Corsican Cycling Holiday
Just 200 kilometres from the Côte-d'Azur, Corsica reigns over the Mediterranean Sea. This tour features a great itinerary where you’ll experience the best that Corsica has to offer. Coast along fantastic smooth roads through medieval towns and villages. Benefit from friendly guides with excellent local knowledge and technical support to make an easy and effortless holiday.
Corsica is one of the most stunning islands to explore on a bike. The island has fantastic smooth roads that take you over mountains, along coastal roads, into historic ports and towns and have you immersed into Corsican culture.
We have designed a route so that, taken steadily, it is manageable and enjoyable for healthy cyclists regardless of experience in the mountains. However, this holiday can also offers a fantastic challenge to those wanting to push themselves further: LetsGoVelo can adapt routes to suit experience and fitness levels so you can get the most out of your holiday.
Please do get in touch – if you think you can take on a greater challenge then each day can be adapted!
- 7 nights 3* accommodation
- 6 days supported cycling
- Bike hire (supplement of £150 pp)
- Airport pick-ups
- Mechanic support
- Breakfast, picnic lunch and snacks during the day
- 2-3 Garmin consoles depending on group size
- Holiday photographer
Day By Day
Day 1 Warm up cycle and relax
We include airport transfers from Ajaccio to the 3* star hotel.
Our pick up times are when we will be leaving the airport, all being well. Please don’t book flights arriving later than suggested below (in brackets).
Pick up: Ajaccio 09:45 (to meet EJ 09:25 flight)
Meet your guides, assemble bikes, and go for a warm up ride in the hills behind the hotel (climb to 550m for some spectacular views) or relax on the beach and enjoy the cafés! Get together in the evening for a trip briefing and good dinner.
Day 2 Ajaccio to Corte
The tour starts from the City of Ajaccio, the home of Napoleon Bonaparte. This route follows the train line to Corte - but don't let that fool you, as the profile shows there's plenty of up and lots of down. It's also the second half of the second stage of the 2013 Tour de France. The route follows the Gravona valley and tackles the Col de Campo Di Lupo and Col de Belle Granaje passing through the beautiful villages of Venaco and Vivario. There are some challenging climbs and exhilarating descents and finagling finishing in the old capital, Corte. The town is worth spending time in especially to visit the old citadel.
- Distance 82 km
- Ascent 1,160 m
Day 3 Corte to Porto
This route takes you along kilometre deep rock gorges, sheer granite cliffs, forests with giant laricio pine and chestnut trees, mountain vistas, a long decent to the sea and a finish in a UNESCO world heritage site. It is a truly stunning ride and if you were to do just one ride in Corsica this for me would be it.
Setting off from Corte, you'll be heading into the Niolo valley and more alpine style terrain and forest as you head towards the ski station at Col Vergio.
Calacuccia is the first main village you will come to and over on the left behind the barrage is the resevoir, Lac de Calacuccia.
The next target 23km up the road is the Col Vergio which at 1,480m is the highest road pass on the island. The descent is exciting, down through the Forêt d'Aitone, one of the best you'll see on the island with its soaring Larico pines. Évisa is the next village and just as you enter over on the left is the Bar de Poste if you need a coffee or cold drink. Soon you'll drop away from Évisa and the road will turn back on itself for a little way heading east. Once you're heading west again the Gorges de Spelunca will come into view over on your right - all I need to say is wow.
- Distance 86 km
- Total ascent 1,461 m
Day 4 Porto to Calvi
This route forms just more than half of the third stage of the 2013 Tour de France and is in my view by far the most interesting part of that stage.
Leaving Porto the day's climbing commences. Off to your left is the Golfe de Porto which stays with you as you summit the Col de la Croix at 272m. The new view is the Golfe de Girolata and the natural reserve of Scandola beyond. This Col is famous as it's the start of the foot path which apart from boat, is the only way to access the superb and isolated seaside village of Girolata (a 2hr plus walk in).
The panoramas from both Cols are truly magnificent and well worth a stop for pictures and/or just to take it all in.
After the Palmarella the road drops into the start of the Fango Valley. Over the bridge and back inland for the final climb of the day, the Col de Marsilino, 443m. Up ahead the road appears to disappear but don't worry there is a way through the Grand Barriere.
Enjoy the fast descent down to the left turn towards Calvi.
- Distance 74 km
- Total Ascent 1,206 m
Day 5 Calvi to St Florent
Leaving Calvi in the morning, you pass along the coastline heading north with spectacular views of the sea. After approximately 35km you ‘ll head in land to tackle the geological chaos of the Desert des Agriates – another strikingly different landscape. The climb over the Col de Petraiolu is magnificent where you’ll come across historic villages and roaming cows. The descent into the town of St-Florent is fast and fun where you’ll enter into the pretty little harbour.
- Distance 68 km
- Acscent 1,024 m
Day 6 St Florent to Barcaggio
The ride north along the western cape hugs the coastline and leads to the most northen tip of the Cap. The terrain naturally picks up now as you head into the hills to find access point to the very northern most point of the island. One you have headed in land you'll turm off at the village of Ersa and take a welcome 10km descent towards Baracaggio. From here you will have wonderful views of the Ile de la Giraglia. Barcaggio is a tiny little scenic fishing village with only a small boutique hotel with the restaurant overlooking the harbour. Here you will enjoy local delicasies and wine.
- Distance 80 km
- Ascent 1,755 m
Day 7 Barcaggio to Bastia
The final day will take you south right along the coast as you take the ungulating raods past sleepy villages towards Bastia. There will be plenty of places to stop for a scenic coffee or a demi beer with amazing views of the sea to keep you entertained before heading into the bustling old port of Bastia!
- Distance 54 km
- Ascent 1,009 m
During your Corsica Cycling Tour holiday you will stay in a selection of 3* hotels all with en suite facilities. The hotels are situated on the beach, in coastal towns or up in mountain villages.
Hotels have been selected for their customer service towards cyclists and their location.
If you are booking as a single client you will be sharing a twin room with another client (of the same gender) unless you book a single room for a supplement of £210 (contact firstname.lastname@example.org for availability).
Fly - from the UK you can only fly direct during the summer season on Sundays. Airlines serving the island directly from the UK are Easyjet, Flybe, Titan and BA. Easyjet fly from London Gatwick to Bastia, Ajaccio and Figari. They also fly from Manchester to Bastia. There are charter services from London Stansted or Manchester to Calvi, Bristol to Bastia and a BA service from Heathrow to Figari (note - some of the Corsican Places flights include bike carriage). Flybe have seasonal services from Birmingham and Southampton to Bastia.
The alternative at other times of the year (or Mon-Sat during the summer) is to fly to Paris Orly, Nice or Marseilles and then connect with Air Corsica (can also be booked via Air France) to any of the island’s airports. Connections vary by day of the week and time of year. It is also possible to fly to Bastia, Ajaccio and Figari from Paris CDG with Easyjet.
Ferry - two ferry lines serve the Island all year round: La Méridionale and Corsica Ferries. There are daytime and overnight crossings aplenty from Nice, Toulon and Marseilles to Bastia, Calvi, L’ile Rousse, Ajaccio, Propriano and Porto-Vecchio. If planning a tour note that you can arrive at and depart from different ports. All services carry vehicles, bikes and foot passengers.
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