Corsica

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Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean Sea, just north of Sardinia. It officially belongs to France, even if it is considered autonomous and independent by lots of its inhabitants, who don't feel French at all.

Especially in the summer months you see hitchhikers in Corsica. As there are only two train lines and buses are slow and rare, hitching is a common way to get around. Protect yourself from the sun. Hitching in Corsica is very easy, and even the biggest "cities" are small enough to find your way out of easily.

The roads in Corsica are, especially in the mountainous inner of the island, small and bumpy. Drivers are forced to drive in second or third gear. The average driving speed (except for the national road on the east coast) is around 50km/h. On the national roads there are often traffic jams during summer holidays, especially near the main tourist hubs on the southern and eastern coasts.

Ferries

Ferry near Porto-Vecchio

The cities where ferries depart (or arrive) are only Ajaccio and Bastia for the mainland and Propriano and Bonifacio for Sardinia all the year long (meaning in winter, late autumn and early spring). From mid-April to mid-October you will find connections also from/to Porto-Vecchio, Calvi and L'Île Rousse and there will also be more ferries from the other ports. The ferries can't be hitchhiked (legally) since the truck tickets are not paid per vehicle but per person, the only way you'd have if you want to take it for free, would be illegally. There are plenty of ferries every day (minimum 4 per day in winter, imagine in summer...) with a huge variety of vehicles, so if you are patient enough you'll find the right one for sure.

If you consider paying for a ticket, keep in mind that French destinations are usually much cheaper than Italian ones even if the trip is longer and the distance is greater...craziness of our times where a flight costs less than a train.

From the european mainland there are connections from/to Marseille, Nice, Toulon, in France to/from Ajaccio and Bastia and from/to Savona, Livorno, (La Spezia, Piombino only in summer) and Genova in Italy to/from Bastia. Connections to/from Sardegna are available all year long between Propriano and Porto Torres (twice a week in winter) and between Bonifacio and Santa Teresa di Gallura (twice a day in winter).

Sleeping

Wild camping is generally strictly forbidden in Corsica. As anywhere else, try not to get caught if you do it, and avoid making a fire. Outside of the tourist season people seem not care too much about you since you don't bother their business. The only thing they seem to care about besides their neighbours respectability.

The mountainous landscape and the often scrubby, spiky, low-growing brush environment make wild camping in Corsica quite difficult in several places. Finding a hidden, flat, comfortable spot can be tough, but more than possible if you look long enough. People in Corsica can be paranoid about wild camping because of their fear for wildfires, which is fair enough! In summer, if local people see you looking around for a campsite they start to question you, so try to keep a low profile. The official campgrounds are often expensive, €10–€15 per person per night. Many of them are loud, crowded, and not very clean. There are some smaller local campsites that will charge as little as €4/person a night, but they're not common.

Food

Everything is very expensive (especially for non locals...) in Corsica. Even in the supermarkets, the prices of locally grown fruits and veggies can be expensive. Everything will be cheaper if you don't come during the summer holidays and in any case if you avoid tourist places (which are more or less everywhere).

If you do want to go for a drink, order a pastis, You can find this for as cheap as 1.4–2.5 euro and most of the time you'll also get a big glass of water. It's cheaper than ordering a normal small water in a bar!!

Fishing is free for all on the coast except along natural reserves and inland waters.

Personal experiences

Fede found Corsican people often rude, aggressive, and really not welcoming at all. Coming from the warm and kind Sardegna it has been quite a shock for him. He received help only from foreigners living there and heard that among native Corsicans there is a great deal of racism (against Arab and African labourers, as well as against the French). Tourists are treated well, since they represent the main source of income, but without, he feels, sincere respect and kindness.

Cities