Don’t mention France. Corsica’s citizens don’t think much of being part of its domain, and after you visit this “mountain in the sea,” you may well understand why. From its culture to its cuisine to its wild white sand beaches and formidable interior, Corsica feels a world apart. Endowed with quiet fishing villages, a clear Caribbean-like sea, Roman ruins, and distinctive hotels, the island remains free of the overdeveloped coastlines that mar other parts of the Med. Throughout history, different interlopers have tried to lay claim to Corsica’s strategically important Mediterranean position: Ionian Greeks, Etruscans, Carthaginians, Romans, and, recently, the Italians and the French have all tried to tame it, to no avail. The once violent movement for independence from France has calmed down, although you will see signs with the French words spray painted over, and the Corsican language—a Latin derivative similar to Italian—is invoked for privacy when nosy outsiders are around. Best of all is the diversity that’s contained within a 620-mile coast. Visit all four regions or hunker down in one secluded hideaway—regardless, you’ll see why this was the seductive spot where Ulysses almost holed up forever.