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France – The Island of Corsica at Leisure

The Scented Isle

28 May to 4 June 2017

Leader: David Walsh

Maximum of seven clients.

2017 Cost £1,999 single room supplement £200

The island of Corsica is one of the most unspoilt parts of the Mediterranean, offering unsurpassed mountain scenery. Most of the northern half of the island is a National Park: official recognition not just of the visual quality of the landscape, but also of its rich natural history. In Corsica, there are peaks which are so high that they remain snow-capped for most of the year. The abrupt altitudinal range, from sea level to well over 2,000 metres in a few kilometres, is largely responsible for a distinct vertical zonation of habitats from fragmented, cultivated lowlands up through thick, aromatic shrubland (known as maquis), then mountain forest (first dominated by Holm Oak, and higher up Corsican Pine), and so to subalpine meadows and rocky peaks. Each of these habitats gives rise to a distinct assemblage of birds. During the tour we hope to see the island's endemic species, Corsican Nuthatch and the near-endemic Corsican Finch (also found on Sardinia), as well as Marmora’s and Moltoni’s Warblers and the distinctive local race of Woodchat Shrike. For those impressed by avian size, there are large numbers of Red Kite, together with small resident populations of Golden Eagle and Lammergeier. The ornithological mix also ranges from the multi-coloured European Bee-eater and Red-backed Shrike to monochrome Spotless Starling and Blue Rock Thrush.

For those with a wider perspective, there is much that is interesting and unusual in other aspects of the island's fauna. There is a good range of butterflies including some Corsican endemics, whilst the flora is also noteworthy for its wealth of unusual plants including a number of orchids. Put this abundant natural history and magnificent scenery together with the chance to enjoy the comfort of two superbly located hotels and fine cuisine, and you have the basic ingredients for a memorable break.

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Outline Itinerary
Day 1 Fly to Bastia and transfer
to Corte
Days 2-4 Corte
Days 5-7 Borgo
Day 8 Depart Bastia