Guided Walking on Corsica, France

Corsica - Mediterranean Jewel

Code: PTLCL

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Activity types:

  • Central location
  • Coastal
  • Hills & moorland

Level

  • Easy
  • Hard
More information

Difficulty indicator

Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.

More about difficulty levels

From £1,029.00 - 7 nights

Book

Prices are per person

Room 1:
Room 2:
Room 3:

Holiday overview

Corsica, known as the île de beauté (or beautiful island) is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean. Our holidays are based in the attractive seaside town of L'île Rousse.

Holiday highlights

  • Enjoy endless panoramas of glistening bays and towering peaks on this gorgeous Mediterranean island
  • Spend a free day in glamorous Calvi exploring the medieval citadel and lunching on the waterfront
  • Wander through the charming ancient villages of the Balagne and sample the first leg of the famous GR20

Price includes

  • A full programme of guided walks with 2 options every walking day
  • All transport to and from the walks
  • The services of experienced leaders
  • "With flight" holidays include return flights from the UK and hotel transfers
  • 7 nights' accommodation in en-suite rooms
  • Half board - continental breakfast and evening meal

 



Accommodation

The small Santa Maria Hotel stands on a peninsula with sea views on both sides and opposite the red islands of L'île Rousse. On the quieter edge of the town there is direct access to a private small sandy beach and just a short stroll to the old town with cafés, bars and shops. This 3-star hotel has 56 en-suite bedrooms, all elegantly furnished.

There is an outdoor pool, hot tub and solarium.

Holidays on Corsica are Half Board with continental breakfast and a 3-course evening meal.

 

 

Bedrooms

The Santa Maria hotel has 56 en-suite bedrooms, equipped with air-conditioning, a TV, telephone, kettle and cups, hairdryer,  minibar, WiFi and balcony or terrace. 

 

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Facilities

This hotel takes full advantage of its setting and has direct access to a private beach with sunloungers. There is a restaurant, bar, WiFi throughout, swimming pool, whirlpool and a solarium. There are plenty areas to relax as the main building is surrounded by comfortable sofas and sunloungers, perfect to enjoy this stunning location.

 

  

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Food

Our holidays at the Santa Maria Hotel are on a Half Board basis and include breakfast and evening meal.

Breakfast: There is an extensive self-service buffet with hot and cold options available.

Evening meal: The evening meal is a 4-course menu. Guests are given a set menu with vegetarian options available. Any other special diets can be catered for if requested in advance of the holiday.

Picnic lunch: There are many local shops close by to purchase ingredients for a picnic lunch. On certain days it may be possible to purchase it locally; your leaders will advise.

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Evening

The friendly atmosphere of our Guided Walking holidays continues into the evening.

Enjoy a glass of wine or local beer whilst finding out more about the next day's walks. We can enjoy a leisurely meal and you may also like to join your leader for a stroll into town to listen to local musicians in some of the local bars. Your leader will also check any local events going on nearby. Alternatively, you may like to relax on the terrace or in the bar, with a drink and chat with your fellow guests.

 

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Itinerary

  • Our experienced leaders offer the choice of two different walks each day - choose the option which best suits your interests and fitness
  • We provide flexible holidays. Choose easier walking one day and harder the next or just explore independently or relax around the resort
  • Our leaders are friendly and welcoming making your holiday fun and sociable

HF Holidays walks grade 2 easyEasier Walks: 4 to 6 miles (6.5-9.5km) on good paths, with 1,400ft (420m) of ascent.

 

HF Holidays walks grade 4 hardHarder Walks: 7 to 9 miles (11-14.5km) with up to 2,500 feet (750m) of ascent in a day on rocky paths.

 


Day 1: Arrival day 

For those arriving on the HF Holidays' flight to Bastia the onward journey to L'île Rousse is by coach. Depending on your arrival time you may have the opportunity to settle into your room and perhaps see a little of this charming village before your evening meal. On the first evening your leaders will explain more about the walks and there will be plenty of time to meet your fellow guests.


 Day 2 : L'île Rousse

Easier Walk: We begin our walk by taking in the charm of Sant’ Antonio, a hill-top village in the heart of the Balagne region. From the village perched on high we have stunning views of the mountains and deep valleys which make this region the garden of Corsica. Our route is on good and sometimes stony tracks. We enjoy the views to the coast along the way and we pass through the pretty village of Occiglioni before descending to L'île-Rousse. 5 miles (8km) with 300ft (90m) of ascent and 1,800ft (540m) of descent.
 
