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The Wonders of Sardinia and Corsica

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Small Group

Discover lush Mediterranean islands infused with hidden charms.

12 days From £2,495 per person

2022 Tour code: SAG22

About the tour

Discover lush Mediterranean islands infused with hidden charms as we get to the heart of Sardinia and Corsica. Wind through Italian Sardinia by private railway, watching a landscape of wild forests and pristine beaches unfold, and explore untouched Corsica, a paradise of glittering bays and old-world French towns.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 – London and Nice

We meet at London St Pancras for the Eurostar journey to Paris. Changing trains in the French capital, we continue to the pretty coastal city of Nice. We spend the night here in a local hotel.

Includes
  • Dinner
  • Eurostar Meal
Day 2 – Calvi

Continuing our onwards journey, we board a ferry for the sailing to the French island of Corsica, a relaxed island bursting with spectacular natural beauty. Arriving in Bastia, we transfer to Calvi on the northern coast, the lesser-visited part of the island where rugged landscapes meet quaint French town and unspoilt beaches. Our hotel for three nights is the Hôtel L'Abbaye, a former 16th-century monastery in the heart of the town.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 3 – Calvi

We're introduced to Calvi on a guided walk, discovering a town made up of pastel buildings, cobbled streets and a picturesque azure harbour. In the afternoon, you're free to relax or explore this gorgeous French town further. One great option is to find a local café and indulge in some traditional Corsican food. Cuisine here is delightfully rustic, and draws from both French and Italian influences, with soups and stews especially popular. Corsica produces some excellent wines, too, which are often relatively unknown outside of the island, so sampling a glass is highly recommended.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 – Île-Rousse, Monticello and Sant'Antonino

We take the train to Île-Rousse, a town with a central square lined with cafés and ice-cream parlours, and white beaches plucked from a postcard. You have time for lunch, the perfect chance to indulge in a spot of al fresco dining. Next, we visit Monticello, a beautiful village perched on a rocky cliffside with sweeping views over the ocean. It's believed it was here that Christopher Columbus's mother, Susanna Fontanarossa, was born. Our final visit is Sant'Antonino. Officially known as one of the most beautiful villages in France, its history dates to the 9th century, making it the oldest inhabited village in Corsica. You have time to explore before we visit a 'Maison du Citron' for a fresh citrus juice.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 5 - Ajaccio

We make our way to the south of Corsica by rail, travelling through a landscape of ancient mountains enveloped by verdant forest scenery. Our journey ends as we arrive in the port city of Ajaccio, Corsica's elegant capital, and transfer to our hotel. Famous as the birthplace of Napoléon, Ajaccio is a sparkling Mediterranean town that boasts chic cafés and shops, a pretty port and beach, and a cluster of enticing, winding streets making up its old town.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 – Scandola National Park

We discover Corsica from its waters, heading to the port and boarding a boat that takes us on an unforgettable cruise around south Corsica's unmissable beauty spots. We sail to the breathtaking Scandola Nature Reserve, part of a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its hidden caves and rich marine life. Here, we see the pretty coastal village of Girolata from the unique vantage point of the ocean, as well as Calanques de Piana, a magnificent display of striking rock formations and red granite cliffs.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 7 – Olmeto and Sardinia

We head further south to Bonifacio, pausing en route in Olmeto where we sit down to a traditional Corsican meal at 'La Source'. A restaurant nestled amidst the mountains, it's often possible to spot red kites from the terrace here. In Bonifacio, we board the ferry to Sardinia, an Italian island famous for its turquoise waters, enticing beaches and laid-back way of life. We transfer to our hotel in Baja Sardinia, a beach resort that's close to the popular Costa Smeralda.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8 – Baja Sardinia

Enjoy a free day in Baja Sardinia to relax at the hotel or head out for an introduction to Sardinia. Once a tiny seaside village nestled in a fan-shaped bay, Baja Sardinia has grown into a small yet popular resort town thanks to its stunning surroundings and gorgeous beaches. Visiting the main beach here is a great option; with its emerald sea and shallow waters, as well as fantastic nearby bars, restaurants and shops, it's the perfect place to while away an afternoon. Perhaps end your day with a typical Sardinian meal, which is distinct from Italian cuisine though with a clear influence. Seafood dishes featuring lobster are especially popular in Sardinia's coastal regions.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 9 – The Little Green Train

We transfer to Palau for a holiday highlight - an exclusively chartered trip on the Trenino Verde, or 'Little Green Train'. Our wonderfully scenic journey on this heritage line takes us across the island, showcasing its natural scenery as we cut through thick vegetation and around wide, sweeping turns on the way to Tempio. From here, we continue to Alghero, an attractive medieval city with an unmistakable Spanish atmosphere. Enjoy free time here; discover the city walls, or perhaps sample some Sardinian food or relax with a glass of cool wine.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10 - The Costa Smeralda

The exclusive stretch of coastline known as the Costa Smeralda is the best-known corner of Sardinia, famed for its powdery white beaches, sparkling waters and luxurious resort towns. We discover two of its beautiful towns today. First, we visit Porto Rotondo, an idyllic fishing village that boasts a host of impressive mansions and a lively marina filled with stylish yachts. We continue to Porto Cervo, an unmistakably upmarket town filled with designer boutiques that attracts wealthy visitors from around the world.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 11 – Castelsardo

Enjoy a relaxed morning at the hotel, or maybe to head out for a final few hours' exploration of Baja Sardinia. In the afternoon, we bid farewell to the town, transferring to Castelsardo to discover a place that's often referred to as 'one of the loveliest towns in Italy.' The picturesque town is bursting with a rich history dating back to the 12th century, and is known for its dramatic ancient castle, which sits perched on a hill overlooking the town, and fortified old town. After time to explore, we board a ferry in the evening and settle into our cabins for the overnight sailing to Toulon.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 12 – Toulon and London

Arriving in the French port city of Toulon, we leave the ferry and begin our journey home. We travel to Paris and join the Eurostar service to London St Pancras, where our holiday ends.

Additional information

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Hôtel L'Abbaye, Calvi

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Hotel e Residence Ajaccio Amiraute, Ajaccio

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Hotel Pulicinu, Baja Sardinia

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Trains

Eurostar
TGV
Trenino Verde

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

Inclusive Luggage Upgrade
London Hotels
UK rail connections

Reviews

5.0 stars5.0 / 5 · 2 reviews

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Miss K Bromilow

5 stars

Submitted 08 Oct 2018

fabulous hotels'foodand service.a native of the country as a guide throughout adds passion and much more insight !Fabio was truly fabulous!

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mrs K Bowskill

5 stars

Submitted 29 May 2017

Busy, well organised but very enjoyable

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Europe by Rail 2022

Europe by Rail 2022

The definitive guide to our 2022 summer rail holidays to a wide range of destinations in Europe. When ordering for postal delivery, you will only receive our collection of European holidays. If you are interested in UK holidays, these are available on the website.

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The Wonders of Sardinia and Corsica

Discover lush Mediterranean islands infused with hidden charms.

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Helen Laverack
Helen
Lynne Broadley
Lynne
Luke Simpson
Luke