Travelwithin Corsica is by road or rail, though there are air taxis. Ofcourse you can walk or ride a bike, too. A car is recommended andif not your own, hire cars are widely available, though generallycheaper if booked before you come.
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Donot be over ambitious when planning your route. Distance should becounted in time and not kilometres. For instance you will see the RouteNationale 193 from Bastia to Ajaccio looks pretty straightforward, butthe mountain stretch between Venaco and Tavera over the Col deVizzavona has no straight road for nearly 30 kms and indeed virtuallyno opportunity to overtake. On the four main roads, you may average asmuch as 60kmh and off them don't plan for more than about 30-40kmh.Don't be put off driving in Corsica, but extra vigilance is needed andwith all the narow roads, twists and turns, ups and downs, you tirequickly.
Therail network is between Bastia, Ajaccio and Calvi. If you want to knowmore about this amazing narrow gauge railway, then first see my shortsection on Corsicanrailways and then go to the other references. You can also look up the timetable on SNCF(In French with an English version availible) although you may be better served by the excellent Corsicabus (see below) as SNCF is not the most user friendly site.
Theroads apart from the main North-South road on the east coast, can bescary to those not used to mountain driving. We count distance by roadusing time, not kilometres. Though you'll probably stick to themetalled roads, there are more kilometres of dirt tracks than highways.
There are buses, but the frequency of service may be lower than you are expecting and they sometimes run at inconvenient times. Some buses only run in the summer. If you intend to use the buses, it's best to ask when you arrive (themunicipal tourist office will always know, or even the hotel) ratherthan counting on anything in advance. A good source of information is our friend Ros Fiamma's site: Corsicabus - there's no otherinformation, on trains and buses that is as good or as well checked. The site is bi-lingual in English and French; Ros has lived herefor many years.
undi, fa! - don't say,do!
Bikesand motorbikes can also be hired. This is an activity that's on theincrease. There are onor two places where you can take a ride from A to B by boat, but mostare organised as sightseeing tours, so you may have to pay for a roundtrip even if travelling one way. There are taxis, too, but these areexpensive. There are of course many places that you might like to goand not travel anywhere else, but by foot. The hiring of donkeys is nowpossible, enquire locally. Ditto, horses. In both cases, no one waytrips.
It isreally important to remember not to apply the average speeds that you would applyback home. On main roads (routes nationales - N) Iwouldapply an average of 40-50 kmh, using the slower speed in high summer.Otherwise I'd calculate a lower speed, especially if you see thatthe road is very sinuous, eg the coast route between Calvi and Portoby the coast for which I'd allow 2 hours driving or even a bit more–so there work on 35kph average. If you are travelling on minor (D orC roads) in the mountains I'd reckon on more like 25kmh average,unless you are an habitué of the Tour de Corse!
write to: mac @ corsica-isula.com
Managed in association with Corsica Holiday with a little help from Will Keyser