Harder Walk: From the outskirts of Algajola, we make our way through pleasant farmland to the artisan village of Pigna. We will wander the village streets and alleyways to find workshops of potters and painters. From here we ascend to join a good track before descending to the pretty village of Occiglioni from where we have stunning views of the countryside and coast. We then follow the same route as the easier group back to the town and continue our walk to the headland, which is home to the lighthouse, looking back to stunning views of the harbour. 8 miles (13km) with 1,800ft (540m) of ascent.

Day 3: Calvi to the Revellata Headland

Easier Walk: Both walks head out on foot from the Citadel in Calvi to the Notre Dame de la Serra Chapel situated high above the coastal town. From there we take in the breathtaking scenery including the headland of La Revellata. The easier group diverts to the Bay of Revellata and the Plage de Alga, where there is a small café and the opportunity to brave the waters. We then follow a well defined coastal path back to Calvi where there will be time and opportunity to explore. 5 miles (8km) with 1,000ft (300m) of ascent.

Harder Walk: From the chapel the harder walk follows the paths and tracks of the headland to the oceanographic research station and the Revallata lighthouse. On our return we will have an opportunity to swim or take refreshments at the Plage de Alga before returning to Calvi past the old walls of Fort Mozello and descending through the streets to the Citadel. 9 miles (14.5km) with 1,600ft (480m) of ascent.


 Day 4: Bonifatu to Calenzana

Easier Walk: Today we head to Bonifatu. From here both groups cross the Figarella River to join the famous Mare e Monti (Sea and Mountains) long distance path. This route is dramatic with far reaching views to the mountains. Our walk continues to Bocfca Corsu where there are good views to the coast before following wide stony tracks and narrower paths. The last section of the walk follows the well-known GR20. This route takes us to the interesting village of Calenzana with its church and bell tower. Here we can enjoy well deserved refreshments. 6 miles (9.5km) with 1,100ft (330m) of ascent.

Harder Walk: The harder route leaves the Mare e Monti to make an ascent to the GR20 (Grande Route). Our climb is rewarded by stunning views to the coast and the Bay of Calvi. We follow the GR20 as it leads us across mountain streams and gulleys to Calenzana, where the long distance walkers usually start their 200km trek to Porto Vecchio in the southeast of the island. 8 miles (13km) with 1,700ft (510m) of ascent and 2,000ft (600m) of descent.


Day 5: Free day

Each week there is a free day when no guided walks are offered. This is an ideal opportunity to relax around the hotel, walk independently or visit local places of interest For more options see the Local Area tab.


Day 6: Speloncato to Santa Reparta di Balagna

Easier Walk: Both groups are transferred up the winding road to the lofty hilltop town of Speloncato, which is perched high upon a rocky outcrop with an impressive backdrop of mountains to its southeast. Initially staying together we set off through the town’s alleyways and tunnels to the viewpoint onto the rock on which the town sits. The easier group descend and cross the valley through farmland. We pass the shimmering waters of Lac de Codole before ascending onto an old mule track to the town of Santa Reparta de Balagna and a welcome drink. 6 miles (9.5km) with 1,300ft (390m) of ascent.

Harder Walk: The harder walk also crosses the fertile valley lying at the foot of the town and then the railway line, which makes its way from L'île Rousse to Bastia. We then ascend to visit the village of Monticello before traversing the hillside to Santa Reparata di Balagna. 8 miles (13km) with 1,500ft (450m) of ascent.


Day 7: Lumio

Easier Walk: Our easier walk offers the villages of the Balagne viewed at their best as we walk through the picturesque countryside amongst oleander, bougainvillaea and fruit trees. We start in the charming village of Cateri where we soon pass the honey-producing Convent de Marcasso. From here we follow an old path that links the village with its neighbour, Lavatoggio, before we make for higher ground and outstanding views over the mountains and coast. After visiting the abandoned village of Occi, we descend to pretty Lumio overlooking Calvi Bay. 5 miles (8km) with 1,000ft (300m) of ascent.
 
Harder Walk: The harder walk begins from the Convent Corbara on a good ascending track with fine views to the hill-top town of Sant’ Antonino, the jewel in the crown of the Balagne. From its lookout point, our walk unfolds before us and we can see the valley and peak en route to our destination of Lumio via the abandoned village of Occi. 9 miles (14.5km) with 2,000ft (600m) of ascent.
 

Day 8: Departure Day
 
Please note that the itinerary outlined is provisional and could be subject to change. A finalised itinerary will be available at the resort and your leaders will tell you every evening about the following day’s walks.

