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Sardinia & Corsica “combo” Hiking Tour

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Sardinia & Corsica “combo” Hiking Tour Write a review

  • Location: Italy
  • Duration: 15 Days/14 Nights
  • Departing from: Olbia, Day 1
  • Tour finishes: Bastia, Sunday Day 15
  • Departures 2024: September 17
  • Price 2024: €6,650 per person in double occupancy. Single supplement €990. One guide accompanies departures of 2 - 8 people. Two guides accompany departures of 9 or more people.

On our Sardinia and Corsica tour you will experience the natural beauty, historical sites, and culinary splendours of two of the Mediterranean’s most unique islands. Only 11 kms of azure seas separate them, but they are completely different, both geographically and culturally. You begin in Italian Sardinia with hikes through sensational gorges, a visit of a mysterious 3,000-year-old Nuragic structure, and hikes by the beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean. At the end of the week take a short ferry across the Straits of Bonifacio into the wilds of French Corsica, where we hike among charming hilltop villages, along the spectacular red rocks of the "Calenches de Piana" and end our trip with a hike up to a glacial lake. You will also enjoy delicious local food as both islands have developed a culinary tradition specific to their terrain and culture. We'll taste a creative blend of fresh seafood and hearty meat dishes made from local ingredients, and don't forget about the wine! The Sardinians produce fabulous white Vermentino and vivacious Cannonau reds, while the Corsicans complement their cuisine with hearty Nieluccio-Grenache blends or a white Muscat.This is truly a sensational tour in which you experience the breath-taking beauty and marvellous food, culture, and historical highlights of both Sardinia and Corsica.

Sardinia & Corsica COMBO Hiking Tour Includes

  • Accommodation: 14 nights accommodation (1 night Olbia, 2 nights each Alghero, Su Gologone, and Cala Gonone; then 1 night Bastia, 2 nights each Calvi, Piana, and Corte)
  • Meals: 14 breakfasts, 2 lunches & 3 picnic lunches, and 10 dinners
  • Luggage: Bags are transferred by van starting with pick-up from Olbia on Day 2 with (ONE group) drop-off in Bastia on Day 15
  • Special events: UNESCO World Heritage sites, cooking demonstration, private boat trip, guided easy kayak river excursion
  • Transport: Private van, boat & ferry transfers as indicated in the itinerary
  • Active days: 12 days of guided hiking + one half-day kayaking
  • Guides: At least 1 trilingual Customwalks guide accompanies departures of 2 - 8 people; & 2 guides accompany departures of 9 or more people
  • Max group size: Tours are capped at 14 people

Sardinia & Corsica “combo” Hiking Tour itinerary Request full itinerary

Day 1 Arrival in Olbia

Independent arrival in Olbia and check-in at the Hotel Panorama (or similar), located in the historic old town. There are several flights per day to Olbia from Rome and Milan as well as from other European hubs. Take some time this afternoon to explore Olbia’s charming city center. Dinner is on your own tonight to allow for a flexible and relaxed start to the trip. Hotel included. Dinner not included.

Day 2 Hike Valley of the Moon, lunch in Castelsardo

Meet your guide(s) this morning at 8:00 a.m. for a 1-hour drive to Capo Testa: The Valley of the Moon. As the name promises, this little valley, about 500 metres long, consists of impressive granite rocks shaped by the force of the weather over thousands of years. We will walk through hidden little coves between the rock faces, with turquoise and crystal-clear waters, made magical by the contrast with the golden colors of the rocks and the green of the dense Mediterranean scrub, in which there are strawberry trees, myrtle and heather. We transfer to the Medieval hamlet of Castelsardo for lunch. From there we go to the lovely city of Alghero and enjoy a special dinner at a local trattoria, where our enthusiastic hosts treat us to some of the island's best food and wines. The Hike: 5.2 km/3.2 mls. 252 metes/827 ft elevation gain and loss. Duration: about three hours. This hike has some boulders along the path that we negotiate, so it takes longer than usual to cover the distance. Overnight Alghero at the 4-star Hotel Catalunya (or similar). Hotel, breakfast, and dinner included.

