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driving there from the UK

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driving there from the UK

My husband and I are thinking of spending a few days driving down to Corsica, staying ina villa for a week and then driving back - so the whole trip would take us 2 weeks. We would be going in August.

Can anyone recommend an interesting route/places to stay etc?

Tampa, Florida
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1. Re: driving there from the UK


click on the small map, and a larger one will open in a new window.

You can choose to have it display restaurants, hotels, tourist sites -- and choose the Michelin-recommended, shortest, fastest, scenic, or cheapest (avoiding toll roads) route. You can then click to modify the route to take in whatever it is that looks interesting.

A very powerful, and very under-utilized tool.

London, United...
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2. Re: driving there from the UK

We once went Portsmouth-St Malo and then Dordogne (near Sarlat)-Avignon- Nice, which was certainly a lot more fun than hammering down the A26/A8.

Or you could spend time on the Loire, and then in Languedoc/Provence before heading across to Nice/Toulon for the boat;

or you could go via Italy, taking in the lakes and the Cinque Terre before heading down to Savona or Livorno - there are really endless ways of getting there, this is a big question!

We've done all these routes and they are good fun, but if this is your first visit to Corsica - and especially in August, when the French and Italian roads are clogged with holidaymakers, and you will have to book all your accommodation in advance - I think you would really do better to fly, rent a car when you get there, and spend your whole two weeks in two different places in Corsica (one north, one south)

England, United...
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3. Re: driving there from the UK

Can you change the timing of your holiday at all? As Balanina says, everywhere gets so full in July and August.

September or May/June would be so much better. If you can't change your dates, for ex. if you're a teacher, then allow plenty of time for the drive. This is especially the case if you follow the Eastern route. The A26 is usually fine until Dijon, but the A7 south of Macon/around Lyon and southwards can get excruciatingly slow in high season and other busy times. The Western route is better (we did Portsmouth to Le Havre) but you still need to turn East at some point to get to the French ports for the crossing to Corsica, or to travel on to Italy for the Italian ports. If you wish to explore away from the motorways still be prepared for delays.

I always found the French ferries to Corsica very comfortable (had a cabin on overnight crossings), and the food on board good. On one occasion we went to Tuscany first for a week, and then crossed from Livorno to Corsica. The Italian ferry and facilities were less good, but it was a hugely exciting trip. But we did have 17 days.

Enjoy your planning and beautiful Corsica.

PS: To check which dates are likely to be busiest this website gives an indication but it doesn't seem to show next year's projections yet:


London, United...
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4. Re: driving there from the UK

Hey Jgdn,

woah...this is quite a trip that you are preparing...congratulations, it should be great. You would obviously have many options to get there but i could for instance recommand the following (option depending on where you live within the UK):

- to Corsica: take a boat ferry to Brugge (from Hull for instance) and drive around France from Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland and Italy / then take a Ferry from Civitavecchio to Porto Vecchio

- to the UK: Calvi to Nice, and then up to Calais via the Poitoux region for the channel tunnel

Enjoy your trip...and Corsica as well!!


middle england
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5. Re: driving there from the UK

I understand that everyone is enthusiastic about your trip, but personally I have two reservations. The first has already been stated - try not to go in August - very crowded and very expensive. But secondly and more important, I actually think you are being wildly ambitious. To say you are going to spend "a few days" travelling followed by a week in Corsica would mean a large amount of travelling in quite a short time and would leave you little or no time to spend anywhere in France. Even with more than one driver this doesn't sound to me like much of a holiday. I have to say that villafanny, normally very knowledgeable and sensible seems to have taken leave of her senses in recommending ferries to Brugge (there aren't any, they go to Zeebrugge and take over 14 hours each way, already over a day out of your 14 days)) and a driving itinery which would be a fortnight's holiday in itself. Quite why you would want to include Luxemburg and/or Germany is a mystery to me.

England, United...
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6. Re: driving there from the UK

Yes, Villafanny just got a bit carried away by too much enthusiasm :-)

But the real problem is that none of us have enough information to help effectively.

Jgdn: where in the UK would you start the journey from? It makes a huge difference whether, like me, you live close the the Channel ports or whether you are starting from Manchester, Glasgow or Aberdeen. Also, what do you consider 'interesting' - landscapes, towns, villages, good eating, etc.?

Everybody on this thread wants to give helpful advice because we love Corsica but we just need a bit more from you, please.

U.S. expats
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7. Re: driving there from the UK

I too think this is wildly ambitious. Getting to and from Corsica in a week from the U.K. means seeing and spending a lot of time on a lot of motorways. (and ferries) In August, they will be crowded.

Corsica is only a 2 hour flight from most places in the U.K.

Rent a car and drive when you get there. If it were me, I would fly into Figari, and explore the southwest.

Corsica, France
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8. Re: driving there from the UK

hi there

wow, lots of reply and opinions here! Ok, so I just completed the trip back and forth from London, and with a dog and cat in the car! :-)

All in all I think that, if you want to take this trip and enjoy it, it means:

- be a "driver", i.e. enjoy those kind of roadtrip in general and also have a good comfortable car with aircon

- as mentioned by many above, NOT do it in August... or at least past August 15 when the crowd and road traffics reduces a bit, and make sure your long highway drives are not planned on any week-end or Friday evening, the peak times for French to travel around

As for finding the right road, take the Ferry to Calais, easiest by far, then it's pretty much up to you and how many days you want to spend on the road and what you like... do you want to visit the big cities? Lille, Paris, Dijon, Nice(a bit of a stretch) are on the way. In this case, take highways and simply exit to town centres. Or for countryside, I would recommend to leave the highway in the beautiful and lush Morvan and Auvergne regions, a stop in burgundy "haute cote de nuit" for some top wines and finally another off the road Provence drive. However, when you add it all up, this could take you a while. Maybe do a few on the way out and a few on the way back?

For good food and hotel stopovers, I agree, viamichelin should be good, or you can buy the Michelin guide itself.

And for Corsica, feel free to visit my site for general info on what to do: www.corsicaexperience.com

have a good trip!


9. Re: driving there from the UK

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