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Bastia Mini Guide
What can you Tell me About Bastia?
It’s a very pretty port city on the north east coast of the French island of Corsica
. Before the Genoese took over the island, Bastia didn’t exist and it was only when the Genoese took to using the natural harbour as a shelter that the ‘bastion’ or citadel was constructed. The city grew around the bastion, eventually taking its name and has grown to become the second largest city on the island. In its time, Bastia was captured by the English briefly before being returned to France. Today it is a popular holiday destination and the island’s busiest port.
How do I get to Bastia?
Bastia has its own airport called Bastia-Poretta which is just over ten miles from the city. The airport accepts many seasonal charter tourist flights plus some low cost carriers of which easyJet fly from the UK
. A shuttle bus every hour from the airport takes passengers into Bastia for around eight euros. Hire cars are available from the airport too and are a great way of discovering more about the island.
What Should I see and do in Bastia?
The first place to visit is the Museum of Corsica. The island has a very colourful history and still the life blood of independence from France flows through the veins of many. The museum will explain why many road signs are peppered with shotgun pellets as well as telling the history of the island’s most famous son, Napoleon Bonaparte. Next you can visit the citadel which was the seed for the city. From here you’ll have a great view out over the port. Finally, for a more rural day out, travel along the ‘finger’ of Corsica, Cap Corse and discover its flora and fauna.
The sea plays an important part in the life of the city with fishing being a key industry. There are also many opportunities to sail or watch sailing from Bastia.
What can I buy on the Island to Take Home?
The city and the surrounding area is famous for its wines the world over. Visit one of the vineyards nearby and take some bottles of the delicious product home with you.
What’s Good to eat on Corsica?
The island’s cuisine is a blend of French with a little Italian and whilst a Mediterranean island, the food tends to be more reliant on wild game. A favourite here is the suckling pig or wild boar, roasted and served with tangy fruit. The boulangeries are also excellent selling delicious fruit filled tarts and pastries.
What About Entertainment in Bastia?
There are plenty of things going on in Bastia throughout the year. Easter celebrations are colourful and mixed with a celebration of springtime. The wine harvest is another excuse for a celebration and there are various sports festivals through the year with the main one held in the town in September. During the summer months there are regular firework displays from the citadel often seemingly for no reason at all!
- Bastia's tourism organisation have planned several walks around the town and its environs. The directions can be downloaded and printed from www.bastia-tourisme.com