Sardinia & Corsica Guided Cycling Tour

Road Cycling Tour - 13 Days from $5890 NZD
(5/5) from 5 reviews

Sardinia and Corsica — two beautiful islands, two countries, three ferry crossings, a mix of several unique cultures and of course great cycling. A bike trip not to be missed!

On our journey along the western shorelines of both islands, we have blended Tour de France stages with rides for anyone to enjoy.

This itinerary offers great cycling but also plenty of opportunities for relaxation! We stay two nights at most hotels, with many being close to the beach. You can choose to make the trip a full-on cycling holiday with challenging daily rides, or a more relaxing one by taking the shorter routes offered (also with an e-bike if preferred). On ‘loop’ days you are always welcome to skip a ride and spend time exploring the local sights or soaking up the Mediterranean climate on dreamy beaches.

13 Days
  • 2019
  • 2020
  • Best time to travel: May-August
  • Availability Guide:
  • Current date selected
  • Plenty
  • Limited
  • Closed or too close to departure (Call Us for options)

Reviews for Sardinia & Corsica Guided Cycling Tour - Tour

Global Cycling Tours - Italy cycling tours

"Old Stones" I loved how our tour guide referred to many of the ancient ruins as Old Stones. There was a sweetness to it, but also a recognition that there are old stones 'everywhere' in Greece.

Christine Saladino July 23, 2017

Sardinia to Corsica Cycling Tour

Ajaccio to Calvi was one of the best road rides I've done anywhere, Excellent mountain roads, well graded climbs, coupled with great scenery, through a world heritage area & overlooking the Mediterranean.
The Sardinian Island of San Pietro was nice riding and very interesting from a traditional cultural perspective.
Robert, our guide was extremely helpful and looked after the riders very well. He was attentive but still allowed us to do our own thing. VERY safety conscious which is crucial.

July 2, 2017

Sardinia to Corsica Cycling Tour

The whole thing was special for us, we had a great time. Great group of people.

Eddie & Anita Corrigan July 10, 2016

Sardinia to Corsica Cycling Tour

Excellent tour great to have 2 days at some places! Good mates and loads of fun! Rene was amazing - seems to really enjoy seeing the regular faces, always cheerful and ready to help!

Helene Hudson, Sardinia-Corsica New Zealand June 27, 2016

Sardinia to Corsica Cycling Tour

I thought the Island of Corsica was the highlight. Cycling predominately near the coastline,and the deep blue of the Mediteranean was very picturesque. Looking forward to the next trip.

Graeme Oakley, Sardinia-Corsica New Zealand June 27, 2016

Sardinia to Corsica

Cagliari
  • Road Cycling
  • Grade
  • Group size: min 6
  • Group size 4-5: surcharge EUR300 pp
  • EUR550 single room surcharge
  • EUR360 road bike hire
  • EUR420 e-bike hire
  • This tour is invoiced in EURO
The cultures of the two islands are many and varied. Both islands have been very independent from their respective mainlands (France for Corsica, and Italy for Sardinia). They have developed their own languages, cuisines, architecture and cultural identities, shaped by the great empires that have attempted to rule the Mediterranean over the last 3000 years. Sardinia is the geologically most ancient landmass of Europe, and both islands have been continuously settled since the Mesolithic era (10,000–5,000 BC). In Sardinia from about 1500 BC onwards, villages were built around round tower-fortresses called nuraghi. There are many excavations of the nuraghic civilisation that can be visited on the island and on our tour. On this trip we focus on the more rugged — and sometimes wetter — west coasts of the two islands. The coastal rides are spectacular, and often feature wild mountains in the hinterland. It is not surprising that a land as old as Sardinia was searched for minerals and coal from the earliest times of human civilisation. Interesting 18th and 19th century mine sites can be visited on our tour — yet another point of difference on this already diverse cycling experience. Have we mentioned the beaches? I guess you’ll just have to come and see them for yourself!

Full Itinerary

DAY 1

Arrival: Cagliari (Sardinia)

No cycling

Welcome to Cagliari, Sardinia. The best way to travel to the tour starting place of Cagliari is by air. The airport (located about 7 km from the town centre) is serviced by a number of different airlines. In the evening, you will have time to explore Cagliari, the powerhouse of Sardinia (population about 150,000). The city’s first settlement dates back 5000 years so there is much to see — indeed, it’s worth arriving a day or two early to spend extra time here. Check your guidebook for a full description.

