The coast, villages and countryside of the Eastern Algarve and then explore the treasures of this most westerly corner of Europe.
Enjoy the contrasting beauty of the island of Corsica on this one week guided walking holiday based in Calvi.
What does this mean?
Tour codes: 11500
Full day walks with appreciable amounts of ascent and descent.
These walks are in more remote areas such as Andorra or northern Portugal.
Similar to Grade 5, but with most of the walks at the upper level of ascent/descent, time and distance.
Walking along coastal paths where soft sand meets rugged beauty, it is clear to see why the ancient Greeks described Corsica as ‘kalliste’ - the beautiful. From the moment you absorb the aroma of your first morning coffee, you can gaze over eye-widening panoramic views and appreciate why the island has been coveted throughout history. Experience it all with your dedicated Leader.
Your path ahead will take you through fascinating villages giving ample opportunity to soak up and experience a rich blend of Mediterranean and Corsican culture. Throughout your visit you will see history dating back to when greats such as Napoleon resided, to the more modern areas such as the marina, popular with the glitterati of the 1950's.
Our walking programme is a superb mixture of coastal and mountain routes. Starting with an easy coastal stroll through the marquis with citrus and wild rosemary making a pleasant accompaniment. During the week we walk through rural Corsican villages unchanged for hundreds of years, past churches, monasteries and chapels, ruined villages, and up into the mountains to alpine huts with marvelous views. It’s a week of fantastic contrast. The bird life of the island might be of particular interest with many of our walks being closely watched by the Black and Red Kites riding the thermals above us, easily recognised by their forked tails.
The town of Calvi is compact and full of interest. From the Citadel roads wind down through the town to the harbour where the ‘beautiful people’ moor their yachts and stroll along the waterfront. A great venue to spend some time enjoying your dinner in local restaurants.
Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.
NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen
Itinerary & Travel
Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.
Fly from the UK to Corsica. Transfer by road to the Grand Hotel in Calvi. Depending on flight arrival times there should be time on arrival for an intriguing historical walk with the leader round Calvi and its imposing Citadel. Find out about the towns historical links with great figures like Columbus, Napoleon and Nelson. And yes, this is where the latter lost his eye!
Transfer Time = 20m - 1h 45m
A leisurely start to the walking programme with a long but easy coastal walk from Calvi itself. A short morning climb leads to the beautifully situated chapel of Notre Dame de la Serra with its famous view of the lovely horseshoe shaped Calvi bay. A gentle descent to the coast and out along the Rivellatta headland to the dramatic cliff top lighthouse takes us to a shady picnic lunch overlooking the sea. Return in the afternoon on the delightful coastal path, the Sentier Litoral, which leads back to Calvi via a swimming and refreshment opportunity in the charming little bay of Alga.
To really help set the scene before your holiday why not read 'Time is the Assassin' by Michel Bussi which really depicts this days walking area throughout the whole book.
A varied and interesting wander through the hill country of Balagna. A short morning bus ride takes us to Lumio from where we climb to the striking deserted village of Occi. Easy tracks and paths take us on via Lavateggio to the quiet village of Aregno for lunch in the village square. A short climb after lunch is followed by a long gentle descent to the superb sandy beach of Aregno for another chance to swim and relax before catching the charming local train back from Algajola to Calvi.
Coast, hills, villages and now mountains. A twenty minute coach ride takes us to Calenzana, the starting point of the famous GR 20 long distance trail.We do not have 17 days to spare to complete this great walk but the fine circuit above the village, using sections of the GR 20 and the equally beautiful Mar e Monte trail, gives you a delightful taster of the quality of scenery and walking which they offer. After an initial steep ascent on the GR 20 we leave the back packers to the big climb and branch off on the Mar e Monte before circling back to the starting point on gentler local footpaths to finish with refreshments in the GR 20 pub.
A day to enjoy the lovely coastal area of Calvi. Many book the superb local boat trips from the key front near the hotel, others simply enjoy wandering along the long expanse of Calvi beach taking in a good fish lunch. A few hardy types may take themselves off into the hills for another fine hard walk. The leader will not be short of ideas for fine things for you to do.
Another chance to explore the maze of old trails linking the hill villages of this striking landscape and visit the two most famous villages. An early start on the local train allows time to explore the weekly market in the resort of L'Isle Rousse before walking up to the tranquil village of Occigliani for picnic refreshments in the tiny square. Broad easy tracks lead on upwards to lunch in the dramatically perched hill top village of Sant Antonino, officially declared one of the most beautiful villages of France. You will have time to explore this spectacular village and the equally pretty and much quieter village of Pigna before descending to the coast at Algajola again. And of course there will be ample time for swimming and ice cream before the train whisks you home again to Calvi.
A return coach ride to Bonifato allows a grand finale. A magnificent mountain walk on well graded paths in the cirque above the forest. The path up to the Melaghia Valley is a variant of the GR 20 but despite the long climb is remarkably straightforward as the path is beautifully constructed. And the views of both coast and mountains are unmatchable. After picknicking shadily in the trees by the river above 1000 metres on the trail to the Orbu refuge, more splendidly engineered tracks circle back down the starting point at the pleasant mountain inn in Benifato. A grand end to the week.
It is time to bid farewell to the truly remarkable landscapes and people that make up Corsica as we head to the airport for our flight home.
Departure dates for your selected tour
16th May 2021 - 23rd May 2021 (7 Nights)
23rd May 2021 - 30th May 2021 (7 Nights)
5th Sep 2021 - 12th Sep 2021 (7 Nights)
Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.
The Grand Hotel Calvi, is a modest hotel compared to some in the area but what it makes up for in simplicity is its location just a few minutes’ walk from the main harbour, local shops and transport links for our walking program. Its restaurant terrace is a great place to take morning coffee or a couple of drinks at the end of an evening.
