2 weeks in Corsica!

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
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2 weeks in Corsica!

Postby toyotakev » 26 Apr 2010, 5:58pm

hi, i have 2 weeks hols coming up! thought a quick jaunt to Corsica; heard about its lovely beaches and flat (!!) roads ha ha
has any body been here , and can tell me quickly the state of wild camping and how much they enjoyed it?


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Re: 2 weeks in Corsica!

Postby eileithyia » 26 Apr 2010, 6:07pm

Oh please do not make me jealous......

Not so sure about wild camping but think my ex has done so in the past. After that it is a beautiful country and certainly not flat! Can be a little pricey as it French prices + a bit. But all the usual that you would find on a foreign tour, lovely people wonderful countryside etc.
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Re: 2 weeks in Corsica!

Postby lukepinkhandbag » 26 Apr 2010, 8:02pm

Forget wild camping...semi wild pigs are all over the place and consider nylon nor canvas an obstacle to food! The interior is great for cycling as the roads are too narrow and bendy for bigger vehicles. The coast road however is the opposite and quite busy. Go now and spend the rest of this year planning to go back...its that sort of place.

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Re: 2 weeks in Corsica!

Postby groberts » 26 Apr 2010, 8:07pm

Corsica is a lovely island but I don’t remember it being very flat. As for wild camping, take care. It was a while ago but having just returned from working in South Africa in 1985 to avoid the escalating violence there, we went on holiday to Corsica staying at a holiday complex just south of the capital with our 18 month old daughter. On the third night we were woken by two explosions, then five more; the following morning we were all evacuated from the resort as the central complex had been destroyed overnight. There was (is?) a widespread freedom fighting movement on the island who want to split from France, the presence of which is suppressed outside by the central government as tourists don’t tend to like that sort of thing! Don’t let me put you off but be careful.

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Re: 2 weeks in Corsica!

Postby dodger » 26 Apr 2010, 8:10pm

All of Corsica is great but I don't recommend wild camping. There are plenty of campsites and also plenty of hunters with poor eyesight - just look at all the roadsigns. Can't wait to go back. The coast roads can be busy but they aren't too bad - just watch out for the coaches.
Prices are OK.
They speak French, with bits of Italian, but they are not French. Very definitely Corsican!!

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Re: 2 weeks in Corsica!

Postby keepontriking » 26 Apr 2010, 8:26pm

Its an absolutely superb island for both cycling and camping.
I have toured there on four occasions, three times wild camping, obnce a mix of small hotels and the tent.
My most enjoyable visit was a three week wild camping tour with my wife and 18 month old daughter (although she's a lot older now though). Yes we did wake up one morning with a few small wild pigs scuttling around - it just added to the fun.
The centre is quite mountainous and the west quite hilly, but the south and east is pretty flat. But with the mountains comes the stunning scenery, and the smell of the maquis is exquisite.
Yes Corsica is known for its bandits - but this is such a long time in the past it is not a problem, though you may see slogans daubed and road signs shot at, mainly in sport though. It does have a history of rebelling against the French government but as a visitor you should not be at all alarmed.
Everyone is friendly and helpful, if a little dour. If you speak French be aware that they have their own dialect, which you may sometimes come across in the more rural areas.
I want to go back again. Soon.

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Re: 2 weeks in Corsica!

Postby jphil » 26 Apr 2010, 8:41pm

Yes I love the place for me Corsica and Scotland are Europe's finest destinations for walking, cycletouring.With regards to wild camping usual applies put your tent down late at night get up early ask permission. The west coast and the Cap corse & mountainous interior are the highlights forget the east coast road to Bastia. Hope you get good weather snow can stay on high ground well into June. Expensive but it's fantastic `this August will be my 9th visit in 11 years yes it's sad I know but I'am in love with the place :D !

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Re: 2 weeks in Corsica!

