The Splendour of Corsica

Ajaccio, Corsica
Bastia Harbour - © Richard Stedman-Jones
Nice
Train on viaduct, Corsica - © Leonid Katsyka

Holiday Highlights

  • Free unlimited travel on the Corsican railways with the travel card provided
  • Centrally located hotels in Bastia, Calvi and Ajaccio
  • Leisure time in Bastia, Calvi and Ajaccio
  • Stunning scenic rail journey from Bastia to Calvi
  • Spectacular rail journey from Bastia to Ajaccio
  • Full day excursion to Cap Corse with English speaking guide
  • Coastal rail journey along the French Riviera to Nice
  • Stays in Nice and Lille with free time to explore
  • 14 Days from £2,325pp
BOOK NOWTailor this tour for independent travel

Tour Dates:
Tuesday 15 September to Monday 28 September 2020

Travel by train and ferry to this geographically diverse, Mediterranean paradise. Enjoy unlimited travel on the island's narrow gauge system with the travel card provided. Soak up Corsican culture with free time in the coastal towns of Bastia, Calvi and Ajaccio.

ITINERARY

Day 1 – London to Lyon

We take the lunchtime Eurostar from St Pancras to Lille and then continue by high speed train. Late evening arrival into Lyon for a 1-night stay.

Day 2 – Onwards to Nice

Departing Lyon late morning, we travel by train via Avignon to Marseille and onwards along the renowned French Riviera coastal line to Nice for a 2-night stay.

Day 3 – At Leisure

At leisure to explore Nice which is one of the world's most popular tourist regions. Peruse the unique markets or take a trip inland to Digne-les-Bains on the 'Chemin de Fer de Provence'.

Day 4 – Sail to Corsica

Free morning in Nice before transferring to the ferry terminal for an afternoon departure to Bastia, on the north eastern tip of Corsica. Relax onboard and enjoy the voyage. As we arrive into port it is clear why Corsica is aptly named "the mountain in the sea" – it boasts countless summits that reach more than 2,000m in elevation. We stay here for 3 nights.

Day 5 – Bastia at Leisure

The town of Bastia oozes culture and history. There will be no shortage of fabulous cuisine as you dine in some of the town's many restaurants. Sightseeing options include taking the local bus service to St Florent, known as the Corsican St. Tropez, or travelling by rail to the university town of Corté, complete with citadel, museum and scenic walks. Your 7-day travel card, for use throughout the holiday, allows unlimited rail travel on the island.

Day 6 – Cap Corse Excursion

Enjoy a full day excursion by road with an English speaking local guide around Cap Corse. Located on the northernmost tip of Corsica, this 40km long and 10km wide promontory with several fishing villages, is regarded as one of the most beautiful parts of the island. A ridge of mountains runs down the centre of Cap Corse, including Mont Stello in the centre of the peninsula, the highest peak at 1307m. The two sides, east and west, are quite different in character – to the west of Cap Corse the mountains reach right to the sea in a much more dramatic fashion than on the gentler east side. We will stop at a local restaurant for lunch (included).

Day 7 – Rail to Calvi

Morning departure by rail direct to Calvi via Ponte Leccia. From Ponte Leccia we travel via Ile Rousse where the train then hugs the western coastline giving spectacular views. Lunchtime arrival in Calvi for a 3-night stay and an afternoon at leisure.

Days 8 & 9 – At Leisure

The coastal town of Calvi, in the Balagne region of north-west Corsica, boasts the intrigue of traditional Corsican culture. The streets are narrow, the restaurants beckoning and the boat excursions inviting. Visit the Citadel or take a boat trip to Scandola, Corsica's UNESCO World Heritage Site. Optional excursions by train include the towns of Algajola or lIe Rousse.

Day 10 – Rail to Ajaccio

Morning departure by bus back to Bastia for a direct train to Ajaccio travelling via Ponte Leccia and Corté. Sit back and relax as you pass through some of the most amazing scenery on the island. The line between Corté and Bocognano ranks as one of the most scenic railways in the world. The train follows the valley of Gravona, passing through several tunnels and beautiful gorges. Look out for the 'bride's veil', a splendid waterfall that overhangs the railway. Eventually the scenery changes from the lush green pasture of central Corsica to the tropical atmosphere of the Gulf of Ajaccio. Mid-afternoon arrival in Ajaccio for a 2-night stay with the remainder of the afternoon free.

Day 11 – At Leisure

Free day to explore the bustling port town of Ajaccio, birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte. The most relaxing way to see Ajaccio is by 'Le Petit Train Ajaccio', a small tourist road train which travels through the narrow alleys of the old Genoese city which is steeped in history.

Day 12 – Farewell to Corsica

Morning at leisure before we take a lunchtime ferry back to the mainland. Arrive into Toulon in time for an evening meal (included) and a 1-night stay. Our hotel is located a short distance from the harbour and the old town.

Day 13 – Toulon to Lille

Morning transfer to the railway station for travel to Lille via Marseille. Arrive early evening for a 1-night stay, our hotel is close to the station.

Day 14 – Return Home

We depart Lille after a morning at leisure and return via Eurostar to London, arriving early afternoon.

Tour Route

Tour route map

Selected Hotels

Campanile Lyon Centre - Gare Part Dieu, Lyon

Mercure Nice Centre Notre Dame, Nice

Hotel Les Voyageurs Bastia Centre, Bastia

Hotel L'Abbaye, Calvi

Hotel Napoléon, Ajaccio

Ibis Styles Toulon Centre Port, Toulon

Hotel Lille Europe, Lille

Please note - hotels can be subject to change

Price Includes

  • All rail travel as stated in standard class
  • All ferry travel as stated
  • All transfers as stated
  • Accommodation in good quality hotels on a bed and breakfast basis
  • I lunch and 1 evening meal
  • Full-day excursion to Cap Corse with English speaking guide
  • A 7-day Travel Card for unlimited travel on the island's railways
  • Services of a tour leader from London and throughout the tour

Price per person

Escorted holiday: £2,325
Single room supplement: £575
Deposit for this holiday: £100

Booking form

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