WHAT TO DO IN BASTIA IN WINTER?

Do you like Bastia in the summer? Then discover it in winter! The landscapes are swept by waves and sunlight during the day, while at nightfall the city lights up. You can enjoy Corsican specialities that you can only find during this period and the festivities are in full swing around seasonal events that have become essential. From the Italian Film Festival to the Chocolate Fair, including the Musicales de Bastia, the Christmas Market and the ice rink... It's all that, and so much more, in winter in Bastia!

Visit Bastia in winter: its rich heritage and museum

Discovering Bastia in winter is as exciting as in summer. Different but just as beautiful, the city is dressed in a pretty winter light during the day and wonderful Christmas lights at night. We love this period, because it is precisely the time to discover our heritage. Don’t miss the Citadel and its Palace of Governors, where the Bastia History Museum is located. You will also appreciate the religious buildings, such as St. Mary’s Cathedral and St. Croix Oratory with its legendary Rococo charm. We also advise you to make a stop at the oratory of the Immaculate Conception on Napoleon Street: inside, the walls are stretched with silk damask and the pilasters are covered with Genoa velvet. There is a hushed atmosphere that can’t be found anywhere else!

 

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Spending Christmas in Bastia

In December, Bastia really embodies the spirit of Christmas. Decorated with lights, it gives our city walks a magical side, mixed with the excitement of the gift race. The shop windows are all equally beautiful, the smell of roasted chestnuts and cookies coming out of the oven scent our way… The atmosphere is particularly warm! Every year, about thirty chalets are set up in the Market Square from mid-December under a starry sky of garlands, for the traditional “Mercà di Natale”. For several days, Corsican craftsmen, producers and creators gather to share with us delicious Corsican specialities and island know-how. It is here that you can shop for Christmas, enjoy a good Figatellu or grilled flat ribs with a glass of Corsican wine! You will also enjoy the activities organized: concerts, donkey rides, Santa Claus’ house… A giant ice rink is also installed throughout December on Place Saint-Nicolas….facing the sea!

 

Winter festivities in Bastia

A few days before winter, the Spassighjata in Bastia is the first event of the month of December that brings together runners from here and elsewhere every year. If you are sporty, this night race is ideal for visiting Bastia off the beaten track! This city-trail is the opportunity to discover the city “by night” in a particularly warm atmosphere in the middle of the city lights and the runners’ heads. It is the starting point for the Christmas activities organised throughout December, with polyphonic singing concerts in churches, guided tours of Bastia and its Christmas traditions in the heart of the Terra Vechja district. If you are a cinephile, don’t miss the Italian Film Festival in February at the Bastia Municipal Theatre. For a week, the whole city is on Italian time!

Taste the Bastiais winter specialities

Winter specialities in Bastia are not the same as in summer. They have this particular flavor that all the people of Bastia know, because they wait precisely 6 months to enjoy them! We are of course talking about Brocciu, which allows us to appreciate all the dishes and desserts that sublimate it: Migliacci, Storzapretti or Fiadone. It is also associated with the famous Pulenta de chestnut made with an incomparable grip and the emblematic Figatellu grilled, a star product of winter in Corsica. In December, we also like to fill up with clementines on the fruit side and enjoy sea urchins by the sea. Finally, as Christmas approaches, Corsican festive dishes are in the spotlight in restaurants in Bastia: it is the opportunity to taste candied cabri, Rivia, Corsican soup or wild boar with myrtle.

A shopping trip to Bastia

When temperatures drop, what could be better than to take a shopping break, in the warmth of the shops? From boulevard Paoli to rue César Campinchi, via rue Napoléon, you will have a wide choice to satisfy your shopping desires. These shopping streets bring together many Corsican shops, major brand names, bakeries, concept stores, antique shops and island creators. The Gloria concept store, rue César Campinchi, brings together in one place the works of a large number of these Corsican artists.  Whether it’s for your Christmas gifts or just to please yourself, you’ll love this winter window shopping!

Winter walks and hikes around Bastia

Winter in Bastia gives you the opportunity to see nature in a different light. The hiking trails you used to enjoy in summer are sometimes covered with a thin layer of snow, and most importantly, they are surrounded by mature myrtle berries! 5 km above the city, you will enjoy the Nivere walk, which starts in the village of Cardo. In 2h30 round trip, the route takes you to the remains of the old ice houses. If you are looking for heights, embark on the ascent of Monte Stello, the highest peak of Cap Corse, it is a splendid panorama overlooking a large part of the Cape that it offers us as a reward for its 1100 m of altitude difference. For a more accessible version on the sea side, head towards the Marana lagoon, 10 minutes south of Bastia. The long sandy beach is bordered by a particularly pleasant path in the middle of the lagoons. This is the perfect place to collect driftwood if you like tinkering!

Enjoy the sunrise

If there is a place to recommend to you to enjoy the sunrise in winter in Bastia, it is of course on the heights of the Jardin Romieu! Connecting the Citadel to the Old Port, this wooded park provides access to a panoramic terrace a few metres from the entrance to the Palais des Gouverneurs. With a breathtaking view of the sea, the sun’s rays colour the city with a winter charm that is the delight of all photographers.

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