustn’t return to Corsica because of my unintentional love of “island life” – be it Hawaii, New Zealand, Grenada…and the many others I’ve spent time on.

It’s not because the cost of living is surprisingly reasonable (way better than Oslo, but not quite as good as Berlin).


Well, maybe my fierce desire to return to Corsica (as in to live, for a few months) has a little bit to do with all of the above.

But it’s also something more; something I can’t quite put my finger on (hence, my desire to return).

I had no intention of falling in love with Corsica. In fact, I had very few preconceived notions of the place; only a wicked sense of fatigue after this incredibly hectic 3-week, 8-country extravaganza.

I fell in love with Corsica, much to my own surprise – which is one of my favourite kinds of travel experiences.

Corsica coastline

And now, I must.

I must return….to Corsica.

1 Minute Corsica

Please enjoy this beautiful (intentionally over-sappy, before you think I’ve completely lost it) minute of pure, unadulterated, Corsica.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Want to learn about the other places I visited on this 8-country, 3-week extravaganza of a trip? Click here.

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20 thoughts on “Love in Corsica”

  1. Beautiful! I heard so many wonderful things about Corsica, one of those legendary travel places we are introduced to. Congrats on completing your CC journey Nora, happy to tweet this one for ya.

    Thanks for sharing the gorgeous imagery,


    • Thank you so much, Ryan! And what a journey it has been….despite my fatigue, I’ve been energized in a greater sense by it. Yay for travel! 🙂

  2. It was very nice to have you with us during this wonderfull day. Make sure to give us a call once you’ve decided to come !!! There is so much still to share about the island !!!

    • You bet! I can tell I barely touched the surface of Corsica; I look forward to my eventual return!

  3. I can certainly see why you fell in love, it is very beautiful. We went to Sardinia earlier in the year and loved that. With them being so close I guess they are very similar.

    Good luck with the Club Carlson. I signed up recently after staying in a Radisson and they are very nice hotels.

    • I’m glad you agree – on both fronts. I’m indeed inspired to continue to use my Club Carlson Gold points to stay in lovely hotels around the world; and I’ve heard wonderful things about some of the surrounding islands, so some more exploration is certainly in order.

  4. Hi Nora,

    in the recent photos, you look like slimmer and fitter!! Congratulations!!

    Just diet? Or a more intensive training? Or simply the good side effects of your love story?

    Anyway, you should also visit the North of Sardinia which is very close to Corsica!!

    Even more wonderful!!

    Enjoy your vacation!!



    • Hi Fab,
      I’m still getting back on my feet and recovering from the accident earlier this year. But I’m on the right track; thanks for noticing!

  5. first things first: I’ve been tweeting every day and YAY! You’re WINNING! Now that that’s out of the way… 😉

    I’ve ALWAYS wanted to go to Corsica. It’s just so so beautiful and remote and exotic to me, don’t know why. And your video is so European classic, loved it 🙂

    Happy to see you’ve had such a fantastic trip: can’t wait to hear the announcement that you’re the WINNER! 😀

    -Maria Alexandra

    • Hi Maria,
      Thank you so much for your support and voting; and it does look like I’m winning (fingers still crossed)!
      And yes. Corsica – yes. That’s all I can say! 😉

  6. My wife and I spent 13 months scouring the globe last year. Invariably on return people ask what was the highlight. How do you answer that? However we always throw Corsica into the mix, it is a special place. Keep your work coming.

    • Hi Gary,
      Corsica is indeed an awesome place; I’m glad you got to see both the mountain towns and the city ambiance.
      And yes – my least favourite question = what’s your favourite place! And funnily enough, I often find myself asking that of other travelers. Ha ha!

  7. Corsica is high up my list to explore. I went to Sardinia a few years ago and it was probably the best short break I did while I lived in Europe. Three days of sun, sea, sailing and… Italian food!!! I imagine Corsica would be similarly wonderful except replace the pizza and gnocchi with amazingly delicious french food.

    I love your snazzy purple outfit by the way!!!!

    • Ha ha – thanks, Bethaney!
      And yes – Corsica is a lovely combination of France, Italy, and something with its own distinct flavour as well. I’ve realized I’m typically drawn to island nations and communities (Hawaii, New Zealand, Grenada, and now Corsica…), and I wonder if there’s something to it. There seems to be a different pace and way of life.

  8. Corsica was such a big surprise for me! I can absolutely relate to your post. It´s such a small piece of land and yet so geographically diverse! Whether you´re a hiker, diver, swimmer, or simply a culture buff there´s something for everyone. We came in July just in time for one of their biggest rural festivals. Can´t remember the name, but it was all about the olive..local artisans selling their products presenting them with a real pride and passion, tasting every few of the most pleasant experiences we´ve had in Corsica.

    • Hi Jay,
      I’m glad I’m not the only one! That festival sounds pretty cool….maybe I’ll time my (hopeful, eventual) return to that!

  9. Very nice article ! I hope you’ll come back very soon in Corsica so you’ll be able to see a little bit more than “just” Ajaccio !!!!

    • Hi Elisa,
      Oh yes! Corsica is still high on my list; I’d love to stay there for a few months. Let’s see what this year brings! 🙂

  10. Hi Nora……

    Just wondering if you ever made it back to Corsica yet?
    I was just there back in June for 13 days, and it’s my favorite place in Europe.

    Swimming the Restonica and taking the drive from Corte to Evisa to Piana was simply amazing

    • Hi Steve,
      You know, despite my best efforts, I haven’t managed to return to Corsica. But it sure is on my list!
      Glad you liked it so much. Indeed, it’s a magical place, and on re-reading this post and watching (my own!) video, my desire to return has been renewed. 🙂

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