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France

Corsica - Southern Secrets

Guided Road Cycling Holiday

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

£1,740 P.P.
France

Corsica - Southern Secrets

Guided Road Cycling Holiday

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

£1,740 P.P.
BOOK NOW
In conjunction with our long-established and very successful tour of Northern Corsica; (The Beautiful Isle), we bring you another road cycling holiday in France which covers the magnificent southern region of Corsica. Keen to assert their own identities, Corsica is divided into ‘Haute-Corse’ (upper Corsica) and ‘Corse-du-Sud’ (southern Corsica). The diversity of the landscape allows both of them to shine in their own right and both deserve a separate visit to make the most of them!
This tour of the south is an absolute gem, taking in everything that Corse du Sud has to offer, from mountains to beaches, gorges to forests, rolling hills to needle-like rock pinnacles, swanky resorts to hillside villages and winding ascents to long easy descents. From the heart of the island to the very tip in the south (only a stone’s throw from Sardinia), this trip will allow you to explore some popular attractions as well as taking you completely off the beaten track to experience traditional Corsican life.  
Starting in Bastia on the Cap Corse our route heads south, winding inland and rising above the Gollo valley giving tremendous views over the Castagniccia chestnut forest, down to the sea. Our journey bisects the island before hitting the coast near Porticcio where we spend the night within earshot of the waves of the Mediterranean. After following the south-west coast we cut inland to cross Corsica and reach the east coast which we follow north, aiming for Bastia.
The riding here is a little tougher than our trip in the north, but no less dramatic and enjoyable, with a great mix of rolling coastal roads and more challenging ascents through the wooded interior of the island, showcasing the quality and variety The Beautiful Isle has to offer.
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Holiday Highlights

  • Approaching Corte’s towering citadel at the end of our first day’s ride
  • Exploring Corsican mountain villages, distinct from anywhere else in France
  • Descending sweeping roads which carve through cool pine forests
  • Bonifacio’s dramatic cliff top old town
  • Earning the rewarding views over the Med after a challenging climb
  • Fuelling up with the delicious local produce

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Corsica is a jewel of a place! I cannot say anything negative about this trip. Everything was put together beautifully! Our guides worked tirelessly in the background to ensure all boxes were ticked.

Rachel, UK

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival: Bastia Airport
Non Riding Day

After your arrival at Bastia airport there will be a very short transfer to your hotel where you’ll be able to lounge by the pool and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of this hotel in the Lucciana commune. Depending on flight times there is also the chance to stretch your legs and cycle down to the beach alongside the Etang de Biguglia (a salt-water lagoon where, if you’re lucky, you can spot the resident flamingos).

Day 2
Lucciana to Corte
52 Miles / 84 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 2,000 Metres Approx.

We head straight for the quiet country roads that within approx 20 minutes will give us a taste of the ‘real’ Corsica. Having pedalled our way up through Borgo village, we will weave our way through the many classic villages of the Nebbio, gaining height and fantastic views across the Golo valley towards the Castagniccia and onwards down to the coast. A steep descent will take us to Ponte Leccia, after which we continue on minor roads before finishing our day with a climb into Corte.

Day 3
Corte to Porticcio
84 Miles / 135 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 2,400 Metres Approx.

From here the adventure into the south of the island really begins. This morning we will be rewarded with a long but generally easy climb to the Col de Vizzavona (1,163m) winding our way up amongst the pine forest. This is a well known area for a range of outdoor activities, not surprising given the stunning views up towards the Monte D’Oro. From the Col, there’s a short and speedy descent to Bocognano, before we head deep into the Prunelli region on a quiet road which includes a stiff climb up to the Col de Scalella (1,193m). With Monte Renoso to our left, we descend to the little mountain village of Bastelica (a hotbed of Corsican nationalism), before heading west over the Col de Cricheto and onwards to the coast.

Day 4
Porticcio to Bonifacio
86 Miles / 138 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 2,400 Metres Approx.

