April 16, 2015 | Posted in Uncategorized | By

Corsica is the most mountainous island in the Mediterranean, and more mountainous than most of Southern Europe.

It also has the highest murder rate per capita in Europe!

Welcome to some early thoughts on Corsica, following on from Roscoff to Murviel le Beziers.

I rode 1000km around this island in 7 days back in 1998, and know how tough some of the hills are; therefore I will try to avoid the worst of them. However, you cannot make a cake without breaking some eggs, so we are going to have to tackle some climbs. I’ll keep the mileage down to the minimum possible.

I’ve prepared some early thoughts, but I really think that we should consider leaving our camping equipment behind and stay in motels / hotels. Riding up mountains is hard enough, without lugging kilogrammes of unnecessary luggage.

We will start and finish at the port of Ajaccio on the west coast after taking an overnight ferry from Toulon. It is my intention that we ride off the ferry, straight into day 1.

The following 3 itineraries are a very rough guide, I’ve not done any finessing.

I will of course look at other options to try and keep the hills to a minimum, but we may have to compromise on how much of the island we actually will be able to access without going over some hills.

 

Itinerary 1

This option gives us two hard days, then a a 3rd day where we complete a circular ride starting and finishing in Porto Vecchio meaning that we spend two nights in Porto Vecchio before two easier days up the east coast. Then crossing into the middle of the island to the former capital city of Corte before finishing with a long (45kms) downhill to the port of Ajaccio. Days 2, 3 & 4 are an approximation of day 1 of the Tour de France route from 2003.

Stage

Itinerary 1

Distance

Ascent

1

Ajaccio to Propriano

72

810

2

Propriano to Porto Vecchio

72

1010

3

Porto Vechio to Porto Vecchio

66

630

4

Porto Vecchio to Aleria

76

540

5

Aleria to Bastia

79

210

6

Bastia to Corte

67

1110

7

Corte to Ajaccio

80

1300

512

5600

Corsica 1

 

Itinerary 2

This option is shorter (by just 19kms) but has more climbing and includes a different location on each night. The first two days are the same as option 1. Days 3 and 4 are the same as days 4 & 5 from option 1 , but we dispense with the circular Porto Vecchio route. We use that extra day to ride across the north west coast from Bastia to Losari. Day 6 will also take us to Corte but by a different route and day 7 is the same as option 1.

Stage

Itinerary 2

Distance

Ascent

1

Ajaccio to Propriano

72

810

2

Propriano to Porto Vecchio

72

1010

3

Porto Vecchio to Aleria

76

540

4

Aleria to Bastia

79

210

5

Bastia to Losari

60

1220

6

Losari to Corte

54

1000

7

Corte to Ajaccio

80

1300

 

 

493

6090

corsica 3

 

 

Itinerary 3

This is as close to a tour of the island that I can get in 7 days.  It is about 25kms longer than option 1 but it is hillier, an additional 900m of climbing over the 7 days. We don’t get to see the old capital city of Corte or indeed any of the island’s interior. Nor do we get the long downhill finish.

Stage

Itinerary 3

Distance

Ascent

1

Ajaccio to Propriano

72

810

2

Propriano to Porto Vecchio

72

1010

3

Porto Vecchio to Aleria

76

540

4

Aleria to Bastia

79

210

5

Bastia to L’ile Rousse

67

1270

6

L’ile Rousse to Porto

92

1780

7

Porto to Ajaccio

79

1340

537

6960

Corsica 2