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Thread: Corsica - A motorcyclist's paradise.

  1. #1
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Corsica - A motorcyclist's paradise.

    Corsica - a motorcyclist's paradise!

    Having spent many years riding around in Europe, primarily the Alps, Corsica has always been on my list of must-ride places.

    Its interesting how a ferry ride can be just enough to put even the most enthusiastic of travellers on a different path, an easier one, one with a road instead. Well after having toured Corsica and Newfoundland, let me tell you, having to take a ferry is worth the trouble.

    I started my day near Rovereto, Italy and planned to make it to Livorno later that afternoon. The SS12 is a direct route, one that actually starts at the Brenner Pass. The portion of the SS12 from Verona to just south of Maranello is quite uneventful; straight and flat is not my idea of motorcycling road. But once south of there to Lucca, it gets to be a challenge especially if you need to make time.

    Arriving at the ferry port in Livorno just after 18:00, I proceeded to book the ferry and cabin for the night. This avoids having to fight early morning traffic and having to find the ferry port the next morning if staying in a nearby hotel. Besides the cabin was just as cheap, if not moreso than a hotel.

    While waiting to board the Moby Lines ferry at 20:00, a KTM Adventure rider from Austria joined me in the two-man, two bike line-up...


    There were about 8 people on board for the night. Privacy wasn't an issue!
    The ferry departed Livorno at 09:00 the next morning, arriving in Bastia, Corsica at 13:00. Along the way the islands of Elba and Capraia to name a few, were visible.


    Arriving in Bastia, Corsica...



    Whenever I tour, I usually take a hotel or B&B in an area for a few days, making it my home base so that I can explore the area in detail. Hotel Maxime in St. Florent caters to motorcyclists by providing locked garage parking.


    Residents and tourists knowing how to slow down. An evening in St. Florent...



    The map to get is the Michelin 345 Local - Corse-du-Sud, Haute-Corse with a scale of 1/150 000. That scale provides very good detail. You'll notice both N and D series roads. The N roads are great for making time, but are boring. When there and if you enjoy back-roads riding, stick to the D series of roads.


    The following day, a ride around Cap Corse and the view from the northern most point...



    The Gorges de l'Asco road (D147) can hold some surprises. I came across this boulder upon exiting this hairpin...



    Further along the Gorges de l'Asco road before reaching the summit. Monte Cinto at 2706 m (8878 ft) is Corsica's highest peak and adjacent to the end of the road. This road may be a dead end, but the ride back was just as enjoyable...



    Returning down the Gorges de l'Asco road, east of the town of Asco...



    Roads, nice and narrow, and free of traffic. On the D5 between Bigorno and Murato...



    On the D5, overlooking the town of Lento...



    Pigs are a common sight along and on the roads in Corsica...



    The island's west coast are where the twisties are. The Les Calanche road (D81) just south of the town Porto offers this incredible view overlooking the Golfe de Porto...



    The town of Propriano...



    I made Hotel Beach in Propriano my home base for another few days. They also offered secure locked garage parking for motorcycles.


    The view from the town of Bonifacio looking along the coast westward...



    At the southern most tip, the town of Bonifacio and also the ferry port to the town of Santa Teresa Gallura, a short hop to the Italian island of Sardinia...



    Between the town of Zonza and the Col de Bavella on the D268...



    The view from my cabin in Solenzara...



    What more could one want other than a cabin with the Mediterranean Sea right out the back window. I stayed at the Hotel Mare e Festa in Solenzara making it my third and last home base while on Corsica...


    By the way, Hotel Mare e Festa was by far the cheapest at Ôé¼40 a night (June 2006) and it even included a full breakfast. The other hotels all ran about Ôé¼60 per night and a full breakfast was extra for another Ôé¼7.50.


    Taken between the town of Aull?¿ne and the Col de St. Eustache on the D420...



    Move along...single file please. Taken on the D69 near St. Antoine...



    On the Bocca di Scaledda on the D27 north of the town of Bastelica...


    Continued...

  2. #2
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    On the D69 heading up from the N193 towards the Col de Sorba...



    Sadly back in Livorno after getting off the "Corsica Ferries" ferry...



    Some thoughts...

    June through August are very hot. I was there mid June and the temperatures peaked at 37??C (99??F). The best period to tour there would be April-May and September-October.

    Accomodations along the Mediterranean Sea may be a bit more expensive, but the views are priceless. Furthermore, it tends to be a bit cooler as well as offering an evening breeze. It can get quite a bit warmer inland.

    I didn't book any accomodations; I never do during any of my tours. The same goes for the Moby Lines ferry to Corsica, although I did book the return ferry the day after arriving through a travel agent in St. Florent.

    I would suggest a two-week stay. I spent eight full days there and it wasn't enough for my style of touring which means touring the area in detail.

  3. #3
    Registered User grossjohann's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing this with us, Alex.

    Your pictures brought back all sorts of memories from my European excursions. Maybe it's time to go back for a while.

    Take care,
    Alex

  4. #4
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grossjohann View Post
    Your pictures brought back all sorts of memories from my European excursions. Maybe it's time to go back for a while.

