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Raid Corsica

Road Cycling Holidays in Corsica

  • Epic six-day cycling challenge around the stunning island of Corsica
  • 970km circular route encompassing 14,960m of ascent, taking in the cycling highlights of the island
  • Official route including registration plus certificate and medal for successful finishers
  • Stay in comfortable hotels (generally 3*) with traditional Corsican cuisine
  • Enjoy incomparable full support – two customised support vans with attentive, expert (and fun!) guides who are there to motivate you and assist you with everything you need while on the road.
  • A tough but truly unforgettable cycling experience

Days on the bike

6 days

Magestic climbs, stunning sceneries of strange rock formations, magnificent coastal roads, enchanting isolated villages, churches on cliff edges, are just a few of the many images of a stunning island.

Y.Kuan

Introduction

The Raid Corsica is a fabulous cycling route created by the Parisian Audax club, and which showcases the whole of this spectacular island. You will immediately see why Corsica is referred to as the ‘Isle of Beauty’. It’s mountainous and geographically diverse with a huge variety of terrain – coastlines lapped by inviting azure seas, flatland marshes, the ‘Desert des Agriates’, a wild interior of high granite peaks, and a huge National Park covering over a third of the island. It has a complex history, and influences from Italy and France are evident in the cuisine, architecture, language, and politics.

This is an epic road cycling challenge in a magnificent location. In terms of difficulty, it’s comparable to other raids of a similar length, such as Raid Pyrenean and Raid Alpine and while there are fewer big cols, you will be suitably tested by climbs such as the Vergio (1477m), Sorba, Verde, and Bavella which are all over 1200m altitude. Daily distances are actually a little longer than on other Marmot raids, with an average daily route of 161km, making this a tough but manageable challenge for fit cyclists.

As with all our tours, you’ll be supported by two skilled Marmot guides (in our highly customised support vans) who are attentive and energetic and whose aim is to make your holiday the best it can be. We’re passionate about what we do, and we pride ourselves on our attention to detail and individual customer focus. While this is a group holiday, our guides are experts at supporting you as an individual and they are adept at quickly understanding your needs and aspirations. This is a truly fabulous tour if you’re looking for your next cycling challenge – one you’ll never forget!

If you want to go cycling in Corsica but would prefer a flexible pace tour, you could check out our Corsican Highlights holiday. You might also find it helpful to read our blog about cycling in Corsica and Sardinia here: Part I & Part II. We also wrote a blog on Raids which gives a thorough rundown on their history and format. Finally, check out our YouTube channel to watch our video giving you a flavour of this Raid Corsica cycling challenge!

It is important to us that you book a holiday that’s right for you, so do download and read the Trip Notes for all you need on how this holiday works, food, accommodation & travel …

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, check www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

 

Departure Dates & Prices

Month
Departure
Amount
Single Room Supplement
Sep
7th Sep - 14th Sep
£1650.00
Single Room Sup. £350.00

We are pleased to offer some tempting discounts off the basic trip cost (not including extras such as single rooms or bike hire):

  • Book & pay your deposit more than 6 months in advance of the start of your holiday for our 5% early bookers discount
  • Get a group of 10+ people together for a 7.5% group discount and, as the group organiser, receive a £150 voucher for your next holiday
  • Be rewarded for your loyalty by receiving a 10% discount from your 3rd Marmot trip onwards

Please note that there is a maximum 10% discount on any holiday.

Map

Itinerary

Day 0: Arrival day

We offer transfers from Bastia BIA airport (40min) and Bastia ferry terminal (10min) to our start hotel just north of Bastia at various times of the day.

Full travel advice and transfer information (essential reading before booking your flights/ferry) can be found in our Trip Notes.

Our start hotel overlooks the Mediterranean and has access to a small beach. With its rooftop swimming pool it is the perfect place to relax and prepare for the upcoming cycling challenge. There will be time to assemble your bikes and have a welcome briefing and great dinner.

