bastia to calenzana transfers

Dave 54

Posted: Thu, Feb 7, 2013, 19:47

Hi , We are after transfers from bastia airport to Calanzana. There will be 6 of us so a large van, or minibus if possible.
Can anybody advise the best transfer route?

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davvey



Joanna

Posted: Fri, Feb 8, 2013, 6:38

First you must take a navette from airport to Bastia. Then there are both trains and buses from Bastia to Calvi, then you can take a taxi to Calenzana.
You can find all information about public transport in Corsica on this page: http://www.corsicabus.org/



Gaffr

Posted: Fri, Feb 8, 2013, 16:31

Gaffr
Same as Joanna found.....navette to Bastia then train to Calvi (and this was on a Sunday) where we camped overnight....shopping and a bus up to Calenzana at lunchtime the following day.
Must say that this trip, our first to the island, was the most 'flowing'...i.e. using the flight into Bastia. All of our subsequent trips by ferry into Bastia have meant staying overnight in Bastia.
Maybe it would be posssible to get a mini-bus with driver from Bastia Poretta to get you directly to Calenzana....shared amongst six of you might not be too hard on the purse-strings?

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Gaffr



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Mon, Feb 11, 2013, 16:57

Dave

Have you booked flights yet?

If you haven't, you might find flying to Marseille or Nice and getting a ferry to Calvi is a better option.

The overnight ferries are really cheap and get in early so a short taxi ride to Calenzana and you're straight on the GR20 before it gets too hot.

We flew into Bastia a few years ago and booked a hire car that we dropped off at Calvi airport then shared a taxi from there to Calenzana. I don't reccomend that unless you overnight at the Gite in Calenzana. We headed straight up the hill in the full August afternoon heat. Not pleasant..........

Alan

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Alan



annaz

Posted: Fri, Jul 12, 2013, 16:53

Dear Alan,

We're planning to walk GR20 this year, we need to book a flight from London-not sure where to fly to yet- I know we most likely will be able to leave on 26th September PM and we need to be back in London by 14th of October (MOD EDIT: it was "August"). I wonder if this is realistic? I'm assuming you've walked the trail a couple of times...
You mentioned a really cheap overnight ferry to Calvi- how cheap are you talking?
Also, do you reckon we need to train a lot before doing this trail? we only once did the Great Glen Way in Scotland (100 miles) and last year we did the Santiago the Compostella in Spain- it was a little too much -900 miles and we didn't prepare much, just walked around London a few times before going. Would you say it's comparable?

Best Wishes,
Anna and Michael

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Anna and Michael



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Fri, Jul 12, 2013, 17:44

Anna & Michael

I've only done 6 days on the northern section but had to leave after crossing the Breche Du Capitellu as we only had a week.

We flew into Bastia on the Easy Jet Sunday flight from Bristol and hired a car, which we dropped off at Calvi airport then shared a taxi with a French couple to Calenzana. They went to the Gite d'Etap while we headed straight up the trail at 3pm in searing heat. It isn't the best way to start the GR20!

Knowing what I know now, I would fly to Nice or Marseille, take an overnight ferry to Calvi, get a taxi to the start early in the morning and then head straight up-hill.

It is very tough to start with until you get your mountain legs. I had bad cramp in both legs as we tackled the first stage but that was as much about dehydration and the heat.

You do need to train before you go. I'm going to finish the GR20 at the end of August this year and have just started training seriously. I've done 18 miles on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path today as that is on my doorstep. We've also booked a weekend in Snowdonia for the weekend before we go and are intending to go scrambling with the packs we intend to take so that we can whittle the contents down to the essentials. Some scrambling practice is useful as it's quite rough going in places such as the Cirque du Solitude, which is no problem if you are used to scrambling.

We're flying to Nice on Saturday, overnighting in Bastia on Saturday night and getting the 7:30 train to Corte to get back on the GR20 and re-do the last stage from our last visit.

The ferries are about 18 - 20 Euro's for foot passengers. SNCM and Corsica & Sardinia Ferries are the main operators. There are links here: http://corsica.forhikers.com/getting-to-corsica

I don't know the Santiago the Compostella so I can't compare them. One option is to start from the south and work up to the harder bits. Get a ferry to Porto Vecchia instead and then a bus to Conca.

It's a great route. If you're fit enough, you'll love it.

--

Alan



annaz

Posted: Fri, Jul 12, 2013, 18:14

Thanks Alan,

I'm thinking that starting it from Conca is an option we have to consider seriously. We'd just catch a flight to Marseille and then a ferry to Porto Vecchia. Santiago de Compostella runs from southern France (Saint Jean Pied de Port) through to Spain, ends in Santiago, it's sort of an old pilgrimage, long, but apparently not as challenging as GR20! The way you describe it it seems to me you have to use your hands a lot while ascending...if it's so hardcore I wonder if it's not potentially more dangerous on the descent? Also it's terrifying how much you're preparing, I wonder if we should start some time soon too! Another thing I'm hoping will be slightly better in our case is the heat won't be so bad in late September/early October, or am I completely unrealistic?

