Popularity Tv Walks Sets Brits Hiking To Corsica Says Easyjet
Wednesday, 03 June 2009
With the success of TV shows such as Julia Bradbury's Wainwright Walks and, more recently, Railway Walks, European hiking holidays are enjoying a renaissance, according to easyJet.
Long thought of as a specialist destination, the white snow-capped mountains, turquoise seas and red sandstone cliffs make Corsica one of the Mediterranean's hidden gems.
And while its 200 unspoilt beaches will always be the island's top attraction for tourists, easyJet says more and more walkers are being lured by the unique charm of its mountain and woodland walks.
Encouraged by the unexpected success of TV programmes such as Wainwright Walks, hikers are descending on the island to amble its collection of short woodland trails or to conquer one of the longer treks which criss-cross the island.
Carly Brear, easyJet's UK commercial manager said: "Its laid back culture and perfect beaches has long made Corsica a favourite among families with young children.
"But now with the success - some would say unexpected success - of programmes like Railway Walks, it seems families and couples of all ages are coming to appreciate the pleasure of putting on a pair of walking boots and exploring.
"And while the Alps might offer more breathtaking mountain peaks, there are few places in Europe as uniquely beautiful and unspoilt as Corsica."
Famously the birthplace of Napoleon, Corsica used to be known as a speciality destination - full of idyllic beaches but difficult to get to.
Now, with the launch of two new routes by easyJet, walkers are learning why it was the island's interior which ensured it was so keenly fought over by the Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Italians, French and even the British during the past 3,000 years.
Dotted with medieval settlements and idyllic white stone Mediterranean villages, trails such as the GR20 - which runs more than 100 miles the length of the island - and the Mare a Mare Sud (a mere 60 mile jaunt across the south of the island) are drawing tourists more keen to lace up heavy boots than slip into a pair of flip flops.
Meanwhile, less experienced walkers can combine shorter forest trails with an afternoon driving the island's challenging hairpins, or riding the famous 'little train' which cuts through tunnels and spans countless bridges and aquaducts to take visitors from the coast to the mountains.
"There's no getting away from the fact that the beaches will always be hugely popular with families," Ms Brear added.
"But whether it is for a 20 minute amble or a two week hike on a 100 mile trail, there is also no escaping the fact that more and more people are heading to Corsica to discover the picturesque hiker's paradise."
easyJet launched the new route between Bristol and Bastia on May 24th, and from Manchester on May 31st, offering flights one way from just £30.99 (including taxes).
Notes to editors:
About easyJet: easyJet is Europe's leading low-fares airline, currently operating 175 aircraft on 420 routes between 110 airports in 27 countries. easyJet carried over 44 million passengers in the past 12 months.
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