An introduction to Corsica?/h5>
CORSICA is a fascinating island, which has scenery and culture unlike any other place in Europe.
It boasts the best beaches in the Mediterranean, mountains twice as high as Snowdon and its own language.
Until a few years ago, a holiday in Corsica was only for the relatively affluent, but now that no-frills airlines like easyJet and Ryanair offer rock-bottom fares to the South of France and Italy, a holiday in Corsica has become possible on even the tightest of budgets.
The language you will hear most often in Corsica is French, but in the interior many of the people speak Corsican, a unique European language that shares words with Italian, reflecting Corsica's turbulent history. Before the days of Pascal Paoli (Corsica's father figure and national hero) and Napoleon (who was born in Ajaccio, a large town in the west of the island), the island was ruled by Genoa and Pisa.
Children must now learn the Corsican language at school, and the local traditional and popular music - also sometimes in the Corsican language - can often be heard in bars and restaurants. Road signs tend to be in French and Corsican.
Can you get by just speaking English? Yes. Most shop staff and waiters speak a little English, though you may find it difficult to find English speakers in Corsica's mountainous centre. If you have a little French, it goes a long way here!
The island is sometimes called "L'Ile de beaut?quot; - a title which it richly deserves. Go to one of Corsica's spotless beaches (see beaches page above) and you may find it possible to look at snow-capped mountains while sun-bathing or swimming in a warm sea.
Currency and shopping
Corsica is politically part of France and its currency is the Euro. You can spend your euros in Corsica’s thousands of excellent shops and restaurants. Most common credit cards are accepted, and as with most European holiday destinations, there are banks and ATMs in the major towns. and some villages
If you have somewhat larger amounts to transfer, we recommend using a currency exchange specialist. We use HIFX (See banner right) when we transfer sums in the thousands - they'll give you a better rate than your bank and are very helpful.
If you can't wait to go there to do your shopping, and want to buy some Corsican produce while you're at home, you can order some from Corsican-products.com..
See our Corsican Calendar. West Corsica gets more hours of sunshine than anywhere else in France, but the interior gets its fair share of rain between September and April.
Things to do
The children of Ile Rousse have put together a Corsican Calendar especially for Corsicaholiday.com - with lots of ideas to help you plan your stay. And visit our Beaches, Music and Holidays pages as well. You certainly won’t get bored here!
One of the ultimate Corsican experiences is to travel the island's famous narrow-gauge railway that connects the island's main towns of Bastia, Corte and Ajaccio. Corsica's brand new alpine type rolling stock will give a new dimensionn to the journey.
Your questions answered
If you have questions about Corsica that you can’t find here, you can write to us and we will do our best to answer them (info @ corsicaholiday.com). You can also join a discussion group about Corsica:
We’d recommend you take a look at Corsicalista (this group is run in association with Corsicaholiday and Corsica-isula and many of the people in this English-speaking group actually live here!
And if you need a daily fix of all things Corsican, you can visit Derekthered’s Corsica blog., an occasional diary about Corsica full of anecdotes, suggestions and news.