Best,

Ps. I just checked and we'll need to catch a bus to Conca on Saturday which is problematic in September...oh my, oh my

--

Anna and Michael



cpt_pickard

Posted: Fri, Jul 12, 2013, 21:09

I can also recommend both the overnight ferry and going from the south. Screw the bus to Conca, take a taxi. Costs EUR 50,- which is nothing compared to what you will spend on the trek anyway.

Dan



annaz

Posted: Fri, Jul 12, 2013, 21:46

ooops that sounds a little scary, what do you mean it's nothing 'compared'? How much do you think we should budget for the whole thing do you reckon? We're actually planning to take our tent with us, do you think there's a chance we can camp at least in some of the places on the way?
Best,

--

Anna and Michael



Gaffr

Posted: Sat, Jul 13, 2013, 5:06

I was a bit confused with the dates at first september/august but now the actual time is late september into mid october. You possibly just have two weeks of walking time on the island? at a time when most of the refuges and bergeries will be thinking of closing down....so no resupply services etc. Transport less frequent etc. The refuges are left open after the summer season. You may well have to carry much heavier loads on your backs!
Instead of thinking of the entire route maybe plan for either the Southern six/seven days or for nine days or so in the northern section?
The terrain is rough going for a great deal of the time on the route a whole bit different to routes to Santiago de Compostella where both my daughter and wife have cycled from northern Spain and from Seville in the south on two occasions.
As TT said you have to have done the preparation and put in the mileage on the rougher terrain before going to have an enjoyable time on the route. Myself I am in the hills regularly and use my bike a lot to get around my own area.
Although this June was not a true reflection of the 'normal' conditions on the route check out gaffr blog on walkhighlands for some images taken recently.
Also please check Michele Custoderos blog on the 'dirty facts'? of the GR20.

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Gaffr



cpt_pickard

Posted: Sat, Jul 13, 2013, 6:22

Budget:

Depends heavily on what you are bringing with you. If the gardiens are no longer present, you can theoretically spend nothing - you pitch your tent, not pay the fair use fee to the cash box, not buy any food since there is none and you're good. Zero.

Normally you would be paying EUR 7,-/person for camping + you would buy at least some treats every day + a complete meal or food resources now and then. Now everything is ridiculously expensive up there. I think 20 - 30 EUR/person a day is a fair estimate with own tent and a big deal of own food. Can easily be 50,- if you aleep inside and eat the gardiens' meals.

Cheers

Dan



cpt_pickard

Posted: Sat, Jul 13, 2013, 6:29

Oh, and one more thing regarding the taxi - bear in mind that there is two of you and you both would have to pay something on the bus, too, anyway. Now I am no expert on Corsican bus fees but if you include some reasonable estimate to the equation you may easily assume that the taxi makes a difference not of EUR 50,- but, let's say 30,-.

30 Euro for getting there quickly, comfortably and whenever you need without all the scheduling, breakdown, changes and service disruptions BS is, imho money well spent.

Dan



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Sat, Jul 13, 2013, 7:58

Anna and Michael

You may need to rethink your plans. This is a mountain route with some significant height gains and descents every day. Carrying a 15kg pack up the rocky and uneven paths is quite taxing.

Some sections have chains and ladders to aid ascent or descent too. It isn't a pilgrims path but if you can manage 900 miles, you should be OK with a bit of preparation.

I'm used to Alpine climbing having summited both the Eiger and the Matterhorn but I wasn't prepared enough when I went to Corsica (work commitments prevented much in the way of training). We didn't make the refuge on the first day and I had stiff legs for another 3.

I'd recommend a weekend in the mountains doing similar 7 or 8 hour days (with a light pack) to see how you get on. Also watch Michele's videos:

https://vimeo.com/15061401

https://vimeo.com/29148378

--

Alan



Gaffr

Posted: Sat, Jul 13, 2013, 9:31

Hello Captain Pickard,
good points regarding the taxi/bus prices. But as a general observation walking holidays on the island just don't come cheap and it is, on account of timetabling of the transport, possible to not be walking on a couple of days at each end of the stay and spend money in the towns on accommodation etc.
I was fortunate on my recent trip to have been given lifts in cars and a van when on the road bits at both ends of the journey and I thank the Frenchman working at the power station near Cazamozza, the Portuguese man with his family going out to the coast for a swim for squeezing me into his car and the, again a Portuguese man, working and living on the island for a lift down to the main road from Latacciu. I guess much easier to do this when on your own.
Going to Corse for a spell... leave a bit of time spare for weather changes and various other things related to being on a mediterranean island..... it does need some planning and forethought.

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Gaffr



annaz

Posted: Sat, Jul 13, 2013, 10:55

Dear Alan,

When I listed how long the trails we walked in Spain and Scotland were I obviously meant it in km, not miles, apologies! it was approx 900km in France/Spain and approx 100km in Scotland. We're not THAT good ;)

Also, I am worried about the refuges being simply closed when we're there in October. While we're planning on taking a tent with us- walking for 15 days with nowhere to buy food- will be a big problem. The Spanish trail as much as it was over 500 miles (900km) run through villages where buying food was a matter of going to a shop to buy it. If this trail is indeed so wild, walking it outside the season time is my biggest worry. Although I'm guessing the heat wouldn't be as big a problem when walking it in October. Alan-I've just watched the first 45 mins of the 'Corsica GR20 North' part and gather based on the amount of rocky terrain and the choppers picking up injured...it's not anything like Camino in Spain, despite being shorter. It looks stunning but also a little dangerous, tbh. Perhaps we should do just a part of it or postpone it altogether.