Local area

L’ile Rousse, originally named Isola Rossa, a natural bay, surrounded by rocky islets of red stone, which gave its name, as well as a beautiful white sandy beach.  The old town, founded in 1758, is a few minutes’ walk away and has shady old plane trees and enormous date palms in the main square.  The area was once threatened by pirates and hence the coastal areas were only inhabited by fisherman until the 17th century when merchants from Santa Reparata, Florence, started to establish shops and the current old town of Pascal Paoli was then founded. Its Italian name was eventually changed, under the French change of administration and along with Saint-Florent, is one of the only two towns that changed their names despite demands from Corsican nationalists.

Calvi -Situated in the Balagne region, which is reputedly the birthplace of Christopher Columbus. The capture of the city by British forces also cost Admiral Nelson his eye.

The town is situated on a crescent shaped bay and offers an alluring mix of history and sophistication thanks to its chic harbour and dominating medieval citadel. Have lunch on Calvi’s scenic seafront. Market day is on the first and third Thursday of the month – located near the level crossing at the back of the beach.

Citadel- Visit the well preserved medieval citadel; entry is free to visitors.  Audio guides can be hired from the tourist information office (also an art gallery) just inside the Citadel gates. 

Scandola Nature Reserve - Enjoy a scenic boat ride to the Scandola Nature Reserve.

Shops and Facilities: There is a market held every morning in a covered market place. The produce is local and fresh and includes fish, vegetables, local honey, charcuterie and cheeses. There are plenty of smart shops to browse in and small cafés and restaurants to relax in on your free day. 

Take a trip on 'Le Petit Train' a tourist train of L'Ile Rousse which will show you the sites at a leisurely pace. 

Travel

We recognise that everyone’s travel arrangements are unique, so all our holidays to Europe can be booked ‘with flight’ or ‘without flight’, giving you more flexibility and choice.

 

‘With flight’ holidays – the hassle-free option

Book your holiday ‘with flight’ from Gatwick to Bastia airport.

If you choose this option we automatically include return transfers between the airport and the hotel.

The coach transfer takes approx 2 hours to the Santa Maria Hotel.

For flight times and prices please see the Dates & Prices tab.

 

‘Without flight’ holidays the flexible travel option

We recommend joining our group flight from Gatwick to Bastia, which includes transfers, as connections with the north of Corsica are limited.

If you choose to book your own flights from your local airport transfers are not included in the price. However, below are some suggestions to help you reach your destination:

-          We can book you a seat on the HF Holidays’ transfer coach from Bastia airport. This is timed to meet the HF Holidays’ flight* (provisional flight times can be found on the dates and prices tab or you can call us on 020 8732 1220 for more information). Cost per single journey is £21.50.

-          We can book you a private taxi transfer at a cost of £180.00 per single taxi journey.

Transfers must be pre-booked.  Please call 020 8732 1220 for more details

 

 

* Please note that HF Holidays is not responsible for your onward travel if you fail to meet the transfer coach under any circumstance. 

Reviews

Date & Rating Customer Review HF Holidays says
13 Nov 2016, 7:37 p.m.

Service rating:

++

Product rating:

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Service review:

Helpful staff

Product review:

Local guide knowledgeable, V.good vegetarian meals
12 Nov 2016, 4:45 p.m.

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+

Service review:

Always a good service from HF. The holiday went very amoothly.

Product review:

Fantastic food and hotel. Perhaps Walks could have been a little longer. The guide was excellent.
10 Nov 2016, 9:25 p.m.

Service rating:

+

Product rating:

+

Service review:

Excellent hotel. Very good,clean rooms .For once the single travellers were put in best.
Local guide was brilliant. HF rep had a short fuse on several occasions.
Walks were lovely but I would have liked them to be a bit longer

Product review:

Breakfast were excellent.
Evening meal left a lot to be desired. No choice .Little veg.Hardly any fish although an island
9 Nov 2016, 6:27 p.m.

Service rating:

+

Product rating:

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Service review:

Well organised.

Product review:

Very good hotel in perfect location: right on the sea edge but close to the restaurants/food market/shops/main beach of the town. Excellent walks in very impressive scenery.
9 Nov 2016, 8:36 a.m.

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+

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Service review:

A very good and successful leisure model for affluent over 60s giving convivial company, excercise, good food and experience off the beaten track of tourism

Product review:

Wonderful countryside
21 May 2016, 11:09 a.m.

Service rating:

++

Product rating:

+

Service review:

all arrangements very well made, but disappointed no Manchester flight as in the brochure. Gatwick is awkward to reach from the North West.

Product review:

Hotel good. Easier walks were found to be more difficult than advertised or described in the briefings owing to the loose stony steep paths which encouraged some guests who struggled. Fabian was an excellent guide, but his English was sometimes hard to understand. But an enjoyable, typical H.F. Holiday.
19 May 2016, 10:04 a.m.

