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corsica mystique - hiking itinerary

The rugged island of Cosica, situated off the coast of Italy in the Ligurian Sea, is famed as the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte. Although politically considered part of France, Corsica has a fiercly independent spirit and is proud of its own cultural heritage. The island is wonderfully wild and rugged, yet offers many cultural delights - excellent wines, a reginal cuisine and some great festivals during the summer. The mountains offer a rugged terrain with sweeping views of the villages and valleys below, and out across the sparkling sea.

This is tour offers wonderful walking with both mountain and coastal scenery and wonderful contrasts. You can expect wild mountains, scented pine tree forests, deep gorges and the exceptional western coastline. The walking starts at the Scala di Santa Regina, an old mule path that leads into the central valley, the Niolu. This is the real heart of the island. You walk through beautiful forests with tumbling mountain torrents and waterfalls, clear natural rock pools with sun-baked rocks. Once on the west coast you can enjoy small mountain villages, bright bougainvillea, lemon and olive groves. The hotel we have chosen in Piana is the perfect setting to enjoy the red cliffs and sea views.

Departures
Every Sunday from the beginning of April to the end of October, (for a departure on a different day consult us). Bookings from two people or more.

Trip Summary

Start:
At your first hotel in Ajaccio.

End:
At your hotel in Ajaccio after breakfast.

How to get there:
Ajaccio airport or port.

Accommodation
In twin, double, or single rooms. Good comfortable hotels with character.

Minimum no of participants: 2

Level of difficulty:
The walks are on good footpaths and trails, the terrain is varied but often rocky. You need to be used to walking and take regular exercise to enjoy this trip. Moderate with strenuous sections.

Type: Self-guided walking.

Carrying:
You need to carry a small day sack only with a water bottle, camera, picnic and windproof jacket. The main luggage will be transported by vehicle between the different accommodations. It is also important to consider that it may be necessary to carry your bags short distances at the start or end of your holiday. You will need the appropriate luggage (Consult with us for left luggage facilities).
Discover Corsica Hiking Trip

Day 1

Arrive in Ajaccio and check into your hotel. Time to explore the town, the ambience is Mediterranean and vibrant. If you feel like it, there is a cliff walk that leads up behind the town and offers wonderful views of the coastline and the gulf.
from 6km to 11km, from 2h00 to 4h00 , +140m to +340m, -140m to -340m.

Day 2

An early morning transfer from Ajaccio to Corte, either by train or minibus. The walk starts at the Scala di Santa Regina. An ancient trail that was used by shepherds leading their herds in and out of the Niolu valley. It winds through a decor of granite cliffs to the highest villages in Corsica.
10km, 4h00, +700m, -340m.

Day 3

From the auberge, a short transfer will drop you off in the forest. You walk up through pine trees and silver birches to the famous Col de Vergio. Once across the col there are views of the jagged western coastline. The trail winds through scented maquis, past natural rock pools, down through the chestnut woods to Evisa, a charming village also known as 'the pearl of the mountains'.
13km, 6h00, +600m, -750m.

Day 4

Setting out from Evisa village, a short walk leads to the neighbouring village of Cristinacce. An old village to village trail leads to the abandoned hamlet of Tassu and the village of Marignana. This is a wonderful loop passing through some really rural Corsican villages and some luxuriant fragrant vegetation.
9km, 4h30, +300m, -300m.

Day 5

Spectacular sights all day as you leave the village and descend into the famous Spelunca Gorge. The path zig-zags back and forth leading into the depths. As you approach the next village braying donkeys, locals working in their gardens, bright bougainvillaea, lemon and fig trees all add to the colour.
14km, 6h00, +320m, -1170m.

Day 6

With just 4h30 walking today you may choose to spend your morning in Porto, you might want to spend some time at the beach and enjoy some sea activities. A small path pulls up from the beach and leads to the Calanche de Piana, astonishing rock formations and superb sea views over the entire bay.
12km, 5h00, +520m, -140m.

Day 7

We will communicate the time of the public bus back to Ajaccio when you reserve. The time changes during the season. You may have time to walk down to the small cove of Ficaghiola for a swim. The cove of Ficaghjola is a small sandy creek. With its white sand and high mountains it is very picturesque. It is a favourite nightstop for passing sailboats who like to drop anchor.
5km there and 5km back, about 1h30 one way, +450m, -450m.

Day 8

End of vacation in Ajaccio.

Price includes

Half board accommodation, (no evening meal on day 1 and 7) all internal transfers, baggage transfers between hotels, the dossier containing your maps, route notes and all necessary details needed for your holiday.

Price does not include

Unforeseen additional transfers, drinks, picnics, extra activities, holiday insurance and evening meals on the first and last day.

For further information and booking inquiries please send us and e-mail.