One of our easier walking holidays, the Sea and Mountains has been designed for those who wish to discover some of the most stunning sights on the island whilst having the luxury of staying in only two locations, Corte and Calvi.
This tour offers a real diversity of landscapes blending high peak mountains and breathtaking coastal scenery without the stress of packing every day. You can set your own rhythm on this holiday – venture out on circular walks from both Corte and Calvi or take a break from walking and spend a day or two on the beach, the choice is yours. Highlights of the tour include the superb Tavignano gorges and its natural rock pools, the Restonica valley with its spectacular mountain lakes, the dramatic Revellata peninsular and Notre Dame de la Serra set high above Calvi.
Sea and Mountains
Duration: 8 days
Difficulty level: Moderately challenging walking with the option not to walk each day
Type: Self Guided
Start and finish point: Calvi
Departure dates: Every Sunday from May to September
Day 1: Corte, the historic capital of Corsica
After flying into Calvi, an airport transfer will be arranged to drop you off at the train station where you will catch the train to Corte. Settle into your hotel in the afternoon and enjoy dinner at an excellent local restaurant.
Day 2: The Tavignano Gorge and the natural pools
After breakfast, make your way to the citadel of Corte for the start of a stunning day's walk along the Tavignano Gorge. Reach a bridge over the Tavignano, under which you can swim in the beautiful clear waters. Return to Corte via the same route, with magnificent views down the valley.
Walking: 4 hours, distance 12km, height difference +310m
Day 3: The Restonica Gorge and the mountain lakes
After breakfast, a taxi will pick you up and take you to the shepherd's hut at Grotelle, where you will start your walk. After an ascent, you will reach a small plateau that marks your arrival at a new shepherd's hut, which in the summer season sells its own cheese. Continue to climb until you reach the Melo lake before continuing on to the lake of Capitello. Return back to the shepherd's hut at Grotelle where Theo will make you try the local charcuterie!
Walking: 4 hours, distance 4.5km, height difference +600m
Day 4: From Corte to Calvi by train
You can take the train in the morning or enjoy some more time in Corte and depart in the afternoon to Calvi. The choice is yours. The train will cross some fantastic scenery before reaching Calvi, your home for the second half of your trip. Calvi is a charming seaside town, with a lively centre during the summer. There is an old citadel and a small port lined with bars and restaurants, plus you can spend some of your time relaxing on the beach and swimming in the sea or the hotel pool. Dinner will be arranged in the centre of town.
Day 5: La Revellata light house and the coast
After breakfast, you will begin your walk from the citadel and the monument to Christopher Colombus (who was apparently born in Calvi). Your walk will take you south along the coast and onto a peninsula. You can enjoy bathing at the various secluded little beaches on the peninsula before reaching the lighthouse called the Revellata. From here you can return to Calvi along a path on the top of the peninsula.
Walking: 3 hours 30 minutes, distance 14km, height difference +430m, -430m
Day 6: The Notre Dame de la Serra above Calvi
Today you will leave the coast and take a path that takes you into the interior amongst the Corsican scrub (or maquis) until you reach the chapel of the Notre Dame de la Serra. From here the view back towards the gulf of Calvi, the citadel and the Revellata is superb. You can either return directly to Calvi from here, or continue on the path that takes you further up the mountainside.
From 2 to 4 hours of walking, depending upon which option you choose. From distance 5km, height difference +180m
Day 7: Explore Calvi
Enjoy a free day exploring the charming seaside town of Calvi. Spend time relaxing on the beach after your active trip or venture into the old citadel and marvel at the views.
Day 8: End of our Holiday
Your holiday comes to an end after breakfast. You will then be collected from your hotel and taken to the airport.
Trip grading and level of difficulty
This is a very varied week of walking that takes in the mountainous interior, the coastline and the contrasts of this intriguing island. The walks are on good footpaths and trails although terrain is often rocky and rarely flat. You need to be used to walking all day and take regular exercise to enjoy this holiday. There are many uphill and downhill sections. We describe this walk as moderate with strenuous sections and encourage walkers to use two walking poles. The paths are well trodden and way- marked but you still have to be attentive to your maps. There is also the option not to walk each day if you are looking for a slightly less strenuous trip.
Why self-guided walking?
You can walk at your own pace, choosing when and where to stop. There are often other walkers on the same itinerary that you will bump into along the way. We transport your bags between the hotels, provide maps and good walking notes. This is a way of enjoying complete flexibility, you dictate the walking pace and rhythm of your holiday.
Number of participants
From 2 people. For safety reasons we do not accept single person reservations.
- Return flights from London Stansted or Manchester
- 5 nights accommodation in 3* hotels on bed & breakfast
- 2 nights accommodation in 3* hotels on half-board
- Taxi transfer between Calvi airport and Calvi train station
- Return transfers for the walk to the lakes
- Train journey between Corte & Calvi
- Transfer from Calvi to Calvi airport
- Maps and route notes
What's not included
- Meals not stated in the trip notes
- Travel insurance
- Single & upgrade supplements
- Luggage transfers
- Train journey between Calvi & Corte approx 15€ per person
See Tour Accommodation section below.
Breakfasts are continental style and evening meals are generally traditional cuisine. We recommend that you bring your preferred trail food, or high energy bars for the walks. Picnics can be purchased daily from bakers or small supermarkets. Please ensure you make us aware of any dietary requirements at the time of booking.
Bring sufficient to cover your personal expenses including snacks and drinks. Bottled water, soft drinks, beer and wine, coffee are all expensive. It is impossible to change money here and trying to find a working cash machine can be problematic. We recommend bringing all the Euros you need with you in cash.
Preparing for your trip
It is a good idea to get fit for this trip. The more time you put in before you leave, the more you will get out of the walking. You should do regular aerobic exercise in preparation for the hills. Walking regularly with a rucksack is the best way to make sure you are fit enough for the Corsican hills and enjoy the trip to the fullest.
You can expect to encounter some very wide ranging temperatures. During the walks you should be ready for everything, take powerful sun protection, as well as warm fleeces and a gortex wind jacket. Corsica is known for its micro climates and each valley can be very different. The weather can change quickly and the mountains generate some stormy, often unpredictable weather.
What to bring and pack
- A small day pack for your water bottle, camera, picnic and waterproof
- A rucksack or suitcase for your main luggage 15kg maximum per person
- Good walking shoes or boots with a good grip sole
- Walking socks
- Warm fleece
- Shorts and t-shirts.
- Swimming costume or trunks
- 2 walking poles (optional)
- Water bottle (one litre minimum)
- Personal first aid kit with good blister protection
For your picnics:
- A good cutting knife, fork, spoon, plastic cup and plate some plastic bags
- Sun and rain protection
- Sunglasses and sun cream
- Sun hat
- Wind and waterproof jacket (Gore-tex style)
- Trainers or open sandals
- Warm fleece and casual wear
- First aid - we recommend that you bring your own personal first aid kit consisting of: antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Immodium) painkillers, plasters and blister treatment, re-hydration (Dioralite). Glucose tablets or Kendal Mint cake and multi-vitamin tablets are a good idea.
UK residents should obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before travelling. The EHIC is normally valid for three to five years and covers any medical treatment that becomes necessary during your trip, because of either illness or an accident. The card gives access to state-provided medical treatment only and you'll be treated on the same basis as an 'insured' person living in the country you're visiting. This might not cover all the things you'd expect to get free of charge from the NHS in the UK. You may have to make a contribution to the cost of your care. You can obtain an EHIC from the Department of Health by phone, online, or at the post office.