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Duration
8 days
Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • 6 nights mainly 3 star hotels
  • 1 night in a comfortable mountain lodge
Meals
  • 2 Dinners
  • 1 Lunch
  • 7 Breakfasts

Price

$1290USD

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Overview

Trip Code: CCP

Trip highlights


  • Experiencing the stunning landscape and diverse flora and fauna
  • Exploring small villages where traditions are practiced from centuries past
  • Viewing the rose hued Calanques of Piana
  • Delighting in the warm hospitality of the local people

A veritable mountain in the sea, Corsica is the most geographically diverse of the Mediterranean Islands. It offers such a variety of landscapes from snow topped mountain peaks to fine sandy beaches. Age old paths link the high mountain plains with their shepherd huts through to the picturesque Mediterranean Coast. This itinerary starts in the central valley and crosses the Grand Randonnee 20 (GR20), the challenging long-distance route running most of the length of Corsica. On foot you'll discover scented pine forests and the pretty mountain village of Evisa, known for its chestnuts, and explore the deep Spelunca Gorge. From Porto you can explore the unique jumble of rose granite pinnacles including the famous Calanques of Piana before visiting Corsica's capital Ajaccio, birthplace of Napoleon.

Trip Grading

moderate

More info about grading system

Traveller Rating

 

Your trip will commence in the hill top town of Corte which was once the capital of Corsica and continues to be a centre for Corsican Nationalism. Whilst Corsica is officially part of France and Napoleon Bonaparte was born in Ajaccio, the majority of its inhabitants align themselves more with Italy. On arrival in Corte make your way to your hotel.

Meals:  Nil

This morning you will be transferred to the heart of the Scala Santa Regina Gorge to commence your walk. The views of the Golo river as you enter the granite sided gorge are dramatic. You will follow ancient shepherd's paths into the borderlands of the Niolo region. Overnight by the Calacuccia Lake in the shadows of Monte Cinto, (2710m/8891ft) Corsica's highest peak. Altitude gain & loss: +850m, -500m

Meals:  B

A superb day on the trail as you ascend through the forests of Verghio along a beautiful path overlooking the Golo Valley. You will have the chance to experience the cascading Radule Waterfall and Bergeries de Radule (shepherds huts and sheepfolds) where it is sometimes possible to purchase cheese. There are numerous opportunities to swim in the natural pools en route. For part of the day you will be walking on the iconic GR20 trail to reach your simple hotel on the old ski resort. Altitude gain & loss: +900m, -554m.

Meals:  B,D

Today you will cross the Col de Verghio (1467m/4813ft) which marks the boundary between North and South Corsica. Just over the pass there is a striking statue by the sculptor Bonardi. Your destination is the village of Evisa reached via a meandering path through the magnificent forest of Aitone. You will encounter immense Laricio pine trees, some of which are over 40m/131ft high and 300 years old. The forest is inhabited by wild boar, Aitone foxes, sparrow hawks and eagles among others. You may spot a Corsican nuthatch - if you are lucky! Natural pools and waterfalls abound on the route today. The pretty town of Evisa set at 850m/2789ft, is famous for its ancient chestnut forest and has expansive views of the valley. There will be ample time to explore the village or have a swim in the hotel pool before dinner at the hotel. Altitude gain & loss: +400m, -850m

Meals:  B,L,D

Our walk continues this morning down the stunning Spelunca Gorge, whose walls rise to 1000m in places. The gorge is the result of the confluence of several rivers whose crystalline waters offer the perfect opportunity for a swim. The route takes in two beautifully restored Genoese bridges dating back to the 14th century, the Ponte Vecchiu and the Ponte Zaglia. A myriad of wildflowers and shrubs line rambling path as it cuts through the cliffs. You will emerge from the gorge close to the sleepy village of Ota which is perched on the mountainside; it is a welcoming rest stop before your descend to Porto where you will spend the night. Altitude gain & loss: +650m, -1450m.

