Review: Walking in Corsica

The sun shining down a group in mountainous Corsica | Paul Ensor
The sun shining down a group in mountainous Corsica | Paul Ensor

Two-thirds of Corsica is comprised of mountains; Lonely Planet describes the island as “Jutting from the foaming Mediterranean like an impregnable fortress.” Joy Walterfang was one of a group of 16 who put her hand up to go walking in Corsica, from Corte to Piana along the Mare a Mare Nord (Sea to Sea trail). Read about her experience Crossing Corsica in this blog post that was originally published in Senior Traveller.

  Walking in CorsicaThe adventurous group from Adelaide setting off on their week-long hike in Corsica | Paul Ensor “Oh my god – you’re kidding,” said my travelling companion, peering out the window of our plane (her language may have been a tad more colorful!). “Have a look at this!” We were preparing to land in Ajaccio, the capital of the French island of Corsica, for a walking holiday, and all we could see from that small window was a precipitous gathering of jagged ragged saw-tooth mountains as far as the eye could see. 16 of us, all members of an Adelaide gym, had put our hands up for a hike crossing Corsica with a section on the GR20, the most difficult of more than 100 long-distance walking trails across Europe known as the GR routes; our ages ranging from mid 60s to late 70s. 
 
We had a local guide and a driver with an eight-seater van who carted our luggage (and sometimes weary hikers) to each night’s accommodation. We just carried what we needed for the day including plenty of water, although we were able to top up our water supplies at the many icy pure spring waters that gushed from the mountainsides. A couple of hours travelling on a torturous corkscrew of a road took us up to the centre of the island to the town of Corte, where we were to start our hike. Mountains in this region reach almost 3,000 metres. For the next two days we ascended, very slowly, up granite-sided gorges on steep and rocky paths while the hot autumn sun shone mercilessly. Below us, thickets of rosemary, thyme and lemon myrtle gave off delightful fragrances as we brushed past them. It was so steep, the elevation profile for these two days looked like charts from a very good week at the stock exchange! 
 
Picnicking by a waterfall in CorsicaWe enjoyed picnics by waterfalls in the shadow of the saw-tooth mountains we'd seen from the plane | Paul Ensor After gaining all that height we then spent the following two days scrambling back down to Porto at sea level. On these lower slopes, stands of chestnuts, yew, cedar, fir, oak and Corsican pine gave much welcomed shade. We stepped over colourful clusters of wild cyclamen and tangles of clematis, bathed our feet in mountain streams and picnicked by restful waterfalls. The coast was just beautiful, the Mediterranean a gorgeous deep royal blue. Corsica has some of the best beaches you will see anywhere. After a welcome day’s rest we turned around and climbed back up inland again for more stunning coastal views. 
 
Magnificent views from a hotel in PianaOur hotel in Piana offered magnificent views and was the perfect finish to a challenging but rewarding hike | Paul Ensor Our last night was spent in the village of Piana, considered to be one of the most beautiful villages in Europe. Here, we were greeted with more glorious panoramas. The next day we drove to the bottom of the island to the port of Bonifacio for the 50-minute ferry ride that would take us across to the Italian island of Sardinia to continue our UTracks walking holiday.
>> Read the original article in Senior Traveller, 'Stepping up and out in Corsica' - p.55 in the Traveller section 
>> Find out more about cycling and walking in Corsica 
>> Combine your Corsica itinerary with a trip in Sardinia
 
 
corsica, France, Guided, walking holidays

Comment (0)

Your comment will be visible after the administrator's approval.







b i u quote


Save Comment
Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/SHX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Sherpa Expeditions</div>
Sherpa Expeditions is a specialist in self guided and guided walking and cycling holidays in the United Kingdom and Europe. Detailed route notes provide a definite guide to places in Europe for active walkers and cyclists.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Youth Adventures</div>
World Youth Adventures is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.