Postby rualexander » 26 Apr 2010, 8:49pm

keepontriking's summary above is, I would say, the most accurate of the above information. Corsica is one of the best places on earth for cycle touring (best to avoid July and August though as there will be lots of tourists and associated traffic, particularly around the coast), the scenery is stunning and diverse, the weather generally great, and the roads although sometimes a bit rough are great for cycling on. Avoid the main highways around Ajaccio though, if possible. As far as the east coast road is concerned, the southern half is a nice road.
Wild camping is quite feasible although not legal, also watch you don't start a forest fire if cooking on a stove, the vegetation can be extremely dry at times. Finding a suitable flattish piece of ground near the road can be a bit of a problem sometimes though.

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Re: 2 weeks in Corsica!

Postby Millhouse » 27 Apr 2010, 8:35am

Paul Smith SRCC from this forum has posted some great info re Corsica. Find him via the 'members' button and a list of some of his recent tours will be displayed, one of which is Corsica.

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I've cycled most of it.

Postby Gearoidmuar » 27 Apr 2010, 8:50am

I've done three or four tours there. It's great for cycling. One caveat. DO NOT try to cycle the Col de Bavella from East to West. It's VERY steep in that direction. Other than that, the gradients are reasonable and the inland roads in the mountains are marvellous. The most beautiful place is Piana/Porto area. The Col de Vergio which is a 4750ft climb over somthing like 30km from sealevel is one gorgeous climb. Fantastic. I've done it three times and may do it again before I get too old for it. It has one shortish area of 10% but the rest is gentler. The descent inland from it is also spectacular.
Apart from the food which is, well, Italian-influenced (= boring) it's THE place for touring. Note: It can be VERY hot in summer. Do not go there in July or August. Too busy.

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Re: 2 weeks in Corsica!

Postby iviehoff » 27 Apr 2010, 5:16pm

I like my camping to be leisurely. For me, therefore, knowing that wild camping is illegal, as is the case in Corsica, would probably mean that I wouldn't be able to do it in leisurely fashion, and so it would not be pleasurable for me to engage in it.
Last edited by iviehoff on 27 Apr 2010, 7:30pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 2 weeks in Corsica!

Postby dodger » 27 Apr 2010, 6:22pm

There were a few explosions when I went there about 4 years ago, but they were targeted solely at buildings and particularly those owned by "profiteers" or outsiders who were felt to be too grasping. There is a strong Corsican Nationalist movement, but it's definitely not directed at tourists. It shows in the fervent wish to protect the island against over-development and ewnvironmental damage.
Cap Corse is great and the sweet chestnut or Cagnaccia (the spelling might be a bit out) country is quiet and pleasant. The west coast area has some wonderful scenery but my overall preference is the long gorges. Restonica Gorge is a hefty climb, but well worth it, with a reasonable campsite by the river half way up.

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Re: 2 weeks in Corsica!

Postby BARRACH » 1 May 2010, 8:18pm

We have holidayed in Corsica three times and cant wait to go back. Although we had our bikes we were based in one place and used the bikes for day rides only. I agree its a beautiful island for cycling and would love to tour there in the future. We were in self catering in a small port just north of Bastia on the east side . Our sunrises were beautiful and in the evening we still got the sun up to about 8 oclock in the evening. We were there in July each time and although hot there are numerous small bays and beaches to stop at for a cool swim. The Corsicans pride themselves on not having private beaches or massive development of any kind around the coast or anywhere on the island for that matter. There are small cols up to Cap Corse which means you can crisscross the Cap for variety. Go for it, you will not regret going.

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Re: 2 weeks in Corsica!

Postby sarahparkhouse » 16 May 2010, 10:09pm

I'm in a similar position, I have five days in Corsica and would like to wild camp. Never having been to the island, I will arrive in Figari and intend to take a bus to a big city, but then how easy would it be to find a spot to camp? How does it work?
Also, does anybody know about hitch hiking there? I hear it's easier than most places..

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Re: 2 weeks in Corsica!

Postby Helen » 17 May 2010, 5:15pm

My 2 weeks in Corsica should start on 29 August. I'm flying from Manchester with Easyjet £118.42 return inc bike and 1 bag checked in. I too would like to wild camp in a bivvy bag. In Brittany last September I was turning up at picnic areas in semi-darkness. I like to think of all the lovely dosh I'm saving to be spent in the supermarket later!