Cycling Corsica

Cycling Corsica

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.

Extend this tour 3 more days join us on our Cycling Corsica Plus! Beaches and Bonifacio

Tour Dates & Prices

Date
Price
Private Room Fee
Note
May 15-22, 2019
USD$4295
USD$550
 Book by November 15 and save $200!
Sep 11-18, 2019
USD$4295
USD$550
 Book by November 15 and save $200!

* 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 private room charge. This charge will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available it will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.

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Trip At-A-Glance

  • Length / 8 Days
  • Total Distance / 297-355 km (183 - 219 miles)
  • Avg. Distance / 59 km (36 miles) per riding day
  • Tour Level / 4.0
  • Countries / France
  • Begin/End / Bastia / Shuttle back to Bastia
  • Price / From USD$4295
More Photos
  • Tour Summary
  • Daily Itinerary
  • Travel Information
  • Map
  • Reviews
  • Similar Tours
Tour Summary

Tour Summary

  • Highlights
    Mountain scenery, Extraordinary coastal scenery, French and Mediterranean food, Picturesque villages, Beautiful Pisan and Genoese churches, Fabulous beaches, Impressive watchtowers along the coast
  • Includes
    8 days, 7 nights' accommodation; 7 breakfasts, 5 dinners with wine; shuttle back to Bastia on Day 8; 2 or 3 bilingual tour leaders; van support

    The Usual (Included with every ExperiencePlus! tour)

    • Superb tour leaders who are fun, bilingual and avid cyclists.
    • Help with flights, trains and pre/post tour hotels.
    • Comfortable lodging in 3-4 star hotels. 
    • All breakfasts and at least half of your dinners.
    • Use of a high quality 27-30 speed bike.
    • Full van support to carry luggage – and tired cyclists, too! 
    • Special events like wine tastings, cultural visits and chocolatiers.
    • All tips and gratuities at tour hotels and group meals.
    • Unique routes, marked with our famous chalk dust arrows.
    • Daily mileage options.
    • Detailed route map and free use of our traveling resource library.

    What's not included:

    • Transportation to and from the bicycling tour including airfare, or train travel
    • Helmets - we ask that you bring your own to ensure the best fit
    • Meals not listed in the itinerary
    • Tour Leader gratuity

    See the complete list of what's included with every ExperiencePlus! Tour.

  • Arrive / Depart
    Bastia
  • Overall Tour Level
  • Daily Ride Summary

    Day

    **Distance/Gain
    mi/ftkm/m

    Terrain

    Day Level

    Notes

    1
    Test ride
    2
    39km / 737m
    Hilly
    difficulty level 3.0
    3
    74km / 1623m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 4.5
    4
    51km / 1331m
    Very hilly
    difficulty level 4.0
    Today's ride is an optional loop ride
    5
    47km / 919m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 3.0
    6
    78km / 1800m
    Very hilly
    difficulty level 5.0
    7
    71km / 0m
    difficulty level
    8
    Last day

    Tour Level Note: Moderate coastal rides and one day of optional mountainous terrain.

    **We use Ride With GPS (ridewithgps.com) to calculate elevation and mileage information. Due to variance between mapping technologies, totals may differ slightly across devices and applications

Terrain Legend

Mostly flat Mostly flat

Rolling hills Rolling

Hilly Hilly

Very hilly Very hilly

Mountainous Mountainous

Daily Itinerary

DAY 1: Arrive Bastia, Corsica

Highlights: Historic capital of Corsica, sidewalk café, gourmet introductory dinner

Bright blue and white fishing boats and sidewalk cafés 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 ride to a viewpoint above the city, 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 settlements

After 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 cycling through the tiny port of Santa Severa. Stop for lunch and perhaps a swim in Macinaggio before heading inland to our hotel.

  • Distance: 39 km (24 mi)
  • Gain: 737 m (2417 ft)
  • Terrain: Hilly
  • Day Level: Day Level 3.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 3: Bicycle to Saint-Florent

Highlights: Scenic cycling on Cap Corse, Mediterranean beaches

Today'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 Saint-Florent.

  • Distance: 74 km (46 mi)
  • Gain: 1623 m (5323 ft)
  • Terrain: Rolling hills
  • Day Level: Day Level 4.5
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging:

DAY 4: Rest day in Saint-Florent

Highlights: 11th-century Pisan cathedrals, enchanting bay of Saint-Florent with nearby beaches

A stop 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.

