7 Corsica

Bikes Etc - - TRAVEL -

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

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