This tour has been designed to offer you a seriously active 2 week holiday. The cycling starts in the north of Corsica, where you will cycle a long, 7 day route around the north, along the coast, and through the heart of the country. The cycling part of this tour has been rated as moderate, with one unavoidable 900m climb on the 5th day.
Once you arrive in Bastia, our ground agents will greet you, talk you through the tour, and give you an up to date map with alternate routes. They will also transfer your luggage to the hotel in the last destination.
After the cycling part of this holiday, you will be provided with a rental car to drive 2.5 hours to the south of the island, Bonifacio where the windsurfing is.
Day 1: Bastia
After flying from the UK, your trip begins at your hotel in Bastia, in the afternoon. If you have time to explore the capital of Upper-Corsica, make sure to visit the old port and the citadel, which offers a wonderful panorama of the sea and surroundings and has some fantastic places to eat in the evening.
Day 2: Cap Corse
Your cycling begins by heading north to cross the tip of the Cap Corse. This route follows the stunning coastal road and passes many Genoese and Paoline towers that stand firm after hundreds of years of guarding the Corsican coastline. Before heading inland across the Cap Corse you will get great views of the Italian islands of Capraia and Elba, where Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled in 1814. There's a climb over to the west coast, which is even more dramatic, plunging almost vertically into the sea in places. A fantastic first day's ride.
Day 3: Nonza
This shorter day takes you south and off the Cap-Corse, through terraced villages and churches nestled in the maquis. On the way, you will pass the picturesque village of Nonza, set high on a rocky pinnacle that plunges vertically into the sea. Nonza was once the stronghold for the da Gentile family, and the remains of their fortress are still standing on the furthest rocks on the overhanging cliff.
It is also famous for St.Julia, the patron saint of Corsica who was martyred here in the fifth century. Continuing south you will finally reach the fishing port of Saint-Florent, which is a popular destination for Corsicans, mainly due to its close proximity to the famous Patrimonio vinyards and to one of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean, Saleccia. Longer options include climbing into the hills above St Florent for superb views of the coast.
Day 4: Desert des Agriates
Heading west you cross the almost uninhabited Desert des Agriates. What makes this place so unique is the surrounding 'maquis' scrubland that you will pass through along the way. This gives off a unique aroma and is particularly fragrant during the spring when the maquis is in blossom. Arriving back to the coast you will then climb towards the sleepy village of Monticello just above the little resort of Ile Rousse.
Day 5: Speluncato
A harder day, as all the alternative routes involve a climb of 900m or so. The preferred route first follows a balcony road which weaves through villages perched above the coast, with beautiful views all the way along. There's then a stiff climb to Speluncato, a particularly attracitve huddle of houses and churches at the foot of the hills: we recommend a drink and ice cream here before the climb ahead. Above Speluncato is the hard work as you ascend to the pass of the Bocca di a Battaglia (1098m) but you are rewarded with magnifcient views both back to the coast and inland to the jagged mountains along the spine of the Island. An exhilarating descent then brings you to Olmi Cappella for the night.
Day 6: Ponte Leccia, Olmi Cappella
A much easier day on quiet roads in beautiful country. It begins with a ridge ride above Olmi Cappella with views in every direction, and then drops to the old road across the island for a steady descent through the hills to the little town of Ponte Leccia. Options for those with strong legs include more excursions to beautiful hill villages.
Day 7: Castagniccia
There's an easy option today to follow the main road towards Bastia - a steady descent all the way. However, we recommend taking to the hills again to explore the Castagniccia. This enchanting area has perhaps been least affected by change in the last hundred years than any other region of Corsica. Castagniccia also contains the largest chestnut forest in the world, which is where the name of this region derives from.
These trees were planted in the middle ages to make sure that the island would remain self-sufficient as chestnut flour can be used to make bread, amongst other things. The recommended route goes through one typical village after another, high above the main road and with a continous backdrop of mountains. The final descent brings you down to the historic town of Borgo, and then on to the commune of Lucciana, close to the airport, for the last night
Day 8 - 13: Bonifacio
On the morning of the 8th a driver will pick you up and take you back to the airport. From here we will provide you with a rental car. From the airport drive south 2.5 hours to the beautiful Bonifacio.
We have chosen the luxurious 5* Sperone to end your holiday in style.
Whilst in Bonifacio, there is an abundance of activities to do. The wind can be light, so our centre has a wide range of kayaks and paddleboards for exploring the beautiful coast by water.
Day 14: Back to UK
On your last day make your way back to Bastia in the north, where a flight will be ready to take you home.