You could do this circuit in a day but you'd miss so much along the way. I'd suggest you stuff some euros and your card in a larger than usual saddle bag with your shorts, t-shirt and flip flops and go on an overnighter. There are many places you could stop but I would strongly recommend either Centuri-Port or Barcaggio depending which way round you choose to go and the time of year. If you start from Bastia then anti clockwise is the way which will keep you closest to the sea and that's how my description goes.
Just a couple of cautionary notes - if you are bothered at all by vertigo this is not the route for you as the western cape is very exposed. Also, there is little or no shade on this route so be prepared!
Leaving Bastia centre head north on the coast road the D80 which soon leaves the town and its suburbs behind and links a series of pleasant ports, marinas and beaches. If time allows a quick stop in Erbalunga is well worthwhile in the Place de Gaulle at the port edge. Not too long though as you won't have many kms under your belt yet. The ride north along the eastern cape concludes at Macinaggio where you head west and then north to the tip of the Cap. The terrain naturally picks up now as you head into the hills to find access point to the very northernmost point of the island. Leave the D80 at the village of Ersa taking the D253 for Barcaggio, and a little further on Tollare. From both you will have wonderful views of the Ile de la Giraglia. Tollare is the most northerly point but Barcaggio has more to offer in terms of refreshments and accomodation (unless you are camping).
Turning south it's back to Ersa on the D153 in order to pick up the D80 again. At Camera take the D85 and head for Centuri-Port, one of my favourite spots and a great place to spend the evening - you'd be forgiven for thinking that you've riden back in time as you enjoy a drink at a port side bar. Leave Centuri via Mute and climb up past the convent to rejoin the D80 at Morsiglia.
You're never far from the coast now heading south and the views are breathtaking as you make your way along the side of the cliffs high above the sea, well that's how it may feel now and then. Through Pino and Canari and on to Nonza and it's infamous black beach, a mining legacy from the 1950's. South of Nonza look out for the road to Farinole and Patrimonio the latter famous for wine and its annual rock music festival - Guitar Nights. Well inland now for the final stretch back to Bastia which has a bit of a sting in the tail - 6km averaging 6%. Alternatively return via St Florent.
© M.Lund 2013-23