Current as of: July 23, 2024 - 12:23

Mountains & Villages of Corsica

Mountains & Villages of Corsica Trip Notes

  • Ways to Travel: Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
  • Destination: France
  • Programmes: Walking & Trekking
  • Activity Level:

    3 out of 7 - Moderate

  • 8 Days: Flight Inclusive
  • 8 Days: Land Only
  • Ages: 16+
  • Trip Code: TEB
  • Carbon Footprint: 25kg CO2e

Trip Overview

Walk through the diverse landscapes of Corsica

Caught between France and Italy, yet with its own cuisine, culture and language, Corsica is a land of dramatic beauty. With sandy Mediterranean beaches just 25mi (40km) from pink-granite peaks, it offers a range of terrains in a small, diverse island full of surprises. Based in the village of Bocognano, the quaint mountain railway gives easy access to some of the best walking routes on the island, covering mountain passes, rockpools and pine forests in the central highlands.

At a Glance

  • Seven nights in a family-run hotel
  • Five days of walking; one free day
  • Group normally 4 to 16, plus leader
  • Well-marked trails, often rocky and uneven
  • Altitude maximum: 5,415ft (1,650m); average: 2,625ft (800m)

Highlights

  • Enjoy diverse landscapes and impressive mountain scenery
  • Spend a free day exploring the old capital, Corte, or relaxing on the beach at Ajaccio
  • Stay at a beautifully located family-run hotel

Is This Trip for You?

This trip is graded Activity Level 3 (Moderate). For more information on our trip gradings please visit our Activity Level Guidelines page. If you have any queries about the difficulty of the trip please do not hesitate to contact us.

This is a mountainous area, and all the walks involve plenty of ascents and descents; there are very few level paths. We usually walk between five and seven hours per day. The area we are visiting is criss-crossed by a network of long-established trails and walking paths, most well maintained and way marked. Even so, paths will be rocky and walking boots with good ankle support and tread are essential. One of the walks involves a short steep walk/scramble up a rocky section, but this is optional and generally within the capabilities of most walkers. The maximum height gain and loss is 2,625ft (800m). Altitude maximum: 5,415ft (1,650m); average: 2,625ft (800m)

Adult min age: 16

Min group size: 4

Max group size: 16

Itinerary

Map TEB

Land Only

  • Start City: Bocognano
  • End City: Bocognano

Land Only Itinerary

Day 1
Start Bocognano

We start at Hotel Beauséjour in Bocognano. If there is time, we take an orientation walk, exploring this picturesque village and some of the surrounding forest.

Distance covered: 3mi (5km)

Meals included: Dinner

Day 2
Train to Tavera; woodland walk to ancient menhir (standing stone). Train back to Bocognano; circular walk to Cascade du Voile de la Mariee

A gentle start to the week involves a 45-minute walk from Tavera station through woods and fields to the ancient menhir (megalithic standing stone). We continue to the ruins of the medieval fort just above, with stunning views of the Gravona valley. We then return to Tavera and take the train back to Bocognano, where we have our picnic lunch. In the afternoon, we walk along the quiet country lane that contours the wooded hillsides to a point just below the Bride’s Veil waterfall – the highest in Corsica. It’s particularly dramatic in spring and early summer. From here, it’s a steep ascent on a narrow path through woods back to Bocognano.

Distance covered: 8mi (13km)

Ascent: 1,640ft (500m); Descent: 1,640ft (500m); Activity hours: 3hr 30min-4

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3
Train journey to Vivario; walk to Tattone and onto the Vecchio River where it may be possible to swim. Ascend to Vizzavona and train to Bocognano

After taking the train to Vivario, we begin our walk across a ridge to the ruins of a French fort with fine views of Monte d’Oro to the west and the Tavignano valley to the east. We then descend through a forest to Camping Savaggio, and on to the village of Tattone. From there, a short steep descent takes us to the Vecchio River, where it may be possible to swim in one of the many beautiful rock pools. Our walk then takes us along a rocky path up the river valley to Abri Southwell – site of one of the earliest known settlements in Corsica. We cross the river and make the short ascent through the forest to Vizzavona, returning by train to Bocognano.

