Hi everyone, I am planning holidays and considering two islands: Madeira and Corsica. I would like to relax some time on nice beach but even more, I am fonder of experiencing the culture, food and nature. Which one would you recommend me? Thank you for any ideas :)
I've never been in Madeira but I live in Corsica and this is one of the best and awesome places on Earth.
The culture is alive and deeply owned by every corsican people on the island.
It's literally a mountain on the sea so you'll find beautiful beaches, places charged with History like Ajaccio, Corte, Calvi, Sartene, but also a lot of natura sites on the mountain side like Gorges de la Spelunca, the natyral swimming pools and waterfalls in Piscine Natirel De Aïtone where you can hike.
You can visit the Reserve Naturelle De Scandola (mer) which is part of the Unesco site Gulf of Porto: Calanche of Pianaand one of the only reserv in Europ that has an equally area on the sea and the land.
The food is delicious with many traditional specialities such as fiadone, ambrucciata and others specilities made with chestnuts, brocciu (fresh corsican cheese), clementine...
The sunsets are spectacular and the landscapes offers so many differencies every few kilometers that you have the feeling you change island : once you are in a landscape with giant red granit cliffs falling down the sea in Gulf of Porto: Calanche of Piana and then you enter in an area of spectacular limestone cliffs in BonifacioDefinitely a place to visit once in your life!
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I have not been to Corsica so I can not say much there, but I have been to Madeira more than 10 times as I work there regulary and it's a fantastic island in terms of nature, but be ware that there are not much to speak of in terms of beaches as they are rocky exept for one at Machico where they have imported some sand from Sahara.
There are many public outdoor pools though and they are very popular for swimming.
Culturally speaking it's a very nice island with Funchal being the main city with several attractions.
Camara de Lobos is a small idyllic fishing village a little west of Funchal which is also worth visitng.
Monte just above Funchal is very nice too with a good botanical garden and a little church where Charles the 1st of Austria is buried.
Hiking is fantastic in Madeira as long as you are not afraid of hights as you walk along the old waterways called levadas and there are often very steep decents there.
On the northern side of the island you have Porto Moniz which I personally like a lot because of the dramatic nature there.
It's a former whaling station but since Portugal joined the whaling ban in 1986 they have build a nice aquarium there in the old fort.
And you have good whale watching too on Madeira if you like that and you will almost certainly see dolphins too on such a trip.
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