A Traveler’s Guide To Corsica Isula
Lying within close proximity of the French mainland and the Italian Peninsula, Corsica Isula enjoys a pleasant Mediterranean weather, thanks to the emerald-azure Mediterranean Sea flanking it on every side.
Being a verdant mountainous region and a coastal region at the same time, it has something for everyone.
So, while you are planning your trip to Corsica, transportation within the island, accommodation and travel assistance on-the-go are some the biggest concerns that you have. Here are the means of transport to reach Corsica –
Flights And Private Flying
Corsica is well connected via air with UK, Germany, France and Netherlands.
There are also two-stage flights from Canada, USA as well as the Asia-Pacific region.
Air France and CCM Airlines operate flights to and from Corsica which has 4 international airports at Calvi (Northwest), Ajaccio (West), Figari (South) and Bastia (Northeast).
According to your itinerary, you should go for the closest airport so that your car journeys through the mountainous roads are not overly stretched.
Almost all the major locations in France such as Clermont-Ferrand, Bordeaux, Nice, Lille, Lyon, Marseilles, Nantes, Quimper, Nantes, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Montpellier as well as Orly in Paris are connected with Corsica through Wegolo, CCM Airlines and Air France flights.
Clermont-Ferrand and Ajaccio are also connected through the Regional Airlines during summer. Corsair and Nouvelles Frontieres are the special charter services from Corsica while CCM Airlines also has charter service between Ajaccio and Caen.
Cheap direct flights between UK and Corsica are operated by EasyJet, Thomsonfly and Corsican Places.
While the Sunday flights of Corsican Places operate from Gatwick, Manchester, Edinburgh and Birmingham, Thomsonfly operates from Birmingham, Gatwick, Manchester and Bristol.
From April through October on Sundays, the EasyJet runs flight from Gatwick to Bastia and Ajaccio.
From Other European Countries
If you are on budget, take flights to the continental airports of Nice or Marseille in France or to Pisa or Sardinia in Italy.
Sterling Airways, EasyJet, Norweigian Air etc. are some of the airlines operating from Bergen, Billund, Gothenburg, Oslo, Zurich etc.
During summer, you can take charter flights from Switzerland, Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Belgium. CCM Airlines have charter facilities between Ajaccio and Geneva.
From Canada And USA
Those traveling from North America can take affordable transatlantic Air France flight to Paris or to London with Virgin Atlantic or British Airways flight. Both Paris and London is connected with Corsica with Air France flights.
Private pilots can also enjoy the general aviation services offered by flying clubs as well as 4 commercial airports of Corsica and other clubs at Propriano,
Corte and Ghisonaccia. Corseus Helicoptere in Ajaccio offer helicopter tours around Corsica and you can also use them to reach the island.
Ferries To Reach Corsica
While some love the sea voyages, some opt for ferries for environmental reasons from France and Italy. Besides, many flights remain postponed or closed during early spring, winter and autumn.
Hence, it will be cheaper for you take a boat from Nice, Pisa or Genoa after the flight journey. Corsica Ferries is the leading ferry service provider from northern Italy and France.
Spacious and comfy boats are also offered by Moby Lines and SNCM which operate from Italy and France respectively.
Nice, Marseilles, Toulon, Savona, Genoa, Livorno and Santa Teresa are well connected with Corsican cities like Bastia, Ajaccio, Calvi, Porto Vecchio, Bonifacio and L’lle Rousse.
Exploring Corsica Isula After Reaching
After you reach Corsica, you can walk, hike, take a bike ride, or opt for road journeys and train journeys. It is better to reserve your taxi beforehand reaching Corsica as it will be cheaper.
Even if you have hired a car to drive on your own, it is recommended to be fully abreast of the routes, especially in the mountainous regions as they tend to be narrow, steep, with twists and turns and often closed. Those who are not habituated with mountain driving, should opt for main North-South Road along east coast.
Bastia, Calvi and Ajaccio are connected with each other through narrow gauge rail network.
The Corsica Bus Service operates bus service during summer, although the service is not so frequent. Motorbikes and bicycles can be hired if you want to travel alone.
Those not comfortable with walking, can hire horses and donkeys locally at some places.
Accommodation In Corsica
From luxury hotels to self-catered villas, apartments and gîtes, the towns and villages of Corsica have accommodation for everyone. Besides, Mairies has a number of old buildings which are converted into homestays. The options are following –
- Self-catering gîtes – Converted barns and houses and state subsidized highly controlled gîtes are there. Gîtes d’ étapes are perfect for riders and walkers who stay overnight during long distance traveling.
- Villas – Old converted villas with or without swimming pools are there along with purpose-built houses and housing complexes with swimming pools. Seaside and inland bungalows, holiday clubs (with and without restaurants) and mini villas are also great options.
- Hotels – Family hotels, luxury hotels, hotelieres, Residence de Tourisme are there offering lots of holiday activities. The Auberges or rustic restaurants with interior rooms are quite unique in terms of accommodation. Although the B&Bs are not many, Tables d’ hotes and chambres d’ hotes are there for gastronomy.
Syndicat d’Initiatives and tourist offices are there in Corsica where you will find both English and French speaking staff helping you out with basic information about the places worth exploring.
Apart from the tour ideas offered by these tourist offices, there are many bus companies offering island trips onboard. Besides, the local tour guides can be approached for guided tours, although it is better to call them beforehand to make a booking.
Traveler’s Guide To Sustainable Tourism
With virgin mountains and beaches and endemic flora and fauna, your Corsica tour can be turned into a sustainable tour with the following –
- Respecting natural environment and local culture; not hurting the sentiments of cultural communities or causing harm to nature
- Offering fair economic contribution to the local families after enjoying their service
- Using water and energy sensibly as they are valuable resources
- Preserving natural-cultural heritage
- Protecting wildlife and local sites while visiting