A Traveller's Guide to Bastia - Corsica, France
Visit the beautiful old harbour town of Bastia, Corsica
Located at the base of Cap Corse on the north-eastern side of the island of Corsica, Bastia is the principal port and commercial centre of the island as well as being renowned for its wines. Corsica is situated 210 nautical miles from Marseille in the Mediterranean Sea southeast of France and west of Italy.
Getting to and around Bastia
Bastia is serviced by the Bastia – Poretta airport, located in the town of Lucciana just 16km south of the city. There are three other airports on the island, located at Ajaccio, Calvi and Figari. An hourly shuttle bus connects Bastia’s airport with the city centre. Bus tickets and timetable information available at the tourist desk. The airport shuttle costs €8. The taxi fare into town from the airport is around €30.
The N193 motorway runs directly into Bastia and links the city with Ajaccio on the south-western side of the island. Route N198 runs south from Bastia to Porto-Vecchio.
To reach Bastia by boat, there are high-speed services called NGV (Navire à Grande Vitesse) as well as regular ferry services available. The NGV connects Nice to Bastia as well as l'Ile-Rousse, Calvi and Ajaccio. The regular ferry services depart from Marseille, Ajaccio and Toulon in France as well as other cities in Italy including Genoa, Naples, Nice and Sardinia.
Once you arrive in Corsica, there is a train and bus service to help you to get around the island, however since services are infrequent and only connect the major cities it is best to rent a car. The train service connects Bastia with Corte, Ajaccio and Calvi. Bastia’s buses connect several locations around town and depart from various stops, since there is no major bus terminal – further details are available from the tourist office.
Things to see and do in Bastia
Within Bastia, there are three main areas that are of particular interest to tourists: the old harbour, the old town and the citadel. The old harbour is a fantastic place to enjoy the scenery from one of the many surrounding bars and restaurants or by simply strolling along the Quai des Martyrs de la Liberation. The old town features narrow streets and alleyways lined with tall faded and crumbling buildings and houses dating back to the 18th century. The citadel is located in the trendy Terra Nova district and features a keep and bell tower as well as containing the Governor’s Palace and a couple of churches.
If you are looking to enjoy some time down at the beach, try the long sandy beaches south of town. There is a pebble beach in Bastia itself but this can get overcrowded during the peak season.