Today we’ll enjoy some pleasant cycling along the coast towards the Port de Chiavari before swinging inland to climb up through the forest of Chiavari, where you’ll be surrounded by eucalyptus, holm oak and cork oak. Look out for the remains of the old prison camp ‘Le Pénitencier de Chiavari’ before heading over the Col de Cortoni and back down to the coast at Propriano, another popular seaside town. From here it’s a direct ride all the way down to the bottom of the island to the stunning port of Bonifacio, which perches precariously on the top of white limestone cliffs. Sardinia is now just a stones throw away!

Day 5
Bonifacio to Zonza
52 Miles / 83 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 2,100 Metres Approx.

Having reached the southernmost region of the island it is now time to change direction and start our journey back to the north. We get through 10kms of today’s stage rapidly as we leave the coast behind us and head inland on a flat straight road. Before long a left hand turn takes us away from the main road and into a network of very minor roads which lead us through numerous tiny villages and hamlets.

After stopping in one of the small villages for a morning coffee we’ll continue our journey inland as we take on Col de Bacinu, the first significant climb of the day which tops out at just over 800m above sea level. It’s a challenging but beautiful climb with magnificent views of the islands south-eastern coastline reaching far into the distance.

A long descent follows and delivers us to the start of our second challenge as the road begins to rise again through a series of mountain villages such as Carbini and Levie until eventually we arrive in Zonza which is ultimately where will end the day.

There is however more riding in store and for those not tempted to spend the remainder of the afternoon relaxing in the lovely village there is an opportunity to ride the 18km out and back up to the magnificent 1,218m high Col de Bavella, one of the most famous attractions in the south of Corsica due to the fantastic backdrop of the ‘Aguilles de Bavella’ or needle like rocks that jut dramatically into the sky.

Day 6
Zonza to Venaco
77 Miles / 124 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 2,200 Metres Approx.

This is a real treat of a day and cycling in Corsica doesn’t get much better than this! We head through the heart of the Alta Rocca region passing through many classic hillside villages. Our post breakfast warm up takes us up to the Col de la Vaccia (1,193m and only very recently tarmac’d), before descending to the established village of Zicavo (famed for its charcuterie). From here we depart for the climb of the day, as we pick our way through the semi feral pigs up to the Col de Verde (1,289m) where magnificent views on the ascent, pine trees and mountain air can be found in abundance. We can then enjoy another classic Corsican descent through the forest to Ghisoni. This quiet road provides some nice curves and undulations.

To top it all off we finish with a quick ride through the Défilé de l’Inzecca, a little known gorge with a few tight little turns and splendid views down to the river and the coast beyond. Following this, we turn back inland and climb once more before a final long (and breathtaking!) descent to our hotel for the night.

Day 7
Venaco to Lucciana
65 Miles / 105 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,700 Metres Approx.

Our last day on the bikes sees us heading back to the north-eastern coast to complete our circuit. The stage is not the longest on our tour but with its dragon tooth profile it is still the toughest so we’ll try to make an early departure. The route takes us deep into ‘The Castagniccia‘, the island’s sparsely populated chestnut forest – a region rarely visited by tourists and one which seems to have been untouched by modern life. The spider web network of roads in the Castagniccia can be difficult to navigate and weather conditions will dictate how far we venture into the forest. Regardless of this the options available to us will guarantee a beautiful finale as we make our way to Lucciana on the coast, 20km south of Bastia.

Day 8
Departure: Bastia Airport
Non Riding Day
  • Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast it is time to pack up our bags and bikes for the short trip to the airport and the journey home.

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The Cycling

Terrain

Our route concentrates mainly on minor roads and quiet country lanes and includes everything from gently rolling hills to significant mountain ascents. Generally speaking the route is moderately challenging with enjoyable and manageable climbs featuring most days. Road surfaces are generally good however there are occasional sections of rough tarmac and badly weathered surfaces. The entire route is however suitable standard road bikes with 700×23-25c tyres.

