DAY 1: Bastia / Patrimonio
Drive northwards from Bastia for a trip around the Presqu’ile of Cap Corse. Your route along the coast road offers several places to stop and enjoy your first views of the Corsican landscape with its Genovese towers, little fishing ports such as Erbalunga or Centuri, the perfect place for a delicious fish and lobster lunch. There are several little beaches to tempt you in for that longed-for swim. As you come in to the clifftop village of Nonza, leave the car and head for the Paoline tower for a stunning view over the gulf of Saint Florent, and on the far side of the tower, a beach of black sand. Your first overnight stop is at Patrimonio, near St Florent, and famous for its vineyards.
DAY 2: Patrimonio / Algajola
Today you drive through the micro-region of the Agriates to La Balagne, nicknamed the ‘garden of Corsica’ to the seaside resort of L'Ile Rousse, founded by Pascal Paoli during the struggle for independence. Enjoy its relaxed pace of life, its market, its little alleyways…
Your route takes you on through the Balagne countryside to some of the most beautiful mediaeval stone villages with its artisans, and offer a remarkable and contrasting view of the Mediterranean and the Corsican mountains. We recommend that you search out some local produce: wine from La Balagne, canistrelli biscuits and olive oil from an ancestral mill. At Calenzana, a difficult point to leave the GR20, you will find yourself back on the coast a former small fishing port where you will spend the night.
DAY 3: Calvi / Porto
Your morning itinerary takes you to Calvi, beach resort and birthplace of Christopher Columbus. Stroll through the streets of the splendid citadel and admire the views over the Ligure sea and the Balagne mountains.
You now head out west along the coast road and the beautiful unspoilt landscape which gives Corsica its nickname of ‘mountain in the sea’. Today’s trip ends at Porto, with its square Genovese tower, a place that can be proud of its position amidst some of the most beautiful sites in Corsica. If you have time, climb the Gorges de Spelunca to the traditional village of Evisa and its chestnut forest. Chestnuts form the basis of many local recipes in Corsica.
DAY 4: Porto / Cargese / Ajaccio
Today’s itinerary will reveal the sheer natural beauty of Corsica. From Porto, you will take a boat trip to the Scandola Nature Reserve, a UNESCO world heritage site, stopping at Girolata, a little gem of a village accessible only by boat or on foot.
You then come along the coast to Ajaccio by way of one of the most magnificent sites in Corsica: the Calanches de Piana, spectacular red granite rock formations set amidst the maritime pine trees.
You come next to the pretty village of Cargese, perched on a clifftop overlooking the sea. Stroll along the wide beaches and take the time to relax or have a swim. Then on to the capital city Ajaccio, your main stop for the day.
DAY 5 : Ajaccio / Sartene / Porto-Vecchio
In the morning, take time to stroll around the citadel, Tino Rossi port, Ajaccio market with its local produce, and pay a visit to Maison Bonaparte..
Heading south now, you have the chance to see many more sites from the opposite direction, and of course, the beaches. Pay a visit to Corsica’s largest Genoise tower overlooking the Gulf of Valinco. You can stop at Sartene, a very traditional Corsican village with its tall granite houses, before arriving in Porto-Vecchio, a small resort on the east coast and your cosy accommodation for 2 nights.
DAY 6 : Porto-Vecchio / Bonifacio / Porto-Vecchio
Morning departure for a unique place and highlight of Corsica: Bonifacio: a majestic fortified town perched on a limestone spur of rock. After a stroll around the mediaeval streets, we suggest that you to take a boat trip for a superb view of the clifftop town.
Don’t miss the opportunity to taste bonifacienne aubergines! A true feast!
Treat yourselves to an afternoon on one of the perfect beaches. Rondinara, Palombaggia, Santa Giulia….white sands, turquoise seas will offer total relaxation.
Return to your accommodation for the night.
DAY 7: Porto-Vecchio / Corte
Head inland to the centre of the island and its historic capital, Corte. Explore the ‘eagle’s nest’, perched at the very top of the mountainous landscape and then stroll along its cobbled alleyways. Don’t miss the very picturesque valley with its maritime pines and natural pools, enjoy this tranquil and leafy spot for the last night of your stay.
An optional detour is possible through pretty forest land to the picturesque and famous Bavella needles.
DAY 8: Corte / Bastia
Your Corsican road trip ends in Bastia, where you can explore the citadel, the old port or simply enjoy a coffee on one of the many pavement cafes on St Nicolas square.