WHAT TO DO IN BASTIA IN WINTER?
Do you like Bastia in summer? Then discover it in winter! The landscape is swept by the waves and the sun's rays during the day, while at nightfall the town lights up. You can enjoy Corsican specialities that can only be found at this time of year and the festivities are in full swing with seasonal events.
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 time of year, because it is the perfect time to discover the city’s heritage. Don’t miss the Citadel and its Governors’ Palace, where the Bastia History Museum is located. You will also appreciate the religious buildings, such as the Sainte-Marie Cathedral. We advise you to stop at the oratory of the Immaculate Conception in rue Napoléon: inside, the walls are covered with silk damask and the pilasters are covered with Genoa velvet. There is a hushed atmosphere that cannot be found anywhere else !
Spending Christmas in Bastia
In December, Bastia truly embodies the spirit of Christmas. Dressed in lights, it gives your walks in town a magical touch, mixed with the hustle and bustle of the race for presents. The shop windows are all as beautiful as each other, the smell of roasted chestnuts and biscuits coming out of the oven perfume our passage… The atmosphere is particularly warm! The Christmas market with about thirty chalets will set up from mid-December under a starry sky of garlands, on Saint Nicolas square for the traditional “Mercà di Natale”. For a few days, craftsmen, producers and Corsican creators will gather to let you enjoy delicious regional specialities and island know-how. This is where you can do your Christmas shopping, enjoy a good Figatellu or grilled ribs accompanied by a glass of Corsican wine !
Winter festivities in Bastia
Christmas events are organised throughout December, with concerts of polyphonic songs in the churches, guided tours of Bastia and its Christmas traditions in the heart of the Terra Vechja district.
If you are a film buff, don’t miss the Italian Film Festival in February (this year from 5 to 12 February). For a week, the whole city goes Italian !
Taste the Bastiais winter specialities
The specialities of winter in Bastia have this particular flavour that all the Bastians 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 of chestnuts made with an incomparable skill and with the emblematic grilled Figatellu, the star product of winter in Corsica. In December, we also like to fill up on clementines on the fruit side and taste sea urchins by the sea. Finally, as Christmas approaches, Corsican festive dishes are in the limelight in Bastia’s restaurants: this is the opportunity to taste the cabri confit, Rivia, Corsican soup or even wild boar with myrtle.
A shopping trip to Bastia
When the temperatures drop, what better way to take a shopping break than in the warmth of the shops? From boulevard Paoli to rue César Campinchi, via rue Napoléon, you will be spoilt for choice to satisfy your shopping desires. These shopping streets bring together numerous shops selling Corsican products, major brand names, old-fashioned shops, concept stores and island designers.
Winter walks and hikes around Bastia
Winter in Bastia gives the opportunity to see nature in a different light. The hiking trails you knew in summer are sometimes covered with a thin film of snow, and above all, they are surrounded by ripe myrtle berries! Five kilometres above the town, you will love the Nivere walk, which starts from the village of Cardo. The 2.5 hour round trip takes you to the remains of the old ice houses. If you are looking for height, climb Monte Stello, the highest peak of the Cap Corse, which offers a splendid panorama over a large part of the Cap as a reward for its 1100 m difference in height. For a more accessible version on the sea side, head for the lagoon of La Marana, 10 minutes south of Bastia. The long sandy beach is bordered by a particularly pleasant path in the middle of the lagoons. It’s the perfect place to collect driftwood if you like to tinker!
Enjoy the sunrise
If there is one place to recommend to enjoy the sunrise in winter in Bastia, it is L’Aldilonda, a balcony on the sea! To get there, head for the Old Port and its postcard setting. As you walk around the cove to reach the southern quay, you will discover the footbridge over the waves, an unusual structure built into the rock face, between the ramparts of the Citadel and the Tyrrhenian Sea which stretches as far as the eye can see.