Around Cap Corse

Tour  

Tours St Florent & the North East  |  Bastia

Self-guided walking tour - 8 day holiday, incl. 6 days walking

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Off the beaten track, the Cap Corse peninsular is a real undiscovered gem. Now a marine national park, its outstanding natural beauty is sure to enchant you.

Starting on the west coast, in the busy harbour village of Maccinaggio, this walking tour will explore seaside villages, deserted beaches, coastal paths and remote Mediterranean wilderness before heading south to the lively seaside town of St Florent.
 

Around Cap Corse

Duration: 8 days / 7 nights

Walking: 6 days

Difficulty level: Moderate

Type: Self-guided

Start and finish point: Maccinaggio - St Florent

Departure dates: Departures on Sundays: mid April - end Sept, Thursdays: May - mid Sept

Day 1 - Macinaggio

Start with a short transfer to Maccinaggio to check-in to your hotel. Maccinaggio is a delightful port to the north of Bastia, with its Genoese watchtower. Take it easy by the pool at the hotel or take the historical path to discover the village, before heading out to dinner in one of the delightful restaurants in this sleepy sea. There is a choice of restaurants in Maccinaggioside village.

Distance (optional depending on time) 6km, duration 2.30 hours, altitude gain +250m, descent -250m.

Overnight: Hôtel U Riccordu 4* or similar, Maccinaggio on bed and breakfast basis.

 

Day 2 - Macinaggio to Barcaggio

Today you will follow the customs officers path ‘chemin des douaniers’ around the remote Cap Corse, passing naturally preserved beaches and abandoned watchtowers which have played witness to the battles fought for this island. This walk is captivating, through a wild and natural landscape. Take a beautiful boat journey back to Macinaggio at end of the day.

Distance 13km, duration 4 hours, altitude gain +220m, descent -220m.

Overnight: Hôtel U Riccordu 4* or similar, Maccinaggio on bed and breakfast basis.

 

Day 3 - Barcaggio - Centuri

Start with a short transfer back to Barcaggio. The path is more challenging from here on, as you head around the coastal cliffs from Barcaggio. The west coast of the Cap Corse has high grey cliffs that plunge into the sea. The path hugs the relief and from here you can see the islets that offer natural reserves for rare wildlife. Finish at the sleepy port of Centuri.

Distance 12km, duration 4.30 hours, altitude gain +500m, descent -500m.

Overnight: Hôtel de la Jetée 2* or similar, Centuri on half board basis.

 

Day 4 - Centuri - Sénèque

Today takes in some of the more remote paths of the Cap Corse. Climb past the Moulin Mattei towards the wind farm on the ridge. While following the ridge, you will have fabulous views across the cap, passing convents, age-old mines and chapels, before reaching the Seneque tower.

Distance 17km, duration 6.30 hours, altitude gain +900m, descent -500m.

Overnight: Gîtes de Sénèque, on half board basis (chambre d'hotes) + picnic for the next day.

 

Day 5 -  Sénèque to Canari

From Seneque, the walk continues on the ridge, high above the villages that nestle along the coast. The views of this natural reserve are simply stunning, and it is easy to see why people call this 'the island within the island'. Descend to the village of Canari, passing sights that are testament to the age of this land.

Distance 17km, duration 6.30 hours, altitude gain +950m, descent -1050m.

Overnight: I Fiorretti or similar, Canari, on half board basis (chambre d'hotes).

 

Day 6 - Canari - Nonza

From Canari, head further south where the scenery is dramatic and contrasting, crossing a genoese bridge before we reach the hamlet of Ogliastro. From here, the scenery changes to maquis, and we'll pass chapels before dropping down to Nonza, with its dark pebble beach and Pisan tower. The village is the perfect picture postcard, and home to an Ecomuseum dedicated to the original lemon, the Cedrat, cultivated in the Cap Corse. Finish with a short transfer to St Florent.

Distance 15km, duration 6 hours, altitude gain +900m, descent -1050m.

Overnight: Dolce Notte 3* or similar, St Florent on bed and breakfast basis.

