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Corsica & Sardinia Planning Tips and Fast Facts

Revel in Unspoiled Cruising Area Oozing With a Unique Blend of French and Italian Charisma

Our Expert Opinion

A perfect blend of Italian and French culture with its own island charm. An alluring Mediterranean destination for those who love to sail. This destination combines the “glamor and glitz” of elite Porto Cervo with majestic off-the-beaten path idyllic bays and stunning beaches. Although the popular ports bustle in the summer months, there are limitless choices for getting away from it all.

What is Destination Known For?

Fierce natural beauty, unspoiled beaches, picturesque coastline, UNESCO heritage sites, alluring architecture, boutique shopping and water sports.

Location and Size

Corsica is a French island in the Mediterranean Sea, having an area of 3,351 square miles (8680 square km.). Sardinia, an autonomous part of Italy, spread across 9,301 square miles (24,090 square km.), is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea after Sicily.

History

Corsica: Settlement in Corsica began around 3000 BC, by people who are believed to have come from Tuscany and Linguria. The menhirs at Filitosa are reminiscent of that Mesolithic era, which was succeeded by Greek colonization around 540 BC. Later, the Romans supplanted the Greeks, and this Mediterranean region witnessed a wave of invasions in the eons that followed, with Genoa eventually gaining absolute control around 1500. The French found an entry in Corsica when Genoa sought their support to pacify the rebellion of patriots on the island in 1729. The uprising continued despite the presence of the French. In 1769, the rebel leader Pascal Paoli was forced out. He returned in 1790 with British support to wage a war of independence from France. Though the British secured a short period of upper hand, France, led by the legendary Napoléon Bonaparte, triumphed in retaining Corsica – until the present.

Sardinia:- Sardinia's enthralling history began in the Bronze Age with the settlement of the Nurag people. They indulged in sea trade, mainly with the Greeks, which also led to some Greek settlements on the island. Around 537 BC, Carthage annexed the coastal lands, while the Sardinians, without offering much resistance, retreated into the internal mountain areas of the island. Rome won Sardinia after the Punic Wars, while the Vandals and the Byzantines contested to acquire her from Rome. This power vacuum led to the division of the semi-autonomous region among different kingdoms.

Meanwhile, the threat of the Moorish pirates loomed large. The Genoese and Pisans did help in keeping Sardinia safe, but their military presence gradually transformed

into colonization of the island. In 1297, the Kingdom of Sardinia and Corsica was created for James of Aragon by Pope Boniface VIII. This led to a war that lasted a hundred years, before Sardinia finally yielded to becoming a part of the Kingdom of Spain in 1493. After the War of Spanish Succession, Sardinia became independent of Spain's rulership and instead, merged with the Kingdom of Sicily and Sardinia – which later turned into a part of Italy. The autonomous region of Sardinia was legislated in 1948.

Getting There

By Air: Ajaccio Napoleon Bonaparte Airport (AJA) in Corsica and Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport (OLB) in Sardinia provide international entry to the region. Direct flights from the UK and connecting flights from the United States and Australia are available to the Olbia Airport in Sardinia. Ajaccio airport also has connecting flights from the US and the UK.

By Sea: Ferry services run from the south of France to Corsica and from the west coast of Italy to Sardinia. Regular ferry services operate between the two islands.

Best Time to Go

May to September is considered as the best time to go to Corsica and Sardinia. The atmosphere is very vibrant during this period, and the days are long and sunny. Temperatures vary from around an average 70°F (21°C) in June to 80°F (25°C) in August!

Local Customs to Observe

Most of the social etiquettes are identical to the Western World. A tradition in Sardinia is to have a cup of espresso after a meal.

Helpful Fast Facts

Currency: Euro is the official currency in Corsica and Sardinia.

Time Zone: Central European Time Zone (UTC+01:00) (on both the islands).

Local language: French is the official language in Corsica, but there is a section of people speaking Corsican (Corsu), which sounds like Italian. In Sardinia, Italian and Sardinian are used by most of the locals. You would also find many people who can speak and understand English or German on both the islands.

Population: Sardinia – 1.6 million

Corsica – 322,000

Airport: Ajaccio Napoleon Bonaparte Airport (AJA) in Corsica and Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport (OLB) in Sardinia.