Gradients on climbs are generally moderate, manageable and enjoyable. There are however occasions when the gradients increase and the climbs become more challenging. These steeper climbs are relatively short and are therefore still achievable by most enthusiastic road cyclists.

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Road Cycling Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 3 - 4

Moderate to Challenging. For more regular riders who like to push themselves a little from time to time. Not extreme but certainly challenging on occasions with some good climbing opportunities. Distances between 80-120km per day.

Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!

For more information about our grading system click here.

Is this suitable for you?

You’re an enthusiast. Road cycling is probably your main hobby and you ride regularly at weekends, staying on the bike for much of the day. You’re in pretty good shape, and you might also participate in cylo-sportive events. You also love a challenge and are looking for a tour with some good climbing, preferably with an opportunity to tick off some famous Tour de France cols, or the like. You’re a competent descender, and you’re not afraid of speed, but you ride safely and within your limits at all times. You understand road etiquette and you’re comfortable riding in a bunch. You might even take a stint at the front of the pack if the need arises.

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I definitely won’t be going back to doing beach holidays anytime soon! Our guide made us feel very welcome whilst also coming across as very knowledgeable about the area and genuinely caring.

Charlotte, Derbyshire

Dates & Prices

Private Departures

Private Departures

Are you keen to only travel with your family or friends? Struggling to find the right date? Well, we can organise a private departure for this tour and tailor aspects to suit your group's specific needs. Contact our friendly team and we'll help you turn your dream into reality.

Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
30/05/2021
Return Date
06/06/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,740.00
Start Date
26/09/2021
Return Date
03/10/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,740.00

Whats Included Tick

A) Hotel accommodation (shared twin rooms)

B) Meals as per the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

C) Full tour service including Skedaddle guides

D) Unless stated, at least one leader qualified in first aid

E) Support vehicle and luggage transfers

F) Airport transfer on scheduled arrival day from Bastia Airport (BIA)

G) Airport transfer on scheduled departure day to Bastia Airport (BIA)

What's not Included Cross

A) Bike hire (available if required)

B) Flights and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)

C) Meals not stated in the itinerary

D) Travel insurance

E) Single room (available if required)

F) Personal clothing and equipment

G) Personal expenditure (souvenirs, bar bills, hotel facilities etc)

H) Entrance to museums and other attractions en route

I) Airport transfers on days other than the scheduled arrival / departure days

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The Essentials

Travel Options

Group airport transfers are included in the cost of your holiday. To join the airport transfer on arrival, you’ll need to arrive into Bastia Airport before 11:00 for an 11:30 transfer.

At the end of the tour we will transfer the group back to Bastia airport, with an estimated arrival time of 08:00 – please consider this when booking your return travel and allow enough time to check in for your chosen flight.

If you prefer to fly into Nice airport (NCE) before taking the ferry to Bastia please contact us to discuss your arrival time.

Please contact us for more detailed information on the specific flight schedules available for your holiday. Please check with us before booking any flights, to make sure we have reached the minimum number required to guarantee your holiday and to ensure your flights fit with our scheduled transfers. Please note – If you make travel arrangements that fall outside of the above time windows there may be an additional charge for individual transfers.

Accommodation

Accommodation (shared twin or double rooms) will usually be en suite in 2 and 3 star hotels, chambre d‘hôtes and local auberges. Our accommodation has all been hand-picked and chosen for their room and service quality, as well as their food quality and of course Corsican charm.

Bike Hire

If you don’t own a suitable bike or would prefer to avoid bringing your own we have bikes available to hire. These bikes are typically Scott Solace or alternative brand equivalent, great bikes with good quality components. If you do decide to hire we can include a helmet and all necessary spares for the trip. Please request helmets when booking. The bikes come with flat pedals as standard, so if you prefer to ride with clipless pedals please bring your own pedals along with you.

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