Chris Froome’s first Tour de France-winning challenge began in Corsica in 2013, when the Mediterranean island hosted the first stage of the race’s 100th edition. Curiously, it was the first time the Tour had ever visited the island and organisers chose a 213km flat stage from Porto-vecchio to Bastia along almost the entire length of the island’s eastern coast. There’s nothing wrong with the route they chose, hugging the shoreline for much of it, but there are many more sides to this charming island. In comparison to many island cycling destinations, Corsica is big. It’s twice the size of Mallorca, for example, and four times that of Tenerife. As such its sheer diversity of scenery and routes make it a wonder that more cyclists don’t have it on their to-ride list. There are few places we can think of where you get to experience thrilling cliff-top roads, descents through shaded pine forests and climbs into mist-shrouded mountains – all on a single ride! In fact, you can choose from 21 mountains in total, more than 150 cols all of which are accessible by road, and more than 200 beaches to chill out on with a beer when you’re done. Not bad for a place that’s just 183km long by 83km wide. And as for the weather, September temperatures average out at 21°C/70°F, while October’s hover at around 18°C/64°F.
FLIGHT TIME: 2hrs 10 PRICE: Flights only from approx £170 return to Bastia MORE INFO: corsicacyclist.com