traditional villages with mountain backdrop

Mountains & Villages of Corsica Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
Destinations:
France
Programmes:
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
TEB
Activity Rating - Moderate
Moderate

You are moderately fit and possess a spirit of adventure. Some previous experience is required for most activity based trips.

8 Days Flight Inclusive
8 Days Land only
Ages: 16+

Trip Overview

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

At a Glance

  • 7 nights in a family-run hotel with en suite facilities
  • 5 days centre-based walking; 1 free day
  • Group normally 4 to 16, plus leader
  • Well-marked trails, often rocky and uneven
  • Altitude maximum 1650m, average 800m

Trip Highlights

  • Diverse landscapes and impressive mountain scenery
  • Free day to explore the old capital Corte, or to relax on the beach at Ajaccio
  • Beautifully located family-run hotel

Is This Trip for You?

This is a mountainous area, and all of the walks involve plenty of ascent and descent; there are very few level paths. We usually walk between 5 and 7 hours per day. The area we are visiting is criss-crossed by a network of long-established trails and walking paths, most of them well maintained and way marked. Even so, paths will be rocky and walking boots with good ankle support and tread are essential for this trip. 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 800m. Maximum altitude 1650m, average 800m.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
4
Max group size:
16

Itinerary

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Bocognano.

    Start at Hotel Beauséjour in Bocognano. If there is time (after the arrival of the airport transfer), we take an orientation walk of Bocognano, exploring this picturesque village as well as some of the surrounding forest.

    Meals included:
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 5 km / 3 miles
  • 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 will continue on 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 will have our picnic lunch. In the afternoon we will 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.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 13 km / 8 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    500
    Total descent (m):
    500
  • 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.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 12 km / 7 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    650
    Total descent (m):
    310
  • 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 long train ride (approx. 65 minutes) takes us through stunning mountain scenery to Corte. From here, we will walk up the Tavignano Gorge along part of the ‘Mare a Mare’ (‘Sea to Sea’) long distance path that traverses the island from East to West. We stop for lunch beside some beautiful rock pools where, weather permitting, we can swim. We return back along the valley to Corte, allowing a little time to explore this small, but fascinating town. Return by train to Bocognano. 

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 12 km / 7 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    300
    Total descent (m):
    300
  • 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, if you wish, visit the coast. Ajaccio has beaches, shops and restaurants; you can visit the Musee Fesch (with its 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. The town has a gorgeous ambience, filled with cobbled streets, fountains and chapels and many enticing cafés and patisseries.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Train to Vizzavona from where we enjoy a walk along the famous GR20 to Bocca Palmente.

    From Bocognano a short train journey brings us to Vizzavona where we begin our walk along the famous GR20 to Bocca Palmente. This walk 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.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 18 km / 11 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    800
    Total descent (m):
    800
  • Day 7

    Walk directly 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 & 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 pasture land which affords excellent views across to Bocognano and gives us the taste of the wilder climbs of the island. You may have the opportunity to stop for a swim in the river before returning to Bocognano. Distance approx. 11km; ascent/descent approx. 600m.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 11 km / 6 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    600
    Total descent (m):
    600
  • Day 8

    End Bocognano.

    End Hotel Beauséjour in Bocognano.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotel Beauséjour - 2 Star

Our centre is the family-run 2-star Hotel Beauséjour in the heart of Bocognano; the Ferri-Pisani family have owned and run the hotel for three generations. It overlooks the valley of the Gravona River and across to the spectacular granite face of the Monte d'Oro range. The shady grounds give you time and space to relax, and are only a few minutes walk from the small town bakeries, post office, restaurants, bar, general store, tourist office and local train station. Meals are taken in the spacious dining room in authentic 1920's décor. There is a communal room for general use. The single and twin rooms are in traditional provincial style and are all en suite.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Single supplement from £150.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

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 experience local restaurants. Typical meals are usually: Breakfast: Orange juice, croissant, fresh French bread, butter, jam, coffee/tea. Lunch: Picnic lunches will consist 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, followed by a dessert. Corsica is famous for charcuteries and brocciu cheeses, 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 please note that the options are more limited, with the evening meal normally pasta or omelette-based.

Transportation

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

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

The best weather for walking in Corsica comes in the late spring/early summer, late summer and early autumn. Average daily temperatures in May and June range from 21ºC to 28ºC and in September from 20ºC to 26ºC. The days are usually clear and fresh, avoiding the sultry humidity of mid-Summer. As with all mountainous regions there is always the possibility of rain, and when it does, it can be very heavy. Therefore it is necessary to have a fleece and good quality waterproofs at the ready. Please note that mountains can always make their own weather and as a result, we may occasionally be forced to amend the itinerary for parts of the holiday. For this reason, you will need everything from bathing gear and sunscreen to a warm layer and good quality waterproofs.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 8 days

The group flight from London is a daytime flight departing on Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London

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 one of our specialist sales staff or your agent 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 6 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% of the original holiday price, you will be given the right to cancel.

Please note that many destinations now require Advanced Passenger Information (API), such as your passport number, date of birth and nationality, to be added to your booking before departure.

Travelling land only: 8 days starting and ending in Bocognano

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Bocognano in the morning of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.

As advice about luggage allowances for both hand and hold luggage is subject to change, we suggest you check the airline's website for the latest information prior to your departure. The usual, standard check-in baggage weight allowance is 20kg.

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

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.

Transfers Details

Airport transfers are included for those on the group flights. Please note that transfers are not included for clients arriving on any other flight, even if Exodus has booked it. 

If you require airport transfers, you may (by prior arrangement only) be able to join the group transfer. Transfers are arranged to coincide with the arrival time of the group flight ‐ please check the group flight details 2 weeks before departure. If you do not take this transfer, or miss it, you must make your own way to the joining point at your own expense.

Whilst it is possible to reach Bocognano by public transport (bus to Ajaccio train station and train to Bocognano), this can be quite challenging particularly on a Sunday. We, therefore, recommend joining the group transfer at the airport. 

The cost of a taxi is likely to be about £160 (approx. US$260) should you decide to make your way independently.

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
Sun hat, sun cream, sunglasses
A warm sweater or fleece
Daysack of 25 litre capacity and 1.5 - 2 litre water bottle

Optional Equipment

Trekking poles

Swimsuit

Reading List

David Abram (2009), The Rough Guide to Corsica.
Dorothy Carrington (1971), Granite Island : A Portrait Of Corsica, Longmans

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.

Corsica

Practical Information

Passport

France

Most nationalities, including British, require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Passports: check if you need to renew

You may need to renew your British passport earlier if you’re travelling from 1 January 2021.

On the day you travel, you’ll need your passport to both:

  • have at least 6 months left
  • be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left)

Certain European nationalities may be able to travel within Europe on their national identity card. Check carefully with the relevant authorities if you intend to do this.

Visa

France

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

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.

Vaccination

France

There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

As we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

UK-issued European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) are still valid and offer the same cover as GHICs 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, you’ll be able to replace it with a GHIC.

Local Time

France's Timezone:
Europe/Paris CEST (GMT +02:00)

Electricity

France's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins. 230 Volts AC.

Money

France's Currency

The national currency of France is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (October 2017) of approximately 1.1 to the GBP,  0.84 to the USD, 0.67 to the CAD, 0.66 to the AUD and 0.59 to the NZD.

ATM Availability

Cash machines are available at Ajaccio and Corte, however we would 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 as well as 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.

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.

Responsible Tourism

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… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake 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.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances 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.

On all trips

In 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 you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

 

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 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.

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; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, 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.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

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. Book with confidence: 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 monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.