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 rural two or three-lane roads), 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 and 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.
Insects and reptiles
Please try not to leave food, especially sweet items out as these can encourage ants, field mice and other such 'pests'. Open doors and windows, except when netted, are an open invitation to mosquitoes especially at night. There are a variety of insects and reptiles on the island which you may not be familiar with at home. The vast majority are harmless but some may give a bite or sting that can cause discomfort. In such cases a quick visit to the pharmacy should help.
Our properties are maintained by the villa owner or their staff who have access to the villa. Gardens require maintenance on a regular basis in summer and in certain cases it is simply not possible for this to be carried out on a Sunday. Pools are normally checked and cleaned twice a week and this is normally carried out early in the morning to avoid disruption to our clients. We ask for your cooperation when maintenance men visit, as it is imperative to keep the properties well maintained for our clients' enjoyment throughout the year.
Personal safety and security
Although the crime rate is very low in Corsica, the summer season brings with it a fair share of opportunist thieves and pickpockets. By taking simple precautions you will minimise the chances of them affecting your holiday:
- Take care of your valuables at all times, particularly when out and about in resort.
- Do not leave anything on display in your vehicle; if you must leave something in the car make sure it is out of sight in the boot.
- Securely fasten all doors, windows, grills and shutters when you leave your property.
- If there is a gate to your accommodation, make sure it is closed and secured.
- When you go out do not leave personal items around the pool or in the garden.
- Remember to lock your door at night and when you go out during the day, just as you would do at home.
Lost or stolen items must be reported to the police as soon as possible and ask for an incident report number. Inform your Corsican Places representative if you need to send a report to your insurance company or need assistance in reporting the problem.
Services and power failure
Although local water resources are usually sufficient, if the weather has been exceptionally hot and dry supplies can be in high demand and restrictions do have to be imposed by the local authorities. During high season it is always a good idea to be economical with water supplies at all times. It is unfortunate at times that some resorts can suffer from water or electricity cuts at times and supplies can be cut off with no notice for varying periods of time. We ask for your patience and co-operation in such instances, as you will appreciate these situations are out of our control. In all accommodation there is a safety electrical breaker switch which trips out if the circuit is overloaded, if there is a faulty appliance or more commonly by electrical storms. There is a torch and candles in your property. Please take extra care if you use candles.
Unlike the UK, in Corsica the rubbish is not collected from individual properties. You will need to dispose of your litter in the large plastic bins located in specific places in the region. These bins are emptied every day from mid-June until mid September. We advise that you take out your rubbish every day as otherwise it can attract vermin and pests to your accommodation as well as smelling quite unpleasant in the heat.
You must be in a reasonable state of health to scuba dive (Taking a doctors note to say so is recommended). Your final dive must be completed 24 hours before your flight home (potentially dangerous due to the pressurisation of the aircraft cabin). We also recommend that you check the terms and conditions of your insurance policy to check the maximum dive depth to which you are covered.
Please observe no smoking regulations in your accommodation. All of our properties are non- smoking, with smoking limited to external areas. Please take care when discarding matches, cigarettes etc. Always use the ashtrays provided, never throw a cigarette end carelessly within the grounds or outside, especially near trees and plants (should a fire start you can be prosecuted in Corsica).
Sunloungers and deckchairs
When using sunloungers / deckchairs, please ensure that they are properly set up before use. Please also avoid placing the furniture near perimeter walls as children could use them to climb over. For your own hygiene we recommend that you always use your own beach towel when sunbathing on the furniture provided.
As the pool in your property is unsupervised you will need to ensure that children and non-swimmers are supervised at all times. We recommend that you familiarise yourselves with the pool features before taking a swim. Please remember:
- Do not dive into water less than 1.5m deep and never dive from decorative features.
- Make yourselves aware of the deep and shallow ends of the pool, and of any underwater slopes.
- Take care when walking around the pool as pool surrounds are often slippery when wet.
- Never mix alcohol and swimming.
- Don't take drinks to the poolside unless they are in unbreakable containers.
- Do not tamper with the filter covers.
Please inform your representative if the pool becomes cloudy or if you have any concerns.