  • Distance: 51 km (32 mi)
  • Gain: 1331 m (4366 ft)
  • Terrain: Very hilly
  • Day Level: Day Level 4.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 5: Bicycle to L'Ile Rousse

Highlights: Beautiful coastal landscape with breathtaking vistas and Mediterranean beaches

You'll head across the unique Désert des Agriates 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 sunset into the sea.

DAY 6: Mountain Day

Highlights: Coastal to mountain scenery, spectacular wildflowers in season, Genoese history

You'll head into Corsica's interior today. This is the main "mountain day" on the tour, so take your time and enjoy the spectacular scenery. Climbing over the pass of Saint Colombano you'll enjoy a wonderful cruise down the Navaccia river valley 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.

  • Distance: 78 km (49 mi)
  • Gain: 1800 m (5904 ft)
  • Terrain: Very hilly
  • Day Level: Day Level 5.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 7: Bicycle to Aléria, shuttle to Pinarello

Highlights: Ancient capital of Roman Corsica, luxurious beachfront hotel

The trend today is down though there are a few hills that will certainly get your attention before you reach the coast. Our destination, Aléria, was one of the principal Roman trading towns and capital of Roman Corsica by 170 B.C. From Aléria we'll shuttle just under an hour to our luxurious beachfront hotel.

DAY 8: ExperiencePlus! Shuttle to Bastia

Highlights: Tour ends in Pinarello shuttle to Bastia

Enjoy breakfast together before you head back to Bastia for flights home.

  • Meals: Breakfast
Travel Information

Travel Information

Day 1: Arrival Information

Arrive Bastia, Corsica

Lodging: L'Alivi

Meeting time 2 p.m. - on Day 1, meet your fellow cyclists and Tour Leaders at the Day 1 Hotel specified on the itinerary.

Note:

As you are planning, remember that the hotels listed in our itineraries are our primary hotels and are - in rare cases - subject to change. Before you make arrangements, check with us if your tour departure is guaranteed. If your tour departure is out further than 6 months, please also check with us as there might be slight changes to the itinerary.

The below information will help you plan your arrival. For more tips or other routes, you might like Rome2Rio. The fare and timing information listed below is approximate.

We recommend flying into the Bastia Poretta Airport (BIA).

Although there are no direct international flights to the island of Corsica, London, Paris, Marseille and Nice all serve this airport regularly.

Getting to the Day 1 Hotel

  • Taxi from the airport to the Day 1 hotel (30 min/EUR 45-60)

Or public transportation

  1. Shuttle Bus from the airport to central station (45 min/EUR 10)
  2. Walk from central station to taxi stand or Tourist Information where you will find a taxi stand or the Tourist Information will arrange one for you (2 mins)
  3. Taxi from central station to hotel (10 min/EUR 10-12)

If you are planning to arrive by Ferry from France or Italy, you will find information on arriving from Marseille, Nice and Toulon in English at Corsica-ferries.co.uk (travel time 3.5 to 10 hours). For Ferries from Italy (Genoa, Livorno and Piombino), you can find information at Mobylines.com (travel time 4-10 hours).

Day 8: Departure Information

ExperiencePlus! Shuttle to Bastia

We recommend departing from the Bastia Poretta Airport (BIA) and will provide a shuttle as follows:

Complimentary ExperiencePlus! shuttle on the last day of the tour. Reservations required. Please make your shuttle reservation by emailing us no later than 30 days prior to your tour start date:

Arrival at the airport around 11 a.m. (transfer time around 2 hours)

What's Included

For a full list of what's included before, during and after your bike tour, visit our What's Included page.

Pre-Trip Planning Checklist

To do right after you booked!

6 to 3 Months Prior to Tour Start Date

  • Check the online itinerary of your trip and review the arrival and departure information under the "Travel Information" tab to see meeting place and time, if a reservation on a complimentary ExperiencePlus! Shuttle (if applicable) is required, and other important information to help you plan your arrival and departure.
  • Reserve your flights after you know you have a confirmed tour departure. Please check with our office if you do not know if your trip is confirmed.
  • Book your pre and post-tour hotel nights.
  • 12 weeks before your tour begin your training program: https://www.experienceplus.com/blog/travel-planning/bicycle-tour-training/
  • Final payment is due 90 days prior to the tour start. Please refer to your Deposit Payment Invoice and the Final Payment Reminder e-mail you have received for detailed instructions.

