The city of Bastia is a popular destination for both business and pleasure travel. Being the second-largest city on the French island of Corsica, it’s home to various tourist attractions. If you plan to stay in this city for some days, you may need the services of car hire specialists, especially if you have a tight schedule. Car rental firms give you the convenience you need to reach your destinations at your own pace, whenever you need to.
This port city is located on the northeastern of the island of Corsica, overlooking Italy. This strategic location made it an important military base throughout time. The city of Bastia is composed of Terra Vecchia (old town) and Terra Nuova (upper town). The old town was built around the harbour while to its south lies the upper town. These parts of the city are adorned with beautiful examples of architecture from the past. The streets are narrow, providing you with a sense of adventure and desire to discover what lies ahead. Cities and towns near Bastia include Ville-di-Pietrabugno, San-Martino-di-Lota and Furiani.
You will also find modern architecture in the northern and southern parts of the city. Spanning over an area of about 17 square kilometres, Bastia is home to art and great cultural and historical events. These are displayed all year round through festivals and sporting happenings. The modern culture of Bastia was shaped by various rulers of different backgrounds, including the Genoese, English and French. It is, therefore, no surprise that religious brotherhoods celebrated in the 17th Century are still popular to date.
Some of the common religious traditions in Bastia include the procession of the Black Christ of Miracles and the Assomption de la Vierge, just to mention a few. These events draw the rest of the Corsican community to the city to participate in these celebrations. The most important one in Bastia is the Settimana Santa. This is the Holy Week marked during the Easter celebrations. From Palm Sunday to Good Friday, the faithful march in processions around the city to mark the death and resurrection of Christ.
These festivities provide visitors with the opportunity to experience Corsican culture and beliefs expressed at their best. Thus, planning your visit to align with these festivals can give you a memorable experience. The population of Bastia is slightly above 40,000 people, with 54% males and 46% females. Most of the residents in this great city are aged between 30 and 60 years. With an annual population growth rate of about +0.08%, the demographics are not likely to change any time soon.
There are lots of places in Bastia you can visit for sightseeing. Saint Nicolas Square is a great place to start your tour of the city. Located close to the sea, this square is an open space with beautiful trees. The Bastiais people meet here to unwind, share meals and have fun. It is open to all people and is a popular venue for various events such as the annual Salon du Chocolat fair that happens in October.
If you are lucky, you can enjoy local music concerts in the square. Every Sunday, this place hosts a flea market and this presents an opportunity to shop for antiques and collectables. You also park your car close to the square and take a tour of the Terra Vecchia district. Some of the places worth visiting include the Citadel and the Palace of Governors. The narrow alleys make it hard to drive around, but the sacrifice to visit this part of the city is rewarding.
You will have the opportunity to see beautiful ancient architecture, and experience tranquillity, in the serene streets as the sun’s rays strike the colourful walls creating an appealing ambience. You can also enjoy the local cuisine in any of the local cafes. Feel free to explore the Romieu Garden, the old port and St. Mary’s Cathedral. Your stay will not be complete without a drive to the sandy beaches of Plage de Loto and Plage de Saleccia, where you can enjoy a nice swim and a variety of water sports.
If you are flying to Bastia, you will touch down at the Aéroport de Bastia-Poretta. This is located 20 km south of the city. The good news is that once at the airport, you can easily rent a car. You can opt to drive yourself or hire a driver to take you to your hotel. Some of the most popular flights departing from Aéroport de Bastia-Poretta, include routes to Paris, Nice and Marseille.
Some of the international companies offering car hire services at the airport include Budget, Sixt, Europcar, Auto Europe and Hertz, among others. The best thing with these companies is that you have the opportunity to book your car before your arrival. With years of expertise in the business, you can trust these service providers to meet your needs.
You can also explore what the local companies, such as Ada Corsica, have to offer. Do not be in a hurry when choosing the car rental company to work with. Take time and compare the rates, fleet condition and the terms and conditions before signing any agreement. Moreover, inspect your car physically and confirm that it has all the features described in the contract before signing it.
Generally, roads in Bastia are in good condition and you can expect smooth rides during your stay in the city. You don’t have to worry about any terrible traffic jams, as the traffic flow is tolerable. However, passengers disembarking the ferry during rush hour can cause some mild ones. Try to avoid driving during in such moments and allow some time for the traffic to clear.
Be on the lookout for speed limits along the roads. These can increase your expenses with fines, if violated. It is important to note that there are both paid and free parking lots in the city. These allow you to park your car and get the chance to explore the city on foot.