Visit Saint-Florent (Corsica): Top 12 Things To Do and Must-See Attractions

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Things to Do in Saint-Florent: The 12 Best Places to Visit

You’re going to Saint-Florent, in Corsica, and you’re looking for the best things to do?

You’re at the right place!

Saint-Florent is especially known for being the entry point to the Agriates desert, famous for its beaches listed among the most beautiful of the island!

In order to help you plan your stay, I have prepared this guide of the 12 best things to do in Saint-Florent, with all points of interest and must-see attractions.

In addition to this list of things to do and activities, I will give you itineraries to visit Saint-Florent in 1, 2, or 3 days as well as my selection of the best accommodations depending on your budget.

So, what are the best things to do in Saint-Florent? Where to stay?

Visit Saint-Florent: All Must-See attractions

1. The marina and the old town

The marina and the old town are the 2 best places to visit in Saint-Florent, as it’s the most lively part of the city!

With its nearly 1,000 boats and yachts during peak season, Saint-Florent’s marina is Corsica’s 2nd largest, after Ajaccio.

This small city is often compared to Saint-Tropez, as it welcomes many tourists every summer and even a few French and international stars!

Take a nice short stroll along the quays and discover the port’s many bars and restaurants. It’s an ideal place if you want to admire the sunset while having a drink on a terrace.

From the port, you can also take a shuttle boat to reach the Agriates desert. (detailed in the point 4 of this article).

Voyage Tips - Advice

As Saint-Florent is a rather small town, it’s better to visit it on foot!

You’ll find a paid (in summer) parking lot next to the port, and free parking spaces at the citadel or the stadium. South of the port, you can also park along the D81 road for free.

 

The marina of Saint-Florent
The marina of Saint-Florent

2. The citadel

The citadel is also among the best things to see in Saint-Florent. Walk in the old town’s paved alleys through Doria square to reach it.

This stronghold was built during the 15th century by the Genoese. You can visit the inside during summer, as it hosts temporary exhibitions of paintings and photos.

From the esplanade, in front of the citadel, you’ll have a breathtaking view of the whole Gulf of Saint-Florent, the Agriates desert and the old fishing port’s small houses on the waterfront!

Citadelle Saint Florent
The citadel of Saint Florent

3. Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral

The Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral is another place you should visit during your holidays in Saint-Florent.

Also known as the “Cathedral of Nebbio”, this 12th century church is dedicated to the Assumption of Mary. This Roman cathedral has been restored many times, and is now listed as a historical monument.

You can visit it every day between June and October.

Inside, you’ll discover the fresco of the 12 apostles (dating from the 15th century), and the remains of Saint-Florent, the village’s patron saint. These remains were found in Rome and brought back to Corsica in the 18th century.

The Cathedral is located 700 meters away from the old town, on the D238  road.

4. Agriates Desert

The Agriates Desert is clearly the must-see attraction in Saint-Florent’s surroundings. If you’re doing a road-trip in the North of Corsica, or spending your holidays in Saint-Florent, you should definitely discover this beautiful natural site.

Even if it’s named “Desert”, don’t expect a dry desert with sand dunes.

In fact, the Agriates desert is a large and wild mountainous region, once renowned all around Corsica for its agriculture, as the locals were raising sheep, growing wheat and producing olive oil.

You can discover restored sheepfolds and straw huts in the Regional Natural Park, around Ghignu.

In the Agriates Desert, you’ll also enjoy 2 sublime beaches, often ranked among Corsica’s most beautiful:

  • Saleccia beach, a large fine sand beach with turquoise waters, bordered by the pine forest
  • The equally beautiful Lotu beach, a bit smaller and with crystal clear water

You won’t find any deckchairs, umbrellas or toilets on these 2 wild beaches. There’s only a small bar on a path close to Lotu beach.

If you want to visit the Agriates desert, you can do a boat-trip from Saint-Florent (it takes about 20 to 30 minutes), or opt for 4WD excursion starting from the small hamlet of Casta (8 km from Saint-Florent).

You can also walk along the entire coast on the customs officers’ path, connecting Saint-Florent to Ostriconi beach.

This 35-km long hike takes more than 15 hours, but you can opt for a shorter hike, from Saint-Florent to Saleccia beach. Count about 5h30 for the round trip.

Voyage Tips - Advice

You’ll find more details about the best places to visit in the Agriates desert in my article: How to visit the Agriates Desert?

Agriates Desert
The Agriates Desert

5. Diving

If you’re staying in Saint-Florent for a few days, how about doing a first dive to discover Corsica’s magnificent seabed?

As the Gulf of Saint-Florent is renowned for its amazing marine wildlife, there are several diving centres Saint Florent. Most of them are located in the marina.

Count between 60€ and 70€ for a first dive. It’s a great activity for your whole family, as you can start from the age of 8!

You’ll find every information you need on the diving centre’s official websites:

Diving Corsica
Diving in Corsica

6. The other outdoor activities in Saint-Florent

During your stay in Saint-Florent, you’ll discover amazing natural landscapes. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a wide range of thrilling outdoor activities!

