Tour of Corsica

A road cycling holiday to rival the more famous Alpine tours




From $1,620 Land only

Book this holiday

Holiday Overview


  • The red granite Calanques of Piana, soaring out of the blue sea
  • Beautiful pine forests of the Col de Bavella and Mont Incudine
  • Cycle back in time through the chestnut forests of Castagniccia
  • Secluded coves and beaches of Corsica’s north-west coast.

The opening three days of the 2013 Tour de France has put the Mediterranean Island of Corsica firmly on the road biking map, for both islanders and cyclists from all over the world. Our new 'Tour de Corse' is a beautiful and challenging 7-day road ride to rival any of the more famous Alpine tours. We begin and end in Bastia, a 15th century port with cultural links to Italy and its Genoese rulers of days long gone by. Our first full day riding is around the northern headland of Cap Corse, through secluded coves and by the sun-kissed beaches of Corsica's north-west coast. From Calvi, we continue south along the beautiful coast line and cross the Col de Palmarelia to reach Porto, gateway to the stunning Calanques de Piana. Leaving the coast, we climb the Col de Vergio to follow Corsica's mountainous spine south, through sleepy villages, craggy mountains and forested hillsides. En-route we tackle the Col Sorba, Col de Verde and finally the Col du Bavella to reach the beaches of Corsica's southeast coast. Our return to Bastia is via the chestnut forests of Castagniccia and the 17th century village of Piedicroce, an area that has remained unchanged for hundreds of years. A final celebratory meal in Bastia's charming port marks the end of a superb road biking holiday through some of Corsica's most beautiful coastal and mountain scenery.

explore international

Explore International. This is one of our Explore International holidays. Participants on these trips can book through KE or through one of our international partners. This helps us to gather together sufficient numbers of like-minded adventurers to get your holiday up and running quickly. Led by an English-speaking guide, the cosmopolitan nature of these groups can be an important part of the experience!

Is this holiday for you?

ROAD CYCLING. With 10,000 metres feet of ascent and descent (days 2-5 approx 2000 metres each day) over 725 kilometres, this is a challenging trip. The cols are not high by Alpine standards and the gradients of the climb average around 5-7%. However, the undulating coastal scenery and the possibility of winds from the sea can add significantly to the challenge. This is a supported ride - at the start of the day, when the group sets off biking, your kit bag will be loaded into the support vehicle and transported to the next overnight hotel. During the morning, the support vehicle will make a number of stops to allow the riders to regroup and refuel. There will also be a pre-arranged rendezvous with the support vehicle for lunch. After lunch, whilst the support vehicle driver will usually go ahead to sort out the next night's accommodation, he can always be called back if he is needed. The support vehicle can only ever carry a carry a couple of riders and their bikes, in the case of tiredness or mechanical breakdown. You are free to cycle at your own pace and need only carry the normal tool kit and spares that you would take on any day ride. This is not a holiday for inexperienced cyclists - a good level of physical fitness and stamina will be required. This is a superb trip for regular club, sportive and randonee riders. BIKE HIRE AVAILABLE LOCALLY.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at Bastia Airport. Coastal ride to Corsica’s most northerly point, Macinaggio.
  • Today, ride from East to West ticking off the cols of Punta Vecchiaia and Bocca di Petajoule.
  • Climb from the coast into the Corse Mountains. Cross Capo Cavallo, descend to picturesque Porto.
  • From sea level ride Corsica’s highest road, Col de Vergio (1478m) and ride down to Vivari.
  • Two Tour de France climbs today; Col de Sorba and the Col de Vizzavona before reaching Zonza.
  • After climbing the Col de Bavella, ride into the chesnut forests of Castagniccia and onto Piedicroce.
  • Cycle the last col of the tour, Sant Agostinio and enjoy ocean view descent to Bastia.
  • Depart from Bastia. A single transfer to Bastia Airport is provided.
Sun 22 May - Sun 29 May Code COMB/01/16/ Adult$1,620 Status Guaranteed Book now
Sun 12 Jun - Sun 19 Jun Code COMB/02/16/ Adult$1,620 Status Available Book now
Sun 24 Jul - Sun 31 Jul Code COMB/03/16/ Adult$1,620 Status Available Book now
Sun 28 Aug - Sun 04 Sep Code COMB/04/16/ Adult$1,620 Status Guaranteed Book now
Sun 28 May - Sun 04 Jun Code COMB/01/17/ Adult$1,620 Status Available Book now
Sun 18 Jun - Sun 25 Jun Code COMB/02/17/ Adult$1,620 Status Available Book now
The dates above are for the LAND ONLY itinerary, joining Bastia. The nearest airport is Bastia Airport. Please refer to the 'Joining arrangements & transfers' and 'Flights' sections in the trip dossier for further details. Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

