Kayaking & Hiking in Corsica, France
Explore the spectacular island of Corsica on foot and from the water during this nine-day adventure from launching from Bastia. Rising dramatically from the sea, Corsica is the greenest island in the Mediterranean and blanketed in more than 2,800 plant species that include endemic pines, oak, and juniper.
Hike through the spectacular granite mountains of the Corsica Regional Nature Park and paddle through the azure waters of the UNESCO-listed Reserve Naturelle de Scandola with the help of knowledgeable, bilingual guides. Learn about the rich cultural history of Corsica and its unique cuisine during delectable meals, accompanied by fine wines and the sounds of the “Corsican blues”. Witness megalithic stones and hear stories of the ghost of Napoleon while discovering this fascinating corner of Europe.
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Arrive in Bastia
Commence your journey by flying in or taking a ferry to Bastia, a picturesque coastal town characterized by its wide array of pastel-colored houses. It holds the title of a "Town of Art & History” in France. Spend your first afternoon in Bastia wandering through its charming plazas and narrow streets, or indulge in fresh caught seafood at one of the many locally owned restaurants along the harbor. Come nightfall we will gather for a brief orientation meeting of the week ahead and enjoy a welcome dinner all together.
Travel Tip: Bastia is well-connected to mainland France by air and ferry. Ferries also run from Livorno near Pisa, Italy. For international travelers, its best to consider arriving a day early to adjust from jet-lag.
Zonza and Nearby Mountains
Your day kicks off with a drive along Corsica's east coast, followed by an inland journey to the Alta Rocca Mountains, known for their striking granite spires that seem to almost reach the sky. After lunch, embark on a two-hour hike from the “Lady of the Snow” statue; standing tall as a tribute to Corsica's religious history and heritage. The trail will lead you through pine groves and under magnificent limestone rock formations. As your hike concludes, we’ll continue the journey to the charming town of Zonza for a delectable dinner featuring locally sourced cuisine.
Levie, Visiting Cucuruzzu & the Plateau du Cuscionu
Today you’ll start in Levie, a charming town renowned for its locally crafted art, particularly in handmade knives. Your morning stroll will take you through a scenic forest of oak and birch trees, leading to the ancient site of Cucuruzzu, a small grassy hill discovered in 1959 by Roger Grosjean. The site, now protected in the Corsica Regional Nature Park, features rock structures dating back to the 2nd century BC and offers a fascinating glimpse into history. Following a delightful lunch of traditional Corsican flavors, head north to the Plateau du Cuscionu, where you'll explore vast meadows and flowing streams frequented by nearby wildlife. The afternoon hike ranges from two to four miles, with modest elevation changes depending on how the group feels.
Filitosa, Cargese, and Piana
Today's journey begins with a visit to Filitosa, a megalithic site renowned for its vast collection of prehistoric art. Explore 8,000 years of history before continuing through and down the mountains to reach Corsica's west coast. Depending on time, the group may pause for lunch in Ajaccio along with a brief walking tour of the city. In the afternoon, travel north along the coastal road to Cargese, a charming village perched on a hill with numerous beautiful 19th-century churches that we'll stop to explore. The final destination for the day is Piana, a small mountaintop town surrounded by spires near the UNESCO-listed Gulf of Porto. Piana helps form the Corsica Regional Nature Park.
Scandola Corsica Nature Reserve
Set off for a nearby beach after a light breakfast to find your sea kayaks awaiting you. Your guides will provide a brief safety and paddling orientation talk before you embark on a morning of exploration on the warm Mediterranean Sea. Stop for lunch on a remote beach and paddle through time while learning about Corsica's unique features. You’ll return to shore by early afternoon and have enough time for a short hike through the Calanche de Piana. If kayaking is not possible due to weather, there will be other activites to supplement such as spend the day exploring the surrounding trails on foot. In the evening, enjoy an authentic French dinner with superbly paired wine at a local restaurant.
Today the group will set off to paddle around Cappo Rosso. The paddle is roughly 13 miles roundtrip, taking up to around 5 hours. In case the weather isn’t idyllic or group preferences change, you can choose from one of two shorter routes as an alternative, both offering beautiful and vast views. Regardless of which paddle the group does, you’ll stop at a serene beach for a picnic lunch and take a refreshing dip in the Mediterranean waters if you so desire. Return to the hotel for the night in time to witness the magnificent sunset over the horizon.