Quad Biking Corsica
Quad biking in Corsica

7. Saint Florent’s best beaches

What are the most beautiful beaches if you want to take a dip in Saint-Florent?

In addition to the beaches of Saleccia and Lotu I mentioned above, you can discover:

  • La Roya beach: located right next to the port and easily accessible on foot. This large sandy beach offers shallow waters and is therefore ideal if you’re with children! You can also enjoy many nautical activities, and rent deckchairs and umbrellas.
  • The beaches of Ospedale and Olzu: these 2 beaches are located north of Saint-Florent, towards Patrimonio. There, you’ll admire a beautiful view of the Gulf and the Agriates Desert.
  • Between Saint-Florent and Lotu beach, you can discover several beautiful small coves, perfect for a refreshing swim. The most famous are the Anse Fornili (a 20-minute walk from La Roya) and the Fiume Santu, 1h30 away from Saint-Florent.
Saleccia Beach
Saleccia Beach

8. The Patrimonio Wine Route

If you’re a wine enthusiast, you should do the Wine Route, located North of Saint-Florent, towards Cap Corse.

It will allow you to discover Patrimonio wines, PDO wines renowned all around the world. There are more than 30 vineyards you can visit in the region!

Most of them are located around the village of Patrimonio, only a 10-minute drive from Saint Florent.

The most renowned wine estates near Patrimonio are:

And if don’t like wine that much, you can still visit the small village of Patrimonio. The baroque church of San Martinu is especially beautiful, and you can also enjoy a nice view over the valley.

Voyage Tips - Advice

If you want more information about Patrimonio wines, you should stop by the tourist office of Saint-Florent. It’s located at 19 Punta, 20217 Saint-Florent.

Patrimonio Corsica
The Patrimonio Wine Route, in Corsica

The 4 best things to do around Saint-Florent

Now that you’ve visited the city of Saint-Florent and enjoyed the most beautiful beaches in its surroundings, it’s time to continue your itinerary in Northern Corsica.

Here is a list of the best things to see around Saint-Florent:

9. The Nebbio

If you’ve rented a car for your holidays in Corsica, you should go discover the Nebbio region, located near Saint-Florent. There, you’ll find beautiful typical villages and splendid panoramas over the coast and the region.

The best places to visit in Nebbio are:

  • Santa Pietro, with its church dedicated to Saint-John the Evangelist.
  • San Gavino di Tenda and its beautiful view of the Nebbiu river.
  • Rapale
  • Murato: in this village, you’ll discover the astonishing church of San Michele. Its exterior was entirely built in dark, green and white stones! It’s now listed as a historical monument.
  • Oletta and its splendid view of the whole Gulf of Saint-Florent.
Oletta
Oletta

10. Cap Corse

Let’s continue this Saint-Florent travel guide with an excursion to Cap Corse.

On the east coast of Cap Corse, you’ll discover typical villages and beautiful landscapes, such as:

  • Nonza, renowned for its large black pebble beach.
  • Ogliastro, the Marina d’Albu and its beach. It’s one of the best places in Corsica for kite-surfing and windsurfing!
  • Canari: in this village, you’ll discover the church of Santa Maria Assunda, and the San Francescu convent dating from the 16th century.
  • Barrettali with its small fishing port and pebble beach. On the road, you should make a short stop at Minerviu hamlet to see an imposing mausoleum, inspired by the Pantheon of Rome.

There are many marked trails starting from each village. During these 1 or 2-hour hikes, you’ll discover several small hamlets and points of interest such as Genoese bridges, chapels and mills.

You will find detailed information about these trails on the Cap Corse’s municipalities official website.

If you continue your route further north, towards the village of Centuri, you can hike the customs officers’ path. It’s divided into 2 sections:

  • Centuri-Barcaggio (4h one-way walk)
  • Barcaggio-Macinaggio (3h30 one way walk)

If you want more details about Cap Corse, have a look at my detailed article: Visit Cap Corse: the definitive guide.

Voyage Tips - Advice

From Saint-Florent, it’s easier to visit the east coast of Cap Corse, as it’s the closest.

If you want to discover the east cost and the north of the Cape, you should spend a night in Macinaggio, especially if you want to hike the customs officers’ path (All the info to plan your trip is in my Cap Corse travel guide).

Cap Corse bay
Panoramic road in Cap Corse

11. Bastia

Located a 40-minute drive from Saint-Florent, Bastia is the largest city in Northern Corsica.

It’s a good starting point for your holidays in Saint-Florent. The city has an international airport and is connected to the mainland by ferries from Nice, Toulon or Marseille.

Take some time at the beginning or at the end of your stay in Saint-Florent to visit it!

You can discover Bastia’s must-see attractions in one day:

  • St. Nicholas Square
  • Napoleon Street
  • The market place
  • The church of St. John the Baptist
  • The Old Port
  • The Romieu gardens and stairs
  • The citadel of Bastia
  • The Governors’ Palace housing the Bastia History Museum
  • St. Mary’s Cathedral

You can find detailed information about Bastia in my article: The 17 best things to do in Bastia. 