    Take care,
    Alex
    Well, if you were there before, it must be torture not having been there for a while.

    You know, if I could only ride here or there, it would be there, even if that meant only getting in 4 or 5 weeks of riding a year.

    Here is another pic-filled Corsica ride report from a rider in WA state. He just packed some stuff, flew over, rented a Suzuki DR 650 (all you really need) and winged it...the whole trip...self-guided, and that was his first time over in Europe on a motorcycle.

    Corsica ride in October, DR 650

  5. #5
    Registered User grossjohann's Avatar
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    There is the good, and then there is the not so good.

    Pace of life, wonderful women and picturesque vistas are some of the good.

    On the other hand, donÔÇÖt get in trouble outside of the EU, and good luck getting much of anything done on a tight schedule. My grandfather spent 8 months trying to get a phone after he built his house in Greece. He finally bribed them at the suggestion of a friend.

    As much as I love to visit, I enjoy coming home.

    -Alex

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    Fof Rally Bast'd at Large rocketman's Avatar
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    Very kool! I'd love to get back to Europe some day, lived there as a kid and have wonderful memories. Corsica sounds like just my cup of tea, more so than many other areas, love the small towns and roads you've shown us here, not to mention the views of the Mediterranean. Thanks for the inspiration...

    I need to show this thread to my other half and get her thinking about a tour there by motorcycle.

    RM
    "A man isn't totally drunk if he can lie on the floor without hanging on!" Joe Louis; comedian
    "I'll make a deal with you, I won't bore with my Science if you don't bore me with your Politics!" Lionel Barrymore from the 1929 film "The Mysterious Island"

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    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Dave Swider
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    Simply Single dlearl476's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlobalRider View Post
    Well, if you were there before, it must be torture not having been there for a while.

    You know, if I could only ride here or there, it would be there, even if that meant only getting in 4 or 5 weeks of riding a year.
    +1

    I've found Italy an addiction like no other. I lived for a while as a kid in Paris, and until my association with CR&S took me to Milan, my "vision" of Europe was all France, Germany, the Lowlands and the UK. Now, I often find myself daydreaming of the Dolomites, or the Duomo, or even, about flying over for an espresso at my favorite cafe bar. (frequent flyer miles will do that to you) Currently, I'm having a difficult time convincing myself NOT to go to EICMA, because it would mean a 48 hr plane ride for a few days at the show and cold weather, no riding. I'm trying to be patient and save for a two week trip down the east coast next September when my current job ends and I won't have a nagging US obligation to return to.

    Alex, thanks so much for the pics.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]David#476
    "Is this some sort of a senior citizens tour?"

  9. #9
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlearl476 View Post
    I've found Italy an addiction like no other.
    Its hard to predict the future, but I'm considering retiring in Europe; probably northern Italy or Austria near the Italian border. I've probably mentioned this already, but I am getting my EU citizenship automatically.

    I know all about ILS, Va and Vne, but what is CR&S and EICMA?

    48 hour plane ride? Has the planet gotten bigger or are taking a flight in a Piper Cub?

  10. #10
    Amma Holly's Avatar
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    Hosting visitors when you retire?

    Seriously, Alex, I hope it all works out for you. Sounds like the perfect plan.

    Are you coming to the Toronto show in Dec? Marc and Susan have already booked their room at my place. They will be bringing pics of their Scotland tour.

    Holly
    Volunteer for the 2014 Rally in St. Paul. rallyvolunteer@bmwmoa.org

  11. #11
    El Cid franze's Avatar
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    thanks

    Hey, I appreciate the map/ferry info. Looks cool, worth checking out. You seem to get around. Have you ridden in southern Italy? I've heard ALOT of people, many Italian, telling me to forget about driving or riding south of Rome as the drivers and roads are horrible. Oh, nice boulder........... something like that is way better than a double espresso. How many km til you got out of second???? Loved your pix.

  12. #12
    Registered User TomR1200's Avatar
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    Suuuure...

    Yeah, paradise. I'd been off the ferry for about 40 minutes when I got rear-ended going through a town, when I had to brake for a dog that ran in front of me. The other guy was very understanding, said there was nothing I could have done. I was tempted to ask why he was following me about 5cm behind my rear bumper.

    My 3 week old Peugeot 206 was smashed up, but my son in the back seat was unharmed. When the police came, it transpired that the other driver had no ID, no valid license, no proof of insurance, no registration, and said the rusty Talbot belonged to his father. Local boy, so no problem, off he goes.

    And you want to ride a Motorcycle there?

    A bien tot. Tom

  13. #13
    Inveterate Lensman SNC1923's Avatar
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    Alex,

    Great, thorough report. Clear well-composed photographs. After reading this, I feel like I've been on a tour myself. Thank you for having us along.


  14. #14
    undercompensating BUBBAZANETTI's Avatar
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    do you rent the bike when you get over there???

    very nice photos
    04 GS ADV

  15. #15
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holly View Post
    Are you coming to the Toronto show in Dec?

    Holly
    Absolutely. How else could I make it through the winter without going to the two shows in the area. I'll most likely be there Firday.

    I better get my butt in gear and book a room. Thanks for reminding me.

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