Bastia is the second largest city and the capital of the Haute-Corse department on the island of Corsica. It enjoys a perfect location at the northeast of the island and hosts the biggest port of the area, it is the main commercial node and a well-known yacht charter destination.
Bastia is characterized by its numerous colorful tenement buildings built in the hills and for the atmosphere of its Old Port which in some ways looks like a miniature version of Marseilles, but not as overcrowded with tourists.
The city of Bastia is basked beneath the beautiful Mediterranean sun and its narrow streets are crowned by a crumbling 15th century citadel.
The Old Port of Bastia is one of the most interesting and visited attractions site in the area. You will see the numerous jaded buildings (of Venetian style) clustered around the port itself.
There are also some of the best pubs and restaurants around which provide some wonderful and refreshing mix of the traditional Corsican cuisine and also an exotic blend of the Eastern, French and Italian foods.
Today, the Old port is not really active, as it is the new commercial port and yacht marina (265 berths for a maximum length of 30m) which are more in use by the visiting vessels, but it remains a major attraction when visiting Bastia.
Bastia hosts a varied number of interesting sites that are worth visiting thanks to the long history, its location and by the way time seems to have stood still.
You are particularly recommended to start your exploration of the area with Terra Nova, which is the oldest part of the town, formerly the residence of the poor and which is now the main spot for the upper classes.
You will also have the opportunity to visit St Marie Cathedral, the Oratoire de Sainte Croix with its famous Black Christ (the Cristu Negru) which was found floating in the sea by some fishermen in 1428.
There also a special tradition in Bastia that the first catch of the day should always be offered to the Black Christ. You can also visit the spacious and attractive Place de Nicolas where you will find many cafes and enjoy a fantastic view across the sea.