Day 3 Hike wild and coastal Argentiera to Porto Ferro

We head up the coast this morning for an adventurous and wild walk high above the sea. Continue another hour down to the wide, sandy beach of Porto Ferro for a refreshing post-hike swim and a lunch with a sea view. Afterwards, we have a short drive back to Alghero, where you’ll have some free time to wander the colorful city streets before dinner. Tonight, we’ll dine in a great restaurant featuring creative and delicious Sardinian dishes. The Hike: 9.6 km/5.9 mls. Elevation gain 304 meters/997 ft, elevation loss 399 meters/1309 ft. Overnight Alghero. Hotel, breakfast and dinner included.

Day 4 Kayaking in Temo river taste Malvasia wine, and visit Nuragic site

8:30 check-out and 30-min transfer along one of the most scenic roads on the island. We head south to the beautiful coastal town of Bosa, where you'll find colorful houses in pastel hues, wrought-iron balconies, and narrow medieval alleys. Today we hike on water! Or more precisely, we take you on a beautiful and easy kayak trip down the Temo River with a local guide. We paddle through the old town, under the 16th century stone bridge and gradually enter a wild and secluded part of the river for an unexpected trip into the abundant flora and fauna of the small river. We’ll have a lunch with wine tasting at a local wine cellar, famous for its Malvasia wines. Afterwards, we have a 1-hour transfer inland to the Nuragic site of Santu Antine, one of the most impressive Nuraghe in Sardinia. We then reach Su Gologone, a unique 4-star hotel complex in a lush garden setting of geraniums, hydrangeas, bougainvillea and prickly pear. Each room is different, and the furnishings and materials are all local: juniper, terracotta and inlaid plaster for the decorative touches. Overnight Su Gologone. Hotel, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 5 Hike to Tiscali in the Supramonte, relax at Su Gologone

Transfer this morning to the ruins of the ancient village of Tíscali, which was built inside a massive collapsed cave so was protected by natural walls but open to the sun and fresh rain water. It consists of two groups of dwellings which were inhabited between the 15th - 8th centuries BC. Its origins are unclear still today, as the building technique is different from those of other Nuragic sites, and it may have been inhabited even farther back in history. It was later repopulated and used as a defense against the Romans in the 2nd - 1st centuries BC. Relax at the hotel by the pool this afternoon. Tonight, you will dine on the delicate filo-like flat-breads and hearty savory tarts that the women of the village have made for centuries. The Hike: 6.4 km/4 ml. Elevation gain 369 m/1210 ft. Elevation loss 340m/1115 ft. Dinner tonight on the terrace. Overnight Su Gologone. Hotel, breakfast, and dinner included.

Day 6 Gorropu, Italian "Grand Canyon" and sea view at Cala Gonone

A 50-minute drive takes us to the mountain pass of Genna Silana for a rugged “Dolomites-style” hike to the spectacular Gorropu gorge. At its narrowest, the gorge is 5 m (16 ft) wide between sheer rock walls 500 m (1,650 ft) high. From there, an easy walk takes us along the river, where we get picked up by Jeep for an adventurous (and painless!) ride back up to our vehicle. Afterwards, a short drive takes us east to the seaside at the lively port town of Cala Gonone. Our hotel, the 4-star Costa Dorada Hotel (or similar) is right on the waterfront, so relax with a cold drink on the rooftop terrace or head out to the beach for a swim before dinner on your own. The Hike: variable length, 5,3 km down the valley 1h30’, about 2 km in the gorge 1hr. Overnight Cala Gonone. Hotel, breakfast, and picnic lunch included. Dinner not included.