Bastia
Bastia

12. Ostriconi Beach

It’s time to conclude this list of the 12 best places to visit in Saint-Florent and its surrounding with Ostriconi beach.

This beautiful beach is located 45 minutes away from Saint-Florent by car. During your journey, you’ll discover beautiful landscapes and amazing views!

The large sandy beach, bordered by maquis, is listed as a great picturesque site, and is regularly ranked among Corsica’s most beautiful. 

Park your car along the road (there is no official parking lot) and walk for 5 minutes to reach the beach. From the road, you can admire a nice view of the beach.

Ostriconi Beach
Ostriconi Beach

How many days to visit Saint-Florent?

If you only want to discover Saint Florent’s must-see attractions and then continue your road-trip in Corsica, you won’t need more than 1 day.

Start your day by taking the boat shuttle to the Agriates desert and spend a relaxing morning at the beaches of Saleccia and Lotu.

Then, in the afternoon, take a stroll in Saint-Florent. There, you’ll discover the port and the old town, and admire a beautiful view from the citadel.

If you choose to spend 2 or 3 days in Saint-Florent, or if you’re staying there for your whole holidays in Corsica, you’ll have enough time to explore the city’s surroundings and enjoy great outdoor activities!

Here are my recommendations to organize your holidays in Saint-Florent:

  • 1 day to discover Patrimonio vineyards and the villages of Cap Corse
  • 1 day to visit Bastia and its surroundings
  • 1 day to do a road-trip in the Nebbio region and discover its typical villages
  • 1 day at Ostriconi beach
  • 1 day to enjoy one or several outdoor activities

Where to stay in Saint-Florent

  • Adonis Saint-Florent: Located 600 meters from the center of Saint Florent. The air-conditioned studios and apartments with a small kitchen and a balcony are starting from 70€, breakfast available for 9.50€. Strong points: the swimming pool, the cleanliness, the great value for money. It’s my recommandation for a budget stay in Saint Florent !
  • Hotel Tettola: Located 1.5 km from the port of Saint-Florent. This hotel offers double rooms starting from 90€ per night. Strong points: the swimming pool, the perfect location in front of the sea and close to the beach, the warm welcoming staff.
  • U Palazzu Serenu: This very nice and charming hotel is located in Oletta, only a 10-minute drive from Saint-Florent. This hotel is located inside a palace of the 17th century, overlooking the gulf and the Agriates desert. It offers splendid and spacious rooms, decorated with original works of art. As the hotel has only 6 rooms and 2 suites, it’s the guarantee to enjoy an intimate and quiet stay. You should book your rooms as soon as possible, to make sure it isn’t fully booked! The prices starts at 180€ per night in winter and 340€ in summer, breakfast included. What I loved: the large outdoor swimming pool, the magnificent view (even more at sunset), the warm welcoming staff, the quietness. It’s my recommendation for a luxury stay in Saint Florent!
U Palazzu Serenu - Oletta
U Palazzu Serenu – Oletta

Where to eat in Saint-Florent

  • Mamo La Tablée: this restaurant, facing the port of Saint-Florent, offers a great cuisine made with fresh and local products. The dishes are delicious and the staff is very kind.
  • La Gaffe: if you’re looking for a top-of-the-range restaurant in Saint-Florent, you should definitely go to “La Gaffe”, also located on the port. There, you’ll enjoy well-cooked and well-presented dishes and a top-quality wine menu. It’s clearly a great place to eat in Saint-Florent!
  • L’Auberge du Pêcheur: this restaurant serves great fresh fishes and seafood. Everything is delicious and the setting is really nice.

And if you’re an ice cream lover, you can end your meal at the “Maison Rovère”. It’s the best ice-cream shop in Saint-Florent!

Saint-Florent
Saint-Florent

How to get to Saint-Florent?

Saint-Florent doesn’t have an airport, and has no ferry links with the mainland.

You should arrive in Bastia, located a 40-minute drive from Saint-Florent. You can get there by plane or by ferry boat.

If you want to get the best flight prices to Bastia, you can use our flight comparator, in partnership with Skyscanner.

If you want to visit Saint-Florent and its surroundings during your itinerary in Corsica, you’ll have to rent a car.

Whenever I’m renting a car abroad, I always book my cars on Rentalcars.com. It will allow you to directly compare prices between all the car rental companies in Corsica.

Click the button below to check rental cars prices for your trip to Saint-Florent now:

Tourist map of Saint-Florent

I have created for you a tourist map of Saint-Florent and its surroundings, listing all the must see attractions and points of interest I have talked about in this article. You can display the map legend by clicking on the top left button, the one with a small arrow on it.


And you, what do you plan to see during your trip to Saint-Florent?

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visit Saint-Florent
Visit Saint-Florent: the 12 best points of interest
Vincent

Creator of the Voyage Tips blog, travel and photography lover. I give you all my best tips to plan your next trip.

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