The Splendour of Corsica

The Splendour of Corsica overview

Holiday facts

Prices from: £2,235.00
Single supplement from: £505.00
Duration: 14 days
First available departure: 6 Sep 2018
Last available departure: 6 Sep 2018
Find out more about this holiday
The Splendour of Corsica

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, Ajaccio and Calvi.

Ajaccio
Bastia Harbour - © Richard Stedman-Jones
Calvi Citadel - © Richard Stedman-Jones

ITINERARY

Day 1 – London to Lyon

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

Day 2 – Onwards to Nice

Departing Lyon mid-morning, we take the direct TGV service through Marseille and onwards along the renowned French Riviera coastal line to Nice where we have 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 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 take the train 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 to Cap Corse on the northernmost tip of Corsica, a 40km long and 10km wide promontory, with several fishing villages and 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.

Day 7 – Rail to Ajaccio

Morning rail departure 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. Lunchtime arrival in Ajaccio for a 2-night stay with the remainder of the afternoon free to explore.

Day 8 – 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 the ‘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 9 – Rail to Calvi

Early morning departure by rail to Calvi. We return to Ponte Leccia where a change of train is necessary. From Ponte Leccia 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 10 & 11 – 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 Algajola or lIe Rousse.

Day 12 – Farewell to Corsica

Late morning transfer to Ile Rousse for the ferry to Toulon, arriving in time for an evening meal (included) and a 1-night stay.

Day 13 – Toulon to Lille

Today we take the direct high speed TGV service to Lille, departing mid-morning and arriving in Lille early evening for a 1-night stay.

Day 14 – Return Home

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

Price Includes

  • Accommodation in good quality hotels on a bed and breakfast basis
  • All rail travel as stated in standard class
  • All ferry travel as stated
  • All transfers as stated
  • 2 evening meals
  • Full-day excursion to Cap Corse
  • A 7-day Travel Card for unlimited travel on the island’s railways
  • Services of a tour leader from London and throughout the tour