From vivid, popular festivals to low-key, regional celebrations, this island of culture and beauty hosts a large number of events throughout the year.
Be it a religious festival or a celebration of food, music or cultural history, Corsica provides many wonderful opportunities for travellers to experience the traditions of the island. With numerous festivals celebrated throughout the year, many of which are specific to certain towns, wherever and whenever you choose to stay in Corsica, you will never be too far from an event.
Corsica is a strongly Catholic island and, as such, there are a number of religious festivals throughout the year, but Easter is the most celebrated with processions in many towns and villages. Some of the better known include:
Bonifacio: The Procession of the Five Orders
Calvi: A Passione
Sartène: U Catenacciu
Erbalunga: La Cerca
Each marks the crucifixion of Christ in quite different ways, ranging from the traditional A Passione accompanied by Corsican polyphonic singing, to the more sombre U Cateracciu which re-enacts the walk to Galgotha by Christ and hooded penitents.
BD à Bastia (Festival of Comic Strips & Cartoons)
3rd to 6th April. This annual festival held in the Place St Nicholas brings together cartoonists and illustrators from around Europe to exhibit their latest works.
Art’ è Gustu, Aléria: (Art and Taste)
26th & 27th April. A demonstration by top French chefs in collaboration with local talent to illustrate of how Corsica can produce truly excellent cuisine.
A Fiera di u Casgiu, Venaco (Celebration of Corsican Cheese)
3rd & 4th May. Following the age-old farming tradition, on the first weekend in May, many of Corsica’s inhabitants descend on this small village south of Corte to exhibit, buy and sell a wide array of cheeses produced on the island.
Classic Tennis Tour, Porto Vecchio
8th & 9th May. An annual gathering of some of the veterans of tennis in a friendly challenge.
Tour de Corse, Cycle Race
24th–31st May. The 700km+ race that passes through Bonifacio, Solenzara, Corte, Bastia, St Florent, Calvi, Porto & Piana before returning to the starting point in Ajaccio.
3rd Fête Photographique, Ghisonaccia
30th May–1st June. Numerous exhibitions and workshops will held demonstrating a wide range of photography subjects including studio photgraphy, sports photography, stage lighting, macro, technical and material matters, strobist and pinhole techniques, light painting, image processing software etc.
I Pescadori in Festa, Ajaccio & Festimare, L’Ile Rousse (Fish and Seafood Festival)
29th – 31st May. The thanksgiving to Saint Erasme, the patron saint of fishermen, involves parades through the streets of the town and exhibitions and stalls selling fresh fish and seafood
Corsica Raid Adventure
7th–11th June. A 5 day Iron Man challenge involving mountain biking, canyoning, sea kayaking and snow running, centred around the Alta Rocca mountains and the village of Lecci.
Calvi Jazz Festival
18th–22nd June. For over 20 years, jazz protagonists from far and wide have gathered to perform in open-air concerts, run workshops or just jam long into the night.
Fête de la Musique (Festival of Music)
21st June. Bastia, Calvi, L’Ile Rousse, Lucciana, Pigna & Prunelli di Fiumorbu all hold processions of musicians young and old simply to celebrate the joy of music.
Cavall’ in Festa, Corte (Horse Fair)
9th & 10th June. This annual fair is held to celebrate the importance of equine involvement in many elements of Corsican life for thousands of years.
Calvi on the Rocks
4th–9th July. The ‘love-it-or-hate-it’ annual gathering of techno-pop aficionados performing late into the night around Calvi and on the beach.
Fiera di u Vinu, Luri
12th & 13th July. Wine producers from every region of Corsica assemble to compare their wines and invite the public to taste their produce and celebrate the continuing improvement in the quality of Corsica’s wines.
Festival des Arts Vivants, Bonifacio
4th –12th July. An exhibition of traditional art such as painting, sculpture & music, along with plays and theatrical presentations.
14th July. The French National Day holiday, celebrated across the island, with street parties and extravagant firework displays.
Fiera di l’Alivu, Montemaggiore (Festival of the Olive)
19th & 20th July. This annual festival has around sixty exhibitors demonstrating the art of producing olive oil to a standard that has now achieved AOC status in Corsica. In 2013 over 10,000 people visited this festival!
Les Nuits de la Guitare, Patrimonio (Corsica’s Guitar Festival)
19th – 26th July. Attracting big music names from around the world that have included Robert Plant, Joe Cocker, Patti Smith and even Tom Jones! Groups such as TOTO, Deep Purple and Simple Minds have also performed and this year features the return of Jeff Beck, French stars, Christophe Maé and ZAZ and Status Quo.
Nuits du Piano, Erbalunga (Piano Festival)
25th July – 1st August. A classical music festival, centred around concertos for the piano, and attracting renowned pianists from around the world.
Festival de Film, Lama
26th July – 1st August. This tiny village hosts a week-long festival showing both mainstream and niche films in a multitude of languages and attracts many visitors who come to Corsica especially for the event.
Fiera di l’Amandulu, Aregno (Festival of the Almond)
2nd & 3rd August. Celebrating a, hopefully, bountiful almond harvest and has demonstrations of the various ways in which the nut is used in Corsican recipes.
Porto Latino, St Florent (Latin-American Music Festival)
2nd–5th August. This popular merengue/salsa/samba influenced music festival takes place in and around the town’s tiny citadel, which has attracted the likes of Earth, Wind & Fire, Kool & the Gang and Charlie Winston
Feira di Musica Classica, Santa Reparata di Balagna (Classical Music Festival)
7th – 9th August. Singers, pianists, cellists and violinists featuring pieces by composers including Tchaikovsky, Dvorâk, Ravel and Puccini in open-air evening performances in the village square.
Festival Padul’Ella, Moriani Plage (Modern Music Festival)
8th & 9th August. This free, open-air festival - which features only female performers - is growing in its reputation and is beginning to attract some well known names.
Assomption de Marie
15th August. The religious festival marking the passage of the Virgin Mary into heaven. It is a major feast day in the Corsican calendar with many church masses and street processions.
Fiera di U Nuciola, Cervione (Festival of the Hazelnut)
16th & 17th August. Taking place in the church square of the village, locals gather to exhibit, taste and buy/sell hazelnuts grown in the Castagniccia and Casinca regions of the island.
Rencontres de Chants Polyphoniques de Calvi (Polyphonique Singing Festival)
9th–13th September. This international festival brings together groups and soloists from both Corsica and further afield. Protagonists of polyphonique singing meet in the heart of Calvi’s citadel to perform and illustrate the diversity of this genre of music.
Festa di u Ficu, Peri (Festival of the Fig)
14th September. A local festival celebrating the harvest of the fig from the trees in the Gravona region of the island, north east of Ajaccio.
U Mele in Festa, Murzu (Festival of Honey)
28th September. Over 70 stalls set up in the streets of the village where you can taste and buy honey made by many different species of bees and see numerous exhibitions by beekeepers.
Fiera A Santa di U Niolu, Casamaccioli
8th September. Held in this small village in the Niolu region for over 5 centuries, this is one of the island’s oldest celebrations, held in honour of the Virgin Mary, with masses, traditional chants, performances and a 3 day rural fair
Please note event details can change.
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