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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Bastia

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in northern Corsica each year. The main ones are listed below.

January 1: New Year's Day (national holiday)

May 1: Labour Day (national holiday)

On the first of May, it is customary to offer a sprig of lily-of-the-valley to close friends, family members or neighbours. On this day, anyone in France can sell lily-of-the valley sprigs on the street without needing a licence, provided the flowers have been picked wild or homegrown. Unsurprisingly, sellers can be found on almost every corner!

June 21: Fête de la Musique (celebrated nationwide)

Also celebrated internationally as World Music Day, for this festival many free concerts featuring all types of music are held in the streets and at various venues around Corsica.

July–September: Bastia in Festa (local event)

Over this 90-day period, Bastia organizes 90 concerts, stage shows, exhibitions and other events.

July 14: Bastille Day (national holiday)

This holiday celebrates both the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789, the key event marking the beginning of the French Revolution, which would culminate in the collapse of the absolute monarchy, and the end of the privileges enjoyed by the clergy and the aristocracy. Festivities in northern Corsica include concerts and dance parties. At nightfall, dazzling fireworks displays light up the skies over many Corsican towns and villages.

August 15: Assumption Day (national holiday)

This celebration, still very popular in Corsica, is marked by the faithful with several religious processions through the streets, among other observances.

Third weekend in September: European Heritage Days (celebrated nationwide)

Held in major cities, the aim of the European Heritage Days is to open up numerous sites and monuments, many of which are normally closed to the public: public and private buildings, castles, museums, etc.

October: WRC Tour de Corse – Rallye de France (local event)

This event, which served as the French round of the World Rally Championship from 1973 until 2008, returned to Corsica in 2015, with a longer route and more varied stages.

October: International Circus Festival of Corsica (local event)

Bastia and Ajaccio host this competition for circus troupes from around the world. Clowns, animal trainers, acrobats and other performers try to outdo each other with phenomenal circus acts, for the delight of competition spectators.

December 25 : Christmas (national holiday)

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Bastia

Northern Corsica enjoys a Mediterranean climate. Summers are hot and dry, while winters are especially mild (only 5 days with freezing temperatures each year in Bastia, on average). Winds can be strong at times and rainfall rather heavy (particularly from September to December). But Corsica is also well known for its exceptional sunshine!

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January 5/41 14/57 67/2.6 Not the best period to go
February 5/41 14/57 57/2.2 Not the best period to go
March 7/45 16/61 60/2.4 Not the best period to go
April 9/48 18/64 76/3.0 Not the best period to go
May 12/54 22/72 50/2.0 Good period to go Good period to go
June 16/61 26/79 41/1.6 Good period to go Good period to go
July 19/66 29/84 13/0.5 Good period to go Good period to go
August 19/66 29/84 21/0.8 Good period to go Good period to go
September 16/61 26/79 81/3.2 Not the best period to go
October 13/55 22/72 127/5.0 Not the best period to go
November 9/48 17/63 114/4.5 Not the best period to go
December 6/43 14/57 93/3.7 Not the best period to go
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Northern Corsica Airports

Bastia Poretta Airport

Bastia's Poretta Airport is located about 22 kilometres (14 miles) from the city centre.
  • One terminal for both international and domestic flights

Getting from the airport to Bastia and back
  • By car
    • Accessible via the N193
    • Parking facilities include a free lot (PG) with 30 spaces and two paid parking areas with a total of 360 spaces:
      • P1 (short-term parking; EUR 2 for 30 minutes and EUR 14 for 24 hours)
      • P2 (long-term parking: EUR 2 for 30 minutes, EUR 10 for 24 hours and EUR 5 for each additional day)
    • Several car rental companies have counters at the airport..
  • By bus
    • Autobus Bastiais operates shuttle bus services between the airport and the city centre. Travel time is about 35 minutes and the one-way fare is EUR 9.
  • Taxi
    • Taxis are available at the ranks just outside the arrivals hall. The daytime fare to the city centre is about EUR 40. Between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m., the night fare applies and the same trip costs around EUR 60.
  • Services : bars and restaurants, newsstand, and free Internet access (Wi-Fi) available in the airport.
  • Telephone : +33 (0)4 95 54 54 54
  • Website : http://www.bastia.aeroport.fr

Calvi Sainte-Catherine Airport


Calvi's Saint-Catherine Airport is located about 7 kilometres (4 miles) south-east of the city centre.
  • One terminal for both international and domestic flights

Getting from the airport to Calvi and back
  • By car
    • Accessible via the N197, then the D81 (Route de l'Aéroport). Travel time to the city centre is about 8 minutes.
    • There is a paid parking area with 200 spaces (EUR 1.20 for 1 hour, EUR 6.00 for 24 hours), plus a free Dépose Rapide drop-off zone just outside the departures hall.
    • Several car rental companies have counters at the airport.
  • Taxi
    • Taxis disponibles au niveau de la zone d'arrivée.
  • Services : bars, vending machines, newsstand, and free Internet access (Wi-Fi) available in the airport.
  • Telephone : +33 (0)4 95 54 54 54
  • Website : http://www.calvi.aeroport.fr

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GETTING AROUND Bastia

To discover northern Corsica, the simplest option is to rent a car or motorcycle/scooter. And for more athletic visitors, bicycles are also an excellent choice!