6 to 2 Weeks Prior to Tour Start Date

Day of Your Flight

Get as much sleep on the plane as you can. Pack your one day of cycling gear in your carry-on. See you soon!

What to Expect on Tour

Bicycles

Your bike comes with a pack for the rear rack, lock, cyclometer (bicycle computer), a spare tube and patch kit and pump, a rear light and in some places a bell. If you would like to bring your own pedals and shoes we recommend doing so—your tour leaders will install them during the bike fitting. We have flat pedals with or without cages available. For safety and hygiene reasons you are responsible for bringing a helmet.

Daysheets

Each day you'll receive a daysheet with information on the day's activities, meals and ride. These also include Tour Leader phone numbers, hotel information and interesting historical and cultural information about sites that you may want to stop and see along the route. Your Tour Leaders will also post daily announcements in the hotel lobby with information about sightseeing in town or restaurant recommendations for dinners on your own as well as important information about breakfast, luggage down and "arrows down" time.

Navigating on Tour

Each day we will provide you with a route map with the day's ride highlighted route. Of course, we also mark the route every day with our signature chalk dust arrows. Our arrows make navigating very easy—you may never need to look at the map! The arrows also allow you to ride at your own pace. There is no need to "keep up" with the group—this is your ride!

But what if it rains? What happens to the arrows? In a light rain, the arrows actually "set up" and become more permanent. In a heavy rain, they do wash away. If that happens, we'll re-group to cycle together for those who want to continue cycling while those who prefer to stay dry can shuttle.

For the tech-loving riders out there we offer the opportunity to download GPS tracks of most tour routes to your personal GPS device using RideWithGPS.com. Tracks are available upon request approximately three to four weeks prior to the departure.

Van Support

The van carries luggage and supports cyclists. It also has water, fruit and snacks. Though the van has snacks, we encourage you to stop and enjoy markets and find your own favorite local specialty.

Hotels

We have carefully chosen all of our accommodations for their charm and location. They are typically small, family run hotels that offer you a glimpse into the local culture.

We prefer hotels near interesting sites in the center of town located along the best cycling route in the area. Because many of the hotels are small not all of the rooms will be exactly the same. We keep this in mind and do our best to distribute rooms fairly by the end of the tour. Our itinerary lists our primary hotels. On rare occasions, listed hotels are subject to change.

Meals and Restaurants

Breakfasts: we work hard to arrange complete breakfasts but some hotels still serve continental style breakfasts; cycling is energy intensive so we do recommend you plan for a morning or mid-morning snack on the road at a local café or market.

Water is OK in almost all hotels and in country fountains; if there is a problem, we will advise you.

We'll recommend lunch locations en route and most itineraries include a few group picnics. We limit the number of picnics so you don't feel pressured to be at a certain place in the middle of your ride.

Dinners together are often pre-planned and pre-ordered. We'll ask you prior to your trip if you have special dietary requirements. Preplanned meals allow us to provide a variety of regional specialties and facilitate efficient service. Water, wine and beer are included.

Tipping Your Tour Leader Team

If you feel your tour leader team has demonstrated great expertise and service, common practice within the travel industry is to tip. Tipping is voluntary and greatly appreciated, and gratuity amounts vary widely. Should you decide to leave a tip, as a guideline, we suggest 5% of the tour cost per traveler – this for the entire tour leader team, not each Tour Leader. If you’d like to show your gratitude for your Tour Leaders’ excellent service you can give the tip to any member of the tour leader team, as they share it evenly. In order to avoid social tensions, we encourage you to tip as individuals and not as a group. If you feel your Tour Leaders did not quite meet your expectations, then we would like to know about it. You will also have the opportunity to leave your comments in our evaluation survey which we email to you after your trip.

Photos

By reserving space on tour, you agree that ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours may use, re-use and reproduce any images, photos or videos that you send to us, or that are taken by our guides and/or other travelers of you individually or in a group, in any medium, including but not limited to print, electronic media, or Internet, free of charge and without your right to inspection, for promoting and publicizing our travel products and services worldwide. If you do not want us to use any images of you that are taken by us or other participants during the tour, you must inform us or your tour leader in writing at the start of the tour.

