Situated amidst the blue waters of the Mediterranean, the rugged island of Corsica holds much for the mature traveller looking to discover something new. With its stunning natural scenery and picturesque coastal towns, Corsica is a feast for the eyes and a wonderful travel destination. Join Odyssey Traveller as we take you on a journey across this remarkable island.
Odyssey travels by coach and occasionally uses local transport, including trains and ferries. Specifics are always outlined in your tour itinerary. Buses operate on routes around the island, though service availability can be somewhat limited. Corsica’s single train line, the Chemin de Fer de la Corse, links Ajaccio and Bastia, and is a very scenic, if somewhat limited, way to travel.
In major cities, Odyssey stays in centrally located 3-4 star hotels, with easy access to public transport. In smaller towns or rural areas, we usually stay in family-run hotels or guesthouses. On our longstay tours, during which you spend the length of the tour in a single location, we use serviced apartments.
Odyssey always engages local guides with regional knowledge to ensure an authentic experience during which you can learn as much as possible about the history and culture of places you visit.
Geography, environment and weather
Corsica is the fourth largest island in the Mediterranean, after Sicily, Sardinia, and Cyprus. The terrain of Corsica is largely mountainous, with Corsica contatining a cluster of 20 peaks exceeding 2,000 metres. Corsica has 1,000 kilometres of coastline and contains more than 200 beaches.
Corsica has a warm Mediterranean climate, with warm summers and mild winters. Depending on when you intend to travel, check the weather reports and dress accordingly.
World Heritage sites
There is currently 1 World Heritage Site in Corsica currently inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites List. The World Heritage Sites in Corsica include:
Gulf of Porto: Calanche of Piana, Gulf of Girolata, Scandola Reserve – a rugged landscape cliffs, mountains and scrubland, which together constitute a distinctive and eye-catching natural landscape.
Festivals and events
Numerous festivals and events dot the calendar in Corsica. Given the deep influence of the Catholic church in Corsica, religious festivals are of great signficance in Corsica, most particularly Holy Week, with processions in towns across Corsica commemorating and re-enacting Jesus Christ’s crucifixion. The produce of the island is showcased in several events such as the Festival of the Almond, the Festival of the Olive, and Festival of the Fig. Other notable events include Fête de la Musique (Festival of Music) and Feira di Musica Classica, Santa Reparata di Balagna (Classical Music Festival).
Granite island: a portrait of Corsica, by Dorothy Carrington
The Rose Cafe, by John Hanson Mitchell
Napoleon The Great, by Andrew Roberts
Honorable Bandit, by Brian Bouldrey
Eating and Drinking
Corsican food bears strong influences of both French and Italian cooking, while retaining a distinctive local identity. Charcuterie forms a central part of Corsican cuisine, with traditional cured meats including prisuttu (smoked raw ham), lonzu (pork loin), and figatellu (sausage prepared with pork liver). Cheese also features prominently in Corsican cuisine, with numerous cheeses made from sheep or goat’s milk, including brocciu, niulincu, and corsu vecchiu. Seafood rounds out the Corsican diet, with fish, crayfish, oysters, and mussels popularly consumed.
Corsica has a long history of wine-making, with many types of wine still produced and consumed in Corsica. Aside from wine, several different liqueurs are made and enjoyed in Corsica, including aquavita (a local grappa) and myrtle (a liqueur made from berries).
Health and Safety
Generally speaking, Corsica is safe to travel in, though always exercise common sense while travelling. Theft has been a problem in Corsica, so keep a close eye on your valuables and pay attention to your personal security.
Whenever you travel overseas, it’s always wise to take an appropriate travel adaptor. Corsica’s electricity supply runs at 230V and 50Hz. Corsica uses Type C and Type E electric plugs, so make sure you have the right travel adaptor with you.
Corsica has a single time zone, Central European Time (UTC+1). Daylight savings in Corsica commence on the last Sunday of March, and conclude on the last Sunday of October.
If you’re on an Odyssey tour, we take care of tipping so you don’t need to give it a second thought. However, in your free time, or if travelling independently, it’s essential that you tip an appropriate amount for services. Tipping is not mandatory in Corsica, though it is appreciated. Small tips will generally be accepted by restaurant servers, drivers, and hotel staff for good service.
Wifi should be available in many hotels, cafes and restaurants when travelling in Corsica.
Check with your cell phone provider to see whether you’re able to make calls and use data while in Corsica. Many providers will allow you to pay a daily fee that allows you to make calls and check the internet while only being charged your regular rates. However, be certain to inform your provider that you’re heading overseas, because just like a bank they can turn off your service as a result of unusual activity.
Responsible travel tips for Corsica
- Learn at least the local greetings to break the ice. Although many locals speak English, the more you know of the native language, the greater your experience of the country will be.
- Carry a business card in your wallet or purse from your local hotel, to assist you with the return journey if you do become lost.
- Always ensure that you are covered by travel insurance. If you need advice on this feel free to contact Odyssey and we’ll be able to help.
- When travelling independently, make sure you check the opening hours of shops and museums so that you don’t miss out! Museums and galleries are often closed on Mondays. Also be certain to check whether your trip coincides with any public holidays, so you can plan accordingly.
- Consider contacting your bank to inform them that you may be making purchases overseas. Otherwise, they may flag any activity on your account as suspicious. Also, check which ATMs and banks are compatible with your cards, to ensure you can withdraw cash with minimal fees.
- Before departing, make sure you have a number of euro in a range of denominations. You don’t want to be carrying around enormous amounts of cash, but take enough to make it easy to pay in locations that might not accept credit card. It will also help you avoid card transaction fees, and it makes tipping a breeze.