What You Need To Know

Corsica, a mountainous Mediterranean island, presents a mix of stylish coastal towns, dense forest and craggy peaks (Monte Cinto is the highest). Nearly half the island falls within a park whose hiking trails include the challenging GR 20. Its beaches range from busy Pietracorbara to remote, camping-friendly Saleccia and Rondinara. It’s been part of France since 1768, but retains a distinct Italian flavor.

Area: 3,351 mi²
Population: 322,120

Currency

  • The currency used in Corsica is the Euro.
  • It is virtually impossible to change Travellers Cheques in Corsica so we do not recommend that you take them. Credit cards are now very widely accepted – the exception being some of the restaurants in the mountain villages.
  • The only potential problem is if you still have an old style UK card without a chip. Although the credit card readers in France should be capable of reading the magnetic stripe instead of the chip, sometimes the stripe reader doesn’t work.
  • Corsica is part of France and the currency here is the euro.

    Before you travel, we’d advise getting out at least 50-100 euros from your home bank or travel agent to take with you. This will ensure that if you land at an awkward time and the ATM is out of order, you’ll have ready cash for a taxi (taxis are expensive in Corsica) or a simple meal.

    These days most towns in Corsica and some villages have banks and ATMs and most holidaymakers take their UK (or other country) debit cards with them and withdraw money as they need it from the familiar hole-in-the-wall.
    You’ll find that there is a multi-language facility on most ATMs here and if you’re not a French speaker there’s no need to worry that the instructions will be incomprehensible to you!

Weather

Corsica benefits from 2,737 sunshine hours a year; the climate is really hot and dry but stays bearable though. This region can also receive bountiful precipitation during short periods can be quite violent. They can reach around 650 mm a year and are foremost located in the mountains.
Thanks to its Mediterranean climate and the blend of violent precipitation as well as the dry weather, this isle is one of the most verdant Mediterranean isles. Indeed the forests cover an important party of the island and benefit from the rainfalls which help them growing.
If your are looking for some heavenly places to stay for living or just for holidays, you cannot miss Corsica. The idyllic weather as well as the wonderful environment make Corsica a real piece of paradise.

Language

All Corsicans can speak French, as this is the official language of Corsica. Many Corsicans also speak Corsican (Corsu) that is quite similar to Italian, while just a few of them can speak or at least understand English or German.

Health and security

  • People living in Corsica report their general health condition on average at 57 percent. Eight percent of them donate blood. Excluding tests they have had as part of blood donations, 36 percent of Corsica residents have ever had their blood tested for the AIDS virus infection. Twelve percent of people living in Corsica are left-handed.
  • With the numbers of tourists in Corsica, it’s surprising that theft is less of a problem than elsewhere in France. Use a wallet or money belt instead of a purse if you can. In other parts of urban France you might feel it’s necessary to lock your doors when driving to avoid thieves on mopeds who may throw open your door and grab whatever’s available. But this sort of thing is practically uneard of in Corsica.

    There used to be a modest amount of political unrest in Corsica. With its desire for independence from the rest of France (see elsewhere for its long history), occasional acts of insurrection and terrorism occured, and antique political graffiti can still be seen. But this is almost a bygone age now and they’re more excited about the local football teams than outright independence these days.

DON’T

  • It’s not so much a warning, more of a tip. First and foremost, go with speaking French, the basic’s of ordering food is easy enough to get by and some English is spoken. If you encounter someone that doesn’t speak English and your French isn’t good enough if you know Italian then that is the third option.
  • When camping anywhere on Corsica (Especially near Ghisonaccia), dont leave your valuables in your tent. Access into campsites is pretty easy. The police will give you a report for insurance purposes, but don´t expect to see your stuff again.

DO

  • When traveling to any foreign country, even a little knowledge of the language is always helpful. This applies more to Corsica for English-speakers, since you are a long way from metropolitan France. Car rental is almost invariably with a well-known company at the airports but it’s cheaper and easier to book before arriving, so as to avoid unnecessary expenses tacked on arbitrarily.
  • Driving in Corsica is a bit of a challenge. On one hand you have a lot of those winding James Bond movie roads with a lot of curves on the coast. If you leave the main roads, some roads become so tiny that hardly one car can pass through. Many roads also have those nasty holes. So, in the countryside it also happens very often that you can only go with 30 km/hour and not faster. And of course there are a lot of straying animals on the roads, from dogs to goats and wild pigs. So be careful!
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