What could be more exciting than the 100th Tour de France beginning on the island of Corsica? 2013 will be an exciting year for us. To mark this occasion we have created a leisure cycling holiday that will take in the most beautiful stage from the Tour; riding from Ajaccio to Calvi along the west coast.
This will be a cycling holiday that will allow you to go at your own pace. However, do expect a little bit of challenge thrown in all the same! You will cycle stage 3 of the Tour plus ride on some of the best routes on Corsica to give you a flavour of this extraordinary island. This is a treat not to be missed!
Day 1 Ajaccio
Your leisure cycling holiday begins in the afternoon at your hotel, where your Europe Active assistant will meet you at 7pm. Enjoy a nice evening meal, spend some time getting to know each other and find out about what the week has in store for you.
For those that arrive early, take your time to explore Ajaccio, the birth place of Napoleon.
Night in a hotel in Ajaccio.
Day 2 In the saddle towards the Gulf of Sagone
In the morning we'll get everyone kitted out with their hire bikes before leaving Ajaccio via the 3rd stage of the Tour de France. The route winds its way up to the Col de Bastiano before a superb descent to the Gulf of Liscia. Your accommodation is located not far from the beautiful white sandy beaches that line the Gulf.
Roughly 30km, +602m, -602m.
Night in a hotel next to the sea.
Day 3 En route towards the Calanches de Piana.
Back in the saddle after breakfast, you'll have a day's ride along the coast before climbing to the superb village of Cargese, whose Greek characteristics make it quite different from the rest of Corsica.
The route then offers splendid views towards the interior of the island until we reach the much celebrated 'Calanches de Piana' (deep red rock formations plunging dramatically towards the sea). Fast descent towards the Gulf of Porto, your destination for the night.
Roughly 51km, +853m, -853m.
Night in a hotel in Porto, not far from the sea.
Day 4 Scandola, a UNESCO heritage site or the Col de Verghio.
Today you have the opportunity to visit the Scandola marine nature reserve, a UNESCO heritage site. Relax and take in the views from the comfort of a tour boat, watching out for dolphins and other marine life. The other option for keen cyclists is to cycle to the highest col on Corsica, the formidable Col de Verghio (+1464m). The route takes you through Ota and Evisa (the chestnut capital on Corsica) before you climb up through the forest of Aitone to reach the Col. It is possible to do only part of the route. Return back to Porto down the Gorge de Spelunca. The views are just out of this world.
Night in Porto not far from the sea.
Day 5 The challenge of the week!
Today you will ride a route considered by many cyclists as the most beautiful in Europe. Throughout the day you will be confronted by stunning views. To start with you'll enjoy the views over the coast towards the Gulf of Girolata. Following the climb to the Col de la Croix and the Col de Palmarella the views will extend out towards the Gulf of Galeria. The road then hugs the coast as it stretches out towards Calvi. This is a tough day but one of our favourites.
Roughly 79kms, +1150m, -1150m.
Night in a hotel in Calvi.
Day 6 Through the Balagne
Today you have the choice of enjoying the pretty seaside town of Calvi with its citadel and white sandy beaches, or to get back on your bike and discover the region known as the Balagne. Heading out of Calvi you will take the 'route des artisans', which takes you up through the pretty villages of the Balagne with views over olive groves and out towards the west coast.
Roughly 55km, +762m, -762m.
Night in a hotel in Calvi.
Day 7 Calvi
Your holiday ends after breakfast at your hotel.
Contact us if you would like to extend your stay or to help you organise a transfer to Calvi airport or to anywhere else.