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Corsica itinerary - advice is welcome

Sydney
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Corsica itinerary - advice is welcome

Hi

We will be travelling to Corsica next year and basing ourselves in Ajacchio for approx 5 days.

We will be hiring a car and our itinerary will include driving/taking day trips each day as follows:

day 1 start in Porto Vecchio

day 2 Porto Vecchio to Ajaccio + stops along the way

day 3 Ajaccio to Bastia to Ajaccio + stops along the way

day 4 Ajaccio to Calvi to Ajaccio + stops along the way

day 5 end in Ajaccio

Is this too much to do in a short space of time .. we want to see as much of the island as possible .. mainly sightseeing and relaxing during this time.

Or is it easier to take public transport between towns (eg: bus or train) ?

Any suggestions are welcome .. many thanks !!

middle england
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1. Re: Corsica itinerary - advice is welcome

I hope you will not take this too personally, but I strongly recommend that you reconsider. Corsica is not a place for rushing from place to place and your itinery would allow no relaxation whatsoever, indeed many would judge it positively dangerous. Day 4 in particular strikes me as close to lunacy! Remember that there are no motorways on the island and very few straight roads - average speeds can be as low as 15 mph on the mountain roads and only about 30-40 mph on the main N roads. If you are entering Corsica at Porto vecchio, I would recommend staying in the south of the island, there's plenty to detain you for several weeks!

London, United...
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2. Re: Corsica itinerary - advice is welcome

Day 3 is I'm afraid equally unrealistic - it's maybe 3 hours drive each way, so that would allow you time for one stop, perhaps in Corte for lunch and a wander round the citadel (not time for the museum, nor a walk up one of the rivers). Driving both ways that sort of distance in one day in Corsica just doesn't allow you more than a couple of hours stopping, and you'll arrive home exhausted.

So I'd completely agree with Aaardvark. A good day trip from Porto Vecchio, for example, would be to the Aiguilles de Bavella and back again (have a look at the map) or Sartene and Tizzano, or Bonifacio, or (and this would be a long one) Propriano/Filitosa.

If you must see the north of the island, don't try and do it in a day trip but stay a night or two. We sometimes take a turn down south, being based in the north, and always stay over. We recently drove back to the Balagne from Filitosa via Porto Vecchio, and it was an incredibly long day - we stopped for an hour at Filitosa, and for lunch in Porto Vecchio, and that was it.

Edited: 8:28 pm, October 28, 2012
Washington DC...
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3. Re: Corsica itinerary - advice is welcome

So, if one does only have 5 days on Corsica and loves the sea (but not sitting on a beach), cities, food, sights, mountains, where would be a good place to base oneself? We'll be flying from Paris and can't figure out which Corsica airport is best.

And should we fly in to one and out from a different one, driving along the way?

middle england
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4. Re: Corsica itinerary - advice is welcome

If you are only going for 5 days I would personally prefer just one centre. You do need to chose between the north and south of the island. South is served by Figari airport, for Porto Vecchio, Bonifacio etc, and Ajaccio airport for the capital of the island. For the north, the choice is between Bastia and Calvi. There are only two places that would classify as "cities", Ajaccio and Bastia. Other towns are very small in general.

Calvi would be ideal for a first timer, with choices of sea and mountains close at hand, and even close enough to Cap Corse to permit a long day trip. Fly into Bastia and Calvi is an easy couple of hours drive away, so it would be possible to then return from Calvi I guess.

Washington DC...
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5. Re: Corsica itinerary - advice is welcome

Thanks Aardark,

Actually I prefer towns/villages... I was only trying to differentiate towns from resorts and beaches when I said cities. Do you think that I will find nice villages, with good local food, perhaps even nice small village hotels in the north?

Are the areas in and around Calvi and Bastia not too touristy? That is what I prefer.

Sydney
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6. Re: Corsica itinerary - advice is welcome

Many thanks for the advice for all the great advise .. we'll stick to the south for such a limited time

middle england
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7. Re: Corsica itinerary - advice is welcome

PT826

I think you will find that nowhere in Corsica could really be described as "touristy". There are no high rise buildings, very few funfairs and amusement arcades. There are areas that get crowded in the summer, particularly late July and August, but even then a drive into the mountains and you can have the place to yourself.

Bastia is not really a tourist town anyway. Town beaches are non existent or poor. It's not an unpleasant town, but mostly unremarkable.

Calvi on the other hand is one of the most popular resorts, but is suggested because the hinterland of the Haute Balagne is just a few miles away with lots of picturesque villages and an artisan trail. Good local food is on offer in many of the villages.

Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: Corsica itinerary - advice is welcome

Fred and PT...to each their own, but I am a more of a fan of the South part of the island. I posted this on another thread...

"Just like a lot of the south of France, Corsica is busy in July & August. Going in May, June or September would be best.

IMO a car is required for sure. I would describe driving on Corsica as "interesting." There is maybe100 yards of straight road on the whole island and as Corsica is an extremely popular destination for the motorhome crowd, plan on having one in front of you (driving slowly) most of the time. All that being said, the scenery around Corsica is spectacular and driving also involves a lot of stops to take in the views. Particularly things like the Lion di Roccapina, Sartene Village, Aiguilles de Bavella, Zonza, Alto Rocca and the Ajaccio Coast. Spectacular! Another interesting thing about driving in Corsica are the bullet-ridden road signs!

Porto Vecchio is particularly busy. Bonifacio is busy too, but it is too gorgeous to miss. Bonifacio is spectacular. Some great beaches as well. I like Tizzano...if you go there, you must eat the amazing grilled fish at Chez Antoine! Rorinarra beach is also great."

9. Re: Corsica itinerary - advice is welcome

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