 

Day 7 - Agriates & Mortello tower

Journey by boat from the harbour in St Florent (included) to the beautiful deserted beach at Lodu, or walk to Saleccia beach. The water is crystal-clear and turquoise and the beaches are stunningly wild. For a longer walk, from here walk back along the remote Agriates coastline, pass the shattered Mortello tower and lighthouse towards St Florent, crossing small creeks on the way; the views are simply stunning.

Distance 13km, duration 4.30 hours, altitude gain +150m, descent -150m.

Overnight: Dolce Notte 3* or similar, St Florent on bed anad breakfast basis.

 

Day 8: Departure from Bastia

Your holiday comes to an end at your hotel after breakfast. You will be collected from your hotel and taken to the airport. 


Please note: This itinerary is an example of the itinerary we aim to adhere to, correct at time of publication. Should situations arise that are beyond our control, such as severe weather conditions, or other factors that could put your safety at risk, it may be possible for the itinerary to be modified.

Trip grading and level of difficulty

The walks are on good footpaths and trails, and the terrain is varied. You need to be used to walking all day and take regular exercise to enjoy this holiday.

Why choose a self-guided walking holiday?

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 two people. For safety reasons we do not accept single person reservations.

What's included

  • Return flights from Stansted or Manchester to Bastia
  • 3 nights accommodation on half board
  • 4 nights accommodation on bed and breakfast
  • Return airport transfers
  • Transfers on the walk
  • Luggage transfers between hotels on the walk
  • Map and route notes.

What's not included

  • Meals not stated in the trip notes
  • Drinks
  • Travel insurance
  • Return airport transfers from/to other arrival airports

Luggage moving and day sack

You will need to carry a day sack only, with your water bottle, camera, picnic and gortex jacket. Our bag-moving service means you can travel light during your walks, just taking with you what you need for the day. Your main luggage will be transported by vehicle between the different night stops by a variety of different people. This ranges from local taxis, hotel owners and our own staff. We ask you to please limit your main luggage to around 15kg per bag to facilitate the driver loading it in and out of a transfer vehicle.

It is important to consider that it may be necessary to carry your bags short distances at the start and towards the end of your holiday. You will need the appropriate luggage.

Accommodation

See Tour Accommodation section below. 

Meals

Breakfasts are continental style. Evening meals are three-course affairs using local produce. 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. 

Spending money

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.

Climate

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 weatherproof 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 weatherproof
  • 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 attire
  • Towel
  • Walking poles (optional)
  • Water bottle (one litre minimum)
  • For your picnics: a good cutting knife, fork, spoon, plastic cup and plate some plastic bags
  • Sun and rain protection
  • Sunglasses and sun cream
  • Weatherproof jacket
  • 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, diarrhea treatment, painkillers, plasters and blister treatment and re-hydration supplements. Glucose tablets or malt loaf 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

About the Local Area

ABOUT AREA

Bastia is one of Corsica’s most successful commercial towns and known as the capital of Haute Corse. The Place St Nicolas is a pleasant spot to soak up Bastia's Mediterranean atmosphere and with its shady trees and cafes, is the social hub of the town. The Boulevard Paoli and Rue Cesar Campinchi are the main shopping streets running parallel to the square. The old town lies south of Place St Nicolas and surrounds the old port which should not be missed. It is overlooked by the honey coloured Citadel and bustles with harbour side bars and restaurants. Wander through the old streets behind the old port to find the Place du Marche where there is a local farmers market each morning.

BEACHES

Bastia
The main beach in the town of Bastia is a pebbly one, and it can get very busy with the locals in the summer months. The sandy Plage de l'Arinella, south of the town, is the beginning of a long sandy shore that extends along the whole of the east coast with water sports, beachside cafés and restaurants.

Moriani Plage
A 14km stretch of golden sand and gently shelving waters south of Bastia, Moriani Plage has various access points with several beach bars and water sports available.

Plage de Porticciolo
North of Erbalunga lies Plage de Porticciolo, a sandy beach near a small port which has turquoise sea and white sand. Its position means that it is rarely busy, and it is beautiful.

Plage d’Aliso
The narrow road down to the golfe d’Aliso just after the turn off for Luri, ends at a small, red, sandy beach.

