Cycling Corsica

Sunday 24/06/2018 - Sunday 01/07/2018


This awe-inspiring road cycling journey takes you through the heart of undiscovered Corsica or ‘L’île de Beauté’, riding part of the route of the 100th Tour de France.

Corsica is something of a Nirvana for cyclists: there are glorious roads winding through remote villages down to glittering, turquoise coves; challenging climbs and sweeping descents on good tarmac with few cars; medieval towns untouched by the 20th century; chestnut groves, pine forests and granite canyons; limestone mountains and golden, sandy beaches dotted along a staggeringly lovely coastline. Add in the fine weather and excellent local food, and it’s hard to think of another destination that packs so much into such a small, beautiful space.

Officially part of France for nearly 250 years, Corsica remains fiercely independent and unique in many ways; if anything, there is a greater affinity with Italy, through food and the local language. And though tourism is now a major part of the economy, Corsica feels delightfully unspoilt, particularly out of the high season.

This cracking, circular route takes in the finest roads in the northern part of the island, Corsica’s secret. The itinerary combines superb coastal riding – round Cap Corse and down the west coast, through the famous Calanches rocks – with excursions into the granite gorges and the mountainous backbone in the centre of the island. 

Dates

Departures between 24/06 - 01/07/2018

Price - £1700

(Based on 2 people sharing a double or twin room)

Supplements

 

Single room supplement - £350

Bike hire - £200

Extra nights in double/single room with breakfast:

in Bastia - from £100/£85

 

Group Size

The group will be a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 15 people. We feel that this size of group works best as there will always be enough in the group for some good company but there won’t be so many people that it becomes overcrowded.

Accommodation

Accommodation is in clean and comfortable 3 or 4-star hotels or top end 2-star hotels when 3 stars aren’t available. If you are sharing a twin or a double room, then the price is £1700.00 If you would like your own space then you can choose the single room option (£2050).

Food & Drink

All your breakfasts, lunches and dinners are included in the price of the trip. Lunches will be provided each day in a cafe or restaurant or picnic lunches provided by the guides when the weather is good. Evening meals are provided at your accommodation or in a nearby restaurant. We also supply fruit, biscuits, cake, nuts etc in the support vehicle that you are welcome to have throughout the day as well as sports nutrition if required. Water will be in the support vehicle but any other drinks will have to be purchased in resort.

Support 

Each one of our Guided Road Cycling tours is supported by at least 1 qualified bike mechanic as well as 2 professional cycling guides to ride near the front and at the back of the group. The mechanic will be leap frogging the group and delivering the luggage at the end of each day.

 

Rob's Highlights

  • Cap Corse and the traditional fishing villages

  • Hilltop villages overlooking the coastline

  • Riding the route of the 100th TdF

  • The Calanches (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

  • Col Vergio (highest pass in Corsica)

  • The ever changing scenery of Corsica

 

 

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Bastia

Arrival in Bastia, check into your first nights hotel before meeting the rest of the riders on the trip over dinner.

Day 2: Bastia - Saint Florent (100 km)

The route today is a tough but glorious introduction to the terrain of Corsica. We’ll pedal north through the commercial port of Bastia, past the 15th century Genoese citadel, and out along the maquis-covered east coast of Cap Corse, past a series of traditional fishing villages. Then we head inland, up and over the spine of mountains called the Serra, past Cagnano and down to Pino. Riding south down the Cape along the beautiful corniche road, the sea is a constant, glittering companion. There are breathtaking sections of narrow, winding road along the serrated coastline dotted with rocky inlets. We finish in the chic port of Saint-Florent.

Day 3: Saint Florent - Calvi (95 km)

The route today heads inland, roughly parallel with the coast, across the rocky maquis hinterland. There are two climbs, both on gentle gradients, affording grandiose views of the mountain peaks in the interior, and over the expanses of dazzling white sand and the shining sea beyond, to the north. From the hilltop village of Belgodere, we follow a lovely balcony road through several picturesque villages with ruined castles, crumbling villas and baroque-style churches. The final descent brings us back to the coast and the historic port of Calvi, where the cream-coloured, medieval citadel (reputedly the birthplace of Christopher Columbus) overlooks the modern marina with its excellent restaurants and bars.

Day 4: Calvi - Porto (75 km)

This route was part of the stunning Stage 3 of the 100th Tour de France in 2013. It is a heavenly ride, through the remote and rugged north-west coastal region, crossing three cols. Part of the route ranks as one of the most beautiful coastal roads in Europe. From Calvi, we head out into the Balagne countryside, over Col di Marsolino for an amazing descent into the Fango Valley through wild and arresting scenery. Then up again to the Col de Palmarella, for the first in a series of staggering coastal views. From the final pass, Col de la Croix, there is a sweeping descent through the spicy-scented maquis to the small fishing village of Porto. In high summer, Porto teems with tourists, but it is a great spot to spend time out of peak season. 

Day 5: Porto Loop (93 km)

The day begins with a climb to Piana, past the iconic Calanches, a mass of weirdly eroded pink, porphyric rocks which are now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The views, through the rocks which plunge 300m into the Gulf of Porto below, are wondrous. There is an elegant decent from Piana, through a canyon to the coast and then a short climb to the cliff-top village of Cargèse. Along the coast, the road is slightly busier, but then we head inland again, into the spectacular Gorges de Spelunca, for a delightful, breezy descent back to Porto.

Day 6: Porto - Corte (85 km)

Another day with a non-stop parade of stunning scenery including kilometre-deep rock gorges, forests of giant Laricio pines and granite cliffs. The first part of the route is a steady climb to reach Col Vergio (1480m), the highest road pass in Corsica. Once past the ski station, the valley opens out in Alpine style before we plunge into a steeply-sided gorge for a remarkable 40km descent. Our day ends in Corte, a town that epitomises Corsican soul or ‘l’âme Corse’. Set into the side of a granite crag amid bare mountains, it is an extraordinary place with an air entirely of its own. 

Day 7: Corte - Bastia (90 km)

The route for the final day of our tour descends from the mountains, threading past waterfalls and through lush forests, orchards and olive groves. The countryside in this part of the island is wild, empty and somehow haunting. The sleepy villages are like scenes from a movie, untouched by the 20th century; the villagers themselves look as redoubtable as the granite mountains they live amongst. At the end of the day, we’ll roll out of these mountains to reach the sandy beaches of the east coast for a final dip in the Mediterranean Sea.

Day 8: Bastia

Departure after breakfast.

 

Due to organisational reasons, weather conditions or provisions issued by local authorities, the itinerary may be subject to some changes before and/or during the holiday but you will be made aware of any changes ahead of time by the support team.

What's Included 

 

What's Not Included 

24 hour emergency back up support

7 nights in small & intimate hotels or B&B's

Full Board

Luggage transfers between hotels

2 Professional Cycling Guides

1 Bike Mechanic (including support vehicle)

Local Taxes

 

Flights

Bike Hire

Insurance

Airport Transfers

Drinks

 

 

 

What's Included

24 hour emergency back up support

7 nights in small & intimate hotels or B&B's

Full Board

Luggage transfers between hotels

2 Professional Cycling Guides

1 Bike Mechanic (including support vehicle)

Local Taxes

What's Not Included

Flights

Bike Hire

Insurance

Airport Transfers

Drinks

 

 

Testimonial 

A fantastic trip. - William

 

 

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