If flying from the UK Easyjet will be the best low cost airline offering flights to Bastia. Easyjet have flights from London Gatwick and Manchester (subject to seasonal timetable). Other airports may be available. Click on the 'Flight information' link below for further information on booking low cost airlines. Alternatively if you would prefer to book a 'flight inclusive package' using scheduled airlines from the UK please contact our flights department for a quote. Whilst flight prices are likely to be more expensive you will benefit from full financial protection.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee*

* Against Land Only services.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • airport
  • point
  • trip direction
  • bike

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at Bastia Airport. Coastal ride to Corsica’s most northerly point, Macinaggio.

    We meet Bastia Airport, where we meet our guide and support vehicle. We then assemble our bikes or collect our rental bikes and cycle for 20 kilometres along the sea front to Bastia town and then a further 30 kilometres along the east coast of Cap Corse to reach our first night's accommodation in Corsica's most northerly town, Macinaggio.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 500m

    • Distance 60km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals ld

    • Descent 500m

    • Time 3 - 4 hrs cycling

  • Today, ride from East to West ticking off the cols of Punta Vecchiaia and Bocca di Petajoule.

    We bike to the most northerly point of the Island before turning south along the spectacular western side of Cap Corse. We cycle through the town of St. Florent to our overnight in L`Ile Rousse. En-route we cross several cols including the Punta di Stintinu, Punta di Cannelle, Punta Vecchiaia and the Bocca di Petajoule.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 1700m

    • Distance 120km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1700m

    • Time 7 - 8 hrs cycling

  • Climb from the coast into the Corse Mountains. Cross Capo Cavallo, descend to picturesque Porto.

    We head inland through several rustic villages for a taste of the Corsican mountain way of life. Descending to Calvi, we continue south across the Capo Cavallo and the Col de Palmarelia into the stunning Gulf of Porto, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The pinnacles of the famous red granite Calanques soar out of a beautiful blue sea, framing a number of jagged inland peaks, including Paglia Orba. Overnight in Piana.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 2050m

    • Distance 135km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1600m

    • Time 9 - 10 hrs cycling

  • From sea level ride Corsica’s highest road, Col de Vergio (1478m) and ride down to Vivari.

    Descending to Porto, we climb for 30 kilometres through pine forests and rocky gorges to the Col de Vergio, the highest road pass in Corsica at 1478 metres. We then have a gentle 35 kilometres descent through the pine forests of the Valdit Niellu and the rocky gorges of the Scala di Santa Regina, to the busy market town of Corte, once the capital of Corsica. We continue southwards for a further 20 kilometres to our overnight stop in Vivari.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 2200m

    • Distance 100km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1700m

    • Time 8 - 9 hrs cycling

  • Two Tour de France climbs today; Col de Sorba and the Col de Vizzavona before reaching Zonza.

    Today, we bike through the pine forests of the Corsica National Park, crossing the Col de Sorba and the Col de Vizzavona, both 2013 Tour de France climbs. We continue to wind our way south through the mountains, across the Col de la Vaccia and through the sleepy villages of Serra-di-Scopamene, Sorbollano and Quenza to reach our overnight stop at Zonza.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 2350m

    • Distance 115km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 2300m

    • Time 8 - 9 hrs cycling

  • After climbing the Col de Bavella, ride into the chesnut forests of Castagniccia and onto Piedicroce.

    Our route turns east now, climbing to the Col de Bavella, below the stunning craggy dominance of Monte Incudine. We descend for 30 kilometres to the east coast and the grape growing region of Solenza. Turning north, we follow the D16 to Aleria, where we head inland into chestnut forests of Castagniccia, one of the least spoilt regions of Corsica. We overnight in the 17th century village of Piedicroce.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 1900m

    • Distance 130km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 2000m

    • Time 9 hrs cycling

  • Cycle the last col of the tour, Sant Agostinio and enjoy ocean view descent to Bastia.

