Corsica Walking Tour
Corsica Walking Tour itinerary
Independent arrival in Bastia and check-in at the hotel (Hotel Central) located in the historic center of town. Bastia can be reached from Paris and London by direct flight, or via Italy by ferry. Take some time this afternoon to explore Bastia’s charming old town, surmounted by an imposing citadel. To get a true sense of the city, join the locals in their ritual coffee in Place Saint Nicolas. Dinner is on your own tonight. Hotel included. Dinner not included.
Meet your group after breakfast for a two-hour shuttle along the coast to the lovely port town of Calvi. We check into the Hotel Saint Erasme and then depart for an afternoon walk along the coast to a lighthouse perched on a rocky promontory. Before dinner, take a stroll through the town’s colorful streets and then meet for dinner. Hotel, breakfast and dinner included.
We have a short van transfer this morning to Aregno, one of the hilltop villages along the Haute Balagne coast. Our walk starts from its Romanesque church and follows the crest to Sant’Antonino, one of the most beautiful villages in Corsica. We continue on towards the Convent of Corbara before reaching our lunch spot, Pigna, which has retained its medieval character with cobblestone paths, narrow alleys, and vaulted passageways. Our afternoon walk takes us through Corbara, a quintessential Balagne town of small square houses clinging to a steep hillside. From there our trail abandons the crest to take us down to l’île-Rousse, where we can have a swim at the sandy beach or return straight-away to Calvi. Enjoy another fantastic dinner tonight accompanied by some of Corsica’s fine local wines. Hotel, breakfast, and dinner included.
We leave Calvi by boat this morning, allowing you a spectacular ride through the Scandola Marine Reserve, a protected UNESCO site due to its unique rock formations, islets, caves and vibrant marine life. You disembark in Girolata, a tiny fishing village inaccessible by road and set against an extraordinary backdrop of red cliffs and dense “maquis.” We have lunch by the sea and then walk out along a trail which used to connect the village to the rest of the island. The path offers wonderful views over the Scandola and the gulf all the way to the Col de la Croix. From there, we transfer by van to Piana along one of the most scenic roads in all of France. Check into your hotel in Piana and enjoy breath-taking views of the coast. Hotel, breakfast and dinner included.
Our walk this morning goes through “Les Calanches,” another UNESCO protected site. It is a vast expanse of red porphyry rock, eroded into magnificent towers, chasms and animal shapes stretching down to the sea. We return to Piana for lunch, and then offer some optional afternoon activities: we can do another hike out to a Genoese tower, or have a swim and relax on a wide sandy beach, or explore the Greek village of Cargese. Enjoy an aperitif on the terrace of our hotel and then head off on your own for a “free night” dinner. Hotel and breakfast included. Dinner not included.
We leave the coast this morning and drive into the rugged interior of the island to the town of Corte. The drive can take up to 3 hours, but we stop half-way for a walk through a beautiful pine forest to a series of waterfalls. We’ll picnic by the falls and maybe even have a dip in the cool mountain water before continuing our way to Corte, Corsica’s capital during their brief but fierce struggle for independence. Have a look around this charming town before re-joining your group for dinner. Hotel, breakfast and dinner included.
We have a spectacular last day of hiking today, along mountain trails which lead to a series of glacial lakes. The dramatic change in scenery will make you feel like you’ve been transported to the Alps, and you will fully experience the diversity and beauty of this amazing island. Head into town for a drink together before our final night's dinner of local specialties. Hotel, breakfast and dinner included.
This morning we offer a one-hour transfer to the Bastia airport. There are several flights a day to Paris and other destinations in Europe, as well as ferries to both France and Italy. Breakfast and transfer included.
The walks in Corsica, though not long in terms of distance, can be quite challenging as we ascend and descend mountain paths which are often rocky and sometimes quite steep. We have designed the trip so that there is always some free time in the late afternoon so you can relax, read, or have a swim. Breakfast is included every day, and dinners reflect the excellent traditional food of the region. Daily distance between 6 and 12 kms.
Activity rating: 3 out of 5 = Moderate: Rolling terrain with occasional short, steep climbs and descents. Daily activity between 3-5 hours, mostly in the morning but sometimes also in the afternoon. Max distance 12 kms. Note: this trip is a little easier than our Cinque Terre walk but more rugged than our Provence or Tuscan-type trips.
Trip Cost Includes: Seven nights accommodations (three-star hotels or “Chambre d’hôtes de charme”); 7 breakfasts and 5 dinners; bilingual guide or guides; all transfers by van, boat, and train as well as luggage transfers from pick-up on day 2 and finishing with a van transfer to Bastia on Saturday morning; boat trip through the Scandola National Park.
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Getting There: we begin and end our trip in Bastia, which is easily reached by air from France, and by ferry from Italy and southern France.
