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Corsica


Shirley

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We are 4 adults and 2 children who want to spend 1 week in Corsica during July. Haven't been there before, so any information, e.g., best locations, areas to avoid, etc., will be appreciated. Also, we are looking to rent a home or gite, preferably with a pool. Any websites anyone can recommend?

Thanks so much.
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All I can tell you is that you need to get the ferry booked asap now really as it gets very packed in Corsica in July/August with the french going there. My son spent three weeks there last July/August with our local headmaster and his family and they took a day to drive down from here in 29 and caught the SNCF ferry Bonaparte from Marseille which took about 8 hours to reach Ajaccio. They were warned not to hang around in Marseille either as it is a very dangerous city for non-locals even french. The best thing is to get some brochures from your local french travel agency for rental accomodation. Mountain roads also are very dangerous for non-locals with a lot of backing down when meeting other vehicles
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ermm:

Re. Marseille, yes you need to have your wits about you but I don't think it's that bad. I spent time there alone on a journey en-route to the alpes. On the outward journey I flew in to Marseille airport, took coach into town and left my luggage in the SNCF left luggage (BTW this facility may now be a thing of the past). This gave me time to have lunch and to explore the old port before catching my train. On the return journey I needed an hotel for the night, I asked at the tourist office who recommended a very simple hotel nr. the station, which turned out to be clean and perfectly o.k.. I took the boat trip to the chateau d'If, had an evening meal and then went back to the hotel. I spent the following day exploring the markets and a museum in the old town before returning to the airport. Yes take care but don't be terrified.

Gill

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Gill just passing on the fact that the vendor at the service station near to the SNCF ferry port (who happened to be Breton also) warned our son & friends that if they hung around they would find the wheels taken off their car,the windows smashed and they would be robbed at knifepoint. Needless to say she was sitting behind bulletproof glass and was shortly moving back here as she didn't like it there. My neighbour who was born and bred in Marseille also says the same and refuses to visit there anymore after being mugged.
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I have to side with Gill on this one.

We lived 45 minutes or so north of Marseilles some time ago and have to say that Marseilles itself is a beautiful place, in parts !

I am afraid in mine and many French friends experience, it is sadly pretty exaggerated to offer Marseilles as a generalism of muggings and "barbarism".

Does one truly think that every car is a burnt out wreck and no one living in Marseilles has escaped without being mugged. Liken it to London (but with sunshine of course!) if you like, many lovely places to visit and areas not to go to. Dreux and Evreux, as well as many other towns all over France, have problems with racial tensions (part of the problem Marseille suffers from) which do not receive the same attention but can be pretty difficult areas to roam freely about in certain areas.

Yes, after dark in the old town, has long been a no go zone, as have other areas in Marseille but if I was to sit down and use that criteria as a benchmark, how many cities and towns in Europe would fit the same bill? Yep, no doubt quite a few.

Yes, I do think that people are right to warn others of the dangers of Marseilles but it can get out of hand and if it taken to its 'nth degree you would wonder why the whole place is not a ghost town and only the overcrowded appartment zones will have residents !

No, do not fear Marseille, though I will add here that my car aerial was snapped off along with a wing mirror at a game at the velodrome (Hoddle and Monaco were in town) possibly as I had an 04 plate (not local 13) on a loaned car but although very much annoying me (and my mate whose car it was !) simply be aware and be careful sure, especially after dark in some areas, other than that, Marseille can be an absolute joy.

 

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Just caught up with your post, but can thoroughly recommend Corsica. Several years ago we had a week there, stayed in a hotel in Portovechio, with a hire car thrown in so we were able to get around and see the sites. We were in the south of the isand and had flown into Figari with a very bumpy landing through air turbulence. Hotel was good, even if a bit basic and food was not too bad (Our daughter, 6 at the time, struggled a bit with the menu choices). It was nice to be up in the mountains in the morning and in the sea in the afternoon. Offers a lot, its quite unspoilt in places, but be aware that there are differences between the French and the Corsicans. (I say that without any bias whatsoever before the PC brigade start complaining).They really do want their independance. Do a bit of research for your area, get a hire car, go and enjoy. It's one of the med's best kept secrets.

Aitch.   

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