From the sea, Corsica appears as a large piece of Alpine Europe floating on a bed of cobalt blue. In fact, Corsica is geologically more closely related to the Alps than it is to its larger neighbor to the south, the Italian island of Sardinia. But culturally and linguistically this birthplace of Napoleon is all Mediterranean. Palm-lined streets bustle with colorful marketplaces and French, the island's official language since 1768, mingles with a variety of exotic dialects brought here from northern Africa, Italy, and the rest of the Mediterranean basin. An island of beauty, Corsica is also an island of delightful surprises for the touring cyclist.
Italy's Sardinia island is a short ferry ride away so do both tours and save $400.
Day 1: Arrive Bastia, Corsica
Highlights: Historic capital of Corsica, sidewalk café, gourmet introductory dinnerBright blue and white fishing boats and sidewalk café await you today as our tour begins near Bastia, Corsica's historic capital and its most picturesque city. We recommend arriving a day early to soak in the charms of this centuries-old Mediterranean seaport. We'll fit you with a bicycle this afternoon so you can explore town, and then reconvene this evening for a traditional French gourmet dinner together.
Day 2: Bicycle to Rogliano
Highlights: Scenic cycling in Corsica's panhandle, Genoese history and settlementsAfter breakfast you'll head north on an easy ride along the east side of Cap Corse, Corsica's panhandle. You'll want to stop for a snack or coffee in Erbalunga to see its Genoese coastal tower before a lunch stop in the tiny port of Santa Severa. Stop for ice cream or a swim in Macinaggio before heading inland to our hotel. Dinner is together. Distance: 38 km (24 miles).
Lodging: U Sant'Agnellu
Day 3: Bicycle to St. Florent
Highlights: Scenic cycling on Cap Corse, Mediterranean beachesToday's ride is one of the most spectacular bicycle rides in the Mediterranean basin. We suggest an early start as you'll want to stop often for photographs. You can even take a swim during your lunch stop. Our route follows a chain of Genoese watchtowers, built along the coast in the late Medieval period to provide the local villagers early warning of impending attack by pirates. We'll continue south along the west side of the Cap Corse to our hotel right on the water, located in the ancient Roman town of St. Florent. Distance: 69 km (43 miles).
Lodging: Hotel Dolce Notte
Day 4: Rest day in St. Florent
Highlights: 11th-century Pisan cathedrals, enchanting bay of St. Florent with nearby beaches and aquatic activitiesA visit to our first 11th-century Pisan cathedral begins our day. Pisa ruled Corsica unchallenged until 1133 A.D. when the pope divided the island between Pisa and rival Genoa. Our optional ride continues on to the most famous Pisan cathedral in Corsica as we wind our way through hilltop villages and river gorges. We'll have dinner together this evening. Distance: 0 - 54 km (0 - 33 miles).
Lodging: Hotel Dolce Notte
Day 5: Bicycle to L'Ile Rousse
Highlights: Beautiful coastal landscape with breathtaking vistas and Mediterranean beachesYou'll head across the unique Désert des Agriate today. This stony landscape that was once rich with wheat fields is unlike any area on the island and offers some beautiful panoramas. After soaking up the views you'll coast down to the beach for a refreshing swim if you wish. Our efforts today will be rewarded as we explore the coastal town of L'Ile Rousse with its charming center and beach. And if that's not enough, we'll watch the sun drop into the sea. Distance: 46 km (28 miles)
Lodging: L'Escale Côté Sud
Day 6: Bicycle to Piedicroce
Highlights: Coastal to mountain scenery, spectacular wildflowers in season, Genoese historyYou'll head into Corsica's interior today. This is the main "mountain day" on the tour, so take your time and enjoy the extraordinary wildflowers. Climbing over the pass of Saint Colombano you'll enjoy a wonderful glide down the Navaccia River to Ponte Leccia, named for the 17th-century Genoese bridge still in use. You'll then have a steady long climb to be rewarded with a beautiful descent through chestnut forests as we head into one of Corsica's most interesting regions, the Castagniccia. Dinner together. Distance: 78 km (48 miles).