Distance covered: 7mi (12km)

Ascent: 2,133ft (650m); Descent: 1,017ft (310m); Activity hours: 4hr 30min

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4
Train to Corte; walk along the rugged Tavignano valley and back to the historic town of Corte. Return by train to Bocognano

A train ride (approximately 65 minutes) takes us through stunning mountain scenery to Corte. From here, we walk up the Tavignano Gorge along part of the Mare a Mare (Sea to Sea), a long distance path traversing the island from east to west. We stop for lunch next to beautiful rock pools where, weather permitting, we can swim. We return along the valley to Corte, allowing a little time to explore this small but fascinating town. Options include visiting the citadel, a fortified château founded on a rocky peak in 1419. To go inside, you will need to purchase a ticket to the Musée de la Corse, an anthropological museum in the barracks below. Alternatively, explore the historic centre, stopping at one of the many cafes, gelaterias and restaurants or have a swim in the Tavignano or Restonica rivers. After, catch the train to Bocognano.

Distance covered: 7mi (12km)

Ascent: 984ft (300m); Descent: 984ft (300m); Activity hours: 4hr 15min

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5
Free day for an optional trip by train to Ajaccio and its beaches or to relax in Bocognano

There are various options for your free day; you can relax around the hotel, travel further across the island or visit the coast. Ajaccio has beaches, shops and restaurants; you can explore the Musee Fesch (home to an outstanding collection of Italian paintings), follow in the footsteps of Napoleon around the city or take a bus ride along the coast. The mountain town of Corte, the nationalist centre of the island, offers the spectacular sight of the citadel and an excellent collection in the museum highlighting Corsican culture.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 6
Train to Vizzavona from where we walk along the GR20 to Bocca Palmente

From Bocognano, a short train journey brings us to Vizzavona, where we begin our walk along the GR20 to Bocca Palmente. This route includes sections through pine and beech forest and spectacular views out to Monte d’Oro and the east coast. There may be the opportunity for an optional extension to the clear water of the Cascades des Anglais rockpools.

Distance covered: 11mi (18km)

Ascent: 2,625ft (800m); Descent: 2,625ft (800m); Activity hours: 3hr 45min

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7
Walk from the hotel to the Gravona River; walk along the Gorge of Richjusa and back to Bocognano

A walk through Bocognano village takes us east and then north along quiet country lanes to the Gravona River. On the other side, a small but well-trodden path takes us alongside the Gorge of Richjusa, below an impressive face of granite and high pastureland, which affords excellent views across to Bocognano and gives us a taste of the wilder climbs in Corsica. You may have the opportunity to stop for a swim in the river before returning to Bocognano.

Distance covered: 7mi (11km)

Ascent: 1,969ft (600m); Descent: 1,969ft (600m); Activity hours: 3hr

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8
End Bocognano

The adventure ends after breakfast. Speak to your sales representative if you’d like to extend your stay or begin your return journey home.

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotel Beau Séjour, a family-run hotel in Bocognano

Mountains & Villages of Corsica

We stay at Beau Séjour, a family-run hotel in the heart of Bocognano. It’s been owned and run by the Ferri-Pisani family for three generations and overlooks the valley of the Gravona river and across to the spectacular granite face of the Monte d’Oro range.

The shady hotel grounds give you space to relax and you’re only a few minutes’ walk from a choice of restaurants, a bar, general store, tourist office and the train station.

Our meals are taken in the spacious hotel dining room, which has authentic 1920s décor, and there is a communal room for general use. The single and twin rooms are in a traditional provincial style.

Single supplement from £ 180

Food & Drink

The trip includes all breakfasts, five picnic lunches and six evening meals.

Evening meals are taken in the hotel and are arranged as a menu for the whole group. The evening meal on your free day is not included, allowing you to try the local restaurants.

