Corsica Hiking Options

by Guest

Corisca lying just off the mainland of France, is an incredibly beautiful island that expands through rugged mountains and seashore, a lengthy history of which is filled with awe-inspiring views and mystery and has some of the most friendly people in the world. There is literally something that can be enjoyed for everyone to unlock and take advantage of in Corsica, and one of those things is hiking! Here is a comprehensive list of some of the best Corsica hiking locations that you may want to consider for trekking on your vacation to the island! Note that Mare a Mare mentioned below means “Sea to Sea”, which is a very interesting way to Hike Corsica as you get to cut across the island and start and end at the coast.

Hiking Corsica GR 20

The GR 20 is a very long (180km) trail and is often considered to be one of the toughest of all of the GR routes. The GR 20 courses through some of the most beautiful mountains of Corsica in a diagonal direction from north to south. It is considered to be the most difficult of all the GR routes and one of the most beautiful hikes in all of Europe. The hike varies in altitudes of which can reach upwards of 10,000 meters and can be completed on average in 15 days. Although the GR20 does not require you to have to know any advanced climbing techniques, or have a super high perfect fitness level, you should have some pretty good confidence in terms of hiking through a wide variety of the rugged terrain that you will come in contact with on this hike.

corsica hiking

Mare a Mare Nord

Yet another long-distance Corsica hiking trail that you may want to consider it the Mare a Mare Nord which crosses Corsica at its most wide part and spans from the Moriani village on the east coast over to the town of Cargese on the west coast. With its highest peak reaching 1478 m the trail itself can easily be enjoyed from March through November. There are two variants in the trail as well,  the most basic route can be broken up into 10 different stages, with each one of them taking roughly 4 to 6 hours to trek. There is also an alternative trek that you can opt to give a go, it launches in your choice of either Sermano or in Corte and then redirects you back to the main route once you get to Marignana, this route is also a stage longer. Both of the variants of the route come to intersect with the GR 20 route and the final stages from Evisa or Marignana to Cargese are also known to cross the trail of Tra Mare e Monti, which allow you the opportunity to be able to view some examples of what some of the other Corsica treks are like as well!  

Mare a Mare Centre

If you are seeking a little smaller Corsica hiking experience, but are still craving a generous excursion, you may want to consider the Mare a Mare Centre. The Mare a Mare Centre is a 7 day hike that launches on the eastern coast of Ghisonacia and travels directly to the heart of Corsica into Porticio on the west coast quite close to Ajaccio. The trek can be passed through with ease from between April and November and each of the seven stages of the trek can be completed in about 3-7 hours. The highest point is 1525m and you can choose to walk from east to west or west to east, though most guidebooks will recommend the former. One of the best features of this hike is the fact that it is mostly covered in shade so it can be hiked in comfort, even in the middle of summer!

corsica hiking

Mare a Mare Sud

The shortest of all of the Mare a Mare (sea to sea) treks is the Mare a Mare Sud. This one is a quite simply five-day hike that takes you through the Alta Rocca region via Porto-Vecchio over to Propriano. With its highest point being 1171m this trail can be passed at pretty much any time of the year, though the best seasons to trek it have been noted to be in the spring and in the autumn.

Tra Mare e Monti Nord

The Tra Mare e Monti Nord is a quite easy trail that can take upwards of 9 to 11 days and can be walked in pretty much any season of the year (although the summer months are the least comfortable due to the heat). The trek kicks off in Calenzana (the same launch point as the GR 20) and then heads South adjacent to the coast all the way to Cargese (just north of Ajaccio). Though it is most certainly possible to walk the trail in the reverse manner, walking from the recommended direction provides for the the ultimate views of Corsica. There are also two variants of the trek that you can opt to strive for as well, they lay between Curzo and Girolatao. If you prefer the more coastal option, be sure to go for Bocca a Crocce (Col de la Croix) which is a little bit shorter and you will be in the sun more as well. The longer trail of Capu Tondo runs through the forest and is provides far more shade, which is certainly ideal during the summer months.

Monte Stello on Cap Corse

If you are seeking a more low-key, easy hike, you may want to explore the option of the Monte Stello on Cap Corse, a simple half-day hike that extends from Pozzo to Monte Stello (roughly about 1307m) and takes you up to the highest summit of Cap Corse, allowing you the opportunity to be able to view some of the most incredible sights and vistas in the mountains of northern Corsica. The hike is pretty easy as it falls along a nicely marked path, however a medium fitness skill level is recommended because of the elevation gain being that of 1030m.  

corsica hiking france

Capu di a Veta above Calvi

Take in the Balagne region on the west coast of north Corsica with the Capu di a Veta. Set above Calvi this one is a pretty easy walk with very few tough patches. Conveniently marked with red and orange markers, this is a very nice 4-hour (average) hike that is sure to provide you with a wide variety of outstanding views that overlook the Calvi Bay via the infamous statue of Notre Dame de la Serra and also from atop of Capu di a Veta (703 m), which is the highest hill that sits above Calvi.

Around Balagne from Lumio to Algajola

Another super easy, albeit pretty long trek (and one that does not have too much shade) is around Balagne via Lumio to Algajola between Calvi and L’Ill Rousse. This Corsica hike takes about a full day and allows you the opportunity to be able to take in the picturesque beauty of the villages of Corsica (including, Cateri, Pigna, Lavatoggio, Aregno, Corbara, and San Antonino). This walk also includes some of the incredibly beautiful historic area chapels, one of which is the home to several architectural masterpieces such as Eglise de la Trinite, and also the monasteries Corbara and  Marcasso.

The Mountain Villages of Bastia

The largest town in Corsica is Bastia, this walk through the mountain villages of Bastia, include a nicely surfaced road. The walk is very easy and takes about 6-hours, where you will be led through the wondrous seaside and mountain villages that surround Bastia. The walk will allow you to be able to pass through low-traffic roads that are very well-marked and the route is even suitable for bike trips as well. Additionally, there are a couple of alternate options that will allow you to be able to easily travel from Bastia to Ville-di-Pietrabugno, including a scenic shortcut that will take you from Acqualta to Pietranera.

Wherever in Corsica you may find yourself on your next adventure, be sure to take the time to explore the area by hiking. Whether you are ready to give it your all with a longer hike or simply just want to pass a half of a day exploring all of the breath-taking beauty that Corsica has to offer, there is most certainly a trek that is perfect for what you are looking to take in!

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