Where to stay in Corsica without a car – 7 Best areas

In this article, we will look at Where to stay in Corsica without a car?, the best areas to stay in Corsica without a car (including map), where I stayed in Corsica, and the best hotels in Corsica for all budget visitors.

It is possible to travel in Corsica without a car, although it may require some planning and flexibility. Corsica, a beautiful island in the Mediterranean Sea, offers various transportation options for travelers who prefer not to drive.

Corsica is well-connected to mainland France and neighboring Mediterranean islands via ferries, so you can easily take a ferry from cities like Nice, Marseille, or Toulon.  

You can also reach Corisca by air. The island has four airports, Bastia-Poretta Airport, Calvi-Sainte-Catherine Airport, Ajaccio Napoleon Bonaparte Airport, and Figari-Sud Corse Airport. 

Corsica has a fairly extensive public transportation network, including buses and trains. The buses connect major towns such as Bastia, Corte, Ajaccio, Ill Rousse, Calvi, and Porto Vecchio.

The train network mainly runs along the eastern coast and is a scenic slow way to explore parts of the island. There are train lines connecting Bastia and Ponte Leccia, Bastia and Ajaccio via Corte, Calvi and Ile Rousse. But, it’s essential to check schedules and routes in advance, as they are not very frequent.

You can travel by cruise as the island has numerous cruise ship docks at Ajaccio, Calvi, Porto Vecchio, Bastia, L’lle Rousse, and Bonifacio.  

Taxis are available in most urban areas and can be a convenient way to get around, especially for shorter trips. You can also rent a bicycle and explore the island at your own pace.

If you enjoy hiking, Corsica has an extensive network of hiking trails, including the famous GR20 long-distance trail. Hiking allows you to immerse yourself in the island’s natural beauty and reach remote areas that may not be accessible by other means.

Many local tour operators offer guided tours and excursions to popular attractions and natural wonders. These tours often include transportation and are a convenient way to explore Corsica’s highlights.

Some accommodations offer shuttle services to transport guests to and from transportation hubs or nearby attractions.

While it is possible to explore Corsica without a car, it’s important to plan your itinerary carefully and be aware that some remote areas may not be easily accessible without private transportation. 

Where to stay in Corsica without a car?

The best areas to stay in Corsica without a car are Calvi, L’Ile Rousse in la Balagne, Ajaccio, Bastia, Corte, Bonifacio, and Porto-Vecchio. When booking accommodation, look for places that are centrally located in the towns or near public transportation hubs to make it easier to get around. 

In general, Calvi is the favorite destination of many car-free travelers as it is a beautiful walkable town center, easily accessible by air and airport, and easily takes a day trip by train/ bus to nearby towns such as L’Île-Rousse and Bastia.

During my trip to Corsica, I booked a hotel in Calvi and Bonifacio, which are all accessible by public transportation and taxi. From these locations, I was able to explore the town center on foot and take several train/ bus rides to its surrounding attractions. 

Map of the best areas and neighborhoods in Corsica without a car:

Map of the best areas to stay in Corsica without a car
Map of the best areas to stay in Corsica without a car

Let’s get into the details of the best areas to stay in Corsica, especially for travelers without a car. I’ll explain to you how to reach each area, how to get around, as well as the best things to do and some suggestions of the best places to stay in each area for every budget.

7 Best areas to stay in Corsica without a car:

1. Calvi

Calvi is one of the best places to stay in Corsica without a car. It is a beautiful town located on the northwest coast of Corsica that is easily explored on foot and easily accessible by air, road, and ferries.

Calvi has a port, with ferry connections to Nice, France and Savona. It has an airport, which is located 13 minutes from the center of Calvi by taxi. The red train can take you along the west coast to Île Rousse to Calvi, and the blue train takes you to Bastia.  

Calvi is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Corsica and is known for its stunning natural beauty, historical significance, and vibrant atmosphere.  

You can use your foot to explore the attractions, boutiques, restaurants, and bars along the Quai Landry, Rue Clemenceau, Rue Mille, Boulevard Wilson, visit the harbor, and head to the Coastal Train. 

The town is dominated by a historic Calvi Citadel, perched on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The citadel is a well-preserved fortress with narrow streets, charming squares, and panoramic views of the surrounding area.

Calvi is renowned for its gorgeous beaches with fine golden sand. The most famous beach in Calvi is Plage de Calvi, which offers opportunities for sunbathing, swimming, sailing, windsurfing, snorkeling, and scuba diving.

Calvi has a bustling marina that hosts numerous yachts and sailboats. It’s a great place to take a leisurely stroll, enjoy a meal at one of the waterfront restaurants, or simply watch the boats come and go.

The Saint-Jean-Baptiste Cathedral is a notable religious monument located within the citadel. It dates back to the 13th century and features a mix of architectural styles, including Romanesque and Baroque.

