Directions for a succesfull trip in Corsica

little things interesting to know...

So, you thought you knew the Mediterranean? Well, get ready to re-read your guides and review your travel diaries if you have never been to Corsica.

Indeed, and to the surprise of its first-time visitors, this small island (although the 4th largest in the Mediterranean) adorned with paradisiac coves, some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, magnificent landscapes bathed in bright light and whose past is filled with history and great people, is still a secret place and still preserved from the effects of over-development.

But for how much longer? The answer to this question depends on the interest shown in its preservation by its visitors.

Those who only come for the beaches in the main holiday season will contribute to the relegation of this “land of humanity” into the maelstrom of the more popular destinations around the world.

On the other hand, those who immerse themselves – in any season – to the understanding of a quasi-schizophrenic island where everything is paradoxical, will discover the wealth of human links woven over time by inhabitants living at the rhythm of a protective and nurturing land, long-considered to be very rich and strategically useful for its powerful neighbours.

To enjoy a successful stay, here is some essential guidance for the Anglo-Saxon visitor who would like to discover the region of Porto Vecchio in the beautiful season (mid-May / mid-October)

Travel

The informed visitor knows that the costs of getting here can be expensive and that the means of public transport are little developed (and, in some parts, non-existent) that the information is often random, that little English is spoken (as the French, Italians and Germans are the majority of visitors) and the level of service is not uniform.

Taxis are reasonably priced even if they are a bit more expensive than on the mainland (tariffs are regulated by the local authority). The problem is their scarcity in summer and the fact that they prefer to make longer journeys at the expense of small trips (hotels to beaches or restaurants for example).

Shuttles connecting the various regions of the island are relatively cheap but do not offer significant solutions due to their limited quantity and little flexibility although there are also (the rare) summer shuttles set up by the local authorities (but only in July / August).

Apart from Ajaccio and Bastia – who have had it for some time – public transport is now developing gradually in the medium-sized towns (Bonifacio, and Porto Vecchio since 2018) but the routes are poor in coverage and frequency is low. Nevertheless, they complement the service of the little tourist trains that operate in most of the tourist towns.

The renting of vehicles (scooter, bike, car, horse?) remains the best solution for exploring the island. The price is obviously subject to supply and demand and given the modest fleets of hire vehicles, the price is not always cheap.

We therefore recommend that you choose accommodation that offers travel solutions or who work in partnership with an agency offering these services – A Caminata for example!

PERIOD

Even though the busiest season is summer, the most enjoyable season is undoubtedly the spring. The beginning of June remains the ideal compromise between the still fresh nature, fragrant, green and almost summer temperatures that also allow visitors to benefit from both the seaside and mountain escapades. The days are longer and the inhabitants are in shape and ready to receive visitors.

Autumn also offers a wide range of colours and activities that make this season a must for visitors looking for cultural discoveries. (visiting vineyards, harvesting chestnuts, picking mushrooms, …)

Winter is A Caminata’s favorite. This is the season of farm production (cheese, charcuterie), and the one where the island is ours (or yours?) and where we can easily go from a snowy summit (wearing snow rackets) to eating sea urchins by the sea and all this at sometimes around 20 °C.

As the island’s economy remains primarily linked to the summer season and coastal areas, many businesses only start to open at the end of May or early June and, as elsewhere, cheques are not accepted in favour of cash or bank card payments and are still often refused to the surprise of some foreign holidaymakers.

As far as the Porto Vecchio area is concerned, Travellers cheques are not accepted and there is hardly any currency exchange possible – even at the bank.

It is therefore necessary to have plenty of cash or withdraw it from the ATMs – of which there are plenty in the larger towns.

ACCOMMODATION

Whilst camping still remains a mode of accommodation popular with tourists, today it is the rental solution that takes precedence over the traditional (hotels, residences and holiday villages etc).

Be sure to inquire about the location of the establishment in which you choose to stay. Indeed, Corsica is often poorly sold by agencies around the world and your travel agent, if they have not visited the island in person, will find it difficult to inform you of the advantages of one hotel over another. It is therefore important to take information on the spot from the tourist offices or adapted companies: A Caminata for example!

SECURITY

Despite its sulphurous reputation, Corsica is actually a very safe area to spend your holidays. There is respect for people and the island is one of the least affected by violence including the elderly, children and women). Unless you belong to a ‘mafia’ network or to a group linked to organized crime, the « normal » visitor, that is to say those whose attitude corresponds to the basics of correct behaviour, will have nothing to fear from the locals and will be warmly welcomed throughout the island.

There are no earthquakes, hurricanes or hungry, wild animals (except the occasional mosquito!): at this level too, the island is a very safe destination to spend an unforgettable moment.

For details of: « Where to go out? What to see? How to party? It depends so much on the periods that we recommend you consult our website caminata.fr