Visit Saint-Florent (Corsica, France)
Saint Florent occupies a wonderful position with clear blue seas, white sandy beaches and a lovely harbour to one side and craggy hills covered in trees and bushes rising up behind. Dominating views of the village is its Genoise citadel, built in the 15th century.
Saint Florent is found on the western side of the base of the Cap Corse peninsula, in the north of Corsica, 24km from Bastia.
Exploring Saint Florent
Saint Florent is a very popular resort town on Corsica. It sits on the gulf of Saint Florent which is one of the most attractive coastal stretches of the Mediterranean and is close to the beach of Saleccia which is one of the best Mediterranean beaches.
Saint Florent's lovely harbour fills up with fishing boats, luxury yachts and cruise ships. All along the harbour are bars and restaurants including, not suprisingly, lots of excellent fish restaurants. Beautiful by day it is also lovely at night when the cafes light up the waterfront and out at see the lights of the boats are dotted around the bay. Up above the town the citadel is also illuminated. Some of the best views of Saint Florent can be seen from here.
From the harbour wind your way upwards through the charming streets of the old town and up to the citadel. On the way stop at the Place des Portes and enjoy a drink whilst overlooking the sea below. This is where the locals gather to play Petanque and sit drinking strong expresso coffee.
The citadel was built in 1440 and was of great importance in the defence of nearby Bastia and the battle for control of the mediterranean waters. Indeed Admiral Nelson is reputed to have said "Give me the Gulf of Saint Florent and I will prevent any ships leaving Marseille or Toulon". Of genoise origin the citadel has also belonged to the Aragonaise, French and Italians at different points in history. Saint Florent was also of importance in the second world war. It was occupied by fascist Italians but local resistance groups were active in helping the allies. Corsica was the first French department to be liberated and a key battle for liberation took place at Saint Florent between German troops and a company of Moroccans. There is a Muslim cemetery for the dead on the edge of the town.
The citadel is an attractive round stone building and from here you get fabulous views over the town, the sea and the mountains.
Places to visit near St Florent
Go across to the other side of the Gulf de Florent - from here the town appears very small and unassuming, with the dark brooding mountains poised behind the light limestone buildings of the town.
When you've finished sightseeing in the town head off to see the nearby Cathedral of the Nebbio, a small cathedral built on the site of the original Roman town that existed close to where Saint Florent now stands.
Heading north-west from the town visit Saleccia - the village renowned for its white sandy beach, which is said to be one of the best beaches to be found anywhere on the Mediterranean. The beach is half a mile long and backed by tree covered hills. Access is quite difficult and locals and celebrities tend to arrive by boat rather than car to avoid the congestion. Luckily the beach is large and so can easily accommodate large numbers. Kylie Minogue has been seen holidaying here in recent times.
Finally make sure you sample the local wine - the region is very fertile and produces one of Corsicas best wines in the vineyards around Patrimonio - the village itself is 6km north-east of Saint Florent and a good place to start exploring (and tasting) the local wine.
See also Saint Florent Corsica
Photos taken within 10 km
Address: Saint-Florent, Conca-d'Oro, Bastia, Haute-Corse, Corsica, 20217 || GPS: latitude 42.681, longitude 9.303
Map of Saint-Florent & places nearby
Highlights close by
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Saint-Florent, France
- Eglise de Santa Maria Assunta (Saint-Florent) - religious monument
- Eglise de San Michele (Murato) - religious monument (11km)
- Bastia - town of art and history (12km)
- Chapel Saint Quilico (Olcani) - religious monument (15km)
- Lama - ville fleurie 4* (16km)
- Eglise de Notre-Dame-des-Neiges d'Erbalunga (Bastia) - religious monument (17km)
- Eglise de Santa Maria Assunta (Canari) - religious monument (19km)
- Cap Corse - site of natural beauty (19km)
- Eglise de San Raineru (Montegrosso) - religious monument (21km)
- Eglise de San Parteo Mariana (Lucciana) - religious monument (22km)
The French version of this page is at Saint-Florent (Francais)