Travel in Corsica, getting around
The Corsicans are a nation of drivers, and most households have at least one car,
so the public transport system generally isn't as good as visitors would hope or expect. By far the easiest way
to get around in Corsica is by car (see our driving in Corsica section), but how
can you get around if you don't want to rely on a car?
Well the first thing to consider is how will you be getting to the island, and where do you plan to stay. For example, Calvi is one of the few places where the port is in the town and the airport is just 7km away, so here one can rely on taxis to and from your accommodation (if you're staying in/near the town), and you can explore happily on foot, or take advantage of the little train that runs along the coast. However, if you've hired a villa that's a few of miles from the town, it is unlikely that buses will pass your door, so car hire really is your only option.
Places where you can easily stay without hiring a car;
For places to stay in these areas, click HERE
The Trinicellu ('Little Train' in Corsican) is the narrow gauge railway that runs along the coast between Calvi and Bastia via Ponte Leccia. The journey takes approximately 50 minutes between Calvi and Ile Rousse, the two main resorts in the Balagne, and is an experience not to be missed! The service is not terribly frequent; approximately 5 trains per day in each direction, rising to 10 per day in the summer, and all the little beaches between the two resorts are served. The routes are broken up into several fare stages, so if you plan to use the train, buy a carnet (6 tickets) which is enough for a return journey between Calvi and Ile Rousse, or 2 or 3 shorter journeys - details available from the Station. Tickets are not dated like in the UK, so you can buy them in advance and use them whenever you want. Children under 4 years old travel free, and from 4-12 years, will pay just 50% of the adult fare. A carnet of 6 tickets costs approximately 7.50 € (2005 price).
The service also runs between Ponte Lecchia and Ajaccio via corte and Vizzavona, passing through some of the most amazing scenery on the island. The limited schedule means that it's not really practical to do a round trip in a day, but you could always stay overnight in Bastia or Ajaccio and take a short break during your holiday! Perhaps the most impressive section is that between Corte and Bocognano and overall the route ranks as one of the most scenic railways in the world. From Corte, the train crosses the enormous Vecchio viaduct - 140m long and 96m high- which was engineered by Gustav Eiffel (of tower fame) , and then through the Vizzavona forest, a swathe of lofty laricio pines and chestnut trees. The stations are often located near marked walks/hikes, so don't be afraid to stop off and explore en-route, but be sure to take note of the timetable, so you know when you will be able to continue your journey.
Timetables and information are available from the main stations, or you can visit the website at TER-SNCM.COM click HERE and you can also find extra information about the Chemin de Fer including old photos and interesting facts tat www.traincorse.net
Buses are geared towards the locals rather than tourists, so tend to follow school/college routes rather than the tourist trail. Trying to travel round Corsica by bus can be one of the most frustrating experiences of your life, so is best avoided if at all possible. There are a number of local, independently owned bus companies that operate routes between the main towns and villages, but with the exception of Ajaccio and Bastia, there is no central information point, so you will need to check the timetable (horaire) / prices with each individual company. The tourist office in each town will be able to give details of the route and companies serving the town.
The main routes include;
Timetables and information are available from the main bus stations, or you can visit a website that has collated the information from the various bus companies, but please be aware that information is liable to change at short notice. www.corsicabus.org.
Taxis are generally available in most towns and larger villages and at the airport, although they are not as obvious as we are used to in the UK. Tourist offices can generally give the names of local taxi companies and will often help you to book. Bear in mind that taxi companies know that all the charter flights from the UK arrive and depart on Sundays, so the prices will be higher then.
Travel to/from the airports
CALVI - With the exception of taxis, there is no public transport from the airport to the town. A taxi from the airport to the town centre will cost approximately 15-20 euros each way
BASTIA - There is a bus between the town and the airport which leaves from opposite the Préfecture building (opposite the train station) in the town. Times are posted at the bus stop. At taxi will cost approximately 30-35 euros each way.
AJACCIO - The TCA bus number 8 links the airport, ferry port, town centre and bus station and costs approximately 5 euros each way. You can expect to pay approximately 25-30 euros each way for a taxi
FIGARI - With the exception of taxis, there is no public transport from the airport to the town. A taxi from Figari to Bonifacio will cost approximately 30-35 euros. From Figari to Porto Vecchio you can expect to pay anything from 50-80 euros one way, so CAR HIRE offers much better value for money. To get to Propriano, Car hire really is the best option.
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Weather in Corsica - Places to stay - Travel - Getting around - Driving and Car Hire
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