Corsica - what is it like?

keith57 Posts: 164
edited November 2017 in Tour & expedition
A mate wants to organise a group trip to Corsica. I know the tour has been there and there seem to be a number of good cols to ride up. Just wondering if anyone here can fill any background on things like road conditions, traffic, views, atmosphere, etc.

Many thanks :D

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  • dabber
    dabber Posts: 1,938
    I can't reply in terms of doing a proper cycling holiday but last year I spent a week at a Club Mark Warner hotel in San Lucianu on the east coast. As part of their facilities was access to bikes and some guiding... they had decent Cannondale road bikes and I did a few sorties into the hills inland from the general San Lucianu including an all day ride (Mrs Dabber was doing pilates and laying by the sea).
    Anyway, it was beautiful... lovely scenery, road surfaces variable - some a bit bumpy and broken, most decent enough and a lovely fast sweeping road down from somewhere around Cervone to San-Nicolao.
    Wild boar and goats running across the more remote roads, quite a few waterfalls.

    Riding on the main road running down the east coast (north to south) is best minimised as there can be some fairly heavy traffic but attitude towards cyclists seemed generally good.

    I'd like to go back and ride a lot of the othere areas on the island.
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  • mercia_man
    mercia_man Posts: 1,431
    My wife and I spent much of the summer of 1974 on Corsica after giving up our jobs and going off to Europe by motorcycle. It must be busier and more touristy now but when we were there it was pretty quiet. You could wild camp without problem and long stretches of the scenic west coast road and inland mountain roads were dirt tracks. The smell of the "maquis" - a mix of wild herbs, flowers and scrub - is really distinctive. But the cost of food, wine and campsites was more than mainland France. We thought it was one of the best places we had ever been.

    Corsica is a bit like the Alps transported into the Mediterranean. It would provide tough and scenic cycling. I wouldn't bother with the east coast - flat dull terrain and a major road going all the way along it. The west coast between Calvi and Ajaccio is fantastic. The road is narrow, twisty, steeply undulating and often with sheer drops down to the sea below. The stretch between Galeria, Porto, Piana and Les Calanche is particularly spectacular, with weird golden red spikes of rock.

    The wild mountains inland are high and jagged, with snow on the peaks even in summer and some challenging passes. I can recommend the citadel town of Corte and the road from there up the Gorges de la Restonica to a lake surrounded by the island's highest peaks. The little road up to Calacuccia is another great ride.
  • keith57
    keith57 Posts: 164
    Thanks for the replies, all very interesting, should be a good week of riding I think!

    Please note: I’ll no longer engage deeply with anonymous forum users :D
  • napoleond
    napoleond Posts: 5,992
    A mate of mine went for a few days’ cycling Last year. He absolutely loved it and the photos were stunning.
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  • I took a school group there with two minibuses; we managed to get all the kids to ride road bikes down the west coast - it was late October, the weather was good and the scenery and riding was absolutely incredible.

    One of the most amazing and most beautiful places I have ever been. I live in Switzerland and in south east France so getting there was easy by ferry from Livorno.

    Summer holiday season is very very busy - spring would be wonderful, and autumn was incredible. It really is a stunning place. The food is great as well!