Road Trip in corse

April 29th - 6:15am

Our alarm goes off, but for once, it's easy to wake up. Today we are not going riding, we are headed to Corsica. Matchy's origins are closely tied to our passion for cycling. This passion originates from the freedom of cycling and all the opportunities you get on the road to meet new people and discover new places. It's a great way to explore a new place.

It felt pretty natural for us to choose a place where we could explore new roads while recharging our batteries.

First step:

The ferry, direction Corsica.
We went all over the island, visiting villages on foot with our four-legged friend and, naturally, riding, which is what we wanted to share in this post.

The Programme:

Three days inland, three days on the coast. Corsica is a diverse island, full of surprises. One week is way too short so we had no time to lose! We rode into small villages, down quiet roads, up and down hairpins, through deep gorges and along the coast. It was hard to whittle down our favourite places to make sure this didn't turn into a long essay! 

Inland Corsica:

We started our trip in Corte, the former capital of Corsica.
We met really friendly people and discovered some great climbs.

Col de Sorba (Bocca di Sorba) by Vivario  - 1311 m
• Length : 9.20 km
• Average : 7.08%
• Maximum : 8.5%
• Distance : 90 k

This climb is to the north of the Monte Renoso massif, right in the middle of the natural park of Corsica. The north side of the climb is dominated by a volcanic and rocky landscape. It made us feel very small, and despite being used to climbing in the Alps, that feeling is even stronger here. In Corsica, you usually start from sea level so everything seems very sharp and high, but beautiful 

The last kilometres were the best, with great views and hairpin bends worthy of a “Band of Climbers” poster. After cresting the col we descended down past Ghisoni and entered the FiumOrbo gorges, towards Lake Sampolo. What a ride! 

It was 90K in total with slightly over 2000m elevation. Enough to earn a local beer with sausages.
In fact, it wasn't always easy to find something to eat. We were in the middle of Corsica and May is low season, but we knew that and made the best of it.

While we were in Corsica the Biking Man race was happening. We sympathised with them struggling to find food. Luckily for us, the village restaurant was open, and it was excellent.

On the coast:

For the second part of the trip, we stayed near Cargèse, a small Corsican village with great food and views. We decided to ride through the Piana Calanques, then to Porto for a food stop and back

Calanques de Piana (Calanches de Piana)
UNESCO World Heritage Site
• Total distance: 65 km

Unlike inland Corsica, it’s easier to find somewhere to eat. However, it is more touristy and, in places, a bit less picturesque.
If you're in Cargèse, you have to try “Epicerie Lecca” (http://epicerieleca.fr) for some local food. We tried Lonzo, sausages, honey, herbs, wine, cheese, all from Corsica, and all very tasty!

En général :

Corsica is a fascinating destination for any cyclist who isn't afraid of climbing or of wild pigs. You have to look for the unknown roads and think outside the box. The only downside is that some road surfaces can be a bit rough. But one thing we really enjoyed was the courtesy of local drivers. We didn't hear any car horns used in anger and all of the drivers left us enough space while overtaking (rare enough to be worth noting).

In fact, it's when you look for the quiet climbs that you discover the best parts of Corsica. It’s still a very wild place where you have unexpected encounters. Beware the wild pigs, cows, goats and other animals walking on the roads, but pay attention and look up, you might even see a golden eagle.

Corsica is so beautiful. There is so much more to discover that we haven't yet seen. It's just one more reason to come back.