    From Piedicroce, we descend 200 metres and start the last climb of the tour, a pleasant 9 kilometre ascent to the Col de Sant Agostino (685m). Looking out over the ocean, all that is left to do is to enjoy the last descent to the coast, the ride into Bastia and the final climb to the Citadel above the town. Time to pack up our bikes, enjoy a late afternoon stroll around the town before a celebratory dinner.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 700m

    • Distance 75km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1300m

    • Time 4 hrs cycling

  • Depart from Bastia. A single transfer to Bastia Airport is provided.

    After breakfast we have a group transfer to Bastia Airport where KE Land Only package services end.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • An experienced professional leader
  • Single timed group transfer from Bastia town to airport at the end of the trip
  • All hotel and guesthouse accommodation
  • All meals
  • Vehicle support and baggage transfer

  • Travel insurance
  • Airport transfers (other than group transfers)
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc.

During this trip the group will have 7 nights in comfortable hotels and guesthouses. Accommodation is in twin or double rooms with ensuite bathroom. Clients booking by themselves will be paired with other single travellers of the same sex for room share. We regret that it is not possible to offer single accommodation on this trip.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

All meals are included in the trip price.

In Corsica, hotel breakfasts are usually continental buffet style. Lunches will be fresh and tasty picnics provided by our vehicle support crew and dinner will be taken at our accommodation. The hotels we frequent are used to feeding hungry cyclists and generally provide a three-course evening meal, with tasty and large portions of quality local cuisine.

The group will rendezvous at Bastia Airport in the late morning on Day 1. The rendezvous is timed to meet the arrival of the easyJet flights from London Gatwick and Manchester (seasonal) between 10.00 am and 12.00 am. On the final day of the holiday, there will be an early morning transfer from the hotel in Bastia to Bastia Airport for the same flights departing between 10.00 am and 11.00 am. If you wish to arrive earlier or later, contact the KE office for hotel and private transfer prices. All clients MUST inform the KE office of their travel details. Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

The group will be accompanied by an experienced bike guide and support driver.

We recommend that £150 (or equivalent in US dollars, Euros etc.) will be sufficient for miscellaneous expenses and should also cover your bar bills - beer, wine and soft drinks are available every night. By far the easiest way to obtain your travel cash is from ATM’s using a credit card or a debit card - there are ATM facilities in Bastia and Calvi.

Tipping is the accepted way of saying thank you for good service. It is important to remember that tipping is voluntary and should be dependent on good service. How much to tip your guide and local staff is entirely up to you, but we do recommend that you give any tips together as a group.

Taking a bike on an aircraft is usually straightforward. Different airlines have differing policies with regard to baggage allowances and transporting bikes. We strongly advise that you check the current policy of your chosen airline for carrying bikes and their baggage allowances before purchasing your air ticket. The baggage section on your chosen airline’s website will usually contain this information. We suggest that you are aware of the weight and dimensions of your intended check-in baggage in advance of your arrival at the airport as airlines may charge for both excess and oversize baggage, or refuse to carry oversized baggage. If you are using a domestic flight to connect with your International flight then it is likely that a different baggage policy will exist for the domestic and international flight sections. Again you should check the baggage policy with your chosen domestic airline prior to booking your domestic flight tickets. Any additional charges incurred for transporting your bike on any of the flights required for this adventure (international, domestic and internal flights within the trip itinerary - if applicable) are the responsibility of each individual client.

A road bike or standard cycle-touring bike is recommended for this trip, fitted with a triple or compact chainset and 23/25mm touring tyres. Please call us if you are unsure about the suitability of your bike. We cannot stress enough the importance of ensuring that your bike is in perfect working condition before you start this trip. You are depending on your bike to transport you throughout your holiday. It is VITAL to ensure it is THOROUGHLY SERVICED to guarantee it is in good mechanical order before departure. If you are not mechanically minded, get your local

bicycle dealer to service it for you. For home mechanics, points to note particularly are:

a) Check rims and if they are worn, cracked or dented replace with a new rim or wheel to avoid wheel failure. It is especially important to check that your bike’s rims are not worn concave by the brake blocks - replace them

if they are!

b) Check wheels are true and spoke tension is correct.

c) Check and, if required, adjust, grease or replace ALL bearings and quick release skewers.

d) Check and, if required, replace brake and gear cables.

e) Check and tighten, if required, all bolts (esp. crank, bottom brackets,

aheadset, stem/handlebars).

f) Check chain, cassette and chain rings for wear - replace as necessary.

g) Take the right tyres, inner tubes and BIKE SPECIFIC SPARES.

