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Early April?

California
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Early April?

Need to use some vacation time and frequent flyer miles and April is lining up to be a good time for both.

But how is the weather? I'm not looking for beach weather, just dry weather would be a good start.

Would fly in and out of NCE from the US and then fly or ferry to the island, for 4-5 days. Haven't researched much yet but thinking of basing near AJA and taking a couple of day trips.

Is this rough plan workable this time of the year or is access (flights or ferries to the island) and attractions limited?

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Early April?

Well....you certainly won't be finding beach weather....the ocean will be too cold for all but the hardiest swimmer.

The biggest issue will be finding hotels, restaurants and shops open. In early April....Corsica is still just waking up. The fact that Easter is late this year doesn't help. You will find some businesses open....but it is really early in the "season."

You will need to rent a car.

There are lots on natural "attractions" on Corsica, but it really isn't an attraction-laden place. It is rough and raw and gorgeous and the "attractions" follow that theme.

London, United...
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2. Re: Early April?

Hi ag11,

congratulations for looking at Corsica for April from the US...not an obvious one...but lovely though. Average temperature is 17C (sorry I don't know my F) and sea would be around 16C so definitely NOT a beach weather - plus showers should also be expected (really difficult to guess in April in particular).

Taking a ferry from Nice does not make much sense, that would be wasting almost 24hours in total - take a short flight from Nice to any of the four Corsican airports. Also Ajaccio is nothing but a city...not really what you want to see in Corsica...so get lost in the country side instead. April is all about nature, landscape, etc. to get a sense of what an exclusive extended week end in South Corsica could look like have a look at http://www.murtoli.com/ quick taxi hop from Figari and plenty to do in the area.

Enjoy Corsica!!

VillaFanny-PortoVecchio

California
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3. Re: Early April?

I've always wanted to go but getting to any of the bigger islands like Corsica and Majorca is difficult, especially on award tickets.

So it's good to hear it's not completely a bad idea to go in April.

I've read in other threads that traffic is slow-going, like 25 MPH, so you can't cover a lot of ground.

I'd assumed that AJA was the major airport. What are the other airport codes?

I will have to research rental car options from those airports.

Is it difficult to find hotels with parking?

Also, I see a lot of Italian place names, which shouldn't be surprising. But French is spoken everywhere? How about any English? I speak some French and know a very little bit of Italian (though I've been to Italy many times).

It's odd, I was in Aosta last summer and a lot of the place names there are French.

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: Early April?

Majorca and Corsica are completely different destinations. Majorca has a substantial tourism infrastructure and hosts over 10 million vistors a year. Corsica has a limited tourism infrastructure and sees maybe 2 million visitors a year.

Finding hotels with available parking in early April won't be a problem. Bear in mind that not all hotels will be open yet.

Corsica has deep Italian roots having been occupied by the PIsans and the Genovese. Italian is spoken in resort areas and Italian-influenced cuisine is very common. French is the "official" language but Corsu (the local dialect) is still spoken. Speaking French is a big advantage particularly during off-season.

Bear in mind that while Corsica is part of France, the residents there do not consider themselves French. They are Corsican and proudly so.

London, United...
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5. Re: Early April?

ag11, to your questions airports codes are AJA (Ajaccio), BIA (Bastia), FSC (Figari), and CLY (Calvi). AirCorsica (no Alliance I am afraid so not sure about your mile usage, but they should codeshare with AirFrance) will have almost daily rotations from NCE to those airports.

Enjoy Corsica

VillaFanny

California
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6. Re: Early April?

Thanks.

I'm on Star Alliance and United doesn't return any award fights into AJA. I'll try those other ones but I'm expecting to fly into NCE and buy a connecting flight on my own.

I guess the baggage allowances on those smaller carriers would be more limited though.

Vancouver, Canada
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7. Re: Early April?

Air Corsica is your best bet. They have lots of flights.

A lot of their equipment is Airbus 320's.

You won't have any issues with luggage. They are a regular carrier, not a "discount" airline.

California
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8. Re: Early April?

I've booked the long-haul tickets to/from NCE and my flight lands there at 2:10 PM.

Searching the flights, the best option seems to be NCE-AJA at 4:50 PM departure.

Flights to the other airports on the island are departing either too soon (3 PM) or too late (9 PM-ish).

So I'm thinking of taking the flight to AJA and doing an itinerary based around the southern island. But it sounds like I should minimize my time in Ajaccio or maybe even skip it altogether.

Is it worth driving about an hour from the airport or just easier to spend the night in Ajaccio? I've done drives after a long intercontinental flight so it's not out of the question.

Google Maps indicates Propriano is about an hour away from AJA. Not sure if it's better to stay there than Ajaccio that first night but it would get me closer to Bonifacio and Porto-Vecchio.

Or would it be better to drive northwards along the coast from AJA?

I've read in other threads that the drive from Porto-Vecchio to Corte is beautiful but would the same be true from AJA to Corte?

As suggested above, I guess I would be looking for natural beauty, though historic architecture would also be of interest.

Vancouver, Canada
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9. Re: Early April?

In early April, bigger is going to be better. Propriano is a lovely little spot, but it is only about 3,000 people and it will still be extremely quiet and it is very focused on tourism. So, many businesses will still be closed. Ajaccio is much, much larger and is a year-round city with most businesses open. So, you would have lots of choices of totels, restaurants etc.

Bonifacio again is tiny with maybe 2,500 citizens and will be extremely quiet in early April. Porto Vecchio will have more activity.

California
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10. Re: Early April?

How about Corte?

I thought it was too far but Google Maps indicates the shortest route is only 48 miles.

So that's at most 2 hours drive if the traffic is as bad as people have said it could be?

Porto Vecchio has a lot of beaches nearby is my understanding but there are other things to do and see when it's not beach season?

I've found some sites listing some long hikes. I'd be more interested in 2-3 hour hikes or even bike excursions. But the one I found seems to be more for the northern coastal towns or the central mountains.