Day 7 Coastal hike & Zodiac excursion

Our final day is all about the sea: we begin with a two-hour coastal walk to Cala Luna. We finish off our tour with a boat trip to experience some of Sardinia’s most spectacular and isolated bays and beaches (weather permitting, of course) which we’ll take us to some hidden cove where we can have lunch. Alternatively, you can enjoy the afternoon exploring the coast by sea kayak (optional activity) or you can choose to simply chill out and enjoy our hotel overlooking the lovely Cala Gonone beach. The Hike: 5.4 km/3.3 miles. Elevation gain 242 meters/794 ft, elevation loss 272 meters/892 ft. Overnight Cala Gonone. Hotel, breakfast and dinner included.

Day 8 Transfer day

Today we have a 2.5-hour drive to the northern tip of the island at Santa Teresa di Gallura. From there we take a ferry over the Straits of Bonifacio to Corsica and then drive north along the coast to the colorful port city of Bastia, where we stay the night. Tonight is a "free night" to allow for a break between the two tours, so you can dine where you wish. Hotel & breakfast included. Dinner not included.

Day 9

Meet your group after breakfast for a two-hour shuttle to the port town of Calvi. We check into our hotel and then depart for an afternoon walk along the coast to a lighthouse perched on a rocky promontory. Stroll through the town’s colorful streets this evening and then meet for dinner. Hike: 12 km/7.4 mi; 328m/1,076 ft elevation gain, 3 hrs.  Hotel, breakfast, and dinner included.

Day 10

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 towards the Convent of Corbara before reaching our lunch spot in the village of Pigna, which has retained its medieval character with cobblestone paths, narrow alleys, and colorful stone houses. 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 the coast, 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. Hike: 13 km/7.7 mi; 428m/1,352 ft elevation gain, 3.5 hrs Hotel, breakfast, and dinner included.

Day 11

An hour’s drive takes us to the beautiful Gorge du Fango, a vast area of unspoiled nature that has been designated a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. Hike along a sparkling river and stop along the way for a refreshing dip, then enjoy a picnic lunch before heading back to our vehicle to embark on one of the most dramatic drives in all of Europe as we drive along the "Calenches," 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. Check into the Hotel Les Roches Rouges (or similar) in Piana and enjoy breath-taking views of the coast. The Hike: 9.2 km/5.7 mi, 370m/1,214 ft elev. gain; 3h30’ . Hotel, breakfast, picnic lunch, and dinner included.

Day 12

Our walk this morning takes you through the Calanches on foot. We begin in the shade of a pine forest and then eventually open out to an overlook which affords sweeping views over the dramatic rock formations below. Descend to the road for a coffee break with spectacular views then continue your walk in the Calenches back to our vehicle. Return to Piana for lunch and then choose from a variety of 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 Cargèse. Enjoy a drink on the terrace and then head off on your own for a “free night” dinner. The Hike: Total 7 km/4.3 mi. 1300 ft elev gain, 3 hrs incl coffee break. Hotel and breakfast included. Dinner not included.

Day 13

We leave the coast this morning and drive into the rugged interior of the island to the town of Corte. The drive takes about 3 hours, but we stop half-way for a walk through a beautiful pine forest to a series of waterfalls. Stop for a 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 rejoining your group for dinner. Overnight at the 4-star Dominique Colonna (or similar), a "hotel de charme" with a pool located a few kms outside of town.  The Hike: 10 km/6 mi, 384 m/1,260ft elev. gain; 3 hrs Hotel, breakfast, picnic lunch, and dinner included.

Day 14

We have a spectacular last day of hiking 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. The Hike: 8.7 km/5.3 mi, 475 m/1,550ft elev. gain; 3 hrs  Hotel, breakfast and dinner included.

Day 15

We offer one morning shuttle back to Bastia (45 mins to the airport or 1hr15 back to the ferry port and town) usually departing around 9 a.m. If you need to leave earlier, we can arrange a taxi for you (at your expense). Breakfast included.

