Bastia to Saint Florent, Corsica Stage – The Mediterranean Ride

Bastia to Saint Florent, Corsica Stage – The Mediterranean Ride

“Well begun is half done”

Small village
The most beautiful ring on The Finger

East coast – Swinging on the sea

We leave Bastia along the d80, the ocean is on right and we are immersed in a landscape that smells Mediterranean.
There are some car going and coming back from Bastia, but they pass us easily.
The first village is the elegant Erbalunga, we’d like a coffee, a good excuse to stop and watch locals doing the market shopping…better don’t stop too long, we still have “few” km in front of us.
The ride becomes more and more relaxing, here and there some gently climbs, never above 80 meters asl, giving us some postcards views.

The Pass – A taste of forthcoming climbs

After 28 km of coastal road we head inland in Santa Severa, with a little bit of respect for those close mountains, because we don’t exactly understand how much we’ll have to struggle. The d180 road is a nice surprise, gently sneaking its way up the slopes without climbing too much.
Few km and it looks like we are in another region, surrounded by imposing oaks and chestnuts trees. Last effort and we get the Santa Lucia pass at 400 meters above sea level, with its solitary church playing hide and seek just after the pass.
We think “from now on it’s all downhill!”
We’ve just forget we are in Corsica, one of those places where, after a climb, there’s always another one…

Corsica west coast

West Coast – Like being in a movie

I thought I’ve been cycling in incredible places. Then I arrived here.
The most scenic, unique, dramatic landscape opens up in front of you.
An intricate work of small mountain roads decorating luxuriant and steep mountains sloping into the sea. Some small village rise like a gem from this remote and absolute beauty. You ask yourself how they could live here…but you’d love to stay here, at least for a while.
It’s a continuous enchantment, a spell that in Nonza hypnotizes you with the aerial view of its infinite black beach, with a turquoise and powerful ocean breaking on it.
On the last few km of the coastline the cliffs change into a long golden beach, a short ride across the vineyards of the Patrimonio and we reach Saint Florent. What a day!

Saint Florent

May be this stage has too much beauty for a single day. Will we find better than that on our The Mediterranean Ride ?
I’m confident, at the end of the day we are cycling in Kallistè, the island of Beauty.

Three unique islands – The Mediterranean Ride

Three unique islands – The Mediterranean Ride

Epic bike journey across 3 beautiful yet so diverse islands, Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily. What makes them unique?

The Mediterranean Ride map

Ok, there is no question that we are talking about 3 cycling paradises, and certainly you fall madly in love with each one of them. But what really makes them different?

The sun, the beauty and quality of life would seem to be the only features shared by these three islands.
In fact, despite their proximity, this three jewels of the Mediterranean have a very different history, landscape, gastronomy and national character, sometimes wildly different!
I mean, if you are in Corsica with a smile on your face they may ask themselves: “Is he okay??”.
If you are in Sicily without a smile on your face they may ask directly to you “Are you okay??”.

Those differences make the wealth of the Mediterranean. As we’ll cross the islands by bike, sometimes they’ll look so similar, then suddenly we’ll discover something unique, making them looking like worlds apart.
Come on, let’s learn more about similarities and differences that we will discover along our journey:

Landscapes and landmarks

  • Corsica – Les Agriates, Les Calanques de Piana, Bonifacio cliffs
  • Sardinia – Costa Smeralda, Supramonte, Nuraghe Arrubiu
  • Sicily – The Cathedral of Monreale, Ragusa Ibla, Etna volcano

Rides

  • Corsica – The road D81 from Piana to Porto
  • Sardinia – The road SS125 from Dorgali to Baunei
  • Sicily – The road SS187 from Balata di Baida to Valderice

Traditional music

  • Corsica – Paghjella
  • Sardinia – Canto a Tenore
  • Sicily – U Ballettu

Three Wines

  • Corsica – Niellucciu, Scicarellu, Muscatel
  • Sardinia – Vermentino di Gallura, Nepente, Malvasia di Cagliari
  • Sicily – Marsala, Cerasuolo di Vittoria, Zibibbo

Three Cheese

  • Corsica – Brocciu, Niolo, Casgiu Sartinesu
  • Sardinia – Fiore Sardo, Casizzolu, Pecorino Romano
  • Sicily – Caciocavallo, Canestrato, Ricotta secca

Three Dishes

  • Corsica – Aziminu, Figateli, Canistrelli
  • Sardinia – Suppa cuata, Maccarrones de Punzu, Sa Burrida
  • Sicily – Arancini, Caponata, Cannoli.

Fruits and vegetables

  • Corsica – Clementine, Chestnuts and Hazelnuts
  • Sardinia – Carciofo spinoso, Grano Cappelli, Oliva bosana
  • Sicily – Tarocco siciliano, Capperi, Eggplant

Personalities

  • Corsica – Pasquale Paoli, Napoleone Bonaparte, Angelo Mariani
  • Sardinia – Antonio Gramsci, Grazia Deledda, Paolo Fresu
  • Sicily – Federico II, Luigi Pirandello, Giuseppe Tornatore

Bandits

  • Corsica – André Spada
  • Sardinia – Samuele Stocchino
  • Sicily – Salvatore Giuliano

Famous Cyclist

  • Sardinia – Fabio Aru
  • Sicily – Vincenzo Nibali
  • Corsica – He’s coming… 🙂