Service rating:

+

Product rating:

++

Service review:

Very well organised.

Product review:

Excellent and varied walking, on rough and sometimes steep tracks. A very comfortable hotel, right on the seafront. Calvi is a good option for the free day, with a with great coastal views on the local train and an interesting citadel. Good variety in the programme and great to have a local Corsican guide to add local knowledge. A very enjoyable week.
18 May 2016, 8:17 p.m.

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It all works very well.

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The hotel was in a lovely setting and very comfortable. The leaders were excellent, the scenery stunning and the walks varied.
18 May 2016, 12:21 p.m.

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Service review:

The booking process for this holiday (by telephone) was efficient and paperwork was received in very good time. Being able to check in on-line for the flight beforehand was a great advantage and the transfer between hotel and airport was smooth.

Product review:

This was a most enjoyable holiday on a beautiful island. The easier walks were quite challenging at times but, also, a very good experience passing through a variety of landscapes with beautiful views. The hotel was of a good standard, with friendly staff, in beautiful surroundings. We would definitely recommend guided walking in Corsica.
18 May 2016, 11:27 a.m.

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No review provided

Product review:

Very good all round George spoke excellent French and did some good evening events
Fabian had good knowledge of geology and biology

Read more reviews from feefo

Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Book
30 Apr 2017 PTLCL - Guided Walking Corsica
(Travel included)

Flight - Outbound

EasyJet

  • Depart: 30 Apr 2017, 6:10 a.m.
  • Arrive: 30 Apr 2017, 9:25 a.m.
  • Depart from: London Gatwick
  • Arrive at: Bastia Poretta

Flight - Return

EasyJet

  • Depart: 7 May 2017, 10:05 a.m.
  • Arrive: 7 May 2017, 11:15 a.m.
  • Depart from: Bastia Poretta
  • Arrive at: London Gatwick
7 £1,229.00 Book Now
30 Apr 2017 PTLCL - Guided Walking Corsica - Without Flights 7 £1,029.00 Book Now
7 May 2017 PTLCL - Guided Walking Corsica - Without Flights 7 £1,029.00 Book Now
7 May 2017 PTLCL - Guided Walking Corsica
(Travel included)

Flight - Outbound

EasyJet

  • Depart: 7 May 2017, 6:10 a.m.
  • Arrive: 7 May 2017, 9:25 a.m.
  • Depart from: London Gatwick
  • Arrive at: Bastia Poretta

Flight - Return

EasyJet

  • Depart: 14 May 2017, 10:05 a.m.
  • Arrive: 14 May 2017, 11:15 a.m.
  • Depart from: Bastia Poretta
  • Arrive at: London Gatwick
7 £1,229.00 Book Now
14 May 2017 PTLCL - Guided Walking Corsica - Without Flights 7 £1,079.00 Book Now
1 Oct 2017 PTLCL - Guided Walking Corsica - Without Flights 7 £1,029.00 Book Now
8 Oct 2017 PTLCL - Guided Walking Corsica - Without Flights 7 £1,029.00 Book Now
8 Oct 2017 PTLCL - Guided Walking Corsica
(Travel included)

Flight - Outbound

EasyJet

  • Depart: 8 Oct 2017, 6:10 a.m.
  • Arrive: 8 Oct 2017, 9:25 a.m.
  • Depart from: London Gatwick
  • Arrive at: Bastia Poretta

Flight - Return

EasyJet

  • Depart: 15 Oct 2017, 10:05 a.m.
  • Arrive: 15 Oct 2017, 11:15 a.m.
  • Depart from: Bastia Poretta
  • Arrive at: London Gatwick
7 £1,229.00 Book Now
15 Oct 2017 PTLCL - Guided Walking Corsica - Without Flights 7 £1,029.00 Book Now
15 Oct 2017 PTLCL - Guided Walking Corsica
(Travel included)

Flight - Outbound

EasyJet

  • Depart: 15 Oct 2017, 6:10 a.m.
  • Arrive: 15 Oct 2017, 9:25 a.m.
  • Depart from: London Gatwick
  • Arrive at: Bastia Poretta

Flight - Return

EasyJet

  • Depart: 22 Oct 2017, 10:05 a.m.
  • Arrive: 22 Oct 2017, 11:15 a.m.
  • Depart from: Bastia Poretta
  • Arrive at: London Gatwick
7 £1,229.00 Book Now

Prices are per person

Information

  • Double room for sole occupancy: £24 per night
  • All transport to walks is included in the price of the holiday
  • Non-member associate fee: £10 per person

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