Lodging: La Refuge
Day 7: Bicycle to Aléria
Highlights: Downhill ride to the coast, ancient capital of Roman CorsicaContinuing east today, you'll have a few short hills before enjoying a wonderful downhill ride to the coast. Our destination, Aléria, was one of the principal Roman trading towns and capital of Roman Corsica by 170 B.C. Dinner together tonight. Distance: 68 km (42 miles)
Day 8: Bicycle to Sainte Lucie
Highlights: Vineyards, orchards and coastal scenery, beachfront hotelVineyards and orchards mark the route today as you follow the coast through pine forests. If we have time this afternoon we'll enjoy a swim or just relax at the beach. Dinner is together tonight. Distance: 68km (42 miles).
Lodging: Res. U Paesolu
Day 9: Rest day in Sainte Lucie
Highlights: Visit Pinarello's charming little port or relax at the beachToday is a rest day so you can either take a leisurely stroll down to the beach at Pinarello, go for a swim in the clear blue waters of the bay or unwind by the hotel's swimming pool. Pinarello beach is one of the many beautiful beaches to the north of Porto-Vecchio. The sea is azure blue, and the 1.2 km long, narrow sweeping beach has soft white sand, is backed by dramatic mountains and overlooked by a Genoese watchtower. Pinarello has a pretty little port and plenty of opportunities for refreshments and water sports. For those of you who want more cycling, we'll offer a beautiful loop ride into the countryside. Dinner on your own. Distance: your choice.
Day 10: Bicycle to Bonifacio
Highlights: Visit Porto Vecchio and the Seaside fortress of BonifacioThis morning we'll ride through Porto Vecchio a well-known seaside resort, bounded on the west by the relief of Ospedale and to the east by the Tyrrhenian Sea. We will then continue onto Bonifacio at the southern tip of Corsica. This magnificent village perched on limestone cliffs was the prize possession of both the Pisans and Genoese who fought over it for over 150 years. You'll have time to explore this fortress town before we celebrate our final dinner together this evening. Distance: 66 km (41 miles).
Lodging: H. Sole Mare
Day 11: Tour ends in Bonifacio, Corsica
Highlights: Bon Voyage!Our tour ends this morning after breakfast. Sardinia is just a few miles across the Strait of Bonifacio, so maybe you plan to explore more of the Mediterranean. Whatever your plans, bon voyage!
HighlightsMountain scenery, Extraordinary coastal scenery, French and Mediterranean food, Picturesque villages, Beautiful Pisan and Genoese churches, Fabulous beaches, Impressive watchtowers along the coast
Includes"The Usual" plus... Use of a quality 27-30 speed bicycle; 11 days, 10 nights accommodation, 7 dinners with wine, all breakfasts, van support, 2 to 3 bilingual tour leaders
Arrive/DepartBastia-Poretta Int'l Airport (BIA) / Figari Sud Corse (FSC), 22 km from Bonifacio (There are also ferry options available)
Total Distance493 km (304 miles) + optional extra miles
Daily DistanceAverage per day 62 km (38 miles)
What to ExpectPalm-lined streets, colorful markets, cobalt blue seas, rich chestnut forests and towering mountains - home to a very unique population.
Moderate coastal rides at the beginning and end of the tour. A few days have hilly or mountainous terrain with a couple climbs of 5 to 10 miles.
|Sep 16 - 26, 2014||$4695||$650||Three Spaces Now Available||Book It|
|*We are happy to match solo travelers who would like to share a room with someone of the same gender. If no match exists, due to hotel pricing, we will charge 50% of the single supplement rate. This fee will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available this fee will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.|
Click on the "pins" for details about each day's highlights.
Saint Paul, MN