Are you wanting to experience something a little different on your next rail holiday?
Well, if you’re looking for adventure and something a little out of the ordinary – we’re here to tell you why the French island of Corsica is the place to be!
Located in the Northern Mediterranean Sea, Corsica neighbours the Italian island of Sardinia and lies off the coast of Liguria – just 90km away from Tuscany.
…Funnily enough, the French actually bought Corsica – that’s right, bought – from Italy in the 1700s.
Italian was the official language right up until the late 1800s and as you can probably imagine, a lot of the architecture is influenced by Italian design.
So, if you can’t decide whether to travel to Italy or France for your 2020 summer holiday, then Corsica is a win win.
The island doesn’t just have an interesting history. Corsica also offers 600 miles of stunning coastline and for its small size it has a surprisingly diverse landscape.
Glistening bays transform into jutting mountains in the space of just a thirty minute drive.
With so much to see from Corte to Bastia, and so many ways to travel around this beautiful island, we thought we’d take the time to tell you why the Trinnichellu, the little trains, are the best way to see all that Corsica has to offer.
Trinnichellu – The History
Way back in 1877, the people of Corsica decided that they’d had enough of travelling coast to coast, town to town by donkey or on horseback, and thus the idea to build a gauge railway was born.
It took 22 years and 20,000 labourers to build the single track railway, which was all hand laid – and possibly the cause of the distinctive wobble so many tourists and locals have come to love – and the whole system was complete by the year 1899.
There were originally three lines, but the Casamozza to Porto – Vecchio line was destroyed in 1943 due to bombardment during the Second World War and has sadly never been rebuilt.
Today the 232km long network serves 16 stations and during the summer months around ten journeys run throughout the day.
Even though “the boneshaker”, as it is often nicknamed, occasionally clatters over some uneven tracks, it is worth the occasional jostling for one of the most scenic train routes in the world.
The Corte to Ajaccio route is ranked as one of the most beautiful journeys you can take on the Trinicellu.
On the route you will cross the Vecchio viaduct engineered by Gustav Eiffel, of tower fame and pass the Vizzavona Forest, through a swathe of lofty laricio pines and chestnut trees.
So, make sure you pack your trunks and jump on board and let the Trinichellu take you on an epic day trip as you chug along to fabulous beaches and sightseeing centres such as Corte, Ajaccio and Bastia.
The Future of Corsica’s Trains
The future of the Trinichellu seems to be an exciting one with a huge development plan in the works over the next few years.
However, we do hope that it doesn’t mean that the train will lose its characteristic bumpiness and rustic charm that we’ve all come to love over the years. After all, the occasional jostle is what makes Corsica’s little trains unique.
Worry not though, as 2020 dates are now available for our very own Highlights of Corsica rail break, where you can experience the charm of the Trinichellu before it’s too late.