Depart Piana, Col de Vergio, and Corsica's Capitol
Depart Piana in the morning to venture through a scenic pass full of wildlife until we reach Col de Vergio. Embark on a rocky trail with worthwhile views (4.3 miles, 200m elevation gain) through the Valdunielly Biological Reserve to the Radule Waterfalls. Refresh with a dip in the small pool at the base of the falls if you desire.
Todays lunch will be at a traditional shepherd's hut. After an enjoyable lunch, you’ll adventure along the legendary GR20; one of Europe's most notable long-distance paths. Drive through the dramatic granite gorges of the Defile de la Scala di Santa Regina before reaching Corte; Corsica's historic capital. This town offers a glimpse into Corsica's history and culture in a spectacular natural setting.
Restonica Valley and back to Bastia
Explore the Restonica Valley, known for its granite peaks, clear streams, and lush forests full of pine and birch trees. Embark on the final hike of the trip (4.3 miles, 370m elevation gain), including a climb using a ladder and chains to hold onto to reach Lake Melo, with the option to continue to Lake Capitello. Afterward, drive back to Bastia for your final night of the tour.
Your last morning of the tour will take you on a guided walking tour of Bastia where you might just discover the city’s connections to Victor Hugo. From here you can opt for an additional night in Bastia or catch an afternoon flight to Paris to continue home or on further travels. Ferries are also available to various destinations from Bastia.
Dates & Rates
|Dates||Adult (USD)||Child (USD)|
|Jun 17, 2024 to Jun 25, 2024 |
Lowest Tier Price
|Sep 14, 2024 to Sep 22, 2024 |
Lowest Tier Price
- 4-5 Guests: $5,990 per person
- 6-8 Guests: $4,890 per person
- 9-12 Guests: $4,190 per person
Single Supplement: If you are a solo traveler and wish to have your own accommodations throughtout the tour (or if we are unable to pair you up with another solo traveler), an additional single supplement of $750 USD is required.
Custom departures available. The above departures are already set, and can be chartered as a private tour by paying for 10 spaces. In addition, depending on group size, availability of guides and accommodations, we can also arrange custom trips on other dates between April and late September.
Tiered Pricing Explained: Our trips are budgeted for full or near full sign-ups which enables us to offer trips at the lowest possible price. Because of numerous fixed costs, it is more expensive to operate a trip for a small group. Therefore, on some of our trips, in order to avoid having to cancel a trip, we have a “tier-pricing” system to avoid canceling a trip with a low number of sign ups. We have found that most people also prefer this alternative to having a trip cancelled. Thus, you will note on our trip prices there may be different price for 6-8 people versus 19-12, etc.
ALL PRICES IN US DOLLARS. We will do our best to adhere to the itineraries and trip descriptions listed on our website. However, tour itineraries or sub contractors (such as taxi, cruise boats or hotels) may change slightly due to reasons beyond our control including but not limited to Acts of God, wind, waves, inclement weather or other. We always welcome you to call us to clarify any item - often this is the best way to fully clarify expectations - call us collect or on our toll-free number. You will be sent pre-trip email with latest details within a month of your tour - it is your responsibility to check in with us prior to your trip to see if you have all the information you need. We will always do our best to provide you with the best possible tour and to fully meet your expectations to the best of our ability.
We may initially invoice you at the higher tier price, and refund the difference depending on the final group size. Trip costs quoted are based on foreign exchange rates current at the time of this printing. We reserve the right to raise the trip fee if there are exceptional cost increases beyond our control.
FAQ & More
Just south of France and west of Italy, Corsica is the fourth largest island in the Mediterranean.
There are flights from France (Paris, Marseilles, Lyon, etc. ) direct to Ajaccio and Bastia. There is also ferry service from continental Europe. The shortest ferry goes from Livorno, Italy (not far from Pisa) and there is also service from Marseille and other ports in southern France. Flying is generally the quickest and most economical method of travel to Corsica.