By rail

Getting around northern Corsica by rail is not an option for visitors in a hurry, but does offer spectacular views of the area's magnificent and varied landscapes. Trains connect Bastia and Calvi in the north with Ajaccio in the south via Ponte Lecchia and Corte in the centre of the island. You can also take a fantastic journey along the astounding coastline from Calvi to L'Île Rousse on the little Trinichellu train affectionately referred to as a “gondola on rails”.

By car and motorcycle

In both northern and southern Corsica, renting a car or a motorcycle is the best way to get around the island. Both types of vehicles may be easily rented on the airport property.

By taxi

If you would rather not rent a vehicle, taxis are sometimes the only other way to get around Corsica, whether to return to where you are staying in the evening or to get to the airport.

By bicycle

Bicycling in Corsica is really only recommended for the most athletic visitors. If you head almost anywhere in from the coast, you can be guaranteed that your ride will involve some climbing. There are a number of bike rental shops in the island's main towns and cities.

On foot

Of course, walking is without doubt the ideal way to visit the historic centre of towns and villages in Corsica and to admire the island's landscapes.

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in northern Corsica, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organize your stay.

Bastia Tourist Office

Offers sightseeing recommendations, tourist information and brochures.

  • Address: place Saint-Nicolas, 20200 Bastia
  • Opening hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon Sunday
  • Telephone: +33 (0)4 95 54 20 40
  • Website: http://www.bastia-tourisme.com

Calvi Tourist Office

Offers sightseeing recommendations, tourist information and brochures.

  • Address: Port de Plaisance, BP 97, 20260 Calvi
  • Opening hours: 9 a.m. to noon and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday (without interruption in July and August)
  • Telephone: +33 (0)4 95 65 16 67
  • Website: http://www.calvi-tourisme.com

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Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency used in France is the Euro (€).

$1 = €0.94

€1 = $1.06

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

Vaccinations

There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to France.

For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:

Food safety

There are no specific food safety risks. French government authorities promote good hygiene practices and put in place strengthened control procedures for sites especially frequented by tourists during the summer months.

Water

Tap water is safe to drink in Corsica.

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Administrative formalities

As a general rule, a visa is required to enter France. Foreign nationals in the two categories listed below are not required to carry a visa for stays of 90 days or less:

  • Citizens of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or the Swiss Confederation
  • Citizens or nationals of the following countries: Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominica, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Holy See (Vatican City), Honduras, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Timor-Leste, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela
      For stays of more than 90 days, a long-stay visa is required.

Travellers from all other countries must be in possession of a visa, regardless of the length of their stay. Visa applications must be submitted to the nearest French Embassy or French Consulate in the country of permanent residence well in advance of departure.

For further information, visit the website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/coming-to-france/getting-a-visa/

Travel information and recommendations

To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Corsica, be sure to check with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your home country for the latest travel information and recommendations.

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Essential phrases

Here are a few basic French phrases that will make your stay in Corsica a little easier:

Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: Bonjour

Good evening: Bonsoir

Good-bye: Au revoir

Yes: Oui

No: Non

No, thank you: Non, merci

Thank you very much: Merci beaucoup

I don't understand: Je ne comprends pas

Could you repeat that: Pouvez-vous répéter ?

Please: S'il vous plaît

What time is it: Quelle heure est-il ?

Excuse me: Excusez-moi

Airport: Aéroport

Train station: Gare

Taxi: Taxi

Hotel: Hôtel

Hospital: Hôpital

Bank: Banque

Telephone: Téléphone

I'm (…): Je suis (…)

I'm looking for (…): Je recherche (…)

How much is (…): Quel est le prix de (…) ?

Do you have (…): Avez-vous (…) ?

Where can I find (…): Où puis-je trouver (…) ?

Where can I buy (…): Où puis-je acheter (…) ?

I'd like (…): Je voudrais (…)

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Good to know

00 33
+ phone number without the 0 (calls to northern Corsica)
6 : 00
of time difference with
New York
Start of daylight saving time: last Sunday in March
End of daylight saving time: last Sunday in October

BANKS

Usually open Tuesday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
GOVERNMENT OFFICES

Usually open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
230 V / 50 Hz

And what about tipping?
In northern Corsica like elsewhere in France, a service charge is always included in the bill. If you are particularly pleased with the service, you may certainly leave a few extra euros on the table. But this additional tip is neither expected nor necessary.