Getting to & from the Raid Corsica
Start & End Point
Organising your road cycling holiday in France with Marmot Tours – Hotel Posta Vecchia: Quai des Martyrs de la Liberation, 20200 Bastia. Tel 0033 495 32 32 38
We offer included airport transfers to and from Bastia Airport at the start and end of this Raid a – see the trip Essential Information pdf for all the details.
If you are not able to arrive in time for one of our offered transfers then you will need to make your way independently to the start hotel. Taxi’s are available and waiting to meet both ferries and flights arriving into the Port at Bastia, or into Poretta (Bastia) Airport.
The journey from the Port to the start hotel takes approx 10mins and the journey from the airport to the start hotel takes 35 – 50 mins depending on traffic.
Long Haul into Bastia
Your main options for getting to Corsica are either to travel via the UK (London Gatwick or Manchester – Bastia) or via France (Geneva, Paris, Toulon, Marseille or Nice to Bastia). Ajaccio is another airport and major port in Corsica but it is then necessary to travel within Corsica from Ajaccio to Bastia, so we recommend going direct to Bastia where possible.Geneva particularly could be a useful connection airport for those coming from further afield. Please see the Air France website for further information on timetables and fares.
Overnight (or longer) in Bastia
The coastal town of Bastia in the NE of Bastia is a lovely place to explore with its historic town centre and marina. Corsica is definitely a ‘holiday destination’ and it would be a fabulous idea to spend some extra time here before or after your Raid, particularly if you have travelled long distance. Check out the tourist website Visit Corsica for information on helping you plan your time there. You may win “brownie points” by suggesting your partner (if they are a non cyclist) join you for a holiday after your trip….!
Ferry Travel from Mainland France
Flying into Nice or Marseille and then catching the ferry is a good way of avoiding the early morning flight from London Gatwick. Both Nice and Marseille airports are very well served with daily flights from UK regional airports. If you are flying into Marseille or Nice, or using the Train (see relevant section below) then the following information should help you plan your journey. Let us know if you are using the ferry – we will be able to give you included transfers for most ferry arrivals.
Toulon to / from Bastia
There are overnight ferries taking about 8 hrs operated by Corsica Ferries. Ferries depart at 22:15 on a Saturday night (giving you plenty of time to catch the train form the UK or fly to Nice and then catch the train to Toulon) and arrives in Bastia at 07:00.
For the return you could either travel on the Saturday or Sunday. We are normally finish cycling at around 16:00 on the Saturday, so if you are happy to miss the end of raid party then there is a ferry departing Bastia at 20:00, arriving in Toulon at 07:00 on Sunday morning. There are however also ferries departing Bastia at 0800, arriving Toulon 19:45 or departing Bastia 21:00, ariving Toulon 07:30 on Monday morning.
Marseille to / from Bastia
There are overnight ferries taking about 10 hrs operated by La Meridionale or SNCM. Ferries depart 19:00 / 20:00 and arriving 06:30 / 07:30 in both directions.
If you opt for this route you will need to take the ferry from Marseille on the Saturday evening. For the return you could either travel on the Saturday (missing out on the end of raid party on Saturday night) or Sunday, (giving you a day to relax / recover in Bastia). Cycling is expected to finish around 16:00 on the Saturday.
Nice to / from Bastia
There are also day ferries taking about 5 hrs operated by Corsica Ferries. They depart Nice at 14:15, arriving Bastia 19:55 and for the return, departing Bastia at 13:00, arriving Nice at 18:15.
If you opt for this route to get to the start of the Raid, you will need to take the ferry from Nice on the Saturday afternoon (as the arrival time on Sunday is too late). For the return, we can transfer you to the Ferry Terminal for 07:30 on the Sunday morning.
Train Travel (Train then Ferry)
If you want to avoid flying then the high speed Eurostar train direct from London St Pancras International (depart around 11:00) to Toulon, then the overnight ferry from Toulon to Bastia is a very good option! For information on train timetables and booking tickets, have a look at the DB Rail website
Train Travel in France is easy, cost effective and environmentally friendly. It should consequently be considered as an alternative to flying on all of our holidays. Most of our holidays start and finish in towns with railway stations so you easily links to anywhere in France and Europe.
The information below is intended to make it easier for you to find out the timetables, book tickets and get information on travel with a bike (if appropriate). We suggest that you also look at The Man in Seat Sixty-One, which is full of advice and links about rail travel.
Rail Network and Timetables:
Rail Europe have produced an excellent interactive map of all the Rail links in Europe, but it is currently not easy to find timetables on their website. For timetable information we suggest you look at the DB Rail website (German Rail network in English) – it is currently not possible to purchase tickets from their website, but you can give them a ring once you have worked out which train you want to travel on! Alternatively, tickets can be purchased by ringing Rail Europe on 08708 371 371 (UK number)
Timetables and ticket purchases are only available 3 months before travel. Timetables don’t seem to change much from month to month, so if you are researching your journey in advance, you can still use these websites to give you an idea.
If you buy your tickets exactly 3 months before travel you can get some good deals so it is worth being organised.
Travel with a bike.
The French rail network (SNCF) are trying to promote travel with a bike and have put together an excellent website – VeloSNCF (all in French but still useful). Basically if your bike is in a bag or box it is fine to take on a train. If it is simply as a bike, then you normally need to book it a place and pay a nominal charge – have a look at the links on the VeloSNCF to the policy of the particular train you are traveling on. If you are traveling from the UK with a bike, try to change trains in Lille as opposed to Paris (in Lille you only need to change platforms, in Paris you normally need to take a short underground journey).