Dear Gaffr,

I've just read through 'the dirty fact' and even 'My holiday hell' article which worried me a little bit. You pointed out there won't be any places to buy food from- big worry. Camino was a challenge for me and if, as pointed out by a few here, it's much steeper on the GR20, perhaps we should reconsider. Especially that we would only have between 27th of September and 14th October to walk it

Dear Dan,
Thank you for the info on the budget and taxis. I think if we wanted to do just half of the trail this year, it's good to know it's approx 50 euros per day, the Spanish trail was cheap compared to this- most albergues were no more than 5-10 euros per bed, we had our tent and the food was super cheap.

All the best,

Anna

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Anna and Michael



Michele
moderator

Posted: Sat, Jul 13, 2013, 12:31

Anna and Michael,

If I can throw in my 2 cents, my advice would be to consider doing just the southern section (either direction is fine). It's still 90 km but the footpath is easier and you can start getting an idea of this trail. Also if you can reschedule your dates and try to do it within September you'd have the certainty that the huts will still be open (they begin to close down starting the first week of October, but it also depends on the weather, flow of hikers etc.). You only have to be prepared for unstable weather and colder nights.

Best luck with your GR20 and don't give up :)

--Michele



annaz

Posted: Sat, Jul 13, 2013, 12:41

Dear Michele,

I reckon we will have to postpone either way- there is no way we can start before 27th September, unfortunately :( even if we did the south part only, carrying all the food on us is just not going to be fun.

But we probably will do it next year! thank you so much for all your responses!
Best,

--

Anna and Michael



Michele
moderator

Posted: Sat, Jul 13, 2013, 12:58

Anna and Michael,

Ok, if you start 27th September the southern section going South-North you can travel light until Paliri (first stop) which will be open. The next day in a couple of hours you cross the village of Bavella and you'll find a grocery store where to buy what you need. Then your next stop will be Asinau which will again be open. Now you can again travel light the next day Asinau-Usciolu because the refuge has a very good food store. It's 29th September. Next stop: Prati: you can eat at the refuge: it's 30th September. Now Capannelle comes next: if they are still open (which I think they will) you're ok. Otherwise use some of the food bought at Usciolu. The next day you're in Vizzavona and you're finished. You can eat meals there and sleep in a hotel also.

All in all i think you can do it.

--Michele.



annaz

Posted: Sat, Jul 13, 2013, 13:03

Michele, this is very helpful info. I also looked at your 'dirty facts' page and the recommendation you made about the Tra Mare e Monti Nord. Do you reckon walking this trail in October will be problematic in terms of food-supply? again, we don't want to carry it. Also, is this trail relatively almost as beautiful or a bit of a waste of time? many thanks!

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Anna and Michael



Michele
moderator

Posted: Sat, Jul 13, 2013, 13:12

Anna and Michael,

That's one of the other Corsica multi-day routes. It's easier than the GR20, and can be done March thru November.
You can start reading the info given at this link: http://corsica.forhikers.com/mare-mare-nord and the report written at this page: http://art.simon.tripod.com/MareAMareNord/

However, the forum expert of all these trails is Gaffr. So if he's reading this he will surely pitch in.

--Michele



cpt_pickard

Posted: Mon, Jul 15, 2013, 8:23

Hi,

I would like to add to Michele's post about the shopping opportunities that there is also a private campsite at Bocca di Verdi between Prati and Capannelle where food and resources can be bought and this is presumably open the whole year as it is on a road and caters mainly the road traffic.

I am not sure about Capannelle but it is private, too and it is on the road so maybe it does not close the same way the PNRC places do. It deffinitely has a standard "restaurant" and stuff so I think it might be open all year long, not sure though.

It is also good to know that you can quite easily double up the last two southern stages to Vizzavona (from Verdi all the way to Vizz without stopping at Capannelle) saving one day worth of food. If you are doing the south from Conca to Vizz you do not need to carry that much food really even if the refuges were closed (meaning the shops there, the refs themselves are always open). You can do it in 5 days and there are at least two restocking points which will be available for sure as described above.

Cheers

Dan



annaz

Posted: Mon, Jul 15, 2013, 11:29

Dear Michele,

I'm just reading through the website about Mare a Mare Nord by Rob Freeman and Michael Cooper and noticed it's a different trail form the Tra Mare e Monti Nord. I will definitely look into both of them-

and here's the question for everyone- Which one of the two would you recommend more? We wanted to walk for approx 2 weeks, late September/early October, we have our own tent but could occasionally stay at a b&b, we definitely don't want to carry any food on us. Which trail do you reckon would be more suitable for us, Mare a Mare Nord or Tra Mare e Monti Nord? Also, transport wise, we'll be flying in from London. Many thanks!

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Anna and Michael