Air: a number of airlines fly into Bastia, including Air France, CCM Airlines (Air Corsica), Air Linair, Lufthansa, and Luxair; as well as a changing array of low-cost carriers: EasyJet, Transavia (Amsterdam), Thomson Airlines (from the U.K.), Jetairfly (Brussels) and Volotea (Barcelona). See the Bastia “Poretta” airport website for more information. For a complete list of French airports and a selection of low-cost airlines, see our "Transport Info" page. At the bottom of the page you will also find information about the French railway system (the SNCF).
Ferry: there are daily ferries from cities in southern France (Toulon, Marseille, Nice) to Bastia with Corsica Ferries or the SNCM (in French) and overnight ferries from Marseille with La Meridionale. You can also get ferries from the Italian cities of Genoa, Savona and Livorno (1.5-2 hrs from Florence) with Moby Lines and Corsica Ferries. Ferries take 4-6 hours, depending on destination and type of ferry. Be sure to shop around before you buy! Here’s a really complete website, Direct Ferries, with lots of information, or also try Corsica for Hikers for more information.
Getting to the Hotel: there is an airport bus ("Navette") to downtown Bastia, it takes about 35 minutes and costs €9. You can also get a taxi, it costs about €42 (or €58 after midnight).
Getting Away at the End of the Trip: our trip concludes in Bastia with a morning transfer to the airport and/or ferry terminal.
If you book a trip with us you will receive detailed information about how to get to the start of your trip, or feel free to e-mail us with any specific travel questions.
\Sustainable, culturally minded, authentic, superlative, and timely.\ These are the criteria National Geographic Traveler required when it listed Corsica as a 2015 âmust seeâ destination. I couldnât agree more. With its rich history, charming villages, extraordinary geographic diversity, and exquisitely prepared and presented cuisine, Corsica has it all. With Custom Walks leading the way, youâll be sure to see all of the highlights with none of the stress associated with planning your own tour.This was my third tour with Custom Walks and it definitely wonât be my last! With Custom Walks you know that every day of your vacation will be perfectly planned and executed -- hikes designed to capture the most breathtaking views, clean and elegant hotels, restaurants that are out of this world, and cultural experiences you would never find on your own. Custom Walks does it all, and its guides are friendly, knowledgeable, and super-fun. Manu has been a guide on all three of my tours. Her enthusiasm and pure joy in introducing others to beautiful places is palpableâ¦ and contagious. She is phenomenal!Corsica truly is a âmust seeâ. Stunningly beautiful scenery, amazing, gorgeously presented food and, of course, the perfect guide. Definitely not to be missed!
This was my third walk with Customwalks. Superbly looked after by Claire and Manu, this walk was fabulous. I loved the contrasts of coastal walks and hilly forest climbs giving far reaching views and a sense of achievement. The piece de resistance was the final walk to Lac du Melo where some of us were a little challenged by the climb, but utterly rewarded when we arrived at the glacial lake. The accommodation was excellent, particularly at Piana where the magnificent Les Roches Rouges looked out forever over the coast and jagged red porphyry rocks of the area (thatâs my pic of the shoes on the balcony!). The history of the Island, the architecture, and the food and wine were strongly French, which was very interesting. The weather was excellent in early September and I strongly recommend this walk.
This was my second trip with Customwalks, and they did not disappoint. Our guides, Claire and Manu, did a great job, and the incredible and diverse scenery of Corsica definitely exceeded my expectations. While one of the hotels did not meet my expectations, everything else about this trip was truly enjoyable.
Fabulous trip. Incredible scenery, great hiking, variety of other activities too. I could have used tougher hiking but think it was the perfect amount for most people on the trip and was as advertised in the brochure. My 3rd trip with Custom Walks. When I pick a place I want to go I always check to see if they lead trips there. My go to operator.
This was a fantastic tour! Melissa is a wonderful guide, accommodating and encouraging on the more challenging day of hiking. The landscape was spectacular and food was great. We had a fantastic meal at a one-room restaurant in a small mountain village, and an unforgettable evening with the chef and a few of his friends that would not have been possible without the knowledge and language fluency of our guide.
\Sustainable, culturally minded, authentic, superlative, and timely.\ These are the criteria National Geographic Traveler required when it listed Corsica as a 2015 âmust seeâ destination. I couldnât agree more. With its rich history, charming villages, extraordinary geographic diversity, and exquisitely prepared and presented cuisine, Corsica has it all.
With Custom Walks leading the way, youâll be sure to see all of the highlights with none of the stress associated with planning your own tour.This was my third tour with Custom Walks and it definitely wonât be my last! With Custom Walks you know that every day of your vacation will be perfectly planned and executed -- hikes designed to capture the most breathtaking views, clean and elegant hotels, restaurants that are out of this world, and cultural experiences you would never find on your own. Custom Walks does it all, and its guides are friendly, knowledgeable, and super-fun. Manu has been a guide on all three of my tours. Her enthusiasm and pure joy in introducing others to beautiful places is palpableâ¦ and contagious. She is phenomenal!Corsica truly is a âmust seeâ. Stunningly beautiful scenery, amazing, gorgeously presented food and, of course, the perfect guide. Definitely not to be missed!
by J. Hagen from Berkeley, CA USA