Day 1: Bastia to Calvi

An early start sees you cycling around Cap Corse on a unique and stunning coast road with spectacular views. You arrive at the picturesque harbour town of St Florent for a well-earned lunch at around the 100km mark, before climbing up to the rocky plateau of the ‘Desert des Agriates’.

A fabulous descent sees you back on the coast road and heading south to l’Ile Rousse. From here, you head inland again on a beautiful backroad into the hills – the reward for your efforts is a great view of the mountains, coast, and your destination Calvi way below you. Calvi is one of the top tourist destinations on the island and if you have the energy for a dip in the sea or a stroll around the marina you will see why!

191km with 2370m ascent [ride profile]

Day 2: Calvi to Calacuccia

Today you head to the rural interior of Corsica, on the far side of rugged Mt Cinto, Corsica’s highest peak at 2700m. It’s a spectacular start to the day, as you head out on the stunning coast road that undulates south from Calvi. Once over the Col de Palmarella, you descend to Porto. This is at the base of the climb through Les Calanches – a landscape of rocky spires high above the deep blue sea. You’ll get to see them in both directions on your excursion to Pina for a carnet stamp.

After lunch, you’ve got ahead of you the highest road col in Corsica, the Col de Vergio, which is 1477m starting from sea level! This is a beautiful climb into the high mountains of Corsica, and you are further rewarded with a long descent to the mountain hamlet of Calacuccia where we stay the night.

160km with 2860m ascent [ride profile]

Day 3: Calacuccia to Santa-Maria-Siché

Today’s route explores Corsica’s southern uplands, starting with a great descent down a road that snakes alongside a river gorge. The historic capital town of Corte is well-placed for a coffee stop, to help power you over the five cols on today’s ride!

Heading southwards through the forested interior of the island, over the Col de Sorba (1311m), the Col de Verde (1289m), and the Col de Granacchio you eventually arrive in Santa-Maria-Siché for a warm welcome from the hotel.

133km with 2700m ascent [ride profile]

Day 4: Santa-Maria-Siché to Sartène

This morning you head up to the mountain village of Bastelica for a carnet stamp and cafe stop. From here you descend on blissfully quiet, small, rural roads to the coast and Ajaccio, the modern capital of Corsica. There is a short stretch on a main road to get your carnet stamped on the edge of Ajaccio, but you’re soon back on the coast road, linking one deserted beach with the next.

As you cycle across the coastal hills of Corsica’s jagged western edge, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views, as you make your way to the delightful coastal town of Propriano – perfect for a mid-afternoon ice cream! From here it’s just one more climb to get to our hotel in Sartène, which is famous for its pirate history (fortunately now a very pleasant, historic, and typically Corsican town).

156km with 2540m ascent [ride profile]

Day 5: Sartène to Aléria

On the menu today are smooth roads, beautiful views, and historic destinations – everything you could possibly want from a cycling holiday! A fast, undulating road takes you to the incredible natural harbour at Bonifacio, on the very southern tip of the island where we pause for a coffee and a carnet stamp.

From here we head back northwards to Porto Vecchio, on Corsica’s east coast. The climbing begins again from here, peaking at the truly stunning Col de Bavella (1218m), where you’re surrounded by towering granite peaks. A fabulous descent takes you back down to sea level before a rare, flat stretch of road to Aléria, where we stay the night.

187km with 2430m ascent [ride profile]

Day 6: Aléria to Bastia

You’ll warm up with a slightly flatter start today, before exploring the hills that overlook Corsica’s north-east coast. The climb is well worth the effort – it’s a beautiful route through picturesque villages and terraced hillsides, with a few cheeky climbs, of course!

Eventually, you descend to the coast and join a small road that runs along a coastal spur between a lagoon and the sea, leading to our hotel with pool and within strolling distance to the sea, just south of Bastia. Now it’s time to celebrate your incredible achievement!

119km with 2000m ascent [ride profile]

Day 7: Departure day

We offer included transfers from the hotel to Bastia (BIA) airport (15min) or the ferry terminal (20min).

Full travel advice and transfer timings (essential reading before booking your flights) can be found in our Trip Notes.