Nestled within the azure embrace of the Mediterranean, Corsica is not only renowned for its sun-kissed beaches but also its majestic mountains. This island’s mountainous landscape beckons hikers from all over the world, offering a mix of leisurely trails and rigorous treks. If you’re passionate about wrapping your feet in hiking boots and setting forth on an adventure, Corsica is your playground.
While many flock to Corsica for its beaches, those who have explored its mountain trails know the real treasures lie inland. Corsica presents an alchemy of pristine natural beauty, rugged landscapes, and breathtaking panoramas that make every hike worth the effort.
GR20 – The Trail of Legends
Perhaps the most iconic of Corsica’s hiking trails, the GR20 runs north to south, spanning a whopping 180 kilometers. It’s famed as one of Europe’s toughest long-distance trails.
Duration: 15 days (on average)
- Traverse through the heart of Corsica, scaling peaks, crossing rivers, and delving into forests.
- The Cirque de la Solitude offers challenging scrambles with ropes and chains.
- Stunning vistas of Monte Cinto, Corsica’s highest peak.
Tip: This trail isn’t for the faint-hearted. Ensure you’re well-prepared, carry the right gear, and possess good physical stamina.
Tra Mare e Monti – Sea to Mountains
The Tra Mare e Monti is the perfect trail for those who want the best of both worlds – coastal views and mountainous terrains.
Duration: 10 days
- The trail winds from Cargèse to Calenzana, meandering through fragrant maquis shrublands.
- Gorgeous beach stops like the one at Girolata Bay.
- Historical treats like the Genoese bridge at Piana.
Tip: The trek can be broken down into shorter segments if you don’t have ten days to spare.
Mare a Mare Trails
The Mare a Mare (Sea to Sea) trails crisscross the island, offering three different routes to explore Corsica’s interior.
Difficulty: Moderate to Hard
Duration: 4-5 days for each trail
- Mare a Mare North takes you from Moriani to Porto through chestnut forests and traditional Corsican villages.
- Mare a Mare South runs from Porto-Vecchio to Propriano, flaunting the Bavella Needles’ granite peaks.
- Mare a Mare Centre is a quieter path from Corte to Ajaccio, bringing the authenticity of Corsica’s heartland.
Tip: These trails are best enjoyed during spring and autumn when the weather is mild.
Sentier des Douaniers – The Custom Officers’ Route
For those who prefer coastal views over mountainous terrain, this is the perfect trail, stretching along Cap Corse’s jagged coastline.
Duration: 2 days
- The trail unveils a series of coves, cliffs, and Genoese towers.
- Witness the dramatic meeting of the Tyrrhenian and Ligurian seas.
Tip: Stay overnight at Barcaggio to enjoy the sunset and rise early for a sunrise hike.
Cascade des Anglais – A Leisurely Walk
Located near Vizzavona, this is an easy trail leading to refreshing waterfalls, perfect for families or a relaxed day outing.
Duration: 2 hours
- The path is shaded by laricio pines, offering a cool respite during summers.
- Enjoy a picnic by the waterfalls, which are especially lively in spring.
Tip: Ideal for a quick escape into nature without committing to a long trek.
Essential Tips for Hiking in Corsica:
Plan Ahead: Corsica’s weather can be unpredictable. Check forecasts and trail conditions before you head out.
Stay Hydrated: Always carry ample water, especially during the summer months.
Respect Nature: Follow the ‘Leave No Trace’ principles, ensuring you don’t litter or harm the environment.
Gear Up: Wear the right footwear and carry essentials like maps, a compass, first-aid, and emergency supplies.
Corsica is a hiker’s dream with its juxtaposition of sea and mountain, old-world charm, and natural wonders. From challenging treks to leisurely walks, the island offers something for every hiking enthusiast. So, pack your gear, tie those laces, and embark on a journey through Corsica’s unparalleled trails. The mountains are calling!