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GT20/Stage 2: Centuri - San Fiurenzu

Western Coast of Cap Corse

58 km - 900m uphill

     

Tracé OpenRunner here

A new day brings with it a new stage or maybe you’ve just set off from Bastia this morning and after a short stop off at Centuri, you feel ready to continue on to San Fiurenzu (Saint-Florent) for a short sixty-ish kilometres and some 900 metres of climbing.

 

To each their own pace and to each their own GT20 :)... And to each their own cruising speed :).

 

After lobster for lunch (yum), I’m off again, this time heading towards San Fiurenzu.

 

The route runs along the sea coming out of the fishing harbour then climbs back up to rejoin the main road at Mursiglia (Morsiglia).

 

We take corners that come one after the other with no two alike, while marvelling at the nature we pass after each bend. We also gain altitude on this cliff side road, making us feel as if we are flying above it. Capi Corsu lives up to its name as “an island within the island”, and is a real wild treasure, its predominating colours being green and blue.

 

©ATC-Sylvain ALESSANDRI ©ATC-Sylvain ALESSANDRI

                                                                                                                                  One especially beautiful section is the anse d'Aliso, where the road circumvents this magnificent beach.

©ATC-Clémence RAFFI ©ATC-Clémence RAFFI
©ATC-Sylvain ALESSANDRI ©ATC-Sylvain ALESSANDRI
©ATC-Clémence RAFFI ©ATC-Clémence RAFFI
©ATC-Clémence RAFFI ©ATC-Clémence RAFFI

I pass through the villages of Pino, Minervio and Albo before noticing an enormous quarry on the cliff in the distance. This is the old Canari-Abro asbestos quarry and it tells me I’ve arrived in Nonza.

 

                                                                                 Nonza, voted France’s favourite village in 2016 by viewers of French TV channel France 2, is perched like an eagle’s nest on a breathtaking vertical cliff face over 100 metres high.

 

©ATC-Sylvain ALESSANDRI ©ATC-Sylvain ALESSANDRI

I arrive in front of this colourful spectacle; a black pebble beach on which you can make out patterns and messages created with white pebbles, and the Sainte-Julie church, resplendent in yellow and orangey pink.

 

©ATC-Sylvain ALESSANDRI ©ATC-Sylvain ALESSANDRI
©ATC-Clémence RAFFI ©ATC-Clémence RAFFI
©ATC-Sylvain ALESSANDRI ©ATC-Sylvain ALESSANDRI

I strongly urge you to put down your bikes, change your shoes if you can and climb the 125 steps to see the Square Paoline Tower (quite different from the round, Genoese towers) so you can admire the panorama and the stunning view over the Gulf of San Fiurenzu. Splendid!

And should you wish to visit it, there’s a stairway in the village leading down to the beach.

 

©BikingMan-David SAINTYVES ©BikingMan-David SAINTYVES

There are no hotels in this little village but there are some very good restaurants!

I leave this little Cap gem, pass through Negru, another black beach, before crossing the little pont de Farinole (avoid this bridge if you have vertigo!), to finish my second stage at San Fiurenzu 18 kilometres further south.

.

Should you happen to be on this road in the evening (and you should be provided you left Bastia at sunrise that day), you’ll witness a splendid sunset!

 

©ATC-Clémence RAFFI ©ATC-Clémence RAFFI

You could go on or stop here in San Fiurenzu, or the surrounding area, as the micro-region is overflowing with hotels, camp sites, guest houses and restaurants…the choice is yours!

And if you fancy it, why not do the bike stage in the morning, and a little tourism and relaxation in the afternoon, there’s plenty to do!: Including Patrimoniu, the coastal path and the desert of Agriates beaches, or else relaxing at the hotel...

But make sure if you go on to properly recharge your batteries (in every sense of the term) and replenish all necessary supplies as the next stage is a little...barren, shall we say ;).

 

©ATC-Sylvain ALESSANDRI ©ATC-Sylvain ALESSANDRI

 

Points of interest for tourists in this stage:

Centuri and its picturesque fishing port.

The Western Coast of Cap Corse, which is wild and unspoilt, and contains the quintessential village of Nonza.

 

Pour en voir plus

As with the East coast, if you like to climb and gain altitude you can take the small inland roads that climb through the villages and hamlets and rejoin the main road a little further on. This is the D33 that you can get onto at several points, thus giving you the opportunity to admire villages such as Pino, Barrettali and Canari and also see the Cap from further inland.

 

 

 

 

©ATC-Sylvain ALESSANDRI ©ATC-Sylvain ALESSANDRI
©ATC-Sylvain ALESSANDRI ©ATC-Sylvain ALESSANDRI
©ATC-Sylvain ALESSANDRI ©ATC-Sylvain ALESSANDRI

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