Whilst not essential, it is a good idea that you familiarise yourself with how to carry out at least some basic repairs to your bike e.g. changing an inner tube and fixing a puncture. Naturally, the bike guide will always be happy to assist with any repairs, however, due to the often remote nature of our trips being able to carry out a simple repair can save time and inconvenience waiting for assistance.

Travelling with a bike is usually as straightforward as travelling with any other type of baggage -providing you have packed it adequately. We have many years experience of travelling with our bikes, and nowadays we think that the best way to travel and fly with a bike is to partially dismantle it and put it into a purpose made soft bike bag. Although more expensive than a cardboard bike box, they are smaller in size to transport and are considerably easier to handle. To pack your bike you simply remove both wheels and pedals and prepare it for travel as follows. Obviously, extra care when packing your bike can minimise the chances of accidental damage occurring in transit. Ask your local bike store for plastic wheel hub protectors (which will prevent damage to your bike bag) and plastic fork and frame spacers, insert the spacers into the dropouts, tape them in place and then put extra padding over this area. Use pipe insulation lagging (from your local DIY store) to cover frame tubes, forks and seat post. If required, remove your bars from the stem and attach them carefully to your frame/forks using plastic ties or pvc tape -ensure that your Ergo/Sti levers are well padded to minimise the chance of damage. You may also wish to remove your rear gear mech, pad it with foam and tape it to the chainstay out of harms way. Finally, you should partly deflate your tyres, but leave some air in them to help absorb any impact on the wheels. Don’t forget to pack wheel skewers, pedals and any bolts you have removed, these are the items that tend to get left behind. Finally, find an old cardboard bike box and cut out panels to fit inside your soft bike bag for extra protection. Don’t forget to bring sufficient packing materials to pack your bike on the way home.

PLEASE DO NOT USE a purpose-made rigid bike box -these are heavy (which can put you over your baggage allowance) and are also too bulky to be easily stored or transported on the group’s support vehicle.

Throughout the entirety of the trip we have the back up of our support vehicle and a KE bike leader will be cycling with the group. Each morning our main baggage will be loaded onto the support vehicle and transported to our next night’s accommodation. During our morning’s ride and on the climbs up the big passes our support vehicle will sweep through the group and provide extra water and assistance as required. The vehicle will then stop at a designated rendezvous where we’ll all meet up for a picnic lunch. After lunch the support vehicle will drive onto our next accommodation. We want everyone to enjoy their cycling experience on this trip and we recognise the importance for group members to ride at their own pace. On most of our road biking trips it is usual that there can be a fair distance between the front and rear cyclists in the group and there may be times when other group members, vehicle support and the KE biking leader are out of sight. Each morning the KE biking leader will provide thorough route notes to assist you. However, the KE biking leader will always be cycling the route and maintaining a watch at strategic locations. Both the KE biking leader and our vehicle support will be carrying mobile phones and are easily contactable from your own mobile phone. Should a breakdown or an emergency arise during your cycling day they will respond as soon as is possible. Whilst our support vehicle cannot transport the whole group, baggage and bikes, it is also there to assist the occasional tired cyclist. So if you want to opt out of a morning, afternoon or even a full days cycling, it may be possible to travel in the vehicle.

It is possible to hire bikes for this trip. We have an arrangement with a local hire company who can provide excellent Cannondale CAAD8 Tiagra bikes with aluminium frames and triple chainsets. With excellent reviews and great features, the CAAD8 are are available in all sizes and the cost of the bike hire will be £145 (August 2015, subject to change). This cost will be added to your final holiday balance and payable prior to departure. Your hire bike will be delivered to you on arrival at Bastia airport on day 1 of the itinerary. At the end of the holiday will we arrange the return of your hire bike. If you wish to hire a bike, please contact the KE office and we can reserve one on your behalf. We must stress that your hire contract will be with the local hire company therefore, KE cannot be held responsible for any issues arising from bike hire. You will be required to pay the cost of a replacement bike if you lose the bike or damage it beyond ‘fair wear and tear’. If you do hire a bike, we recommend that you take your own shoes, pedals and possibly even your saddle, which will go a long way towards making it feel like your own bike. You will also need to take your own helmet, which must be worn at all times when riding.

Please note; it will not be possible to change your hire bike on arrival. It is essential you have selected the correct framesize prior to departure. 

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

This holiday does not involve any significant ascent to altitude and we would not expect any altitude issues with this trip.

