I've led Ramblers Walking Holidays for 21 years and travelled to some amazing destinations. A decade ago I led a tour in Corsica and finally got to return there last month, reminding me of what a glorious location it is.
Isle of Beauty? Of course it is! It took me years to get back, but at last I have made it.
One solitary tour many years ago whetted my appetite for walking on the most beautiful island in the Mediterranean. What a venue! Calvi is a seaside resort of ineffable charm with a lovely beach front, a busy marina, a spectacular fortress, plethora of seafront restaurants offering menus of local food, and altogether boasting more history than you can shake a leg at. Yet from the spectacular breakfast terrace in the Grand Hotel you can look across the bay at a vast skyline of granite peaks along which runs the finest and hardest Grand Randonee in all France, the famous GR 20.
Sandwiched between lies the gentle hill country of the Balogne with a lovingly waymarked network of old cobbled trails linking some of the most characterful, unspoiled villages in the nation.It is an unmatched combination of sea, hill and mountain in which to walk. Scramble across the coast path from headland to beach one day, ramble to a high perched hill village another and sample the arduous pleasures of GR mountain country the next.
And all without travelling more than half an hour. Which leaves plenty of time for beach ambling, boat tripping, cafe idling, train training, Corsican food and wine indulgence and all. Can't beat it, I say.