Barcelona - Nice via Sardinia & Corsica
Ride from Barcelona to Nice via Sardinia & Corsica.
This is a journey through dramatically diverse cultures and landscapes – where fishing villages & sandy white beaches are paired with rugged mountains, pine forests and shimmering lakes.
we Cycle mountain passes over 1500m high and descend to the Med for a swim in sparkling turquoise waters. This is the ultimate ride for those after a taste of cultures and a contrast of coastal and mountain riding.
21 June - 3 July, 2018
12 | 5 Hotels + 1 Ferry + 6 Camping
11 (1 loop ride)
(Options for less/more climbing available)
80-100km per day
START / FINISH
Barcelona, Spain - Nice, France
$4450 AUD per person twin / dbl share, $500 single supplement.
See our full detail of 2018 B2N Tour Inclusions.
11 Breakfasts + 8 Afternoon-Teas + 6 Group Meals
Medium - both islands are mountainous. We suggest you come with hill-climbing experience & fitness able to ride 80-100km / day
OUR RIDE BEGINS IN barcelona, spain's most cosmopolitan city - with beaches, tapas bars, art & architecture. easily accessible with direct flights from australia
arrival - barcelona
The ride begins in Barcelona – chosen as our starting location for it’s easy accessibility from Australia, Europe and the world and is a major port with ferry sailings to Sardinia. Not to mention the world-class art, architecture and cuisine – we highly recommend arriving early to discover Gaudi’s masterpieces, wander the streets of the Bari Gotic (old town) and crawl between tapas bars after dark.
loop ride + FERRY
The tour kicks off with welcome drinks and briefing in the evening – a chance to meet the crew and other riders. The next day, we will take you on a popular local's loop ride, showcasing Barcelona and surrounds by bike. In the evening we'll board the ferry to Sardinia, sailing off in to the Med as the sun-sets and we wave goodbye to Spain.
We spend 3 days and 2 nights in Sardinia, the second biggest island in the Mediterranean and one of outstanding natural beauty, with captivating coastlines and a wild & rugged interior. Believe the hype – Sardinia has some of the most dreamy and dramatic beaches you’ll find.
We discover the Costa Smeralda’s scalloped bays and hidden coves, which feel a world away from the vine-striped hills and cork forests, traditional villages and mysterious nuraghe (Bronze aged settlements) of the island’s granite interior.
Day 2 - sardinia's north
We wake on the ferry to views of the sun rising over the coastline, docking at Porto Torres in the island’s north west. It’s spectacular coastal riding to our recommended lunch stop at the striking village of Castelsardo (“Sardinian Castle”), the old town a hilltop ensemble of dark alleyways and medieval buildings. It’s rolling riding through farmland and the bizarre Elephant rock. Our campsite is on the beach and we have a group meal.
The Sardinian cuisine is known for its slow-food, freshness and simplicity. With a diverse history of occupation, Sardinia only became Italian in the late 19th century, giving the food a rich and varied history. Being an island, fish is a stable – while sea anemones are a specialty, there’s nothing better than Culurgiones, Sardinian ravioli filled with ricotta with a tomato and herb sauce, after a big ride.
Sardinian people were originally shepherds, not fisherman, so meats and cheeses feature heavily on menus. Pecorino cheese is produced everywhere, and pane casarau is a circular flat bread eaten with most meals. Wines are some of the best in Italy – Vermentino di Gallura a crisp, aromatic white with DOCG status and Cannonau a rich, heavy drop to match the carnivorous heart of Sardinia.
Day 3 +4
We climb inland to the historic hill village of Aggius and ride through the Valley of the Moon – a stunning landscape of green pastures surrounded by eroded granite cliffs and boulders that have been carved in to spectacular shapes from the mountainous winds.
We cycle along the famous Costa Smeralda – known for its pristine beaches with weird wind-whipped white granite rocks – it’s no surprise it’s a playground for the rich & famous. On Monday afternoon we board the afternoon ferry for the 30 minute crossing from Santa Teresa di Gallura to Corsica.
Ciao Sardinia & Bonjour Bonifacio!
Klliste – “The most beautiful” was what the ancient Greeks called Corsica. Corsica is a large French island, situated in the Mediterranean south of Nice. The water is translucent, sand soft and white and weather dependably warm and sunny. Dramatic red rocks of the Calanche tumble in to the Med and the imposing citadel of Bonifacio juts out above the sea on the Island’s south. The 2706m high Monte Cinto crowns the rugged mountainous interior, which offers superb & challenging mountain cycling, soaring granite escarpments and sweeping descents that plunge back down to the Med. The birthplace of Napolean, Corsica is steeped in history and the Corsicans have a fierce sense of independence. “Corsican first, French second”.
days 5 - 8
The arrival in Bonifacio by sea is spectacular, with the impregnable citadel perched on white cliffs above the sea. We spend our first night in Corsica here, giving us time to explore the village.
From Bonifacio, we cycle across the island from south to north, weaving our way through the rugged interior and along the west coast, chosen as it is the most picturesque. We tackle the beautiful Col de Bavella, visit the prehistoric site of Filitosa, where the unusual Menhirs are dotted across the countryside.
We camp by the beach at the stunning Bay of Cupabia and ride from Piana to Porto, one of the most famous roads on the island, where the red rocks of the Calanches tumble in to the turquoise sea.
The diversity of the island makes for a salivating array of gastronomic variations. From fresh seafood and pizzas by the coast to hearty mountain cuisine – where charcuterie has been elevated to an art form, cheeses are aged in ancient stone caves & wild boar is the national dish. Corsica’s wines are highly regarded, with crisp Vermentino and sciaccarello, an elegant yet complex red – and of course, there is Pietra – Corsica’s famous chestnut beer.
Day 9 - corte
From Porto we climb back up in to the mountains, riding on one of the highest roads in Corsica – the Col de Vergio. Wild pigs, goats and various other animals share the roads as we ride through pine forests and mountain villages. It’s a long descent through spectacular gorges to Corte, a true mountain town where Corsican history is as rich as the food and wine.
Day 10 + 11
Our last two days on the Island take us to the spectacular north coast, where we stay in St Florent, an upmarket village where fancy boats dock in picturesque ports – where the pink hued colours of the old town match the sparkling cocktails as we celebrate a final evening on these two jewels of the Med.
We depart Corsica on an afternoon Ferry, arriving in the evening, to the glistening lights of nice & the Cote d’Azur!
Our final night is Monday 2nd of July. After breakfast at our hotel on Tuesday the 3rd, we pack our bikes away and say au revoir. Nice is easily accessible with an international airport that has daily direct flights to Australia and elsewhere as well as the TGV (very fast train) connecting to Paris & other European capitals.
For those staying on for our Nice to Alpe d’Huez Tour, you have 3 days at your leisure to stroll around the Vieux Vielle (old town), relax on the beach, visit world class art galleries and refuel on nicoise cuisine! Of course, there’s some excellent riding on the Cote d’Azur – we’d be happy to share our tips with you before we set off towards Alpe d’Huez and the Tour de France! Read more...
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