By plane is easy enough with 30 minute flights from the Cote d’Azur or direct flights from varied airports in the UK and many European countries to Calvi, Bastia or Ajaccio (try to avoid the Ajaccio as it’s large, complex and car-jammed)
A ferry from French and Italian mainlands is a good alternative if you’re in the vicinity anyway, saving on packing, passports, airport stress and you get to drive your own car, just don’t bring a wide vehicle if you’re planning to drive the narrow and winding mountain roads.
Corsica Ferries is the best known fleet (French so probably more reliable and better staffed than Italian vessels that have a rocky reputation) and runs – depending on the time of year – from Nice, Toulon and Marseilles in France; Livorno, Genoa, Piombino, Savona and more ports in Italy. Ferries dock in north Corsica at Bastia, Ile Rousse or Calvi, or in the southwest in Ajaccio or Propriano.
Calvi’s popular little town on Corsica’s north-west coast, with a large and excellent beach, though some unsightly development is seeping in.
Bastia’s Vieux Port. Photo by Pasteur.
On the north-east coast Bastia is another port but much older and less touristy than the other two northern towns, dating from Roman times and sporting a charming tangle of ancient streets and a refreshing interest in commerce, though this raison d’etre results in some unsightly industrial zones.
Bastia town is not very large and is short of budget accommodationbut has a lively daily market, a handful of magnificent churches and is connected to an airport 16kms (10miles) away by shuttle bus; the town has its own stony beach though there’s a much better sandy one a kilometre south, L’Arinella or head west by 4WD vehicle and scramble over to the island’s best beach Plage de Saleccia or go north into the wilderness of Cap Corse.