The surrounding region offers excellent opportunities for hiking and exploring Corsica’s rugged landscapes. You can take boat trips and hiking excursions to the Scandola Nature Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Corsican cuisine is known for its unique flavors and influences from French and Italian cuisines. While in Calvi, be sure to try local dishes like wild boar stew, charcuterie, and seafood.

The town has a lively nightlife scene, especially during the summer months, with bars, clubs, and beachside parties that cater to both locals and tourists.

Best places to stay in Corsica in Calvi without a car:


2. L’Ile Rousse in la Balagne

L’Île-Rousse is one of the best areas to stay in Corsica without a car because it is well-connected by ferry to the French mainland and other Corsican ports. The nearest airport is Calvi-Sainte-Catherine Airport, which is about 25 kilometers away and easily reached by taxi/ train.

L’Ile Rousse has train connections with Calvi along the west coast, and with Bastia via Ponte Leccia, so you can easily take a day trip to these towns and cities.

L’Île-Rousse is a laid back coastal town located on the northwestern coast of Corsica, 12.5 miles north-east of Calvi, in the department of Haute-Corse. It is known for its beautiful beaches and picturesque landscapes.

The town was founded in 1758 by Pasquale Paoli, a Corsican leader. It was initially named “Isola Rossa” (Red Island) due to the red granite rocks that surround the town. The name was later changed to L’Île-Rousse, which means “The Red Island” in French.

L’Île-Rousse is famous for its sandy beaches, which are among the best on the island. The Plage de l’Île-Rousse is the main beach in town and is ideal for sunbathing and swimming. There are also other nearby beaches like Plage de Bodri and Plage de Lozari.

The town’s old quarter features narrow streets, a central square with a colorful market, and charming cafes. You can explore the town on foot and admire its Mediterranean architecture.

At the entrance to the harbor, there is a picturesque lighthouse called “Phare de la Pietra” that provides stunning views of the surrounding coastline.

Best places to stay in Corsica in L’Ile Rousse without a car:


3. Ajaccio

Ajaccio is the capital city of Corsica,  situated on the western coast of Corsica. It is the largest city on the island and serves as its administrative and cultural center.

Ajaccio is easily accessible by ferries and air. Ajaccio has an airport, Ajaccio-Napoléon Bonaparte Airport, located 5 km from the center of Ajaccio, and can be reached by a shuttle bus service.

Additionally, Ajaccio has a port with ferry services of Corsica Linea, Corsica Ferries and Moby to and from Marseille, Nice and Toulon. There is also a train line from Ajaccio to Calvi.

Ajaccio is perhaps most famous as the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte, one of the most influential figures in European history. Napoleon was born on August 15, 1769, in the city, and there are several sites in Ajaccio related to his life and family.

The city is known for its rich history, beautiful beaches, and vibrant Mediterranean culture. You can explore the town center and the beaches on foot.  Some notable attractions in Ajaccio include:

  • Maison Bonaparte: Napoleon’s birthplace, which has been turned into a museum showcasing the history of the Bonaparte family.
  • Ajaccio Cathedral: A stunning cathedral located in the city center.
  • Citadel of Ajaccio: A historic fortress that offers panoramic views of the city and the sea.
  • Place Foch: The main square in Ajaccio, surrounded by cafes and restaurants.
  • Sanguinaires Islands: A group of small islands off the coast of Ajaccio known for their rugged beauty and natural landscapes.

Corsican cuisine is influenced by French and Italian traditions.  Be sure to try specialties like figatellu (a type of sausage) and fiadone (a dessert).

Ajaccio boasts several beautiful beaches include Plage de Capo di Feno, Plage de Saint-François, and Plage d’Agosta.

Ajaccio hosts various festivals and events throughout the year, including the Festival Napoléonien (Napoleonic Festival) and the Fête de la Musique, which celebrates music and culture.

Best places to stay in Corsica in Ajaccio without a car:


4. Bastia

Bastia is one of the best locations to stay in Corsica, even without a car. It has a port, airport, and train lines, making it easily accessible and making day trips without the need of having a car. Additionally, the town center can be explored on foot.

Bastia is one of the largest and most important cities on the island. It is situated in the Haute-Corse department of Corsica, the northern part of the island. It is known for its picturesque coastal setting, nestled between the mountains and the sea.

Bastia is a significant port city, and its port is one of the busiest in Corsica. It serves as a major gateway for both passenger and cargo transportation to and from the mainland of France and other Mediterranean destinations.

Additionally, Bastia has an airport, Bastia-Poretta Airport, which offers domestic and international flights. You can use a bus shuttle service/ taxi to reach Bastia town center from the airport, which is around 35 minutes drive away.

Bastia has numerous train lines, so you can take a day trip without a car. There are trains to  Ajaccio via Corte, trains to Calvi, and suburban trains of Bastia that take you to Borgo and Casamozza.

