Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Beautiful village of Piana
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Highlights

  • Classic mountain and coastal walking on the French island of Corsica.
  • Strolling through Corte, the historic capital surrounded by mountain peaks.
  • Stunning views over the Calanches de Piana. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Hiking the formidable Spelunca Gorge and a section of the classic GR20 trail.
  • Enjoy time exploring the vibrant city of Ajaccio, Napoleon’s birthplace.

The French Mediterranean island of Corsica has an incredibly untamed and magnificent mountainous interior. Immerse yourself in this rugged scenery before walking all the way to the exceedingly picturesque west coast through river gorges, past natural pools and lakes and to the Calanches de Piana.

Even though Corsica has been part of France for over two hundred years, it has its own unique qualities, cuisine, language, culture and history, which only serve to make it more appealing.

Walking through these contrasting landscapes really allows an exploration like no other and you can see the island in all its glory first-hand.


Day 1: Arrive Corte and overnight

Corte is a set against a backdrop of incredible mountain scenery and the historic capital of Corsica.


Overnight: Hotel Duc de Padoue***, Corte


This small and friendly hotel offers brightly decorated rooms and overlooks a quiet square. It is a peaceful haven in the heart of the town centre.


Day 2: Short transfer. Cala Santa Regina Gorge Walk

After a short transfer from Corte you’ll be in the heart of the Scala Santa Regina Gorge. Walk along cliffs overlooking the Golo River. This magnificent gorge is carved into the old red granite rock and is a fantastically wild place with many waterfalls flowing down into the valley.


Walk along an old mule path to reach your overnight stop beside Calacuccia Lake


Walk: 12 km, ascent, 850m, descent 500m


Overnight: Casa Balduina, Calacuccia


This rural, charming and very friendly guest house has seven comfortable bedrooms and stunning views of the surrounding countryside. You are sure to enjoy your unique stay in this peaceful place.


Day 3: Radule Waterfall and GR20 Walk

Leave the Mare e Mare Nord trail and enjoy a beautiful day of walking through the Verghio Forest of pine, larch and silver birch. Reach the enchanting waterfall of Radule and the shepherd’s hut, where you may like to try the local Corsican cheese. Then follow the world-famous GR20 trail for a while and take the opportunity to bathe in the numerous natural pools, before arriving at the Castel di Verghio.


Although this walk has the most elevation gain all week it is worth the climb as it is a beautiful day of walking. However, there is the option to shorten this walk if you prefer.


Walk: 18 km, ascent, 900m, descent 554m


Dinner & Overnight: Castel di Verghio Refuge & Hotel, Verghio


This property is a combination of dormitories and private rooms. You’ll be staying in a private room with en suite bathrooms. It is a very simple hotel, but with an exceptional location in the middle of the mountains.  


Day 4: Walk to Aitone Natural Pools

After breakfast begin today’s walk by passing the Col Verghio and taking a trail under the shade of Lariccio pine trees which are unique to Corsica. The route overlooks the small Aitone river and here there are stunning natural pools in which you may take a cooling dip.


Arrive in the lovely town of Evisa, the chestnut capital of Corsica.


Walk: 11 km, ascent 400m, descent 850m


Dinner & Overnight: Auberge la Chataignerie, Evisa


Relax in the shade of the garden’s chestnut trees and enjoy the panorama over the Gulf of Porto and the Spelunca Gorge. The 12 rooms are all bright and welcoming and for dinner this evening you can relish their traditional Corsican cooking!


Day 5: Evisa to Porto

On today’s walk from Evisa to Porto you will be in awe of the surrounding landscapes and their outstanding beauty. Discover the Spelunca Gorges, spanning 2 km and a formidable sight with bare orange granite walls. You’ll also see famous Genoese bridges and later you can pause in the village of Ota for a well-deserved local beer.  Once rested continue on to the superb marina of Porto where you will stay for the next two nights.


Walk: 15 km, ascent 650m, descent 1450m


Overnight: Hotel Costa Rossa***,  Porto


This hotel has a wonderful swimming pool surrounded by eucalyptus trees and is located only 700m from the beach and 300m from the marina. All the air-conditioned rooms have large terraces.


