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Bastia or Ajaccio

Aberdeen, United...
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Bastia or Ajaccio

Going on a cycle tour of Corsica towards the end of June.

We are starting in Bastia then heading round cape corse.We then pland to go down the West coast to Porto and possibly Ajjacio.

We will then head back up the interior via Corte to Bastia.

I have 2 questions

Would it be worth heading down to Ajjacio and having a night there or will we be doing needless miles ? Or would Bastia be good for a night out at the end of our tour ?

Also what kind of temperatures should we expect as we will be fairly high up and will be camping every night ?

We will be cycling for 7 days so any recommendations for must see/avoid places would be most welcome.

Thanks

Edited: 23 May 2014, 13:49
middle england
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1. Re: Bastia or Ajaccio

As far as the two towns are concerned, most would rate Ajaccio more attractive than Bastia. I'm not sure what you mean when you say "good for a night out". Generally, Corsica is not known for its night life. If you want night life, you would be better of in Majorca. The route you have chosen is really quite good - Cap Corse is a great introduction to Corsica. A short detour to Centuri Port is recommended. However, going anti-clockwise from Bastia does mean you'll be on the coast side of the road all the way so a good head for heights is necessary - also for much of the west coast. I don't know how many miles a day you will be doing so its difficult to comment in too much detail. One unmissable place on the west coast is Les Calanches between Porto and Piana. There are lots of detours you can take on your route if you get ahead of your time table. Be prepared for hot weather in June. Quite a lot of your route is not particularly high up. Generally I would suggest you take it fairly easy and enjoy the unique experience of Corsica.

Florida
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2. Re: Bastia or Ajaccio

Bastia would get my vote. It seems like a long ride to Ajaccio for just a night. We have just come back from Corsica, and we loved Bastia. It has a lovely harbour, lined with cafes and restaurants, a very interesting citadel with narrow streets and great views of the harbour. Cap Corse has some of the most beautiful scenery we have ever seen. A plus for cycling is that you won't have problems with parking in some of the small villages! I am sure you will have a great time.

Aberdeen, United...
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3. Re: Bastia or Ajaccio

Thanks for the replies

Our plan so far is

Day 1 Bastia to St Florent 68 Miles

Day 2 St Florent to Calvi 41 Miles

Day 3 Calvi to Porto 40 Miles

Day 4 Porto to Ajaccio 48 Miles

This leaves us 3 Days to get back to Bastia. Obviously we want to avoid the main/busy roads so this rules out the N193.

What route would you take so we can see some spectacular scenery and villages ? We want to spend the night in Corte and would like to spend the other night in a campsite in our close to a nice town or Village. We will then spend our last night just outside Bastia beside the Lagoon so we are close to the airport for our flight home.

Our bicycles will be fully loaded with tents etc so on top of the bike we will have around 16KG of cargo.

Does our route include some serious hills ?

We are not going on a cycle/camping trip so we can go out and party ,when is say "Nightout" I mean a bottle of wine with a good meal and maybe a couple of beers if we are not sleeping by then.

Thanks again

Aberdeen, United...
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4. Re: Bastia or Ajaccio

PS

Should we maybe miss out Ajaccio and concentrate on another area ???

London, United...
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5. Re: Bastia or Ajaccio

I would definitely skip Ajaccio and take your time getting to Corte from Porto, and then on to Bastia perhaps via the Castagniccia (NW of Corte, south of Bastia) where there are more small roads. There are only two routes over the top to Corte; the N193 via Vizzavona (1100m) on the main road from Ajaccio, and the D84 from Porto over the Col de Vergio (nearly 1,500m) both amid peaks of 2,500m. You are talking serious mountain country, so you can't avoid serious climbs. Check out for example tacx.com/en/…col-de-vergio-porto-corsica.

You could stop over at Evisa, close to the pass, or at Calacuccia, well below it, before heading to Corte.

Aberdeen, United...
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6. Re: Bastia or Ajaccio

What Road is the most interesting and best fun on our bikes - The D 81 Porto to Cargese or even Plein Soleil which would take us through Piana on our way to Evisa or the D124 and D84 through Ota to Evisa - Am I right in thinking both will take us over Col De Vergio?

Looks like we have time to go South to Cargese so it's not about the quickest or easiest route, we want to see the best scenery and villages.

Thanks

Aberdeen, United...
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7. Re: Bastia or Ajaccio

*Also what route takes us past Gorges du Spelunca ?

London, United...
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8. Re: Bastia or Ajaccio

The D84 goes along the Gorges de Spelunca at the bottom, though above it. You can get down to the gorge either by going through Ota village on the north side of the river, leaving your bikes at the bridge over the river, and going for a hike, then (having crossed the river) going up on your bikes to join the main road to take you over the top; or by taking the small side road from the main road onthe south side of the river.

Either of these would be the more scenic route overall, but you would miss the Calanches, which is spectacular, on the way to Piana. You might consider a side trip there, although it's probably not much fun on a bike - narrow road with lots of parked cars and coaches manoeuvering round the bends with difficulty.

Porto to Cargese, after Piana, is nothing special by Corsican standards, though it is a good road for cars.

Aberdeen, United...
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9. Re: Bastia or Ajaccio

We definetly don't want to miss the Calanches de Piana or the Gorges du Spelunca so will probably do a side trip and spend 2 nights somewhere so we can do this,is Poro a good place to do this or can you recommend anywhere else ? Would also like to spend 1 night in Evisa !!

London, United...
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10. Re: Bastia or Ajaccio

Porto, Piana or Ota are all candidates, depending on your route - Porto, the most central, touristy, by the sea, rather enclosed; Ota, inland and higher up, full of hikers, views up the Spelunca gorge; Piana, high up with spectacular views overlooking the Calanches and the sea.

Do try the Castaniccia on your way back, which is NE of Corte, not NW as I said above. It's unspoiled and very few tourists.