The island of Corsica. This “mountain in the sea” provides the perfect Thomson terrain - big climbs, stunning scenery, a Mediterranean climate and some fantastic beach-front hotels!
Join us on this fantastic journey across the “Île de Beauté”. Starting from Porto Vecchio in the south-east of the island, our journey takes us across the mountainous interior of the island to Saint Florent on the north shore. We’ll ride many of the same routes covered by the Tour de France when the grand boucle celebrated its centenary edition on the island in 2013. We round off the trip with an incredible ride around the Cap Corse peninsula in the north-east of the island.
Check out the highlights from our April recon of Corsica:
Bienvenue en Corse
Our trip starts at Bastia airport where our staff will be there to welcome you. We’ll transfer to our hotel in the beautiful, beach-side resort of Porto Vecchio.
After lunch, orientation meeting and bike build-up we’ll head out for our first ride on this island paradise.
Meeting Time and Place
Our guides will meet you at 9:00am - either at Bastia Airport or at the Hotel Best Western Bastia Centre.
Col de Bavella
Today’s ride is a classic loop around the south-east corner of the island. It features the “hors-categorie”, 30km Col de Bavella - one of the most challenging (and beautiful) climbs on the island.
From Porto Vecchio the road runs along the east coast for 40km before taking a left turn in Solenzara, signalling the start of the Col de Bavella. 30km and 1240m lie between us and the top of this spectacular climb. From the summit enjoy the stunning views of the Mediterranean in the distance.
The ride back to the hotel includes the descent of the equally spectacular Ospedale climb, a regular feature in the Criterium Internationale Pro race. Enjoy!
From East to West Coast
Our ride today takes us across the mountainous interior, from the East Coast to Propriano on the West Coast.
Leaving Porto Vecchio we immediatey start climbing the 15km Col de Bacinu. Enjoy the stunning views of Porto Vecchio and the Mediterranean from the summit of this first climb. A short climb to Levie leads us to our final climb of the day, the 16km Col de Siu before we start the long downhill to our hotel in Propriano, on the west coast of the island.
Relax by the hotel pool or at the beach this afternoon - we have a couple of big days coming up!
Into the National Park
Most of the interior of Corsica is covered by a stunning national park and today we head into the heart of the park and the city of Corte.
5 climbs and 142km separate our hotel in Propriano from our destination in Corte - so it’s definitely a day for the climbers. At the mid-point we start the 17km climb to the Col de Verde which separates the regions of Corse du Sud and the Haute Corse. The road continues through a beautiful pine forest before summitting out at the Col de Sorba. Just one more short climb before the long descent to our beautiful hotel in the Restonica Gorge.
Col de Vergio
A stunningly beautiful ride today with an incredible mix of high mountain scenery, deep gorges and coastal cliff roads.
Soon after we leave the hotel we start climbing the 40km Col de Vergio, at 1500m this is the highest col in Corsica. The descent from the Vergio is simply spectacular - as the road approaches the coast it descends through a series of deep gorges that eventually drop down to the coast in the town of Porto.
From Porto the next 25km are equally stunning - but instead of mountains we’re now riding along roads that cling to the sides of the cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean.
Overall, this is one of the top rides of the year!
A shorter ride today to rest the legs from the previous days big ride.
From Calvi we head inland up the 12km Col de Salvi, through the picturesque town of Montemaggiore. The road continues across a high plateau with stunning views of the Mediterranean off to our north. We ride through numerous hillside villages including Speloncato, a really beautiful village that clings onto the side of the cliff reminiscent of some Italian villages in Lombardy.
The final climb takes us over the Bocca di Vezzu before the 20km descent to our final hotel in Saint Florent.
Enjoy an afternoon by the beach followed by dinner at the Michelin star restaurant in our hotel!
We saved the best for last. Our final ride takes us onto the peninsula in the north-east corner of the island. Cap Corse is a spectacular route featuring dramatic cliffs, mountains and picturesque fishing villages. There are also a couple of cols thrown in for good measure as we cross the peninsula from west to east then back to the west coast again. Simply stunning. Enjoy!
Unfortunately, our trip must come to an end. Our shuttle will take you to Bastia Airport, arriving at approximately 9:00am.