Corsica: Car Rental
A little slice of heaven (out of peak season)
Local Travel Info in Corsica
Internal flights and major international airports
There are four airports on Corsica. The Aéroport de Ajaccio Campo Dell'Oro (AJA) near to Ajaccio is the biggest on the island and is about 15 minutes away from the town of Ajaccio. The second largest airport in Corsica is Aéroport de Bastia-Poretta (BIA), in Bastia. The airport is about 20 km (12 miles) south of the town of Bastia. The other two minor airports are Calvi and Figari. Considering the islands overall size, 4 airports keeps it well connected to the European mainland.
Getting to and from the airport
The Aéroport de Ajaccio Campo Dell'Oro (AJA) near to Ajaccio has 400 parking lots. There are 10 to 15 permanent stationed taxis available. A shuttle bus leaves every 50 minutes to the city centre which is about 15 minutes drive away. Many major rental car companies are located at the airport such as Budget, Hertz and Eurocar. The airport in Basta (Aéroport de Bastia-Poretta) has 450 parking lots. There are several taxis operating at the airport and there is also a bus shuttle available which takes about 30 minutes to get to town. Several major rental car companies also operate at this airport.
Corsica can be a pricey island and a holiday in Corsica will probably cost you more than some other islands in the Mediterranean. However, with higher prices comes less tourists and development, which means it has retained its charm and unspoilt nature where other parts of Europe have not.
A main meal in a restaurant: £15
Taxi from Ajaccio airport to Ajaccio centre: £25-£30 (15 minute journey time)
Daily Car Hire £35-£40
Bike Hire £100 per week depending on type of bike hired
Renting cars in Corsica
View our Car Hire links in the Car Hire section above for Corsica Car hire special offers and top rates on car rental in Corsica.
Renting a car is a great way to explore the island of Corsica. The condition of the roads is generally much better than we are used to in the UK and there is not a lot of traffic. The main routes through the island (RN - Route Nationale) are very good but as the terrain is mountainous, you should allow about an hour for 50km of driving. When driving into the villages the roads become narrower and you will come across a few unguarded drops. It’s wise, when driving in the mountains, to take it slowly and carefully. The narrow roads often mean a smaller car is more practical so keep this in mind when selecting your hire car in Corsica. With most hire companies, you need to be at least 21 years old and have held a full license for more than a year. To rent a car in Corsica for a seven day week you will be looking at paying around £200-£250 but if you just want to plan a day trip you are looking at around £90-£100 for the day.
Drivers licenses requirements in Corsica
Hiring a car in Corsica is a relatively easy experience. The majority of car hire companies in Corsica will just ask for a full license that has been in use for a year at least and the driver must be over 21 years of age.
Rules of driving in Corsica
Always carry your documentation with you when driving in Corsica. This includes your driving licence, passport, contract from the Hire Company & insurance documents for the vehicle. It is illegal to use a mobile phone whilst driving in Corsica. The enforcement of this law is much more stringent in Corsica than in the UK and you would be issued with an on the spot fine. Obviously you must always wear your seatbelt and drink driving is illegal and carries a fine of up to 3000 Euros. The blood alcohol limit is lower in France than in the UK. It’s important to realise that the combination of sun and alcohol can be a deadly one so it’s not worth the risk.
The Corsicans are a nation of drivers with most households owning at least one car, so the public transport system generally isn't as good as visitors may hope. The easiest way to get around in Corsica is by car. Buses are geared towards the locals rather than tourists with the routes tending to follow school and college routes rather than the tourist trail. Trying to travel round Corsica by bus can be a frustrating experience as timetables are liable to change at short notice. There are a number of local, independently owned bus companies that operate routes between the main towns and villages with the exception of Ajaccio and Bastia. There isn’t a central information point, so you will need to check the timetable (horaire) and 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.
Getting a taxi in Corsica is a good way to get around if you don’t have access to a car. Taxis are available in most towns and larger villages as well as at the airport. Tourist offices will be able to give the names of local taxi companies and will often help you to book. Taxis have ‘Taxi’ signs on the roof of the car and prices are given on request. It’s probably a good idea to agree on a price before setting off. Bear in mind that taxi companies know that all the charter flights from the UK arrive and depart on Sundays and as a result the prices will be higher then.
