Van Life Corsica | Can you wild camp?

After a summer working in Morzine, we had the interseason (what we call September, October and November) to take a trip in Big Blue. We were a bit undecided on where we wanted to go, so at the last minute we decided on Corsica, via our beloved Piedmont of course.

A Few Days in Italy 

The first leg of the journey included a trip through the Mont Blanc tunnel and an overnight stop in Ivrea. There’s a free campervan aire next to the river which is ideal for wandering into the town. We had the best beer of our lives in Caffe Chillout. We carried on through Piedmont stopping over near Alba in Grinzane Cavour for a couple of nights bumping into fellow Cumbrians and eating lots of pasta, before heading south to Finale Ligure where we hopped on the early morning ferry from Vado Ligure to Bastia. I recommend booking Corsica Ferries in advance as the price increases significantly the closer to the date that you want to travel.

Arriving in Corsica

Driving back onto land in Bastia was slightly hectic as we were racing about a thousand other campers, but we soon found the road we needed to take towards Saint Florent, which is a pretty fishing village where we had planned to stay a couple of nights. We noticed that there were a LOT of signs banning wild camping which made us feel pretty uneasy so we found Camping Acqua Dolce which was €20 per night. Many of the campsites only took cash and were closing as it was the end of September so bear that in mind if you’re planning a trip to Corsica at that time. The coastline area around Saint Florent is stunning with gorgeous cove beaches and walking trails. We ran along the Sentier Littoral and were so happy to be back by the sea.

Saint Florent to Calvi

We had friends staying nearby in Calvi so set off to meet them and potentially find a wild spot to stay. Unfortunately, there were lots of signs banning campervans in certain car parks and areas that would have been amazing to wild camp, so we pulled into Camping Paduella. Again it was around €20 a night and it had a brand new outdoor swimming pool. We ended up staying here for two nights as we loved it! It was a great shaded campsite and Calvi had a great beach and a nice vibe. Our bikes came in super handy here to get around and we met our friends for a peninsula walk out to a fantastic viewpoint of West Corsica.

Corsican Mountain Roads

Leaving Calvi, we took the D81 mountain road to Piana. I had found a well known hike I wanted to do along Capo Rosso and I’m so glad we did it because it was absolutely stunning. We arrived late afternoon and parked for free at the start of the walk, which you could probably wild camp at. After our amazing hike, we carried on down the dead end road to Plage d’Arone – a stunning beach where you can wild camp in the car park. We loved it here and stayed for a few nights before the glorious weather we’d been having took a turn for the worse with thunderstorms on the way.

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

From Piana, we drove along the coastline to Ajaccio and stayed in Camping Les Mimosas to wait out the rain. Ajaccio was nice for a wander around but unfortunately it just rained and rained. We decided the next day to drive across the island to explore the area of Porto Vecchio. We pitched up at Camping Arutoli and by this point we were getting a bit annoyed at having to pay to camp but felt there was no alternative as there were so many other campervans around Corsica. I can totally understand why they have banned wild camping and there are places where you can do it but a lot of reviews on park4night weren’t very reassuring.

The Sun Made a Comeback!

After a few days of torrential downpour, the sun finally returned and it was nice to do another hike. We parked near Piccovaggia and did a nice circular along secluded beaches ending at gorgeous Tahiti Beach. That evening we drove to Bonifacio and got the (expensive) ferry to Sardinia. Although we enjoyed Corsica, we were excited to be heading back to Italy for wild camping, cheaper prices and more pizza!

Would We Return to Corsica?

If the weather had been nicer, I think we would have stayed a bit longer on the island to explore more of the east coast, but I felt like we saw a lot of what Corsica had to offer and we had a great time there. I’m not sure we would rush back in the van as there are so many more places to explore and Corsica is a little bit on the spendy side with the ferries being quite expensive if you haven’t pre booked earlier and drinks in bars were similar to that of prices in the Alps. Eating out as a vegan there is very limited and we didn’t explore that side at all as it was cheaper to just cook in the van. All in all, we enjoyed Corsica but won’t be back anytime soon!


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