Entry Requirements:

Corsica: Citizens of the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand need to produce a passport valid for three months beyond the stay period; while being exempt from visa for a stay of up to three months. Other nationals require a valid passport and visa to visit the islands.

Sardinia: The nationals of EU countries, Australia, Canada, Norway, the US, Japan, New Zealand, Israel and Switzerland don't need a visa for a stay of up to three months. EU and Swiss citizens are just required to produce a national ID card to travel to Sardinia, while a valid passport and visa are required for all other nationals.

Departure tax: None.

Legal Drinking Age: The legal drinking age in Corsica is 18 years while in Sardinia, one needs to be at least 16 years of age to buy or consume an alcoholic beverage not having more than 10% alcohol. For purchasing and consuming strong alcoholic drinks, one needs to be at least 18 years of age.

Smoking Regulations: Smoking at public places is prohibited in Sardinia and Corsica.

Staying in touch: Mobile network connectivity is excellent on both the islands. One can also avail good internet facilities at the prime locations across the territories. International roaming facility is also provided by most service providers.

Medical Information: Health facility in the region is very good, with Hospital Notre-Dame De La Misericorde at Ajaccio, Corsica being a major medical centre. Medical emergency numbers are 118 in Sardinia and 15 in Corsica.

Public Holidays:

Corsica:

New Year (Jan 1), Epiphany (Jan 6), Candlemas (Feb 2), Easter (Mar-Apr), Easter Monday (Mar-Apr), Labour Day (May 1), V-E Day (May 8), Ascension Day (May), Pentecost (May), Bastille Day (Jul 14), Assumption of Mary (Aug 15), All Saints Day (Nov 1), Veterans Day (Nov 1), Armistice Day (Nov 11), Remembrance Day (Nov 11) and Christmas (Dec 25).

Sardinia:

New Year (Jan 1), Christmas (Jan 6), Fathers Day (Mar 19), Easter Monday (March), Liberation Day (Apr 25), Feast of St Mark (Apr 25), Sardinia Day (Apr 28), Labour Day (May 1), Mothers Day (May 8), Republic Day (June 2), Assumption Day (Aug 15), All Saints Day (Nov 1), Immaculate Conception Day (Dec 8), Christmas (Dec 25) and St

Stephens Day (Dec 26).

Tourist Office: Sardinia - http://www.italia.it/en/home.html Corsica - http://www.visit-corsica.com/en/

Shopping Information: Our Corsica things to do list has a lot to offer. If you are in Corsica, you must explore the wide range of leather, pottery and jewelry products available in most shops. The local things to buy can be handcrafted knives, leather goods, hand-knit sweaters and musical instruments. Canistrelli biscuits are also a unique product in the long list of local produce of the island. All tourists are suggested to at least once pay a visit to the boutiques of the region, which sell olive oils, organic jams, wines and other traditional dishes.

The Sardinia market is especially famous for antique handmade products, Civraxiu bread, wine and cheese. There are also sufficient high-end boutiques, jewelry shops, footwear and outlets for bags and accessories for the Shopaholics.

Top Ten "Must Do's"

Our Corsica & Sardinia things to do list encompasses all the major highlights of this fascinating yacht tour destination.

  • Paddle board in the bays of La Maddalena Islands
  • Take a stroll through the alleys and stairs of historic Bonifacio
  • Have an unforgettable scuba-diving experience at Tavolara e Punta Coda Cavallo Marine Preserve
  • Lunch and people watch at the Yacht Club in Porto Cervo
  • Indulge yourself at Blu Mediterraneo Spa in a cabana overlooking the sea
  • Practice all your favorite beach activities at unspoiled beaches
  • Relish Cagliari's gorgeous castle & vibrant piazzas
  • Jump ashore for a sunset apertif at Phi Beach Bar
  • Savor the most unusual culinary treat – Casu Marzu – if you dare
  • Cast off on a food and wine tour of Sardinia

Major Local and Regional Events

  • Festa della Birra Trinitaiese (August) – celebrated in Sardinia annually with traditional folk dance, music, sweets and drinks
  • Festa di San Simplicio (May) – an annual religious festival held in Sardinia
  • Jazz Festival (June) – conducted every year in Corsica; the festival features some of the most famous international artists
  • Porto Cervo Wine Festival (May)
  • Porto Cervo Food Festival (September)

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