Bastia, located on the island of Corsica, France, is a charming city with a rich history, picturesque landscapes, and a vibrant atmosphere. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or a food lover, Bastia offers a variety of attractions and activities. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Bastia:
1. Citadel of Bastia
Start your exploration by visiting the Citadel, a historic fortress overlooking the city and the Mediterranean Sea. Take a leisurely stroll through its narrow streets and enjoy panoramic views from the top. Within the Citadel, you’ll find the Governor’s Palace, the Oratory of Saint Roch, and the Museum of Corsica.
2. Old Port
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Head to the Old Port, known as Vieux Port, which is the heart of Bastia. The colorful fishing boats, lively cafes, and waterfront promenade create a vibrant atmosphere. You can sit at a café terrace, indulge in local cuisine, and soak up the lively ambiance.
3. Church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste
Visit the Church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste, a beautiful baroque church located near the Old Port. Admire its intricate architecture, ornate interior, and impressive organ.
4. Place Saint-Nicolas
Explore the main square of Bastia, Place Saint-Nicolas. This lively square is lined with cafes, restaurants, and shops, offering a perfect spot for people-watching. During the summer months, various cultural events and festivals take place here.
5. Romieu Gardens
Escape the bustling city and relax in the tranquil Romieu Gardens. This serene oasis features manicured lawns, colorful flowers, fountains, and shaded pathways. It’s an ideal place for a leisurely walk or a peaceful picnic.
6. Museum of Bastia
Discover the history and culture of Bastia at the Museum of Bastia. The museum exhibits a wide range of artifacts, artworks, and historical documents, giving you insights into the city’s past and Corsican heritage.
7. Cap Corse
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Take a scenic drive along the Cap Corse peninsula, located to the north of Bastia. The rugged coastline, charming fishing villages, and breathtaking views make it a must-visit destination for nature lovers. Don’t miss the charming villages of Erbalunga, Nonza, and Centuri.
8. Local Cuisine
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Indulge in Corsican cuisine, known for its unique flavors and traditional dishes. Try local specialties such as charcuterie (cured meats), brocciu cheese, wild boar stew, and Fiadone (Corsican cheesecake). Explore the local markets and restaurants to savor the authentic flavors of Corsica.
Bastia is surrounded by beautiful beaches where you can unwind and soak up the sun. Arinella Beach, Pietranera Beach, and Toga Beach are popular choices offering crystal-clear waters and sandy shores.
10. Wine Tasting
Corsica is known for its excellent wines, and Bastia is no exception. Take a wine tasting tour to discover the local vineyards and sample the region’s unique wines, such as the Patrimonio and Muscat wines.
11. Cap Corse Lighthouse Trail
Embark on a scenic hike along the Cap Corse Lighthouse Trail, which offers breathtaking views of the coastline. The trail takes you through picturesque landscapes, hidden coves, and charming villages. Don’t forget to visit the Genoese Towers along the way, which are historic defensive structures that offer panoramic vistas.
12. Bastia Market
Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Bastia’s local market. Located in the heart of the city, the market offers a feast for the senses with its array of colorful fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, and spices. It’s a great place to shop for local produce, interact with friendly vendors, and experience the lively atmosphere of Corsican markets.
13. Sainte-Marie Cathedral
Explore the grandeur of Sainte-Marie Cathedral, an impressive Baroque church located near Place Saint-Nicolas. Admire the intricate architecture, beautiful frescoes, and ornate decorations inside the cathedral. Take a moment to appreciate the serene ambiance and reflect on the city’s religious history.
14. Bastia Music Festival
If you happen to visit Bastia during the summer months, don’t miss the Bastia Music Festival. This annual event showcases a variety of musical performances, ranging from classical and jazz to traditional Corsican music. Enjoy live concerts held in historic venues and open-air spaces, adding a touch of melody to your visit.
15. Museum of Ethnography of Corsica
Delve into the cultural heritage of Corsica at the Museum of Ethnography. Located in a 17th-century palace, this museum offers fascinating exhibits that highlight the island’s traditional crafts, customs, and way of life. Explore the displays of traditional costumes, tools, and household items to gain a deeper understanding of Corsican culture.
16. Bastia Street Art
Wander through the streets of Bastia and discover its vibrant street art scene. From colorful murals to thought-provoking graffiti, the city is adorned with artistic expressions that add a contemporary touch to its historic setting. Take your time to explore the alleys and hidden corners to stumble upon these creative works.
17. Boat Trip to the Archipelago of La Maddalena
Take a boat trip from Bastia to the nearby Archipelago of La Maddalena, located just off the coast of Sardinia. Explore the crystal-clear waters, hidden coves, and pristine beaches of this stunning archipelago. Relax on the sun-soaked shores, go snorkeling in the turquoise sea, or simply enjoy the breathtaking natural beauty.
18. Bastia Walking Tour
Join a guided walking tour to uncover the hidden gems of Bastia. Local guides will lead you through the city’s charming streets, sharing stories and anecdotes about its history and culture. You’ll have the opportunity to visit lesser-known attractions and gain a deeper appreciation for the city’s character.
19. Jardin Romieu Concerts
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If you’re a music lover, don’t miss the Jardin Romieu Concerts held during the summer months. This series of open-air concerts takes place in the picturesque Romieu Gardens, where you can enjoy a variety of musical performances ranging from classical to contemporary. Sit back, relax, and let the melodies fill the air in this enchanting setting.
20. Bastia International Film Festival
Film enthusiasts should check out the Bastia International Film Festival, which celebrates cinema from around the world. The festival showcases a diverse selection of feature films, documentaries, and shorts, providing a platform for emerging talents and established filmmakers alike. Immerse yourself in the world of cinema and engage in thought-provoking discussions and screenings.
21. Sports and Outdoor Activities
Bastia’s natural surroundings offer numerous opportunities for outdoor activities. You can go hiking in the nearby mountains, enjoy water sports such as sailing or kayaking along the coast, or rent a bicycle and explore the city and its surroundings at your own pace. The rugged landscapes and scenic beauty of Corsica provide a playground for adventure enthusiasts.
22. Bastia Historical Walking Tour
Dive deeper into Bastia’s history by joining a historical walking tour. Knowledgeable guides will take you through the city’s historic districts, highlighting significant landmarks and sharing intriguing stories about the city’s past. From the ancient origins to the more recent events, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of Bastia’s historical significance.
Places and Things To Do