The following is a basic checklist to help you with your packing. We recommend using the layering principle of clothing for varying climatic conditions. Good padded cycling shorts are essential.

Your Bike MUST be a road bike or standard cycle-touring bike fitted with a compact or triple chainset and a nine or ten speed cassette. It is vital that your bike is THOROUGHLY SERVICED and in perfect working condition before the trip.



  • Road or touring cycling shoes
  • Waterproof cycling overshoes


  • Base-layer - short sleeve cycling top (x 2)
  • Long sleeved cycling top (x 1)
  • Lightweight waterproof jacket
  • Lightweight Fleece top or jumper.
  • Lightweight windproof gillet.


  • Regular biking gloves
  • Long fingered gloves


  • Padded cycling shorts (x 2)
  • Cycling tights or tracksters


  • Eyewear - Biking glasses
  • Cycling helmet – mandatory


KE Trek Bag Contents

  • Travel and après biking clothes
  • Training/Leisure shoes for après biking
  • Wash bag and toiletries
  • Swimwear
  • Chamois Cream (e.g. Assos or Ozone)
  • Small padlock (to lock trek bag)

    To be carried on the bike in your jersey pockets or in a small saddle bag. Note: If you don’t want to carry any of this, you can leave it in your day-pack in the support

    • vehicle – see below
    • Mobile/Cell phone (optional)
    • Mini-pump
    • Multi-tool
    • Puncture repair kit & tyre levers
    • Inner tube
    • Small camera
    • Sun cream

    Other items affixed to your bike

    • 1 or 2 waterbottles
    • To be carried in the support vehicle in your day-pack for
    • easy access
    • Lightweight waterproof top
    • Basic First Aid Kit. Including: antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters, insect repellent (75-100% DEET) and re-hydration salts (Dioralite).


    • You should bring the following with you as a minimum. Whilst not essential, it is a good idea that you familiarise yourself with how to carry out at least some basic repairs e.g. fixing a puncture, changing an inner tube. Naturally our bike guide will always be happy to assist with any repairs, but due to the often remote nature of our trips, being able to carry out a simple repair can save time and save the inconvenience of having to wait for assistance.


    • You will need 700 x 25 Touring/Road Performance tyres suitable for mostly dry with occasional wet conditions.
    • Pump
    • Plastic tyre levers
    • 1 rear brake cable
    • 1 rear gear cable
    • Spare set of brake blocks (front and rear)
    • 2 spare spokes for front and rear wheels
    • Spoke key
    • 4 x inner tubes
    • Spare chain links
    • Liquid chain lube
    • Multi-tool with Allen keys
    • Chain link extractor (if not on multi-tool)
    • 2x puncture repair kits
    • A rag and brush for cleaning bike and drive train.
    • Any spares specific to your bike

    KE tools and spares

    • On all of our trips we carry a track pump, toolkit and a basic range of spares for emergencies. If any other spare parts are needed our support vehicle will make a detour to the nearest bike shop, which can be found in some of the larger towns en route.

    Energy Gels/Sports Drinks/Power Bars

  • Our back up vehicle will carry ample supplies of water, snacks and lunches but if you like a particular energy gel, sports drink or power bar we suggest you bring a selection of your preferred choice along.
  • For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

    A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

    Visa Europe

    UK and USA passport holders do not require a visa.

    You should contact your GP or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations. UK residents should obtain a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment, but is not a substitute for medical travel insurance which is still vital when travelling overseas.

    The unit of currency in Europe is the Euro.

    We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

    The better conditioned you are the more you will enjoy your cycling holiday. We suggest that you adopt a sensible weekly exercise regime and fit in a number of long cycle rides in hilly country to ensure you are physically capable of taking part in this trip - this will also provide you with an opportunity to make sure all your riding kit is tried and tested before you travel. Cycling is obviously the best activity to prepare for this trip, however, running, squash and swimming are also good for developing aerobic fitness and stamina.

    As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: for essential travel advice and tips.

    KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

    The temperatures that we can expect to encounter can be far ranging anything from 10°C to 25°C. The micro climates in Corsica make the weather very unpredictable and fast changing. You can experience a whole range of conditions in the same day, but hopefully sunshine will be the norm with sometimes cloudier (cooler!) weather in the mountains.

    • Corsica. Insight Guide
    • Corsica. Lonely Planet
    • The Rough Guide to Corsica
    • Cycling in France. Lonely Planet

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