Reaching Corsica by sea: The main departure ports

port bastia corse

Corsica, a Mediterranean jewel, has always been a coveted destination for its natural beauty, pristine beaches and cultural heritage. Every year, thousands of travelers choose the sea route to discover the Isle of Beauty. If you feel like setting sail towards Corsica, several major ports on the continent open their arms to you.

Marseille: The flagship port of the south of France

The Phocaean city, rich in its history and Mediterranean culture, is home to one of the most dynamic ports to reach Corsica. The port of Marseille offers a wide range of maritime connections to several Corsican cities, including Ajaccio, Bastia and Porto-Vecchio. The journey, offering a breathtaking view of the creeks, is in itself an experience in its own right. As soon as the continent moves away, the traveler can already feel the very essence of Corsica that calls to him.

Nice: A picturesque crossing to the Isle of Beauty

Nice, an emblematic city of the Côte d’Azur, is also one of the main gateways to Corsica. The port of Nice offers regular crossings to Calvi, L’Île-Rousse and Bastia. By opting for Nice, the traveler benefits from a double attraction: a stopover in a city of a thousand and one wonders before embarking for magical Corsica. The crossing, shorter than from Marseille, offers a magnificent perspective on the waters of the Riviera and announces the change of scenery to come.

Toulon: The perfect alternative for Corsica

Located between Marseille and Nice, the port of Toulon stands out as an interesting alternative for those who wish to avoid the hustle and bustle of large ports. From Toulon, several connections are offered to Ajaccio, Bastia and even Porto-Vecchio. The major advantage of this port lies in its ease of access, especially for those coming from inland. The gentle crossing allows you to appreciate the splendors of the Var coastline before diving into the Corsican island world.

Focus on the picturesque ports of Corsica

Corsica, nicknamed “the Island of Beauty”, has not stolen its title. With its heavenly beaches, majestic mountains and picturesque villages, it is a popular destination for nature and culture lovers. But if you really want to taste the essence of Corsica, you will have to approach the island by sea. Let’s discover together the Corsican ports which not only offer strategic access routes to the island but also breathtakingly beautiful panoramas.


Nestled in the northwest of Corsica, the port of Calvi dazzles with its citadel dominating the horizon and its azure waters. An essential entry point for those arriving from Nice or Toulon, this port offers a first glimpse of the wonders of Corsica. With its ramparts and its history, Calvi is a majestic gateway to begin your island journey.

Rousse Island:

Further east, Ile Rousse, with its emblematic lighthouse and its red islands which give it its name, is an essential stopover. The port, lined with palm trees and café terraces, invites you to relax upon arrival. A stroll along the marina reveals elegant yachts and traditional fishing boats, testament to the region’s maritime wealth.


Heading towards the northeast, the port of Bastia stands out as the economic heart of the island. The excitement is palpable, with ferries coming and going, providing the connection between Corsica and the continent. The view of the old town, with its colorful houses and baroque churches, is a feast for the eyes.


Heading south, the Corsican capital, Ajaccio, welcomes you with its port in the heart of the city. Napoleon Bonaparte’s birthplace, local markets and history museums are just a short walk away. The seagulls, the sound of bells and the smell of sea salt remind you that you are in the heart of the Mediterranean.

Porto Vecchio:

To the south-east, Porto Vecchio is known for its dream beaches like Palombaggia or Santa Giulia. Its port, although smaller, is a hub for sailing enthusiasts and boating enthusiasts. The old town, perched high, offers a panoramic view of the marina, a spectacle not to be missed at sunset.

Bonifacio, maritime jewel of southern Corsica

When it comes to maritime splendor, few ports can rival that of Bonifacio. Located at the southern end of Corsica, this natural port is framed by impressive limestone cliffs, creating a breathtaking landscape. Approaching from the sea, the hilltop city appears to hang over the abyss, a sight that has left its mark on many travelers throughout the ages.

The port of Bonifacio is a harmonious blend of history and modernity. Contemporary yachts and pleasure boats rub shoulders with traditional fishing boats, offering a diverse maritime panorama. Restaurant and cafe terraces line the port, offering visitors a chance to sample Corsican cuisine while enjoying stunning sea views.

One of the major assets of this port is its direct access to the famous Bouches de Bonifacio, a strait separating Corsica from Sardinia. The proximity of these two Mediterranean islands makes the port a preferred starting point for cross-border excursions.


Finally, to the west of the island, the port of Propriano is a hidden pearl. Less crowded than its counterparts, it offers a more authentic experience. The green hills surrounding the port and Valinco Bay make it a peaceful and charming place, ideal for recharging your batteries.

Each port of Corsica has its own soul and its own charm. Whether a quick stop or a final destination, these ports are the starting point for countless Isle of Beauty adventures. Let yourself be lulled by the song of the waves, taste the local cuisine in a port restaurant, or simply contemplate the natural beauty of Corsica, it all starts here, in these picturesque ports that are the heart of the island.

Reaching Corsica by sea is an adventure in itself. Whether you choose Marseille, Nice or Toulon, each crossing is a promise of discovery and wonder. These three ports, ideally located on the Mediterranean coast, offer regular and comfortable connections for all those who dream of escaping to Corsica. Each departure is an invitation to travel, each arrival a promise of exploration on this island where the word “beauty” takes on its full meaning.