Typical meals are:

  • Breakfast: Orange juice, croissant, fresh French bread, butter, jam, coffee/tea, cereals, boiled eggs, and ham
  • Lunch: Picnics of a filled baguette and fruit
  • Evening meals: A first course of soup or a starter (often salad or charcuterie); a main course usually with meat, sometimes fish; and a dessert.

Corsica is famous for charcuteries and brocciu cheese, fresh local herbs, gamey meats and fish, which usually feature in the evening meals. The evening meal does not include drinks. Vegetarians can be catered for, but the options are more limited, with the evening meal normally pasta or omelette-based.

Transport

Transfers to and from the airport will be in a private vehicle. On other days, we use trains.

Weather & Seasonality

The best weather for walking in Corsica comes in late spring/early summer, late summer and early autumn. Average daily temperatures in May and June range from 21C to 28C (70 to 82F) and in September from 20C to 26C (68F to 79F). The days are usually clear and fresh, avoiding the sultry humidity of midsummer. The average summer temperature at sea level is 26C (79F) and slightly lower in Bocognano and in the interior mountains. Sunshine can change substantially the heat perception.

As with all mountainous regions, there is always the possibility of rain, and it can be very heavy when it comes. Therefore, it is necessary to have a fleece and good quality waterproofs at the ready. Please note, mountains can always make their own weather and, as a result, we may occasionally be forced to amend sections of the itinerary. For this reason, you will need everything from bathing gear and sunscreen to a warm layer and good quality waterproofs.

Joining Instructions

Key information

Start hotel: Hotel Beauséjour, 20136 Bocognano
Phone: +33 4 95 27 40 26
Recommended arrival time: You can arrive at any time today. There will be a welcome briefing in the evening, but if you miss it the leader will update you separately
Airport: Ajaccio Airport (AJA)

Getting to the start hotel

The start hotel is approximately 50 minutes’ drive from the airport. Your options for this journey are:

Take an Exodus transfer
Exodus provides one group arrival transfer from the airport, which is timed to coincide with the arrival of a chosen flight from London, UK. You may join this transfer at no extra cost, provided you can be at the airport before the transfer leaves. Speak to your sales representative for the group arrival transfer times or to arrange a private transfer.

Make your own way
It’s possible to reach the start hotel by public transport, but the journey is a little inconvenient. We therefore recommend joining the group transfer where possible. If not, a cab from the airport to the start hotel costs about €180. On arrival at the hotel, please make the reception staff aware that you are part of an Exodus group and they will have more details on meeting with your leader and group.

If you would like further information on joining this trip, please speak to your sales representative.

Catching your return flight

There’s a group departure transfer to the airport for customers who Exodus booked onto a chosen flight to London, UK. Please speak to your sales representative if you wish to join. If the group departure transfer does not suit your flight time, speak to your sales representative to arrange an alternative transfer.

Flights from London, UK

We normally use the scheduled services of EasyJet or Air Corsica (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly, we recommend you call your sales representative to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note, timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

Due to Easyjet’s booking system, we can only purchase flights six months before the date of your departure. If you book your trip before this date, a booking confirmation will be sent to you advising that flights are subject to confirmation. We will then secure the flights as soon as they become available. In the case that flights are not available at the original budgeted cost once they are released for sale, a flight supplement will be charged. If the supplement exceeds 10 percent of the original holiday price, you will be given the right to cancel.

Alternative airports

Depending on your location, you may find it easier to fly into Bastia, which is on the trainline and 2hr 30min from Bocognano.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start: Bocognano
Location end: Bocognano

What To Take

Essential Equipment

In addition to your normal daily clothes, you will need the following essential items:

  • Walking boots with good ankle support and tread
  • Good quality waterproof/windproof jacket and trousers (pants)
  • Sun hat, sunscreen, sunglasses
  • Warm sweater or fleece
  • Daysack (around 25 litre capacity)
  • Large water bottle

Optional Equipment

  • Trekking poles
  • Swimsuit

Reading List

Maps

The best maps for an overview of the island are the 1:50000 Les Tracks Grand Air, Didier Richard, sheet 23 Corse du Sud and sheet 20 Corse du Nord. More detailed maps are available in the I:25000 IGN TOP25 series. Sheets 4252 OT and 4251 OT include most of the area covered during our programme of organised walks.

