One of the most pristine and scenic islands in the Mediterranean, Corsica lies an hour by air from Nice or Marseille. This fascinating place is a logical complement to a vacation in Provence or the Côte d’Azur. Most of Corsica’s 100-mile-long, 50-mile-wide terrain is dominated by jagged peaks rising to more than 7,500 feet. Despite its French connections since 1768, the island still has a hybrid culture resulting from five earlier centuries of rule under the Genoese. Calvi is particularly delightful and possesses the charming atmosphere of a 1960s Riviera town, its picturesque port backdropped by 16th-century fortifications. Narrow pedestrian passageways thread the fashionable waterfront, where seafood cafés overlook a lively marina.

I often think of the advice offered to Dorothy Carrington, whose ‘Granite Island’ is widely considered the best book in English about Corsica: ‘Get away from here before you’re completely bewitched and enslaved.’

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