Meals: Dinner

DAY 2

Cagliari to Carloforte

Cycling: up to 64 km or ~100 km

After a 35km bus transfer out of the centre of Cagliari, we cycle through the beach community of Santa Margherita di Pula, now on quiet roads. From here we make our way along the southern tip of Sardinia on a coastal road that clings to the cliffs. With the Mediterranean Sea below we have a magnificent view far along the rocky coastline. We then head inland before returning to the coast and the town of Porto Pino with its massive white sand dunes and beaches. The leisurely riders can finish here while the roadies can continue to the island of Sant’Antioco via an artificial isthmus built by the ancient Carthaginians. We ride directly to the port village of Calasetta, then its a 30 minute ferry to our hotel on the Isola di San Pietro 7 km off the Sardinian coast. We stay two nights in Carloforte.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3

Sant'Antioco or Carloforte Loop

Cycling: 30 km or up to 80 km

Its a hard decision today: to ride or not to ride! Those opting for an easy day on the beautiful Isola di San Pietro are spoilt for choice. Take a leisurely ride around the island, spend the day hanging out in cafes on the palm tree lined streets of Carloforte, or relax on one of the nearby beaches. For those wanting a longer ride we can take the ferry back to Calasetta and explore the island of Sant’Antioco. After 20 km we will pass through the resort town of Maladroxia with its very inviting beach, bars, and cafes. Then after another 10 km we arrive in Sant’Antioco village. Either we return to Carlorforte or take a longer ride on mainland Sardinia with a loop through the hilly hinterland of the Carbonia-Iglesias province. The reward for the 500m climb will be great views over the two islands below and a flowing descent before catching the ferry back to Carloforte.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 4

Carloforte to Guspini

Cycling: 48 km or up to ~82 km

The day starts on the water with a pleasant 30 minute ferry ride from Carloforte to Portoscuso. We arrive at its modern industrial port and start our bike ride directly from the ferry. Our lunch break is not far up the coast at Portixeddu, a small town quaintly located on the rugged coast with several bars, cafes and a harbour. This picturesque beach settlement is the southernmost town on Sardinia’s Costa Verde (Green Coast). The lifestylers can load up their bikes here (after 48 km) and take a transfer straight to our tour hotel. For everyone else, the final 35 km inland ride to the agricultural town of Guspini features a climb of 450m which some might like to avoid after having already completed a similar climb in the hills between Masua and Buggerru. In Guspini, our hotel will welcome you with its very pleasant garden setting and good facilities (including spa), offering a holiday atmosphere. We’ll stay two nights here.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5

Guspini to Costa Verde Loop

Cycling: 24 km or ~75 km

Today's loop ride takes us to the stunning sand dunes of the Costa Verde. This is an easy route on quiet country roads, with the majority of the climbing being in the first half of the ride. Take a walk in the Sahara-like sand dunes of Torre Dei Corsari (named after the medieval tower used for sighting pirates). The return trip leads you very close to one of the nuraghe settlement sites, about 4 km before reaching our hotel on the outskirts of medieval Guspini. If you are interested in 19th century industrial history, visit the “Galleria Anglosarda” mine or the “mine of emotions - Mineria Monteveccio”. Both are located just outside Guspini. Today these mining sites have been turned into museums. The lifestylers join the roadies on the longer loop as far as Monteveccio but return via a different route back to Guspini, also on a quiet and winding backroad.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 6

Guspini to Alghero

Cycling: 63 km or ~153 km

Plenty of stops are scheduled en route as the roadies are in for a long day. The first 75 km is flat with no significant hills (only 300m climbing). After the first 45 km we cross an almost urban area around Oristano, a town with a long history. After a further 30 km we’ll break for lunch at the beach town of S’Archittu — “The Little Arch”. Nearby is Torres del Pozzo, another old tower - this time watching over Europe’s largest marine pine forest. Our leisurely group start with a 90km transfer to Cuglieri and will ride the final 63km to Alghero which is all about nature. The wilderness along this stretch of coast is protected and is host to several rare species of birds of prey. Here you can still find the Griffon vulture and the Bonelli’s eagle, as well as wild cats and foxes. Unsurprisingly for this conservation area, there are few settlements and no facilities before we reach Alghero some 40 km later where we'll stay for the next two nights.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 7

Alghero Loop

Cycling: 49 km or 58 km

There are many options today including another loop ride to explore the hilly hinterland of Alghero. It starts with a 600m climb to the attractive village of Villanova Monteleone from where there are great views down to yesterday’s route along the coast. Then its mostly a cruisey descent back to Alghero with the option to add on the “Grotto Loop” to Capo Caccia. Lifestylers can ride across to the Capo Caccia (26km one way), a rugged headland with several caves, the most famous of which is the Grotta di Nettuno (€13 entrance fee). This stalactite cave is a must-see, and climbing down the 660-or-so steps leading to the entrance is one of the most recommended experiences on Sardinia. Alternatively Alghero offers enough attractions, restaurants and cafes for an easy-going day.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 8

Alghero to Bonifacio (Corsica)