Please note: Some details of the itinerary may change according to the departure date of your tour. Whenever we run a tour we make new discoveries. Sometimes they are good discoveries, like a wonderful new trattoria, and sometimes they are bad, like a trail has been washed away. The result is that we sometimes change our itinerary to improve it by adding new wonderful elements to the tour or by removing something that does not work anymore. Rest assured, our goal is to always provide you with the best possible experience. We will advise you of any changes to the original itinerary prior to departure.  

 

 

Activity Rating: (Corsica) 3 = Moderate and (Sardinia) 3+ = Moderate Plus: 
In general: This is a Moderate tour for fit hikers, and a little challenging but do-able for not-so-fit hikers. The Sardinia trip is a bit more difficult with some longer hikes.
Terrain: Rolling to hilly terrain with frequent climbs and descents, often over rocky terrain. May have some short, relatively steep climbs and descents. 
Actual walking time: between 2-5 hours per day, mostly in the morning but also in the afternoon.
Distances: Usually between 8 and 12 kms/5 and 7 miles. Max distance is 14 kms/8 miles.
Surfaces: Trails consisting of mostly compact earth, gravelly earth, and sometimes dirt-gravel roads and on occasion rocky and uneven trails. 
Footing: Good, but on occasion you have to pay attention to where and how you place your feet. Proper hiking shoes with thick soles with good treads are required. Sport sandals, running shoes and tennis shoes are not adequate.
Specifics: For Corsica, we walk 3-4 hours a day, some of which is on easy coastal track while other days involve rocky terrain and some steep sections. The final day's hike up to a glacial lake has a steep part at the end, but you could stop before that if you didn't feel up to it. Sardinia is slightly more difficult because the walks are generally longer, and some involve short sections of scree (loose rock).
Hiking Poles: Recommended but not required, but if you habitually use hiking poles then you will find them helpful.  
Compared to the Cinque Terre: These tours are easier than the hikes in the Cinque Terre.
Other: This tour is appropriate for fit first time “hikers” who enjoy walking and who have good balance and who are coordinated. 
Moderate Tours: Tuscany Chianti, Dordogne Walk, Sicily Walk, Lake Como Walk, and Corsica. 
As a point of reference, what is a 1 out of 5 Activity rating? A 1 out of 5 rated tour is a tour without any hiking. Walks would be in towns, cities, and villages, and the countryside walks would be on paved, or gravel/dirt roads, and occasionally on some packed earth trails. Elevation gain and loss would be negligible.
As a point of reference, what is a 5 out of 5 Activity rating? A 5 out of 5 rated tour is a tour that would be physically challenging and technically difficult even for very fit and experienced hikers. The hikes would have steep ascents and descents on narrow, exposed trails with challenging footing, such as on scree fields, or through rock falls and boulders. Distances would be up to 25 km/16 miles per day and feature ascents of over 1,000 m/3,200 feet in a day. A 5 out of 5 tour would also mean that you would be carrying a heavier-than-normal pack. None of our tours are rated 5 out 5. Our most challenging tours are 4.5 out of 5, and they are the Dolomites Alta Via (because of some exposed trail that requires some technical expertise) and our Republic of Georgia tour which has some long hikes with over 1,000 meters of elevation gain.

Getting There: we begin our trip in Olbia (Italy), which is easily reached by air from Rome and Milan plus a number of other European hubs. You can also get to Olbia by ferry from the Italian mainland. Contact us for further details. 

Air:  Both Bastia and Olbia have airports with connections to European hubs. For a complete list of Italian airports and a selection of low-cost airlines, see our "Transport Info" page.

Ferry: there are ferry connections with Civitavecchia (near Rome), Livorno (near Pisa), and Genoa with a three different companies, so see the latest schedules at the Direct Ferries website.
 

Getting Away at the End of the Trip: the trip ends after breakfast on Sunday morning with an hour transfer back to Bastia (airport or city/port), arriving around 10:30 a.m.

