Located in Haute-Corse, Bastia is a city with many facets. Capital of Genoese Corsica, the discovery of its historical monuments offers an immersion in the heart of its long history. Throughout the year, the city comes alive with its terraces of restaurants and cafés, not to mention the festivals and other cultural events that provide entertainment as well as a glimpse of what we call the Corsican identity. Bastia offers superb walks along its colorful streets. One can marvel at the heritage and enjoy the local life, before taking paths leading to an incredible nature. On the one hand, there is the coastline, with the beaches of Bastia and Cap Corse with their translucent waters, but also the hilly hinterland rich in biodiversity and where buildings and perched villages full of mystery take place here and there. Discover an authentic city, enchanting nature, generous gastronomy, culture in abundance. An escapade in Bastia on a dolce vita air, to fully enjoy every moment.

Stroll to the rhythm of Bastia's must-sees

During a stay in Bastia, each street corner reveals a story. The discovery of the city begins with its citadel. Built on a rocky promontory in the 14th century, it offers a maze of alleys where the facades of the buildings display warm colors. It is also in this part of Bastia that you will discover several monuments that are not to be missed: the Sainte-Marie cathedral with its baroque interior; the Governors' palace with its bright orange facade which today houses the city's history museum; but also the Louis XVI gate, a royal triumphal arch pierced directly in the ramparts. A visit to the Bastia citadel is an opportunity to take the Aldilonda, a footbridge linking the Old Port to the Spassimare, which offers a sublime panorama of the blue reflections of the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Later, it is the Saint-Nicolas square that offers itself to the visitors. A meeting place for the people of Bastia, it has a wide esplanade bordered by the sea where palm trees, statues and terraces sheltered by plane trees are located. Ideal to stop for a drink or lunch. On Sundays, the crowd gathers to go bargain hunting at the flea market. Shopping can also be done along the inevitable rue Napoléon. You can stop in front of the Saint-Roch and Immaculate Conception oratories, before entering the trendy or more traditional stores, stalls and grocery stores featuring local products. You can also find good local products on the market place, which comes alive every weekend and remains a beautiful showcase of the soul of Bastia. Nearby, the Old Port is a great place to refresh yourself with a drink. Here you can quietly observe the colorful facades reflected in the water and simply enjoy a break with a definite Mediterranean atmosphere.

Still in the center of the city and marking the junction between the Terra Vecchia and Terra Nova districts, the Romieu garden overlooks the quays and offers a green setting where locals and visitors alike enjoy strolling along the paths lined with trees, statues and fountains, while keeping an eye on the sea.

Bastia, a cultural city

Bastia is a city of culture, like an open-air museum. This is evidenced by the presence of many religious buildings in the city, cathedral, churches, oratories, but also several cultural places scattered here and there. The Theatre of Bastia offers a varied program and although it is traditionally linked to theater and opera, today you can attend concerts, operas and other humorous shows. The Bastia Museum, which as mentioned above is housed in the Palace of the Governors, contains more than 10,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures and artifacts that provide a better understanding of the city's rich history. In another theme, the House of Sciences, A Casa di e Scenze, is the first Corsican museographic structure dedicated to sciences and more particularly to sustainable development and new technologies.

But the offer does not stop there. Visitors with a thirst for culture can also go to Alboru, a modern cultural center with an eclectic program, where there is a theater and a media library; to the Una Volta cultural center, a lively space rich in meetings, workshops and contemporary exhibitions; not forgetting the Mantinum, a belvedere with timeless architecture where concerts and other shows take place in the summer.

Among the festivals and events not to be missed in Bastia is Creazione, the Mediterranean Fashion and Design Festival. Taking place from June 16 to 18, 2022, this event has become a must-see and welcomes about sixty designers, artists and young island talents. For three days, the city shines the spotlight on creation and know-how.

Let's not forget Bastia in Cantu, where every Friday, from June to September, these polyphonic singing concerts take place in the Saint-Jean-Baptiste church. A real immersion in the heart of Corsican traditions. From April to October, the Légendines, unusual tours offered by the Intercommunal Tourist Office of Bastia, invite you to a journey into the depths of Corsican identity, its legends and traditions.

Note that to promote its heritage and cultural dynamism, Bastia is in the running for the title of European Capital of Culture in 2028!

Bastia, its surrounding nature and its treasures

If Bastia is a must-see destination in Corsica, it is also because it is the gateway to a natural beauty and a number of treasures. From the city, you can start by following the itinerary through the scrubland to reach the ice houses, E Nivere, of the picturesque village of Cardu. Built in the 16th century by the Genoese, they offer a superb panorama on the Cap Corse and the sea. Don't hesitate to take the paths leading to the "villages balcons", picturesque villages with a traditional habitat nestled in a marvelously preserved nature of the Bastiese hinterland. The views revealed on the surrounding nature are simply breathtaking. Visit Furiani, Ville di Pietrabugno, San Martino di Lota and San Maria di Lota.

The diversity of landscapes is characteristic of the surroundings of Bastia. You can walk, cycle or take a 4x4 to explore the hilly forests and steep mountain roads. There is also the sea, as a matter of course, with the presence of the natural marine park of Cape Corsica and Agriate. Maquis, bucolic paths, dreamy beaches, marine fauna of great richness, even endemic, the place is a small paradise for nature lovers.

On the hottest days, the beaches of Bastia await bathers and lovers of water sports in their greatest diversity. The beaches of Toga, Marana, Arinella, Miomo and Pietranera are to be discovered absolutely during a stay in the Corsican city.

Finally, you can vary the pleasures by going for a walk on the side of the natural reserve of the pond of Chjurlinu. This is the largest wetland in Corsica and is a real green lung in Bastia. Located between the river Bevincu and the Mediterranean Sea, the place is home to an incredible biodiversity, both animal and plant. To discover freely or during a guided tour. The history of the site is revealed at the ecomuseum of the Fortin, built in the heart of the reserve on the islet of Ischia Nova

Gourmet moments in Bastia

Lonzu, coppa, prisuttu, figatellu, goat's or sheep's cheese, Bastia and its surrounding villages are home to craftsmen who have preserved traditional methods to produce quality food. Typical products of a tasty mountain gastronomy. The tables of the littoral also put forward the products of the sea: lobsters, tuna, sea breams, mullets... Aziminu, the local bouillabaisse, is one of the specialties not to be missed.

As for drinks, the island's beers flow freely in the breweries of Bastia and its surroundings, but epicureans can also travel along the Wine Route to cross the vineyards and stop at the producers. From Cap Corse to Conca d'Oru, one can taste the muscats of Cap Corse and the sweet and complex wines of the AOC Patrimoniu. Various oenological experiences are proposed along the route.

The Route des Sens is a beautiful initiative of the island of Beauty to highlight local products and craftsmanship. It gathers wine growers, market gardeners, breeders, as well as honey producers, distilleries, craftsmen and owners of bed and breakfasts who assure the visitors of the quality of their products and services.