Car rental in Bastia
Rent a car in Bastia

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Bastia is an ancient Mediterranean port, dotted with Baroque-style buildings exuding a strong Genoese ambiance prevalent since the 14th century. At its heart lies Terra Vecchia, the old town. Rent a car in Bastia to get around the coastal French town and its surroundings at your own pace. While a major part of the town can be encompassed on foot, Corsica’s dramatic scenery and other coastal gems can be best experienced by car.

It's your choice: Corsica where to go

Corsica is the birthplace of France’s most famous son – Napoleon Bonaparte.

  • On a visit here, you cannot afford to miss Maison Bonaparte, where the historic icon spent his first nine years, until 1923.
  • Drive your way to Ajaccio to visit his original house, now converted into a museum with a public display of the family’s possessions and antique furniture.
  • Legend has it that a pilgrimage to the chapel of Notre Dame de la Serra with the love of your life promises many long years of bliss together. From Calvi, follow the road to Galeria for around five kilometres and head left onto “Notre Dame de la Serra.” On reaching, take the steps that lead to the beautiful chapel, offering breathtaking views of Calvi, the Réginu valley and the La Revellata lighthouse.
  • Drive to the ports of Calvi or Porto, the nearest villages to the UNESCO World Heritage Scandola Nature Reserve and take a boat to reach the spectacular red cliffs found here. The reward? Crystal clear waves lashing against the mottled volcanic rocks at the Gulf of Girolata, jagged caves and inlets, playful dolphins and giant gulls.

Best places to visit in Corsica

With your rental car in Bastia, make a trip to the northern tip – Cap Corse.

  • Speed past scenic coastal hamlets, explore the port town of Bastia and visit the villages of Erbalunga and Nonza and the black beach.
  • No travel to Corsica, France is complete without a visit to Calvi. A mere couple of hours drive from Bastia, Calvi is known for its lofty citadel, five miles of sun-kissed beaches and unbeatable seafood delicacies.
  • Located nearby, La Balagne is a charming historical hamlet.
  • Yet another memorable road trip is to the ancient fortress town of Bonifacio with characteristic cream limestone walls.
  • Relax in its paradisical beaches; Palombaggia, Rondinara and Tamaricciu, and explore the nearby Solenzara gorges and Bavella Needles.

Important Info about Bastia

Many places in Corsica are inaccessible by public transport with only three train lines connecting the cities and most buses running only twice a day. Rent a car in Bastia to be on flexible schedule. Roads in Corsica are mostly mountainous, narrow and winding with hairpin bends. Thus, if you already have experience driving on such roads, then it is ideal to rent a car in Bastia.

Weather in Bastia
Facts
Country France
Language French
Currency Euro
Time-Zones CET
Capital Paris

Good to know

If arriving by flight, consider the car rental services at Bastia airport or if coming by ferry, look for services for car hire at Bastia harbour. Towns have limited parking and roads narrow, so, it’s advisable to rent a car in Bastia which is comparatively smaller. For car rental in Bastia you need to be least 21 years old – sometimes even 25 years depending on the rental conditions - and have a driver’s licence for more than a year, otherwise you will need to possess an EU driving licence. Present your driving licence, a valid credit card and proof of identity to rent a car in Bastia.
July and August are a busy time throughout Corsica, and roads can have more traffic than usual. Maintain a speed of 90km/h (56mph) on non-urban areas and other roads when driving through Corsica. When getting around within a town, drive slowly at 60km/h (37mph).

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Tour suggestion for Corsica

Road tripping in Corsica is the best way to discover the island’s unspoilt landscape. Begin your road trip northwards from Bastia, driving along the scenic coast to Patrimonio. Explore the pretty fishing villages like Erbalunga or Centuri – famed for their fish and lobster dishes and the clifftop Nonza. Stay in Patrimonio to visit the vineyards of St Florent. Drive through the La Balagne countryside to reach the medieval town of Calvi.
Your next destination could be Porto, the scenic Genoese town surrounded by beautiful gorges and an ideal base to explore Scandola Nature Reserve. From Porto, a picture-perfect coastal route leads to Ajaccio, a historical city and Napoleon’s birthplace. Take a break en route to visit the Calanches de Piana for its magnificent red granite rock formations.
Bonifacio is a mere two-and-a-half-hour drive from Ajaccio. The fortified town is known for its medieval attractions and food lovers never leave the city without tasting the iconic “bonifacienne aubergines”. Corte could be the last stop on your road trip itinerary before driving back to Bastia. Sitting right at the heart of Corsica, Corte is picture-perfect with its cobbled alleyways and natural pools, set against a mountainous backdrop.

What to bring to your friends from Corsica

Corsican earthenware, handmade ceramics, naturally dyed sheep wool winter wear with traditional Corsican patterns and jewellery of corals and local stones are all ideal souvenirs. Artisan chestnut jam, Brocciu cheese, locally-made Corsican ham and Fiadone cake are recommendable gourmet souvenirs. For wine lovers, wines labelled with Ajaccio AOC, Patrimonio AOC, Muscat du Cap Corse AOC, and Vins de Pays (VDP’s) and liqueurs from legendary Cap Corse Mattei are great. Only black, ripe olives are harvested in Corsica which lends the Corsican olive oil (or Oliu di Corsica) its characteristic mild and aromatic flavour. So, make sure you pack some of those precious olives and few bottles of Oliu di Corsica to take back home.