A wonderful walking that offers you both mountain and coastal scenery featuring splendid contrasts. In front of your eyes there will be rugged 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 of 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 sea cliffs and sea views.
♦ Corte - the island's histprical capital;
♦ Spelunca Gorge - with spectacular views around;
♦ Scala di Santa Regina - an ancient trail used by shepherds.
Day 1. Arrival Corsica
Arrive in Ajaccio, Calvi or Bastia and transport on your own (by taxi or by train) to Corte - the island's historical capital. Time to explore the town. Overnight in Corte -/-/-
Day 2. Corte - Calacuccia
A short transfer to the start of your walk at the Scala di Santa Regina - an ancient trail that was used by the shepherds leading their herds in and out of the Niolu valley. You walk down towards the lake in the base of the valley towards the village of Calacuccia. Your overnight stop is situated in the outskirts of the village. B/-/D
Walking: 13 km, 5 h, Ascent / descent: + 700 m/ - 340 m
Day 3. Calacuccia - Evisa
A short transfer in the morning will drop you off in the forest called Val du Niellu at the famous Col de Vergio. Col de Vergio is a high mountain road pass - the boundary point between the island’s northern and southern part. Once across the col there are views of the jagged western coastline. The trail goes downhill through the Aïtone pine forest to the outskirts of Evisa - a charming village also known as "the pearl of the mountains". Overnight in Evisa. B/-/D
Walking: 11,5 km, 5 h, Ascent / descent: + 80 m/ - 720 m
Day 4. Evisa
Leaving Evisa village, a short walk leads to the neighbouring village of Cristinacce. The trail continues to the abandoned hamlet of Tassu and the village of Marignana. This is a wonderful loop passing through some really picturesque Corsican villages. Overnight in Evisa B/-/D
Walking: 9 km, 5 h, Ascent / descent: + 300 m/ - 300 m
Day 5. Evisa - Porto
You leave the village of Evisa descending to the famous Spelunca Gorge while spectacular sights accompany you all day long. The path zig-zags back and forth leading into the depths and then towards the village of Ota. As you approach the village braying donkeys, locals working in their gardens, bright bougainvillaea, lemon and fig trees will be part of your surroundings. Leaving the village the path starts descending to the coast with beautiful views to the Gulf of Porto. B/-/-
Walking: 14 km, 6 h, Ascent / descent: + 320 m/ - 1170 m
Day 6. Porto - Piana
Today a short walk is planned, so you may choose to spend your morning in Porto, enjoying the beach and some sea activities. You can also take a boat trip to Scandola. You walk along the beach, then take a path that is just above sea level and gives a balcony view down to the clear blue waters, as well as splendid views of the rugged coastline. Overnight in Piana. B/-/-
Walking: 12 km, 5 h, Ascent / descent: + 520 m/ - 70 m.
Day 7. Departure
The tour ends after breakfast. We will inform you about the timetable of the public bus back to Ajaccio prior to your departure to Corsica. 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 night stop for passing sailing boats who like to drop anchor. You can eventually do this walk on the day before. Flight back home or eventually spend some days in Ajaccio. B/-/-
How to get there: You can fly to Ajaccio or fly to Nice and then take the ferry from Nice to Ajaccio. You can check bus and train services on Corsica here: www.corsicabus.org
Practical information: ►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 holiday. The tour is not organised for single persons due to safety reasons. ►You will need to carry a small rucksack only with your water bottle, camera, picnic and a jacket. ►Bring EUR in cash for your personal expenses as there are very few places only in Ajaccio, where it is possible to change money. Use of credit cards is very limited. ►There are two buses from Piana village square to Ajaccio town centre - in the morning and in the early afternoon. You need to precise which bus you want to use at the time you book the tour. Occasionally, there is one bus only. Alternatively, you can reserve a taxi to Ajaccio. ►It is possible to upgrade your hotel in Corte and Piana - on request.
Nessesary equipment: sturdy walking boots and walking socks, a small rucksack 35-50 l, walking poles (optional), a water bottle with at least 1-2 l capacity, sunglasses, sunhat, sun cream, wind- and waterproof jacket, bathing suit, first-aid kit, insect repellent.