The sea has cast its most beautiful spell over Bastia, eternally binding this city to the water. As a result, Bastia owes much of its magic to its many kilometres of coastline bathed by the sea. This city has developed a great range of activities that allow locals and visitors alike to discover Bastia from the sea.
By paddleboard, kayak or jet ski, starting off from the old port or the beaches of Marana and Arinella, and up to Cap Corse, the landscape of Bastia reveals itself in all its great variety and intensity – with a band of light sand bordered by pine forest, against a backdrop of hills and vegetation. Meanwhile, other areas offer up coves dominated by mansions, Genoese towers and rocks, all baptised, the people of Bastia being intimately familiar with each and every fissure, often used by young people for diving or as meeting points.
Aboard their vessels, the professional fishermen of Bastia – having opted to expand into pescatourism – can present these stretches of sea and coast like no other, offering up all the very best anecdotes as they set sail in pursuit of their passion each and every day. All this, before sharing local fishing techniques with you and explaining how the traps of yesteryear were made, or perhaps recounting the role of the magazzini in the little ports of Cap Corse, once used to store and preserve goods. As you sail, they will remind you of the many wrecks littered on seabeds around Corsica, not far from Bastia.
As a result, whether diving or snorkelling, you’ll have the chance to uncover some beautiful surprises on the outskirts of the city. This is an opportunity to take a spectacular drop, enter a submerged cave and come face to face with the sea’s preserved fauna and flora. Bastia is nothing less than the gateway to the largest marine nature park in continental France! A unique area in the Mediterranean, distinguished by the diversity of its marine, seagrass and coralline habitats, together with the presence of multiple species: various lobster, including the European spiny lobster, dentex and more.
Seabirds and dolphins are also loyal occupants here. You might even have the chance to admire them on a tour or outing, by sailboat or semi-rigid: the choice is yours.
Enjoying the spray, some true Bastian inland beauties can be found just minutes from the sea, on the hikes that wind between the hamlets of the balcony villages. The heights of Furiana and Ville-di-Petrabugnu, the valleys of Mandriale, in Santa Maria di Lota, or the paths connecting Pietranera to Alzeta are therefore must-sees, to be explored on foot, by mountain bike or on horseback.
Further away and higher up, you’ll find the tapered ridges of Cap Corse. The mid-mountain guides – great lovers of their region – know how to take on these hikes, offering you all the essentials: knowledge of the plants, pastoral culture, toponymy and geology, all inevitably calling back to that sea air that collides with the shapes and forms of the landscapes.
Other hiking trails make the most of this link between inland Corsica and the coastline, by quad or 4×4, including stop-offs for picnicking and swimming, to discover a host of other natural wonders – including the famous Agriate desert, crossing via a rocky track that’s sure to offer your trip a touch of adventure, before finally leading you to two white paradises: the beaches of Lotu and Seleccia, just a stone’s throw away from Bastia, their doors cast wide open to the stunning Corsican nature our island has to offer.