French is the official language but over 80% of native Corsicans also speak Corsu, a language that is close to medieval Tuscan and thus has a very Italian ring to it. If you speak French you'll do very well. Some English is spoken, but our bilingual guides take care of any important communications for you.
Corsica has a Mediterranean climate and one of the sunniest climates in France. Weather along the coast is warm from April to June, hot in July and August and then pleasantly warm again from September to late October. The interior gets cold by December and snow falls in the higher mountains at times. Our trips are scheduled during ideal times in terms of weather and lack of other tourists.
This is an active trip that includes hiking and sea kayaking, so you should be in reasonable shape and have some sea kayaking experience. That said, people from all walks of life and all ages join our trips. We get a mix of couples, singles, families and friends, usually between 25 and 70 years of age. Everyone comes to have a good time and the variety of people and interests found on each trip makes it all the more fun. Our adventure consultants know that a primary consideration may be the mix of people on the trip, so we're happy to tell you who has signed up and help you choose a compatible group.
As long as we are informed in advance of any food allergies or dietary needs, we can mostly accommodate for it. In some rare instances, where substitutions may not be locally available in Corsica, we may ask that you bring your own substitutions.
US and Canadian citizens will need a passport that is valid for 6 months past the end of your trip, but a visa is not required for tourists who are on trips of less than 90 days.
Packing light is always best when you’re traveling internationally. Make sure to bring copies of your airline tickets, your receipt for the purchase of your airline tickets, and a copy of the front page in your passport. It is a good idea to pack loosely fitting clothing that can be easily hand washed, and a 50/50 blend of cotton and polyester. You may want to pack a nice outfit for going in to town. Quick-dry clothing for the kayaking portion is essential. See our packing list for a detailed description of what to bring.
The currency in France is the Euro and it's easy to get Euros on arrival and from ATM machines along the way. Remember, it is never a good idea to keep a lot of cash on you while you are traveling, but in local shops and markets having some local currency is helpful.
This trip is best suited for people ages 14 and over. Given that the trip occurs during the school year we don't expect that kids will join this trip, but if you are interested in a family-oriented trip contact us about a summer date.
We will use both double and single kayaks made by German Kayak producer Prijon. Prijon is known for their excellent paddling comfort, revolutionary tough HTP plastics and lightweight prilites.
POSEIDON Double Kayak:
The two person Poseidon Kayak is designed for coastal tours with great directional stability and comfortable cruising speed. It’s a great tandem kayak for hiking trips along the coast line!
SEAYAK Single Kayak:
The term Seayak is synonymous for fast, safe and manageable paddling with attractive style! This is a sporty and quick moving kayak great for smaller and lighter paddlers.
Contact your service provider for the best options for taking your cell phone to a different country. You are unlikely to receive cell service for the entire time while paddling, but you may pick it up from time to time. WiFi is available at most hotels Your guides will be equipped with radios during the tour in case of emergency.
Electrical outlets are 220-240 volts and have Europlug style outlets, you will need a plug adaptor and a step-down converter if you’re traveling from outside the UK.
For expensive cameras we suggest a waterproof bag or diver's dry box (such as Pelican boxes), available at most outdoor stores or dive shops. In the case of inexpensive cameras, ziplock bags are usually adequate.
If you do not currently have a regular exercise program, we strongly encourage you to begin one. The trip is not extremely strenuous, but is quite active and physical by nature. The more prepared you are for the trip, the more you'll enjoy it, and the more you’ll be comfortable if there is windy weather. Walking a few miles per day, climbing stairs, working out with light weights, and other cardio and strength training exercises are all highly recommended activities. At the very least, we recommend that participants take long walks and condition muscle groups of the upper body and core by exercising for a full month prior to the trip, to avoid overuse injuries of the wrists and arms.
No immunizations are required for travel to Corsica. If you are allergic to bee or wasp stings, do consult with your doctor about bringing an epi-pen or similar on this wilderness trip.
Our tour costs are based on double occupancy on any included hotel nights. Solo travelers who would like their own single hotel room can pay a single supplement (see "Dates & Rates" above for the single supplement price for this tour), or can be matched up with another solo traveler of the same gender if one is available and willing to share. If we are unable to pair you with another solo traveler, we must apply the single supplement charge to cover our hotel costs.