Day 6: Walk to Piana. Return by local bus

Today’s superb walk takes you firstly along a coastal path and then inland towards the Capu d’Ortu summit. Enjoy fantastic views over the Calanches de Piana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Since there are only 2 buses per day, you can either leave early and take the early afternoon bus back. Or leave later and take the late afternoon bus. Please note that from September 1st there is only one late afternoon bus.  


Walk: 11 km,  ascent, 869m, descent, 689m


Overnight: Hotel Costa Rossa***, Porto


Day 7: Bus transfer to Ajaccio. Free time in Ajaccio

Make your way by local bus to Ajaccio.  Napoleon’s birthplace, Ajaccio is a vibrant city just waiting to be explored, with its lovely marina and the many museums, such as the quirky Museé A Bandera which explores Corsican history up to WWII.


Overnight: Napoleon Hotel***, Ajaccio


This comfortable and conveniently located hotel on a quiet street in the centre of the town, is also just a 5 minute walk from Beach St Francois. You will receive a warm welcome and thoroughly enjoy your stay here.


Day 8: Onward travel

Make your way to Ajaccio Airport from where you can make your onward journeys.

Accommodation

7 nights accommodation in a combination of 2 or 3* hotels, and auberges is included. All offer a warm welcome to walkers.


Solo Walkers & Single Rooms

This trip is not available to solo walkers. Single rooms are also available and a single supplement is payable.


Meals

7 Breakfasts are provided at your hotels with offerings such as fruit, yoghurt, cereals, pastries, meats, breads, jams, fruit juices, tea and coffee. One picnic lunch is provided and on the other days there will always be the opportunity to buy one from a local shop or market. 2 Dinners are included at the more remote locations, but on the other nights there are restaurants in which to have dinner, or you can eat at your accommodation. 



 

 

 




Hotel Duc de Padoue - Corte

This small and friendly hotel offers brightly decorated rooms and overlooks a quiet square. It is a peaceful haven in the heart of the town centre.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Casa Balduina - Calacuccia

This rural, charming and very friendly guest house has seven comfortable bedrooms and stunning views of the surrounding countryside. You are sure to enjoy your unique stay in this peaceful place.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Castel di Verghio Hotel & Refuge - Verghio

This property is a combination of dormitories and private rooms. You’ll be staying in a private room with en suite bathrooms. It is a very simple hotel, but with an exceptional location in the middle of the mountains.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Auberge la Chataignerie - Evisa

Relax in the shade of the garden’s chestnut trees and enjoy the panorama over the Gulf of Porto and the Spelunca Gorge. The 12 rooms are all bright and welcoming and for dinner this evening you can relish their traditional Corsican cooking!


 

 

 


 

 

 




Hotel Costa Rossa - Porto

This hotel has a wonderful swimming pool surrounded by eucalyptus trees and is located only 700m from the beach and 300m from the marina. All the air-conditioned rooms have large terraces.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Hotel Napoleon - Ajaccio

This comfortable and conveniently located hotel on a quiet street in the centre of the town is also just a 5 minute walk from Beach St Francois. You will receive a warm welcome and thoroughly enjoy your stay here.


 

 

 

Availability

You can start your Corsica: Mountain Trails to the Sea self-guided walking tour on any day of the week any time between April and October, but not in July and August as it is too hot. However since there are no buses leaving Porto to Ajaccio on Sundays it is advisable to avoid departing for your tour on Mondays.


Time of Year

This tour in Corsica can be enjoyed in April, May & June, plus in September & October. July and August is too hot, but the spring is delightful with all the wildflowers in bloom and less people on the trails. September and October are also a great time to be there as it is a quieter than in the height of the summer and the daytime temperatures much more suitable for walking.


Baggage Transfers

Your bags will be transferred between your accommodation as per your itinerary. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 15kg per person.


