Prepare to be mesmerised by the sight of sheer cliffs plunging into the Mediterranean, villages clinging to the side of the rock face, gorges hewn out of the stone, hills bristling with chestnut and olive trees: Corsica's nickname - the Île de Beauté - is spot on! It is often forgotten that the snow-capped summits of this "mountain in the sea" peak at a giddy 2 700m. In the Balagne region, you go from the golden beaches of Calvi Bay to the high mountains, following the mythical GR 20 to reach Monte Cinto, Corsica's highest mountain. Further south, remarkable granite sculptures, the Calanche of Piana, preside over the Gulf of Porto in a formidable rocky setting. Who could tire of the spectacle of landscapes as far as the southern tip of the island, where Bonifacio gives the impression of teetering on the lofty white limestone cliffs? On walks through the maquis or at the markets of Bastia or Ajaccio, listening to the locals speak of their passion for their Corsica, the potent scents and flavours of this land are intoxicating.