4/5
RatingRatingRatingRatingRating  
4 out of 5
Ratings based on 4 Verified Reviews



Average ratings
4.8
Guides
4.3
Quality of itinerary
4.5
Food quality & variety
4.0
Value for money
4.5
Right amount of activity
4.5
Overall satisfaction

Reviews
4.8
by Bruce
Posted May 13, 2020

This is a wonderful and surprisingly diverse trip in terms of the cultures, landscapes, cuisine, and guides.The landscapes of both islands are spectacular in their own ways, without disappointment. The mountains and coastlines were surprisingly diverse between the two islands.The cuisine alone makes the trip, with the best of French and Italian dishes made with fresh local ingredients in addition to delightful local wines.Claire provided vivid and often times humorous insights and stories into the history and culture of Corsica made for a rich experience. And Manu’s friendly warmth and constant enthusiasm about our shared discovery of Sardinia made for a wonderful trip as well.Overall it was a great trip that I highly recommend.

5
by cristina
Posted Apr 24, 2020

A wonderful trip that I cannot recommend enough! I would do it again in a heartbeat if I could! The 2 islands are different in landscape, language, culture and food. Corsica was a revelation, a stunningly beautiful island with varied and unexpected landscapes. Sardinia had 3 surprises, 2 unique hikes and one exquisite accommodation that each one of them by itself, would be a very powerful reason for me to return. The famous golden beaches of Sardinia did not disappoint. The trip was a culinary delight, one meal better than the other, both French and Italian cuisine delighting our palate. The guides, Claire and Manu were lovely, knowledgeable, highly energetic with an infectious enthusiasm for their job and the beauty of the islands. It is the trip of a lifetime, a journey into unexpected , unspoiled beauty, far from crowds and noise.

3.6
by Sophia
Posted Oct 06, 2019

Wonderful scenery and good hiking.Several meals not included and breakfasts are at the discretion of the hotel, so bring any needed diet-specific foods.Wonderful history/cultural experiences, especially in Sardinia. Would recommend the optional grotto excursion. A unique experience. Manu was an exceptional Sardinian guide.Some hikes need refinement and two hotels were clearly of lesser quality than the rest of the tour, which overall were quite enjoyable.

4.1
by shan
Posted Oct 02, 2019

Fantastic trip with superb guides. Terrific food and scenery. A few of the hikes need to be adjusted to the terrain. Overall a wonderful experience.



If you have any questions or specific requests about any of our tours, we’re here to help. You can fill in the form below, send us an email, or call us and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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This is a wonderful and surprisingly diverse trip in terms of the cultures, landscapes, cuisine, and guides.The landscapes of both islands are spectacular in their own ways, without disappointment. The mountains and coastlines were surprisingly diverse between the two islands.The cuisine alone makes the trip, with the best of French and Italian dishes made with fresh local ingredients in addition to delightful local wines.Claire provided vivid and often times humorous insights and stories into the history and culture of Corsica made for a rich experience. And Manu’s friendly warmth and constant enthusiasm about our shared discovery of Sardinia made for a wonderful trip as well.Overall it was a great trip that I highly recommend.
by Bruce


A wonderful trip that I cannot recommend enough! I would do it again in a heartbeat if I could! The 2 islands are different in landscape, language, culture and food. Corsica was a revelation, a stunningly beautiful island with varied and unexpected landscapes. Sardinia had 3 surprises, 2 unique hikes and one exquisite accommodation that each one of them by itself, would be a very powerful reason for me to return. The famous golden beaches of Sardinia did not disappoint. The trip was a culinary delight, one meal better than the other, both French and Italian cuisine delighting our palate. The guides, Claire and Manu were lovely, knowledgeable, highly energetic with an infectious enthusiasm for their job and the beauty of the islands. It is the trip of a lifetime, a journey into unexpected , unspoiled beauty, far from crowds and noise.
by cristina


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