Map

Map

Reviews

Reviews

  • Trip of a life time!

    Bruce T., Thornbury, Ontario
  • The meals were all excellent, and the ride around Cap Corse was out of this world. I couldn't recommend this trip more. It was wonderful, a great way to see new places, make some friends, get physical activity and enjoy all the food and wine, too.

    Jane C., Lucca, Italy
  • Each guide excelled in a different area which made their team work unbeatable. Working in the tourism industry I sometimes think I look at things even more critically & yet the overall tour was superb - this was my first time using ExperiencePlus but would definitely do so again...[My favorite parts were] Cycling through the mountains (despite the climbs!) Hotels overlooking the sea - so we could leave our balcony doors open and sleep to the sound of the waves. Someone to take care of the daily stuff - meals/luggage/hotels so we could relax and simply enjoy the day... ExperiencePlus came highly recommended to me, and delivered its promises. Overall a fabulous vacation.

    Deleyse L.
    Hercules, CA
  • I hope you can always find such great people to lead your tours, as it is they (and the arrows) that keep us coming back. We are seriously entertaining the possibility of Expedition Plus for 2008...

    June W.
    Saint Paul, MN
  • Many great experiences, of course. Optional day ride for a day at the beach on the east coast of Corsica was a treat. The final meal in Bonifacio was excellent, the town striking. Everything was enjoyable from my point of view.

    John G.
    Scottsdale, AZ
  • The rides were great but the cultural and historical input from the guides made it all even better. Absolutely wonderful organization and experience from start to finish. We are already looking at our next trip with you and I have told many friends about your very unique approach to guided independent cycling and touring.

    Peter S., Fort Collins, CO - May 2018
  • You do a great job of service, support and fun. Thanks so much for another great trip! We love going places with you!

    Leslie M., Fort Collins, CO
  • What was your favorite experience on this trip? Swimming in the Mediterranean Sea 7 out of 10 days. The bike trip was great and I look forward to doing another one.

    Jim M., Coquitlam, BC
  • Corsica was really magical. It has everything, lush forests, desert, beaches, mountains. I would love to go back .

    Susan A., Colorado Springs, CO
  • Loved Corsica. Jonathan and Stephane were wonderful. Already looking forward to the next trip.

    David A., Colorado Springs, CO
  • It was simply the best trip ever. I don't think it can be matched.

    Kathleen D., Tucson, AZ
  • Our guides were fabulous! The arrows were the best - no bickering about which turn to make - really made the routes go smoothly.

    Gerry L.
    Belvedere, CA
  • The opportunities to swim was a real plus. The rides were challenging without being exhausting. The scenery was typical of travel brochures, the weather was ideal for cycling.

    Charles B., Mississauga, Ontario
  • Corsica''s natural beauty was amazing. The riding routes were excellent. It''''s a beautiful place to experience by bicycle because you get to fully experience the glory of the island.

    Mary Ann D., Pleasanton, CA
  • The routes chosen had beauty. We loved buying food along the way and choosing a picnic site. It was a very nice group of people. The guides were wonderful...We are very happy with your tours. This was our fifth and if we remain healthy we plan to take five more. It's not about the bike for us. We merely use the bike for the unique experience of seeing a country from a different point of view.

    Robert B.
    Lancaster, PA
  • Doing both Corsica and Sardinia back to back was the trip of a life time.

    Bruce T., Thornbury, Ontario
  • Keep doing the same things because it is great! All of your leaders have been exceptional.

    Ole L., Fort Worth, TX
  • Would love to do it again and again. The leaders were incredible

    Kelly D., Ft Collins, CO
  • The trip was wonderful in all ways!

    Elaine M., Pittsford, NY
  • It was amazing to do Corsica and Sardinia back to back. The riding in Corsica is second to none with its wild beauty and then to do Sardinia where even the mountains seem polished. There is such a contrast in these two islands that are so close together. This trip was without a doubt at the top of our list as the most fabulous trips we have done, which now number 17 in Europe.

    Sharon M., Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • The riding was superb. The group was excellent. You have great people and a great format.

    Peter M., Auckland, NZ
  • Beautiful country both interior and coast. Good routes devoid of traffic. I''ve loved my trips with ExperiencePlus! You do a great job!

    George C., Salt Lake City, UT
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