The historic heart of Bastia is the Old Town (Terra Vecchia), which is characterized by narrow winding streets, colorful buildings, and charming squares. The Old Port (Vieux-Port) is also a focal point of the city and a popular area for visitors.

Bastia boasts several cultural attractions, including museums, churches, and historic sites. The Museum of Bastia, housed in a former governor’s palace, offers insights into the city’s history and culture. The Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church is a notable religious site with an impressive baroque interior.

The city hosts various festivals and events throughout the year, celebrating Corsican culture, music, and traditions. These include the Festiventu, a music festival, and the Fiera di l’Artigiani, a craft fair.

The region around Bastia offers several beautiful beaches and coastal areas where visitors can relax, swim, and enjoy the Mediterranean climate.

Best places to stay in Corsica in Bastia without a car:


5. Corte

Corte is a charming town nestled in the heart of the rugged and picturesque island of Corsica, which is part of France. This town is a hidden gem that holds a unique place in Corsican history, culture, and natural beauty.

There is no airport in Corte. The best way to reach Corte is by car, but there is a slow train from Ajaccio, Calvi, and Bastia. 

Corte holds immense historical significance in Corsica. It was the birthplace of Corsican nationalism and played a pivotal role in the island’s struggle for independence from Genoese and later French rule. 

In the 18th century, Corte was the capital of the short-lived Corsican Republic, led by Pasquale Paoli, a key figure in Corsican history. Today, the Museum of Corsica in Corte showcases the island’s rich history, including its fight for independence.

The town is situated in the middle of the island, surrounded by dramatic mountains, including the famous Restonica Valley. The Restonica River, with its crystal-clear waters and beautiful gorges, offers numerous opportunities for hiking, swimming, and outdoor adventures.

Corte’s historic center is characterized by narrow winding streets, traditional Corsican architecture, and a prominent citadel perched on a hill. The Citadel of Corte, which dates back to the 15th century, offers panoramic views of the town and the surrounding landscapes. 

Walking through the old town is like stepping back in time, with its ancient buildings and charming squares.

Best places to stay in Corsica in Corte without a car:


6. Bonifacio

Bonifacio is one of the best places to stay in Corsica without a car because the town is easily reachable by road or boat. It is only a 50 minute ferry ride from Santa-Teresa di Gallura in Sardinia. 

There is a small airport nearby called Figari-Sud Corse Airport, making it accessible for travelers. From the airport, you can take a taxi to Bonifacio, which is a 20 minute ride away.

Bonifacio is a picturesque town located on the narrow southernmost part of Corsica, overlooking the Strait of Bonifacio, which separates Corsica from the Italian island of Sardinia. The town is perched atop steep limestone cliffs, which provide stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea.

Bonifacio has a rich history dating back to ancient times. It was founded by the Romans in the 9th century and has been inhabited by numerous civilizations throughout the centuries. Its strategic location made it an important port and military stronghold.

The town is known for its well-preserved medieval architecture, including narrow winding streets, ancient citadels, and impressive fortifications. 

The most famous of these is the Citadel of Bonifacio, which offers a glimpse into the town’s history. The  Petit Train shuttle service can help you travel between the marina and Citadel.

Bonifacio is also renowned for its rugged coastline featuring numerous limestone cliffs, sea caves, and clear blue waters. The area is a popular destination for boating, snorkeling, and hiking.

Best places to stay in Corsica in Bonifacio without a car:


7. Porto-Vecchio

Porto-Vecchio is a great base in Corsica for car-free travelers as it is accessible by road and is approximately a 30-minute drive from Figari-Sud Corse Airport. It’s also a common starting point for exploring other parts of Corsica.

Porto-Vecchio is a beautiful coastal town located in the Corse-du-Sud department of France, on the southeastern coast of Corsica. It is the third-largest commune in Corsica by population.

The town is renowned for its natural beauty, including pristine white sandy beaches, clear turquoise waters, and rugged cliffs. The nearby Lavezzi Islands and the Cervicale Islands are popular destinations for boating and snorkeling.

Porto-Vecchio is especially popular during the summer months. Visitors come to enjoy the beaches, water sports, and the vibrant nightlife in the town. The nearby Palombaggia Beach and Santa Giulia Beach are among the most famous in the area.

The town has a historic old town with narrow streets, ancient fortifications, and a Genoese fortress called the Citadelle de Porto-Vecchio.

Best places to stay in Corsica in Porto-Vecchio without a car:


In conclusion, Calvi, L’Ile Rousse in la Balagne, Ajaccio, Bastia, Corte, Bonifacio, and Porto-Vecchio are the best places to stay in Corsica without a car. These areas are accessible by public transportations, and easily explored on foot, making them great locations for car-free travelers.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

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