A DREAM TOUR THAT FEATURES ALL THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS CYCLING PARADISE IN THE HEART OF THE MEDITERRANEAN

EPIC CORSICA

  • Starting price

    € 1284

  • Duration

    8 Days

  • Activity level

    Challenge

  • Departing dates

    30 May 2020

  • Guided group tour

    Small group minimum 6 riders | Private groups, any size on requested dates

  • Location

    Porto Vecchio, Corsica, France

Support level

  • Accommodation

    7 nights at 3-star

  • MEALS

    All breakfasts.

  • SUPPORT LEVEL

    Guiding; spare bike, bars, gels and electrolytes available on purchase; 10% discount on bike rentals.

  • NOT INCLUDED

    Flight tickets; extras in hotel, etc.; drinks during the dinner; city tax (if any); travel insurance; all dinners; bike rental; arrival and departure transfer.

  • ON REQUEST

    Supplement for single accommodation € 288 p.p.; 10% discount on the bike rental.


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Corsica is the third largest Med island after Sicily and Sardinia and what we judge a very special environment for cycling: in a pretty small surface it features a great environmental variety. But what has made us enthusiasts about riding there, are the amazing mountains that make you change from Med environment to Alps in the space of half of a stage.

Two thirds of the whole territory are mountains. Plus, nearly half of the island is National Park: Parc naturel régional de Corse. This, and the very low population density, characterize the inland, making for glorious mountain rides. 

As tour designers and tour leaders we consider the ever relevant daily elevation gains producing some specific consequences when it comes to design a tour: first, you cannot reasonably offer tours with less than challenging level, if you'd like to explore a significan part of the island, second, to include all the top spots the trip will feature necessarily long stages, and average elevation gains typical of the Alps.

We're describing a pretty hilly cycling context, we know, but believe us when we say that what you'll see and experience here worth the effort and the additional training to get ready for it!

The tour is shaped like a ring, starting and finishing in Porto Vecchio. Along this ring we'll do the most famous Corsican climbs such as the 30km long Aiguilles de Bavella, the spectacular and wild Cold de Siu, but also Col de Verde, the impressively long (40km!) Colle Vergio, Col du Sorba and so many top spots that would make this introduction text way too long. 

...longer than a Corsican long climb!

Our Route

Day 1: Arrival day

Arrival at Figari airport and transfer to Porto Vecchio. Accommodation and dinner at three-star hotel.

Day 2: Ride from Porto Vecchio to Zonza. 86km; 2100m.

Col di Bavella is one of the most famous climbs in Corsica, and for sure one of the most dramatic roads in the Mediterranean. And it's main course on this day. It's a 31km climb - interrupted by a few kilometers down in the middle. The climb starts in Solenzara, and is easy in the beginning. Then the incline increases progressively, with some 15% section in the latter 9km. Before the top, many little cafes and restaurants are in perfect position to enjoy some good local food or a cappuccino, with the stunning views given by the Bavella peaks. Zonza, our destination and a very neat and pretty mountain town, is close. Accommodation at three-star hotel.


Day 3: Ride from Zonza to Corte. 123km; 2600m.

Every tour has got a queen stage, and that's the one of Epic Corsica.

It's not all matter of distance of elevation, but of how you've put together those meters up at the end of the day. Two major climbs today. One is Col de Verde, 28km but with a pretty gentle - 3% - average incline. The second is Col du Sorba, about 10km, but nearly 7%. Col du Sorba is one third Col de Verde, in terms of distance, but a wrong effort management can turn it into a never ending climb. From the top, possibly one of the most beautiful views we had on our cycle tours. The way to Corte is relatively easy, and we can enjoy a lovely dinner in what we believe is the nicest and most authentic town in the island: Corte. Accommodation at a three-star hotel.


Day 4: Ride from Corte to Porto. 107km; 2700m.

We like those rides that mix up a lot of different ingredients, like short and long climbs, but also quick downhills and super long winding descents. Or mountains and sea as only the Mediterranean islands can grant. This stage is like that: it surprises us with sudden change of environment and challenges our skills of road riders. 

Out of the hotel we've got an great opportunity: riding up the famous Restonica gorge, enjoying a coffee with (stunning) view, then beginning our journey back to coastline.

A short up will takes us on top of Col d'Ominanda and after a few kilometrs down a thrilling panoramic downhill, past Castirla, we approach the longest climb of the whole trip: Col de Vergio. The tallest pass in Corsica at 1500m. But - most importantly - it's a 40km climb. As you can expect, it isn't a steep climb, otherwise you'd expect to top at Everest's summit. It's actually sub 4% all the time, with the last hairpins near the top representing the most challenging part of the ride. The descent is awesome, with a section onto one of the oldest roads in Corsica, deep inside a red granite gorge, with a lovely view of the sea. All the way down lays Porto, where we'll spend the night at a three-star hotel.  


Day 5: Ride from Porto to Ajaccio (Porticcio). 102km; 1960m.

Sixth day on a lovely island and not a proper coastline ride yet? Well it's time for that. Left the hotel, we head south towards the biggest town in Corsica - Ajaccio - and right after a few kilometers up, we ride through Le Calanches of Piana, an unmissable natural monument: and sure we won't miss it! It's a 11km climb before Piana, but believe us when we say it's worth every single drop of sweat. Put in the pocket our smartphones after a ton of photos and selfies, we keep riding south and get closer to the coastline. From Cargese forward is a continuous up and down with shorter or longer climbs. We won't get into Ajaccio, as despite it's not a metropolis, the traffic is amazing and the riding not pleasant. We'll head instead right outside Ajaccio, on the small Porticcio beach. Accommodation at three-star hotel. 


Day 6: Ride from Ajaccio (Porticcio) to Sartene. 113km; 2600m.

From Ajaccio we head south towards the touristic resort of Propriano. We enjoy the typical inner Corsica, a bit out of the mainstream locations, across small and lazy mountain villages. We ride past mainly long and progressive climbs.

As we approach Propriano, we head east and face the biggest challenge of day: Cole de Siu. 

It isn't super steep, neither one of the classical super long Corsican climbs, but it's got a quite sticky asphalt. The red-granite cliffs all around as well as the awesome view from the top makes you understand why we think Col de Siu is a must-ride.

Sartene, our destination, is not far from there. We stay there overnight, at a three-star hotel.

Day 6: Ride from Sartene to Porto Vecchio. 83km; 1500m.

The last and easiest stage of the trip. And the news is that it doesn't feature any of the most known Corsican cols. And yet we've included something very special: the thrilling descent from Col de l'Ospedale: 18 winding kilometers with stunning views on the Porto Vecchio gulf and on the eastern coast of the island. There's no better way to say goodbye - or au revoir - to Corsica.

Overnight at a three-star hotel in Porto Vecchio.

Day 7: Farewell and departure day.

Transfer to Figari airport and end of services.


Resources

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