Practical Information

Visa

France

Travellers from the UK, US and EU normally do not need a visa to enter France. Please note, visa requirements often change and it is your responsibility to obtain any required visas for this trip. Therefore, we recommend that you check with the nearest embassy or consulate of your chosen destination(s), including any countries you may be transiting or transferring through.
Some local governments provide guidance on what visas their citizens need. To help, we’ve gathered a selection of useful links below.
• Australia: www.smartraveller.gov.au/destinations/europe/france
• Canada: www.travel.gc.ca/destinations/france
• United Kingdom: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/france/entry-requirements
• USA:  www.travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/France.html

Vaccinations and Health

France

There are no required vaccinations. However, you may want to consider vaccinations for tetanus, rabies and tick-borne encephalitis. Please confirm with your doctor or travel clinic.

Ticks are known to be present in this region and can carry lyme disease, tick-borne encephalitis and other diseases. Please take care to protect yourself. You can read more about ticks here.

If you’re a UK citizen, please note that your UK-issued European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) are still valid and offer the same cover as the Global Health Insurance Cards (GHIC) in the EU. This gives you medical care at a reduced cost, and in some cases for free, in many European countries, but should not be considered a substitute for adequate insurance. Once your EHIC has expired, replace it with a GHIC.

Local Time

France's time zone: Europe/Paris (UTC +02:00)

Electricity

France's electricity: Plug types C (two round pins, European standard) and E (two round pins) – 230V, 50Hz

Mountains & Villages of Corsica

Money

France's currency: Euros (EUR)

ATM Availability

Cash machines are available at Ajaccio and Corte; however, we advise taking some euros in cash with you.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

Corsica is expensive. You should allow about €50 for meals not included. In addition, you will need about €5-€8 per day for drinks and snacks. About €100 to €150 should be sufficient to cover the above plus your bar bill at the end of the week, plus souvenirs, optional excursions/entry fees during your free day, depending on what you buy or do.

Local taxes: French hotels have to apply a taxe de sejour to all overnight guests. This fee varies depending on the hotel category, the season and number of days of stay. It is usually between €0.50 and €1.50 per person per night. For this trip, we recommend allowing €1.40 per night. This will be payable directly to the hotel.

Optional excursions

Citadel and Corse Museum in Corte entrance: €5.50

Tipping

Although optional, a tip for the leader at the end of the trip is greatly appreciated. The sum you choose to give is entirely personal, but as a reasonable starting point, we suggest a contribution from €15 to €20 per person for the leader.

People, Places & Planet

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here

Important Information

Water safety

This trip includes time by a lake, river or sea, where there may be opportunities to swim. You should always seek local advice before deciding whether to swim. Open-water or wild swim spots should be treated with extreme caution. Information on how to keep yourself safe while swimming is shown here.

Important Information

Your safe participation 

When booking this trip, you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability, please call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary. 

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely take part in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity. 

By booking this trip you agree to our Booking Conditions which clearly state that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these rare instances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred. 

How to Book

  1. Check availability: Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.
  2. Secure your place: You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.
  3. Complete your booking and payment

When you’re ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque.

After booking

You will receive your booking confirmation letter and invoice, which includes extra information and guidance about your travel arrangements.

Full joining instructions, including local emergency numbers and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately two to three weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier, please contact our office or your travel agent.

Trip Note validity

These Trip Notes are valid from the “Current as” date on page one. They will occasionally be updated after booking and before departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary, customers will be written to separately. They will also receive a link to the most up-to-date Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions before travelling.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons – climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best-possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

Licensing

Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582, issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA – The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all money paid to us for your trip is fully protected.