CORSICA MARE E MONTI 10D
Magical: the Mediterranean & the Mountains
READY TO HIKE ?
Welcome to the « Isle de Beauté » ; an idyllic and truly spectacular mountain in the sea! Mare e Monti, as the name implies, brings us through the fabulous Corsican mountains filled with arbousier (strawberry) trees and aromatic plants to the limpid turquoise waters of its rugged coastline. We trek from Galeria, through Girolata and the Scandola Natural Reserve (UNESCO World Heritage Site) to the amazing formations of the Calanches de Piana (also UNESCO World Heritage Site) with about half the nights spent on the beach (in auberges) and the other half in mountain refuges. Fantastic food, a certain amount of exotism, great walking and particularly diverse scenery all make this an excellent trek and what’s more, one that is perfect for May or early June and September, October, outside the ‘summer rush’ !
price will depend on accomodation
This price includes :
• 4-9 days guided walking
• 5-10 nights half board accommodation
• All picnic lunches
• Collection and return to Calvi
Arrive in Calvi, where we meet and spent the night. Rumoured to be the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, Calvi is a picturesque seaside town with striking citadel jutting out to form a turquoise blue bay. Briefing with guides on the trek ahead before dinner.
A short transfer from Calvi to the start of our trek in the village of Calenzana, the start of the Tra Mare e Monti. Calenzana is a maze of small lanes and old granite houses surrounding the church of Saint Balise with its Baroque belfry. From here we climb up and over the pass Bocca u Corsu at 599m, and through the Foret de Sambucu to our first gite d’etape in Bonifatu.
We cross two passes today, the Bocca de Bonassa (1,153m), and Bocca di Lucca (589m). From Bocca Bonnassa we have glimpse the Golfe di Calvi to the north and to the east the granite spires of the Cirque de Bonitfatu. Golden eagles nest in this area so we may be lucky! We reach our gite d’étape for the night at Tuarelli (90m). (6h30)
Today we make our way down to the coast. There are some deep, natural pools where we can stop for a morning swim if we like. We cross the old stone bridge of Ponte Vecchiu and have great views of the the Paglia Orba massif, also called La Grande Barriere. As we follow the Vallee du Fango and the river of the same name down towards the sea we have views north to the coastline and beaches, arriving in Galeria early enough for an explore and a swim. (4h30)
We walk from Galeria to Girolata via the stunning Col de Bonassi with its amazing Holm Oak trees. We start by heading south, climbing up the Tavulaghiu Valley before the Punta di a Liternicco where the trail turns west to arrive at the saddle of Bocca di Fuata (458m). Again we will have amazing views of the interior’s wild landscape from Scandola to Paglia Orba, as well as the red rocky coast bordering the wonderful azure blue bays. We have a long drop down the Cavone Ravine into the quaint village of Girolata with its red tile roofs and narrow alleys. Girolata has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, and is accessible only by foot or boat. Gite on the beach and yoga on the helicopter pad! (6h)
We enjoy a morning kayaking or a boat trip to reach the Natural Reserve of Scandola and its rich ochre cliffs. We walk in the afternoon from Girolata to the beach of La Gradelle via the wild and isolated beach of Tuara (4-6h).
From La Gradelle we walk to Serriera via a pretty ridgeline and beautiful forests. A lovely gite with great food awaits in this typical Corsican village. (5h)
Leaving Serriera we head out on a long but beautiful climb to the pass before making our way down to Ota (7h). Transfer to Porto. We stay in an eco-lodge at the top of the village. The yoga terrace here is ideal.
Today we explore the magical formations of the Calanches de Piana…hearts, dogs’ and lions’ heads, needles and towers…a photographer’s paradise ! The calanques are also part of the UNESCO World Heritage area with Scandola and the Girolata Bay. We spend a second night in Porto. (4-6h)
Return transfer to Calvi (possible afternoon bus from Porto, so morning walk Piana-Porto, then lunch and bus). Swim and last night in Calvi. There is also a bus to Ajaccio if you would prefer to leave Corsica from Ajaccio. Night in Calvi with the group (or individually in Ajaccio if you are leaving from there).
Transport out of Calvi/Ajaccio.
NB : This trek exists also in a ‘longer version’ of two weeks. There is the option of ‘back-up transport’ for trekking lighter and with a little more comfort and adaptability. Please ask us if this interests your group. Cost will depend on the number in the group.