Room facilities include air conditioning, flat screen TV, telephone, and a hairdryer.
Hotel facilities include a restaurant with terrace and sea view on the 5th floor, bar on the 5th floor terrace, which is open most evenings, Wi-Fi lounge, languages spoken in English, Italian, Spanish, and free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel.
Our holiday along with the lifestyle of Calvi offers a relaxed atmosphere but the walking programme still merits our Grade 6 mark. Paths are mostly good, but there may be some steep and rough ground. Walks will last up to 6 hours and could involve as much as 800m of ascent and descent. Some walks offer the wonderful opportunity for a mid or end walk refreshment. In the short the walking is great and varied. The maximum altitude we reach on this holiday is 1,280m.
Please see the Itinerary section for more information.
Local Transport Costs
All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.
A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.
When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.
Currency in France
The currency in France is the euro.
Credit cards are widely accepted. You may be asked to provide ID if you can’t pay by chip and PIN. ATMs are widely available in most towns and villages throughout France.
Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.
Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.
Leader's Evening Briefing
Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.
We fly from the UK to Calvi Airport (CLY) on Corsica.
We use two airports on Corsica Bastia and Calvi. Manchester arrivals will be landing into Bastia where there will then be a short transfer of 15-20 minutes to our hotel in Calvi whereas London Stansted passengers will arrive into Bastia Airport and will have a longer transfer of around 1hr 40 minutes.
Once on Calvi we will use a mixture of public transport to get too and from our walks. Most of this will be by train.
Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements?
If you wish to organise your own flights from a non-UK or provincial airport or travel by rail or car to your holiday destination, 'land only' reductions are often available. Please contact us for details.
Before finalising any independent travel arrangements, please check with us first - especially if doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended date of travel. If you do intend to join your holiday locally please do tell us at least 14 weeks in advance.
If you are joining and leaving your holiday overseas we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at your hotel.
Although airport transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join the group at the overseas airport, depending on your flight arrival time, you may be able to be included on the group's transfer. Please contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details.
Please note that your flight must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your flight number, arrival time and departure point so that the group leader is able to meet up with you.
Regional Flights (R3). We offer regional flight options on this holiday and there will be one or two transfer vehicles between the airport and hotel to minimise any waiting time at the overseas airport on the outward or return journeys.
Luggage Allowance & Travel Documents
For all those booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.
Personal Details Check
To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.
General Passport Advice
It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport. Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country.
Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements.
Brexit Passport Advice
You should have at least 6 months validity left on your passport from your date of arrival.
If you renewed a 10 year passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your passport’s expiry date. These extra months will not count, so you should ensure that your passport is not older than 9 years and 6 months from the date of issue at the time of travel.
You may wish to renew your passport sooner rather than later, in order to make sure you have it in time for your holiday or travel plans.
Please ensure to regularly check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for updates on passport requirements leading up to and after Brexit or contact us for more assistance.
UK Government Brexit Information for Passports can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/passport-rules-for-travel-to-europe-after-Brexit.
The UK Government has published a website tool to check the validity of your passport under these rules which can be found at www.passport.service.gov.uk/check-a-passport.
In the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK citizens will be able to visit the EU for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa. The UK Government also has information for travellers available at gov.uk/EUexit
Non British Passport holders should consult the host country’s embassy for applicable passport and visa entry requirements.
Breakfasts are taken at the hotel whereas each evening your leader will take you to a variety of characterful local restaurants where you can really sample Corsican cuisine.
Lunches are not included but with the hotel being in the town centre and a stones throw from the harbour you are spoilt for choice as to where to buy a picnic.
Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks.
General Kit List
Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.
If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:
This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.
Please note that in French public swimming pools men are not permitted to wear baggy swimming shorts but must have ‘Speedo’ style trunks or tight fitting longer shorts. Men with incorrect swim wear will not be allowed into the pool.
Travel Documents Checklist
Documents and Information to take with you:
Electricity in France
Electricity is supplied at 220 Volts. If you wish to use electrical equipment you will need a European two pin adaptor with round pins. More information can be found at https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/
Water To Go
An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.
We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.
Maps, Guidebooks & More
IGN 1:50,000 Corse Sud and Corse Nord
French National Tourist Office www.franceguide.com
We suggest The Rough Guide to Corsica which as a wide range of accurate knowledge about the island.
The Map Shop
Maps and guidebooks relating to the areas you will be walking in may be bought before your holiday from The Map Shop at www.themapshop.co.uk
Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.
Health Advice for France
No compulsory immunisations are required for visits to France.
You should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended in the UK.
You may wish to consider immunisations against Tetanus and Tick-borne Encephalitis
Further Travel Advice
For further advice please visit:
You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.
You must be adequately insured to join our holidays. We do not insist that you insure with us but we require that you are adequately insured for the nature of your holiday. You will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance.
Please ensure that as a minimum your travel insurance policy covers you for travel to your holiday destinations (country and geographical region) and for medical expenses, mountain rescue (including helicopter rescue) and emergency repatriation to your home country in the event of illness or injury. Your policy should also provide adequate cover for the activities, included and optional, you are likely to participate in during your holiday.
See our brochure or website for further advice regarding holiday insurance.
Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.
Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance once your holiday arrangements have started.
Please take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you; it will help you in the event of you needing medical assistance during your holiday. Please note that the EHIC has an expiry date, so please check that your card is valid for the duration of your holiday. Please note however the EHIC should not be considered a substitute for medical or travel insurance.
For more information please visit ehic.org.uk.
The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.
Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.
We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.
The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.
Heart and Sole
We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.
Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements.
Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.
As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.
Visas and Passports
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