We are delighted to be able to offer this tour to Corsica for 2019. A real gem in the Mediterranean and unexplored region for many. Join us to experience the culture, beauty and breathtaking scenery of this historic island. An excellent description of the island can be found here
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Sept 5 arrive, depart Sept 6 - Porticcio 42 miles
Arrive at Ajaccio Port by ferry either from Nice or Marseilles or at Ajaccio Airport (Campo dell Oro) by air and transfer by van to our hotel. The rest of the day can be used to assemble bikes, visit the beach, or perhaps take a small ferry to Ajaccio, birthplace of Napoleon. For cyclists who want to stretch their legs on a short bike ride, or people who arrive a day early, there are lots of beautiful roads to explore by bicycle in this region (a map has been provided). It is also possible to explore the scenic Prunelli Gorges (approx. 42 miles).
Sept 7 - Zicavo 55mi, 4900ft elevation gain
Corsica is a mountain range in the sea, so it is not surprising that our entire trip will either be traversing cliffs along the Mediterranean Sea or traversing mountains in the interior. Today’s ride is no different. We start the ride along the coast before climbing into the interior with its scrub vegetation, forests, and mountain peaks. As we climb through wooded areas, there are ever expanding views of the sea behind us and the mountains ahead. After leaving the coast, the roads become very small and winding, perfect for great cycling. There will be wild pigs along the way, cooling them selves in the shade. Generally they have no interest in cyclists, unless you feed them, when they become very aggressive. Our destination is the small village of Zicavo, a hiking center at 2400'.
Sept 8 - Corte 52mi, 4700ft
Today we head north along the mountainous spine of the island through mountain valleys and over the Col de Verde (4200') before dropping down to Ghisoni at 2200', for lunch. Continuing through the forest, we climb the Col de Sorba (4300'), where there are great views of Monte d'Oro (7800'), we then descend to Corte, our destination for the night. Corte was the capital of an essentially independent Corsica governed by Pasquale Paoli from 1755 - 1769. Paoli was an enlightened leader who established a university at Corte. The old town and the citadel are worth visiting. An absolute must, even though it is the end of the day, is to ride up the Gorges de la Restonica. This is a wonderful mountain valley and many regard this as the islands most dramatic road. There is another opportunity to ride this valley tomorrow or later in the tour when we return to Corte, but make sure to ride the Gorges de la Restonica at least once.
Sept 9 to 10 - Porto 57mi, 4800ft
Today we have an incredible ride through gorges, over mountains and down winding roads to the Mediterranean, with breathtaking scenery every inch of the way. We head north from Corte (1400') to the Golo River and the Scala di Santa Regina, one of the most famous and wild defiles (deep valley) on the island. This is the start of a wonderful, gentle climb to the Col de Vergio (4850', the highest pass in Corsica). The view of the high mountains is fantastic. After the col, there is a 21 mile downhill run to Porto on the coast. The road down is a corniche road with incredible views into the Spelunca Gorges several thousand feet below.
Sept 11 - Calvi 58mi, 3800ft
Our tour of Corsica has more tiny winding roads than just about any tour anywhere, and today’s ride is no exception. The road north from Porto is a corniche road, which climbs very gently rising above the sea and providing stunning views. We climb to the Col de la Croix (1300'), which is the boundary between north and south Corsica. After Le Fango, (or Galeria, where lunch is possible), the road hugs the coast with more wonderful views of the sea. Calvi is a resort town with lovely restaurants along the waterfront. The old town and citadel, where according to legend Christopher Columbus was born, are worth visiting.
Sept 12 - St Florent 58mi, 3800ft, or 65mi, 5000ft
Today's road is amazing. From Calvi we head to St. Florent, but instead of following the busy road along the shore, we head inland through a desert area known as the Balange. The Balange is an agricultural area and has many small villages that look like transplants from Italy. Much of the vegetation along the morning’s route was destroyed by fire a few years ago. The seemingly level road clings to the side of the mountain with many great views along the way. Lunch is available at Belgodore. After lunch, we cycle through the Desert des Agriates, a desolate, dry area. Be sure your water bottles are filled at lunch and any opportunities afterward.
Sept 13 to 14- St Florent Rest day or loop ride 36mi, 3000ft
After five days of hard riding we certainly deserve a rest day, and what a place to rest. St Florent is a beautiful little fishing village with a few restaurants where a nice lunch can be had. If you want to stretch your legs with a short bike ride, there is a fun, and scenic loop that will get you back in time for plenty of beach lounging.
Sept 15 - Corte 54mi, 5300ft, or 57mi, 6400ft
We return to the mountains today with many tiny winding roads in store. This also means that the views will be spectacular. We start by climbing through the nicely wooded hillsides above St Florent, but as we cross over the ridge it becomes very dry with few trees but with wide open views. The road is rough in places but the 25 km of very gradual descending (about 3%) will be fun and beautiful. If you haven’t done so already, this will be the last opportunity to cycle up the Gorges de la Restonica. It will also be a great time to relax by the secluded pool or have a drink overlooking the bubbling stream.
Sept 16 - Solenzara 50mi, 2700ft, or 54mi, 4700ft
It's back to the coast today; again most of the riding will be on the usual small winding roads. After some early morning climbing, most of the rest of the day will be a long gradual downhill descending to the coastal plain. The long route includes more scenic cyclingwinding from village to village, Lunch is available at a country restaurant near Pinzalone. Solenzara was only recently a sleepy fishing village, but the tourist trade has been attracted to its beautiful setting, rocky coastline and beautiful sandy beaches. Now it is a full service tourist village, but still beautiful.
Sept 17 to 18 - Propriano 50mi, 5400ft, or 59mi, 6500ft
Most of today's route is spent cycling up, over and down, the biggest climb of the tour, and certainly one the best rides of the tour. At 4100 feet, the Col de Bavella is the 2nd highest pass on the island, and since we start at sea level we will climb every inch of it. The scenery is the most spectacular of the tour, punctuated by the soaring granite peaks that tower above the road. The Michelin Green Guide gives the Bavella its highest rating - three stars - and they are well deserved. Lunch is available in a number of villages on the way down, Zonza, Levie, Quenza, and Aullene. Most of the days ride is on the well paved, winding roads that make cycling on Corsica so wonderful. After the traverse to Aullene, we will have another of the great, fun descents and then another from Viggianello into Propriano. Our final destination is a beautiful seaside resort 5 km from the busy seaport of Propriano. When you arrive, quickly head for the beach it is wonderful and you will want to spend time relaxing and swimming in the clear warm waters. There is also a pool and the restaurant/bar next to the beach.
Sept 19 - Porticcio 30mi, 2000ft
This is the last day of our tour and the return to Porticcio along the coast is a fitting finale to a long and wonderful tour of the beautiful island of Corsica. The coast route has numerous view spots and great scenery to easily use up the rest of your digital card. It is easy to add a few more wonderful miles of cycling for those who just can’t get enough of the great island, cycling paradise. There will be plenty of time for lunch, at one of the restaurants overlooking the beach and then back to our luxurious hotel to pack bicycles prior to our final dinner