Getting Around, Corsica Travel, Transport and Car Rental
Getting to Corsica is really quite straightforward, either by ferry transport or by air travel. There are four airports on the island, with British Airways providing a service from the UK. Other types of public transportation, including bus and train are, to put it mildly, poor.
For touring the island, a hire car really is essential. Whilst driving around Corsica may be relatively easy, do bear in mind that along the way you will likely encounter some very sharp bends and drops, which can be quite alarming. Be sure not to be distracted by coastal views and leave plenty of time, so that you can travel at a relaxed pace. Worth noting, the fastest road on Corsica is the N-198,
which connects Bonifacio with Bastia.
Aeroport Ajaccio Campo dell'Oro (AJA), Aeroport de Bastia-Poretta (BIA) / Arriving by Air
Address: Ajaccio and Bastia, Corsica, France, FR
Tel: +33 0496 23 56 56 / +33 0496 54 54 54
All of Corsica's airports are small and provide only the most basic of services. Currency exchange facilities on arrival are limited and it is generally best to buy euros before your journey. The airport at Ajaccio is the largest of the four facilities and lies approximately 15 km / 9 miles from the town itself. Airlines here support flights to France, Switzerland
, the UK and the Netherlands
, and connect with Ajaccio via a shuttle bus and a taxi service.
Bastia Poretta Airport (tel: +33 0495 54 54 54) serves similar routes, many of which are seasonal, and transportation to Bastia is again by shuttle bus or taxi. The two other airports, St. Catherine at Calvi (tel: +33 0495 65 88 88) and Figari, (tel: +33 0495 71 10 10), are smaller still and handle the remainder of the island's seasonal air traffic.
Hiring a car in Corsica is essential if touring the island is part of your travel plan. Bus and rail routes are few, as are the buses and trains themselves. Hiring a car on arrival at either Ajaccio or Bastia airport is straightforward, with a good choice of companies represented. A number of car hire firms are also located within the main tourist towns.
Buses and Coaches
Travel by bus on the island is impractical, as there are only a few main routes, with an average of two buses a day on each.
Bus transport is operated by a handful of private, independent companies, with the longest distances being covered by Eurocorse. Outside of the summer season, buses seldom run on Sundays. Coaches are not available, and town bus services are also rather limited.
Those wishing to travel by train on Corsica will find that this is often not possible, since the island's narrow-gauge track has only a few routes, and trains are infrequent. However, if you are lucky enough to find a suitable route and prepared for a bumpy journey, then trains can be useful. Known locally as 'U Trinighellu' trains and heading through the mountains, these trains connect some interesting rural locations. There are just two lines, which meet at Ponte Leccia and run between Ajaccio, Corte and Bastia, and also Bastia, Ile Rousse and Calvi.
Taxis are available in all of the island's main towns and larger villages. Any local tourist office can supply contact details for local taxi companies. Prices rise on Sundays, when the UK charter flights arrive. Comparatively, travel by taxi is relatively expensive.
Boats and Ferries
There are numerous ferry crossings to Corsica from Marseille
and Toulon in France, with times varying with location. The hydrofoil from Nice to Calvi takes three hours, and to Ajaccio four hours. On ferries, Nice to Bastia takes up to six hours and Marseille to Porto Vecchio around 12 hours. From Italy, ferries depart from Savona, Genova
and Livorno, with a further crossing from Naples
lasting some 18 hours. Prices depend on the season, and advance booking, especially in the high season, is highly recommended. Ferries also run to and from Sardinia
, close by and to the south-east.