Smell Corsica

Breath deeply the pure air of the Corsican maquis and stroll around wonderful local farmer markets


Corsica’s trademark fragrance is the maquis (scrubland), carried on the wind from the mountains to the coast. This heady mix of plants includes eucalyptus, juniper, rosemary, heather, myrtle, sage, mint, thyme and lavender. The yellow immortelle has the most distinctive aroma and is one of the most celebrated plants.

Visit Porto-Vecchio’s plant nursery ‘Les Aromatiques de l’Île de Beauté’ and meet horticulturalist Stéphane Rogliano, a specialist grower of the wild and aromatic plants of Corsica. Or roam the fragrant seven-hectare Parc de Saleccia, an amazing natural wonder and Corsica’s only botanical garden dedicated to aromatic plants and flowers from across the Mediterranean.

You can also smell wonderful local produce – fresh fruit and vegetables, fish and charcuterie, cheese and olive oil – at Corsica’s markets. One of the most popular is held in L’Île-Rousse on Tuesday mornings, in the shade of a 21-pillared portico resembling a classical temple.