Getting in a train is a great way to see Corsica. The Trinicellu, or ‘Little Train’ is the narrow gauge railway that runs along the coast between Calvi and Bastia. The journey takes about 50 minutes between Calvi and Ile Rousse, the two main resorts in the Balagne, and is an experience not to be missed. The service isn’t very frequent with 5 trains per day in each direction and 10 trains per day in the summer. All of the beautiful 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. Tickets are not dated so you can buy them in advance and use them whenever you want. Children under 4 years old travel free, and those between 4 and12 years pay just 50% of the adult fare. A carnet of 6 tickets costs roughly 7.50 Euros. The service also runs between Ponte Lecchia and Ajaccio. This route passes through some of the most incredible scenery on the island. The limited schedule means that it's not practical to do a round trip in a day. However, you could always stay overnight in Bastia or Ajaccio. Regarded as one of the most impressive sections on the railway, Corte and Bocognano, are great places to travel between. The route ranks as one of the most scenic railways in the world. From Corte, the train crosses the enormous Vecchio viaduct which was engineered by Gustav Eiffel (who created the Eiffel Tower). The train then goes through the Vizzavona forest. The stations are often located near marked walks and hikes so it’s a beautiful place to stop off and explore en-route. Timetables and information are available from the main stations.
Cycling in Corsica
If you enjoy a challenge the mountainous landscapes of Corsica are a great place to explore on bike. For experienced cyclists this is outstanding cycling terrain. Mountain bike hire is widespread across Corsica and at a reasonable cost. The hire companies usually carry a range of bikes from mountain bikes, road bikes, hybrids and children’s bikes. Some bike hire companies even run their own tours which you can join. ‘The Corsican Cycling Expert’ is a great place to start for hiring bikes and planning your journey. They have coastal tours as well as more difficult mountain tours. The landscape is beautiful in its variations and there is a rich cultural and historical history to explore. The tours offer great routes for varying levels of fitness and experience. To hire a bike you will be looking to pay anywhere between 50 to 150 Euros depending on the bike you require. Children’s bikes are usually around 30 to 40 Euros. Week long tours with ‘The Corsican Cycle Experts’ will set you back between 650 and 1,200 Euros. However, you will see the beautiful scenery the island of Corsica offers as well as visit some of the most beautiful and untouched areas and villages on the island.
Water Transport in Corsica
As an island Corsica has plenty of boating options. Some beaches on the island are only accessible by boat and therefore you’ll come across some of the more secluded and quiet beaches by boat. There are also popular boat trips on Corsica to enjoy. One very popular boat trip from Ajaccio is to the Isles Sanguinaires. Another place not to be missed is the renowned prehistoric site at Filitosa which is 40 kilometres south of Ajaccio. Another great attraction to travel to by boat is the Scandola Natural Reserve. It is a World Heritage Site located to the north east of Calvi on the Cape Girolata peninsula. The reserve covers around 900 hectares of land and 1000 hectares of sea. There is no way to enter the region by car and to enter by foot is extremely difficult so the best way to enjoy the splendours of Corsica’s coastline is by taking a boat. Trips leave from Calvi, and less frequently from Porto. The trip is highly recommended in order to see some of the finest coastline in the Mediterranean. Strange rock formations emerge from the crystal clear sea and the coastline is dotted with jagged inlets and caves. The late afternoon is a great time to make this journey as when the rocks catch the setting sun. Set against the blue of the sea and sky, the colours and shapes are an extraordinary sight. The Scandola region also has a wide range of sea birds that benefit from the protected environment. There are also established seal and dolphin colonies. Calvi is another area that is a great place to travel to on the waters. Coming in from the sea you can get the full effect of the elegant port, the towering Citadel, the rugged mountains, and the forest of pines. If you do not arrive by ferry, you can still see the splendour of the area from the water by taking one of the many boat trips or pleasure cruises available in the marina. The Port de Plaisance is a welcoming marina, and an pleasant place to view the many luxury boats and bright fishing boats as they arrive and depart.