Meals:  B

Today is free to explore the UNESCO listed Scandola Peninsula whose red granite cliffs soar dramatically from the sea. From your base in Porto, renown for its magnificent sunsets you can experience the wonders of the region. Many activities including snorkeling in the cove, bike riding and boating are all on offer and can be arranged locally. Porto is home to a Genoese Tower built in 1549 on an outcrop of granite. An ascent of the tower offers stunning views of the area. On a clear day you can see the tower on Capo Rossu on the southern side of the Golfe de Porto. Alternatively, you can hike to Piana from the beach of Porto past the impressive red cliffs of the "Calanques de Piana". The contrasting colours of the red porphyry rocks against a backdrop of the Mediterranean Sea are quite spectacular. The best way to see these otherworldly formations is on foot, allowing you to fully appreciate the work of erosion and time on this geological wonderland. The trail winds along the meeting point of ocean and land, where the mountains run into the sea, climbing inland toward Capu d'Ortu. On arrival in Piana (440m/1444ft) you will appreciate why this is considered to be one of the most beautiful villages in Europe. Return to Porto by local bus.

Meals:  B

The local bus to Ajaccio takes around 2h10 and follows the coastline along the bays of Cargese and Sagone. Purchase your ticket from the driver (no buses operate on Sundays and public holidays except from 1 July to 31 August). From 1 September until 30 June there is one bus in the morning (8:05am), while in July and August there are two buses (8:05am and 2:20pm)*. On arrival at Ajaccio coach station, you will be transferred to your hotel in the historic heart of Ajaccio. From the hotel you can easily explore the main attractions of this picturesque Mediterranean town including the home of Napoleon which is now a national museum, the Palace Fesch Museum with its impressive collection of art, the surrounding beaches and the main square and surrounds where markets, shopping and lively bars and restaurants can be found. *information subject to change without notice - see www.autocars-ceccaldi-ajaccio.fr for the latest information

Meals:  B

The trip concludes this morning after breakfast.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts, 1 picnic lunch, 2 dinners - breakfast will usually be continental style and consist of breads, jams, coffee, tea and juices. Dinners will vary according to the fresh produce available but may be quite limited and repetitive in the mountains.
  • 5 nights in 3 star hotels, 1 night 2 star hotel on a twin share basis with private facilities, 1 night comfortable mountain lodge twin share also with private facilities.
  • Luggage transfers - one piece of max 15 kg per person
  • Transfer from Corté to start of walk on day 2 and from Ajaccio coach station to the hotel on day 7
  • Information pack including route notes & extract maps per room booked (IGN maps available - supplement applies)
  • Emergency hotline

  • Travel to Corte and from Ajaccio
  • Dinner on day 1, 2, 5, 6 & 7, lunch daily except day 4 and drinks
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Storage of excess luggage and parking
  • Bus transfer from Porto to Ajaccio which is paid locally (allow EUR12)
  • Tour guide - this is a self guided trip
  • Travel insurance - mandatory
  • Transfers and alternative accommodation which may be required in the event of bad weather

Grading

moderate  

MODERATE GRADE 3 This is a self-guided walk with average daily stages of around 5 hours over mountainous and at times rugged terrain. The approximate walking times are listed for each stage, bear in mind these are walking times only and do not include breaks for lunch and rest stops. The trip is graded moderate as the paths although well defined and clearly marked, have some steep sections on sometimes loose and rocky ground and through scrubland (maquis). There are lots of ups and downs. A reasonable level of fitness is required and you should be able to read a topographical map. As with all of our trips it is important that you are well prepared. We suggest that you undertake regular exercise - swimming, cycling, jogging, two to three times a week for three months prior to your departure.


Departure dates

Daily from 1 Jul to 31 Aug, Tuesday to Sunday from 5 Apr to 27 Oct

Notes

H
High Season
DN1
High season is from 1 Jul to 31 Aug and a supplement applies.
DN2
This trip is not suitable for solo travellers. Please contact our team for alternate tour suggestions. Walk timings noted do not include rest breaks.
DN3
It is not possible to start on Mondays in the low season as there is no bus from Porto to Ajaccio on Sundays (day 7).

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from

$1290USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Single Supplement - low seasonUSD$500
  • Single Supplement - high season (Jul-Aug)USD$610
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

Videos

Corsica & GR20 Walking Tours | UTracks Active Travel

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