Cycling: up to 52 km or ~73 km

Arrivederci Sardinia! From the hotel we’ll transfer 70km to the medieval town of Castelsardo. Its well preserved thanks to its particular geographical position high above the sea that protected it from attacks and destruction. Then its a classic rollercoaster ride today. No climb is more than 200m vertical, but there are quite a few rolling hills so it should be pleasant riding, passing through several villages on the way. We are aiming for Vignola Mare after 52km for lunch at the beach where the lifestyle group can finish their ride. All others are heading to the very northern tip of Sardinia to the Santa Teresa Gallura, the ferry port to Corsica. In the afternoon a one hour ferry ride takes us all to Bonifacio. And then – it’s bienvenue à Corse! Bonifacio has an interesting history. It was built by the Genoese and is a fascinating place to wander around with its busy marina filled with luxury yachts and streets lined with chic bars and restaurants.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9

Bonifacio to Ajaccio Bay

Cycling: up to 63 km or ~109 km

Its our first riding day in Corsica and will be a trip back in time. After only 25 km along the coastline we head inland towards Propriano where we stop for lunch (after 63 km in total). The town has an interesting history of pirate attacks throughout the 18th century, but it is a safe tourist haven today and very picturesque. Lifestyle riders will have time to wander the streets of Propriano, before transferring straight to the hotel. All other cyclists will follow the beautiful coastline to our destination of Ajaccio where our hotel for the next 2 nights is located.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 10

Ajaccio Loop

Cycling: 29 km or ~88km

For the energetic cyclist its a pleasant ride to the prehistoric site of Filitosa. It’s a fascinating place with about 20 prehistoric menhirs carved with swords and faces, dating back about 8000 years. A group of five is centred on a 2000-year old olive tree. A museum features excavations and displays. After lunch we climb up to 520m and enjoy the view before descending back to our hotel. For the lifestylers we'll cycle along the panoramic coastline which has one of Corsica’s best views. At the end of the road and up a rocky trail we reach the Tour de la Parata. This 16th-century Genoese cliff-top tower is a remnant of the old fortification of Ajaccio’s port. Our ride back to Ajaccio is on narrow winding roads through some of Corsica’s best hiking country.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 11

Ajaccio Bay to Calvi

Cycling: up to 53 km or ~134 km

Today we mainly follow the Stage 3 route of the Tour de France 2013. After a short transfer to Tiucca, we ride on flattish terrain along the coastline before tackling our first climb. After stopping at the charming village of Cargèse we climb 10 km up the Col de San Martino (429m) to Piana right at the top. This village is known for its bizarre and fascinating rock formations. Then its a sweeping 14 km descent to our lunch stop at the small village of Marine de Porto and we suggest this be the final destination for our lifestyle riders who can be transferred straight to the hotel in Calvi. The roadies have a longish ascent from the coast into the inland mountains. We hit the Col de Palmarella (at ~400 m asl),from where there are great views over the sea. A 10 km descent takes us into the beautiful, forested Fango Valley. As we head into the cosmopolitan city of Calvi, we ride with the Mediterranean on the left and the cliffs on the right - spectacular! From the Fango River its still a reasonably hilly 32 km to our hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 12

Calvi Loop

Cycling: up to 57 km

Calvi is the most cosmopolitan city in Corsica and became world famous as a cycling destination when it hosted the arrival of the second stage of the 2013 Tour de France. It’s blessed with a beautiful winding coastline, pristine white sand beaches and red granite rocks. The bay of Calvi is probably the jewel in this crown. In this region many passes wind through scenic landscapes on small roads with the odd river inviting us for a swim. For the culturally inclined, there are more churches that you could ever wish for! The many small villages are perched on the slopes and often not accessible by car - cycling paradise! You can visit the hometown of legendary cyclist Jacques Anquetil in Calenzana, 20 km into the ride. Do you like hanging out with the celebrities? Then you should stop at Lumio where many of them like to holiday. The village (after 48km) is a great location to break the ride for a coffee anyway.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13

Departure from Calvi

No cycling

Today we say goodbye, au revoir, and arrivederci. We sincerely hope that you had the trip of your lifetime on this scenic journey through the two islands of Sardinia and Corsica. Over the last 12 days we have travelled way back in time and have crossed many culturally distinct areas. We hope to see you back again on another riding adventure with us in the future. You may wish to stay on in this ancient and fascinating city.

Meals: Breakfast

Tour Inclusions and Exclusions:

Tour Includes:

  • 12 nights in 3–4 star hotels (double or twin share)
  • Meals listed: 12 x breakfasts, 7 x picnic lunches,  7 x dinners
  • Support vehicle: size of vehicle dependent on group size
  • Driver/guide (group size 4-6), additional cycling guide (group size 7+)
  • All ferry crossings listed in the itinerary
  • Drinking water while cycling
  • Route maps and GPS files

Tour Excludes:

  • International and domestic flights or airport taxes
  • Passport and travel visa (if required)
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Bike hire (road bikes and e-bikes available)
  • Optional activity costs
  • Personal expenses and drinks (except water while cycling)
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for guide(s) and support crew.