Guided Walking on Corsica, France
ENJOY ENDLESS PANORAMAS OF THE GLISTENING MEDITERRANEAN AND TOWERING PEAKS
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Hills & moorland
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.
Corsica, known as the île de beauté (or beautiful island) is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean. Enjoy routes high above the sea between picturesque hilltop villages, and on the coast to La Revellata headland. Our holidays are based in the attractive seaside town of L'île Rousse.
- Enjoy endless panoramas of glistening bays and towering peaks on this gorgeous Mediterranean island
- Visit the citadel in Calvi and stop off at a secluded beach for a swim
- 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
- Head into the foothills on the famous Mare e Monti (Sea and Mountains) path
- 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
The small 3-star Santa Maria Hotel 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 a direct access to a private small sandy beach and just a short stroll to the old town with cafés, bars and shops.
|The Santa Maria Hotel has 56 en-suite bedrooms, all elegantly furnished.
All rooms are equipped:
|Due to its privileged position this hotel takes full advantage of its setting and has direct access to a private beach with sunloungers.
Santa Maria Hotel offers a restaurant, bar, WiFi thoughout, swimming pool, whirlpool, hot tub 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.
Our holidays at the Santa Maria Hotel are on a Half Board basis and include a continental breakfast and a 4 course evening meal.
There is an extensive self-service buffet with hot and cold options available.
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.
The hotel has a well-stocked bar serving beer, wine and spirits.
Lunch (payable locally)
Local shops are close by to purchase ingredients for a picnic lunch. On certain days it may be possible to purchase it locally; your leaders will advise.
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.
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.
Easier Walks: 4 to 6 miles (6.5-9.5km) on good paths, with 1,400ft (420m) of ascent.
Harder 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
Depending on your arrival time you will have the opportunity to see a little of L’Île- Rousse after lunch and before your evening meal. On the first evening our leaders will explain more about our walks and there will be plenty of time to meet with 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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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. For flight times and prices please see the Dates & Prices tab.
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.
‘Without flight’ holidays – the flexible travel option
Alternatively, tailor your journey to suit you by booking your holiday ‘without flight’ allowing you the freedom to book your own flights from your local airport.
If you choose this option, transfers are not included in the price. However, below are some suggestions to help you reach your destination:
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
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Dates & Prices
We're sorry, there are no dates available for this holiday at the moment. Please check out our other tours and breaks or call our team on 0345 470 8558 to be notified of new dates as soon as they become available.
Prices are per person
- Double room for sole occupancy: £28 per night
- All transport to walks is included in the price of the holiday
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person