Plage de Tamarone
Situated 2.5km north of Macinaggio at the end of a dirt road is the sandy and clean Plage de Tamarone that boasts deep and clear waters. Do not be surprised if the beach at Macinaggio itself is often covered with shelves of dead posidonia leaves as, although unattractive to wade through, they protect the coast from erosion and shelter the fish.  From the car park here, various walks are marked which take you through Le Site Naturels de la Capandula.  This reserve also includes the Islands off the coast, which you can see.  There is a coastal walk (sentier des douaniers) leading to Barcaggio (3-4hours one way) and also a shorter 1hr 30min circuit that takes in many of the highlights and leads to a second beach Plage des Iles.

FESTIVALS

Rock' Inseme  Biguglia, June
A rock and pop music festival bringing together recognised artists and up-an-coming bands.

Fiera di u Vinu – Luri, July
A lively festival celebrating the wine produced in the Cap Corse region.

A Notte di a Memoria – The Relève du Gouverneur - Bastia, July
A re-enactment of the arrival of the French governor with a light and drum parade through the streets of the citadel.

Les Nuits de la Guitare – Patrimonio, July
The amphitheatre in the village of Patrimonio is the setting for this popular festival that takes place every July and draws stars from the world of guitar, be it jazz, flamenco, blues or rock.

Porto Latino - St Florent, August
A hot Latin festival with nightly open-air concerts held in the citadel.

Festival de la Chanson/Corse Pascal Paoli – Furiani, August
Corsican singing concerts.

Festival de Musique – Erbalunga, August 
An established music festival showing off some of the greatest national and local talents.

THINGS TO SEE & DO

Bastia
Capital of Haute Corse and just a 15 minute drive from Erbalunga is Bastia, a busy town with a population of 50,000, making it the second largest town on the island. The Place St Nicolas is a pleasant spot to soak up Bastia’s Mediterranean atmosphere and with its shady trees and cafes is the social hub of the town. The Boulevard Paoli and Rue César Campinchi are the main shopping streets running parallel to the square. The old town lies south of Place St Nicolas and surrounds the old port which should not be missed. It is overlooked by the high honey-coloured Genoese Citadel (quite a climb) and bustles with harbourside bars and restaurants. Wander through the old streets behind the old port to find the Place du Marché where there is a local farmers market each morning and the church of St Jean Baptiste, Corsica's largest church is well worth a visit.

Drive around Cap Corse
Often called an island within an island, the Cap Corse is a maquis covered peninsula whose history sets it apart from the rest of the island. Tiny ports divide the east side as the western villages are sited on rugged cliffs. On the west of Cap Corse, narrow roads wind above a dramatically serrated coastline, dotted with little coves, whilst the sea washes on the rocks below and woods and maquis outline the peaks above. A complete circuit of the Cap Corse will take you about four hours (without stops) and we recommend that you always drive in a clockwise direction so that you are always in the inside lane (the road can be narrow and winding and the drops are precipitous and rather scary!).

Erbalunga
Just past Bastia, approx 1hr drive, the fishing port of Erbalunga on the eastern coast clings to a little jagged promontory, opal waves slapping against gaudy fishing boats. The pedestrianised village has many cafés and restaurants and a Genoese tower on the headland and is the home of a Jazz festival in August.​

Patrimonio
Spend a leisurely afternoon visiting a vineyard in the pretty village of Patrimonio, and tasting the superb wines. The Patrimonio region is most famous for its vineyards, much of Corsica’s best wine being produced in this area. You will find dozens of vineyards to visit and the proprietors are happy to welcome you and offer you their wines to sample. There is now a ‘route des vins’, which will lead you to all the vineyards.

St Florent
The sparkling, sheltered bay of St Florent lies between the Cap Corse and the Désert des Agriates. At first sight St Florent appears to be a bustling, attractive waterfront town, with boats, bars, excellent fish restaurants and an almost permanent game of boules in the square, but stroll into the old town and you discover a charming, ageless quarter of old houses, little shops and wine bars. There are pretty squares and quiet corners, with the sea always nearby!