Grade & Terrain

This walking tour is graded to moderate. The terrain in Corsica tends to be quite rocky and at times challenging to negotiate. Since the walks on this tour have quite significant elevation gains and losses you will also need to have a very good level of physical fitness. Although the distances on most days are not too long the walks will take anywhere between 3 and 7 hours. The average daily walk time is around 4-5 hours. You should be sure-footed, have a great sense of balance and not be scared of heights. Also for the more challenging walks hiking poles are recommended.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

You will be provided with route notes and IGN 1; 25,000 maps to assist you in finding your way. Some of the trails are way-marked, but others are not, so you will need to have good navigation skills and have the ability to read a map, especially when walking in the mountain areas. The weather can also be somewhat unpredictable in Corsica and so before setting out on walks it always make sense to check the forecast.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking/cycling gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Getting to Corte

The best airport to fly into is Ajaccio. This airport is served by Easyjet from the UK and by many other airlines (such as Air Corsica, Air France and Alitalia) for travellers outside of the UK. From Ajaccio Airport take a taxi (payable locally) to Ajaccio Train Station, from where you can board a train taking you to Corte, in the centre of the island (an approximate 2 hour journey).


For more information concerning schedules you can visit either the Chemins de Fer de la Corse website or the following unofficial website Corsica Bus which also lists timetables for all public transportation in Corsica.


It is also possible to fly into Bastia Airport and then take a train to Corte from there.  


Getting from Ajaccio

You can take a bus to Ajaccio Airport, however we recommend a taxi which only costs between €10 to €20, depending on what time of day. and traffic. Please note that there are no buses departing on Sundays from Porto to Ajaccio, which is a required part of the itinerary. (Buses depart early morning (around 8:20am) Please check the Corsica Bus website for accurate timetables.


Macs Adventure can also offer private transfers from Porto to Ajaccio Airport, but these will need to be booked in advance.  Please ask your Destination & Adventure Specialist for details

Included

  • 7 Nights in a combination of 2* & 3* hotels, and auberges
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • 1 picnic lunch
  • 2 Dinners
  • Transfer from Ajaccio Gare to Ajaccio hotel on Day 7
  • Luggage transfers
  • Detailed route notes, information pack and 1:25,000 IGN maps
  • 24/7 support from our local partner and the UK office

Excluded

  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Travel to Corte and from Porto
  • 6 Lunches & 5 Dinners
  • Drinks and Snacks
  • Cost of bus from Porto to Ajaccio on Day 7
  • Personal equipment
  • Mountain rescue/emergency assistance

Extras

  • Single Room Supplement (s)
  • Additional nights

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as the region is popular especially in May/June and September. However, we will always try our best to accommodate your plans.

How fit do I need to be?

This walking tour is graded to moderate. The terrain in Corsica tends to be quite rocky and at times challenging to negotiate. Since the walks on this tour have quite significant elevation gains and losses you will also need to have a very good level of physical fitness. Although the distances on most days are not too long the walks will take anywhere between 3 and 7 hours. The average daily walk time is around 4-5 hours. You should be sure-footed, have a great sense of balance and not be scared of heights. Also for the more challenging walks hiking poles are recommended.

How do the baggage transfers work?

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 15kg per person.

What equipment to I need?

Your detailed information pack will be sent to you after you book. This has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack.

When is the best time of year?

April and May are great months as the daytime temperatures are cooler. Mid-September to the end of October will also be cooler and quieter on the trails.

Excellent holiday

5

This was one of the best holidays we have ever been on - everything was well organised and all we had to do was walk through the most beautiful countryside! We would have liked the holiday be have been longer and to have been able to walk further.

Jane

Brighton

true

Wonderful scenery, great hiking

5

We enjoyed our hike through Corisica. We did not do the final day hike to Piana, but took a boat tour of The Scandola Nature Preserve instead. Overall the trip went very well. Corsica is a beautiful island.

Tracy

Vancouver

true

Exceptional Trip!

5

I can't say enough good things about our trip through Mac's Adventures. The overall trip was excellent with great accommodations and a well planned itinerary. All of the transfers went without a hitch and the pre-trip communications was excellent. I'd strongly recommend them and use them again for a well organized trip.

Chris H

USA

true

Corsica: Mountain Trails to the Sea

5.0 3

100.0

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Macs Adventure - Head Office: Skypark 5, 45 Finnieston Street, Glasgow, G3 8JU, UK

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