General safety regulations do vary from country to country and are often less stringent than those that we have come to expect in the UK. It is therefore important to be safety conscious and we suggest that on your arrival you familiarise yourself with your surroundings and read the information file provided, and to speak with your representative if you have any concerns. We hope that by taking these simple steps, this will help to ensure that everybody in your party has a safe and enjoyable holiday.
To help you make the most of your holiday and ensure you have a safe and enjoyable trip, please take a look at our A-Z of health & safety tips.
Holidays often provide an opportunity to try out new activities. However please remember that some activities (Para-gliding, diving, canoeing, climbing, quad biking) are potentially hazardous. Therefore, not only should you be aware of any dangers, you should also ensure that you are fit enough to participate and are fully aware of any operating instructions or safety precautions. Also, it is often the case that standard holiday insurance policies do not cover hazardous activities and we therefore recommend you check the terms of your policy before participation.
Do not drink alcohol before swimming and try to avoid drinking when sunbathing as this will dehydrate you. Never drink alcohol if you are driving a car as it is illegal and any accident will not be covered by your insurance. The alcohol limits for driving a car in Corsica are much lower than the UK and are rigorously enforced by the authorities. French police are at liberty to randomly breath-test any driver, so we recommend that you do not drive if you have recently consumed any alcohol.
If you are travelling with young children make sure that they are not left unsupervised on balconies. Keep balcony furniture away from the railings so that they are not encouraged to climb up.
During high season (July and August) when the island is extremely dry, it is illegal in Corsica to light barbecues or fires in areas surrounded by trees. This is to prevent the start of the fast spreading forest fires which ravage the island every year. If your accommodation has a barbecue please make sure that it is located well away from any foliage and do not leave it unattended. Make sure that it is extinguished after use and never put hot ashes in interior or plastic rubbish bins. It is best to refrain from using the barbecue when it is windy even if there are no trees around. Please clean the barbecue after you have used it.
Few accommodations provide non-slip mats in their baths and showers. As bathrooms in Corsica are often tiled, please take extra care that you do not slip. Please take care with hot water, as on occasion, the hot water can be scalding. Particular care should be taken when bathing or showering children.
- Familiarise yourself with the local flag warning system (if applicable) and try to find out which are the potentially dangerous swimming areas.
- Beware of local conditions (e.g. tides, winds, currents).
- Bear in mind many of the beaches in Corsica do not have a lifeguard.
- Supervise children at all times.
- Do not swim after eating.
- Beware of any 'zones' for powerboats, jet skis etc.
- Always use adequate protection against the sun's rays (sunscreen and sunglasses).
- Avoid the midday sun, but if you have to go out cover up with loose clothing and a wide brimmed hat.
Children are curious and like to explore their surroundings, especially when on holiday. Please ensure that children are not left unsupervised at any time during your holiday and be extra careful with balconies and swimming pools etc. Parents are responsible for the actions of their children at all times. As a parent you should familiarise yourself with the property and the surroundings.
Drinking Corsican Water
The tap water in Corsica is perfectly safe to drink (unless otherwise indicated) but can have a different mineral content from that you are used to in the UK so it can upset some people's stomachs. If this is the case, stick to bottled water which is inexpensive and readily available in all supermarkets and many other shops. Remember that to prevent dehydration it is important to drink lots of water.
Almost all Corsican roads are mountainous and narrow with numerous bends. Many are minor roads in a poorer state of repair than would be expected in the UK. Please drive very carefully, especially at first, as it may take you some time before you feel comfortable driving on them. Extra care will need to be taken for guests staying in properties accessed by an unmade road. It is not unknown to encounter cows, pigs or other animals in the middle of the road so stay alert, especially at night when they are not readily visible. Drive well on the right hand side, remembering that minor, narrow roads may be unmarked but are still two-way. Bridges are often single track.
Remember that when rain occurs after a long dry period, the roads can become extremely slippery so always exercise caution. Unless otherwise indicated, a speed limit of 50km/h applies in built up areas. Outside built up areas and on single carriageway main roads, speed limits are 90km/h (80km/h in wet conditions), and on the few dual carriageways on the island, 110km/h (100km/h in wet conditions).
Random police checks are quite common, as are breathalyser checks. Always have your documentation to hand (driving licence, identification, rental car contract, insurance documents for the vehicle), wear your seatbelt and never drink and drive (0.05% blood alcohol concentration is the legal limit and fines can reach 3000 euros). It is also against the law in France to use your mobile phone whilst driving and you could incur an on the spot fine.
Please remember that it is dangerous to use electrical appliances when wearing a wet bathing costume or with bare feet on wet floors. For your own safety, please exercise proper caution when handling electrical appliances and closely supervise any children who are doing so.
In the unlikely event of an emergency the emergency telephone numbers are listed below. Please note that some operators may not speak English so if you are experiencing difficulties our Reps will be more than happy to help you.
- Fire 18
- Ambulance 15
- Police 17
Should someone in your party require urgent medical attention you should always contact your Rep and travel insurance company as soon as possible.
When you first arrive, please make sure you familiarise yourself with the location of the exits.
In the unlikely event of a fire:
- Raise the alarm
- Call the fire brigade (18)
- Contact your Rep
- Do not panic
- Leave the building
- Do not stop to take personal belongings with you
If exit/stairs are blocked: Keep the doors shut and try to get out onto a balcony for fresh air and to attract attention.
Do not re-enter the building. Await clearance from the fire brigade.
Please ensure that you supervise your children around the gardens and land with your property. As you are all unfamiliar with the terrain, take extra care to note the position of any unprotected drops.
Few villas are legally obliged to install 'toughened' or safety glass in their windows, doors, glass cabinets etc. Please take particular care when walking through patio doors as in bright sunlight it can be difficult to spot whether they are opened or closed.
Highchairs & Cots
Cots and highchairs may differ from those you may use at home, and in most cases a travel cot will be supplied. Please note for reasons of hygiene that they are supplied without cot linen, which you should take with you.