Why not discover Corsica, part of France for over 200 years, probably Europe’s best-kept secret island. On this self guided walking holiday, you will experience lovely coastal landscapes as well as time in the mountains. You will stay 3 nights in Calvi (by the sea) and 3 nights in Corte in the mountain. Corsica is literally a in the Mediterranean Sea, from its jagged coastline and sandy beaches to the serrated rocky summits that soar into and above the clouds, and everything in between, the landscapes are as sumptuous as they are contrasting. During this hiking holiday you will venture into the heart of it all, with remote and wild landscapes to experience.
Walks are generally under 5 hours walking but you will on some walks be walking uphill for 2 hours at a time with upto 600m of climb on some walks. There are more difficult options available with more elevation.
Calvi: Hotel Mariana
Corte: Hotel Du Nord
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Hooked on Cycling that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the chosen activity and for emergency evacuation and hospital care.
Arrive at the coastal town of Calvi on the north coast and why not go and explore the beautiful citadel which is perched on a rocky spur and the pretty cobbled streets. You will enjoy the great views of the coast and the beaches nearby.
Today’s scenic walk takes you along the Sentier du Littoral, the path that follows the jagged coastline. You’ll discover the peninsula and its secluded little beaches which are perfect for a swim. Once completed, you will return to the same spot after completing a loop around the Point de la Revellata. From the Revellata Lighthouse, you will be able to admire the Mediterranean and surrounding mountains. You will return to Calvi along a path slightly higher on the coastline.
Today you will leave the coast and head up to the Notre Dame de Serra, a beautiful hilltop chapel from where you will have some magnificent panoramic views of the bay of Calvi, its citadel, and the Reginu valley. The path is mostly easy underfoot with some rocky sections, passing through Corsican scrub until you reach the chapel of the Notre Dame de la Serra. The original religious sanctuary was destroyed during a siege in 1740, but a new chapel was built in the first half of the 19th century. Admire the 19th-century chapel’s simple architectural design features and Baroque bell tower and the large statue of Notre Dame de la Serra atop a rock. Now you return back to Calvi. The challenging option continues along a sun-exposed and rocky trail taking you to the highest point above Calvi, the Austrian cross “Capu di a Veta” an exhilarating walk with incredible panoramic views. Though not dangerous and has no drop-offs, some of the terrains is very rocky in nature with steep steps, and one short passage on a traverse with a short chain to help (though not necessary to use). Good balance is required.
Today you have a free day to discover Calvi, relax by the beach, and go on a boat tour to the Calanches de Piana. However, you need to plan your transfer to Corte in the afternoon (not included). You will take the famous Michelin train with your luggage from the sandy beaches up to the mountains.
When you arrive in Corte it’s a 20 mins walk to your hotel situated in the centre. The town of Corte is nestled at the base of several valleys, crowned by its citadel, it is the historic capital of the island and has always been at the heart of the movement trying to maintain the Corsican language and culture.
FAMOUS MICHELIN TRAIN FROM CALVI TO CORTE No trip to Corsica would be complete without an excursion on its train, affectionately known as the Micheline. It’s an event in itself: not anywhere as modern or as slick (or as smooth) as the trains in mainland France, the Micheline looks and feels past its prime. At first glance, you’d guess it was a giant toy train. But don’t let looks deceive you: it’s built for the vertiginous and difficult slopes of Corsica. It gives its passengers access to vistas and landscapes in the very heart of the preserved parkland, in the most jagged of terrain.
You leave Corte on foot and head out on your hike. You’re in the heart of the wilderness as soon as you leave the centre of Corte. The path is always easy underfoot, easy to follow and cobbled most of the way. There are no steep climbs or descents, and the route follows the “Mare a Mare” path above the left bank of the Tavignano river before entering the high mountains. Further, you penetrate into the gorge and the scenery becomes more dramatic. At the end of the hike the path descends to a footbridge that crosses the river. There is a natural pool for a refreshing swim. You return back on the same path.
A short taxi ride of 30mins to Restonica, where your walk begins at 1370m in altitude, at the Bergerie de la Grotelle. The walk climbs steadily up the valley on a rocky path to the first lake, Lac di Melo. This is very peaceful, with lots of places to enjoy a break or picnic lunch. The moderate option turns back down the valley, though now on the opposite side of the river (right bank). Though there are no chains and ladders to contend with on this side, the path is extremely steep and rocky. The challenging option also descends this route after having visited the Lac di Capitello. The challenging option continues up to Lac di Capitello, the path is steep and rocky. There is another chain segment to negotiate, this one a bit longer and steeper than the one below Lac di Melo. Around one hour above Melo you reach Lac di Capitello, perfectly still, frozen 8 months of the year. The lake is situated at the very top of the Restonica valley. This is the perfect lunch spot if you have a picnic. The route turns back down the same path to Lac di Melo. However, you can continue climbing above the 2nd lake, to the very crest, where you intersect with the GR20 at its highest point, with views of both lakes from above. The route is extremely steep, rocky, and difficult. Taxi transfer back to your hotel.
Difficulties for both hikes: set in an Alpine environment, steep paths including “easy” scrambling passages with chains and ladders. It is worthwhile to begin the hike early in the morning to avoid the crowds, and enjoy the stillness of the lakes. If starting early enough, you can enjoy lunch in one of the two “bergeries”, 30 minutes before the end, or at the end itself. Both options start and finish with a taxi transfer (drop off and pick up Bergerie de la Grotelle)
End of your trip after breakfast in Corte.
By Plane to Bastia and then by bus to Calvi, approx. 2.5 hours by plane or ferry to Calvi. At the end of the trip in Corte by train to Bastia, approx. 1.5 hours or by train to Calvi.
2023 Prices – For a complete tour price breakdown please click the book now button and select your holiday tour date. Prices will then be listed.
|Tour Code||Prices From (per person)||Book Now|
|Corsica (6 Nights)||from £634||Book Now|
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