Category Archives: Corsica 2011

Corsica 2011 – Lac de Nino (21st July)

For our second (and last) day in Niolo, we had planned a trip to Lac de Nino – one of five most famous Corsican lakes.

Start/finish Main POI Distance Max. elevation Min. elevation Track record
Maison Forestière de Poppaghia Lac de Nino 10 km 1762 m 1061 m GPX file

The track begins at Maison Forestière de Poppaghia (1061 m ASL), few kilometers down under Col de Verghio mountain pass. The hike is very well-known and so we met a lot of people there. It surprised me that most of them were French – usually tourists in Corsican mountains are mainly Germans, Czechs, Austrians and Slovenians.

Lac de Nino from Bocca â Stazzona

Lac de Nino from Bocca â Stazzona

We set out from the parking place at 9:22 and set out to the south along the marked trail to Lac de Nino. At first it ascended quite gently through the beautiful pine forest of Valdu Niellu (“Black Forest” in English???); however, this changed after about 3 kilometers, when we came out of the forest near “Bergerie de Colga” (1412 m ASL). Read More (+ elevation diagram, waypoints, photos) »

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Corsica 2011 – Viru valley (20th July)

Well, after a short cycling break I’ll return back to writing about Corsica. Weather wasn’t very good on our first day in Niolo. It was quite cold (approximately 13°C), very windy and it was raining. Despite that, we set out to a trip to Viru valley – a track from Klaus Wolfsperger’s guidebook.

Start/finish Main POI Distance Max. elevation Min. elevation Track record
Parking near Calasima Bergeries de Ballone 11 km 1442 m 1056 m GPX file

The hike starts near Calasima – which is, according to the aforementioned guidebook, highest-located Corsican village. We left our car at ten to eleven on a small parking space on the road to Viru valley – it is very easy to found: the tarmac road from Calasima changes here to the unpaved, gravel one.

Viru valley

Viru valley

Main target of our trip were "Bergeries de Ballone", that are located on famous GR20 route near Viru brook. At first we went to the west along the gravel road. After about 1.5 kilometers, it changed into a narrow forest path and gradually turned to the north-north-west. Even though the track was quite well marked, we still had some problems with orientation and I was quite happy to have my GPS with me. Read More (+ elevation diagram, waypoints, photos) »

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Corsica 2011 – Ficajola, Lozzi (19th July)

On Tuesday we left the camp in Porto and went to central Corsica – more specifically to region Niolo. However, first we drove through Calanche and Piana to Ficajola beach to enjoy the sea one more time before going inland.

Ficajola beach

Ficajola beach

Ficajola is one of the most famous beaches in Golfe de Porto – all the people I know (who visited Corsica) went to it. It’s located a few kilometers to the north-west from Piana, from which you can get there by a narrow road D 624 that descends down to the coast in a lot of serpentines. The beach itself is quite small, but very beautiful, especially thanks to red rocks that are all around it.

After swimming in the sea for a while, we got in car and started returning back to Porto. During the way back I made a short video (that you can see above), showing the journey through Calanche – from football field behind Piana to “Tête de Chien” rock formation. Even though it isn’t very nice, I decided to publish it here to show you this most famous natural sight of Corsica. Read More (+ photos) »

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Corsica 2011 – Girolata (18th July)

On Monday we set out to the same starting point as the day before – to Bocca a Croce / Col de la Croix. Our plan was to go to village Girolata, along hiking route Tra Mare e Monti (well-known track, leading from Calenzana near Calvi to Cargèse near Golfe de Sagone). Girolata is the only village in Golfe de Girolata bay and it’s possible to get there only by boat or on foot.

Start/finish Main POI Distance Max. elevation Min. elevation Track record
Bocca a Croce Girolata 11.3 km 261 m 0 m GPX file

We left our car at quarter to eleven and started slowly descending down to the bay. The path was quite wide and well marked by orange color. Unlike during previous two trips, we met quite a lot of people on the track. Some were going just to Girolata like us, but most of them had big bags and were probably doing the whole Tra Mare e Monti hike. That inspired me to make a promise (to myself:-)), that if I have time I’ll try to go “Between the Sea and the Mountains” sometimes next summer.

Girolata (from Bocca Ghjanibarellu)

Girolata (from Bocca Ghjanibarellu)

After 2,4 kilometers long descent (during which I took a lot of photos of Punta Castellacciu, towering above blue sea of the bay), we got down to the sea, to beautiful Plage de Tuara. From the plage, there are two paths leading to Girolata – one goes along the coast and the other across 180 meters high hill Bocca Ghjanibarellu. Read More (+ elevation diagram, waypoints, photos) »

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Corsica 2011 – Punta Castellacciu (17th July)

For the 17th July we had planned trip to Punta Castellacciu – 585 meters high mountain that together with its little higher (and more famous) twin peak Monte Senino separates Golfe de Porto from Golfe de Girolata. Hike to its summit starts in Bocca a Croce / Col de la Croix, which is a (mountain) pass on D 81 road between Porto and Galéria.

Start/finish Main POI Distance Max. elevation Min. elevation Track record
Bocca a Croce Punta Castellacciu 4.3 km 585 m 253 m GPX file

I found information about the trip on this web – it is an (example) track from the Rother Walking Guide, that I mentioned in one of my previous blogposts.

Monte Senino and Punta Castellacciu

Monte Senino and Punta Castellacciu

Hike to Punta Castellacciu is not long (in fact maybe it’s the shortest one we made this year), but it’s very very steep. When I for the first time looked at the mountain from Bocca a Croce, I couldn’t believe that it’s possible to get to the top without climbing equipment. Fortunately, I was wrong… Read More (+ elevation diagram, waypoints, photos) »

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Corsica 2011 – Porto (16th July)

The trip to Monte Stello was the only one we had planned in the northern part of the island. That’s why in the morning we packed all our stuff and left Camping A Stella

At first we went to the west to Saint Florent and then continued through the Désert des Agriates to the port of Calvi. After passing it through we turned to the left and drove along the western coast for a while, before once again turning left to Chapelle Notre Dame de la Serra.

Calvi (from Notre Dame de la Serra)

Calvi (from Notre Dame de la Serra)

It is a very nice chapel, with a white sculpture of Virgin Mary standing on the small rock just next to it. Furthermore, it is located on the hill that offers a beautiful view to the city of Calvi and on the coast around it. Read More (+ photos) »

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Corsica 2011 – Monte Stello (15th July)

For our first trip on Corsica, we planned a hike to Monte Stello, 1307 meters high mountain located on Cap Corse. I found the tip for this track in a great guidebook Corsica: The 70 finest coastal and mountain walks by Klaus Wolfsperger. However, we had a a little different version – Czech one from 2001, containing just 50 tracks, not 70. We’ve used this guide a lot during our holiday, even though we went to 2 or 3 other hikes, not contained in this guide (as I learnt few minutes ago, they are all contained in the extended guide with 70 tracks).

Start/finish Main POI Distance Max. elevation Min. elevation Track record
Olmeta-di-Capocorso Monte Stello 17.2 km 1307 m 265 m GPX file

The common hikes to Monte Stello begin on eastern coast, in villages of Silgaggio and Pozzo (the track described in guide), but since the sky over eastern coast was overcast, we decided for the track from western coast, from the village of Olmeta-di-Capocorso. Only problem was, we didn’t have a good map – I did have a GPS (Garmin Oregon 450) with OpenStreetMap topographic map of Corsica, but unfortunately this track wasn’t there.

Monte Stello, 1307 m ASL

Monte Stello, 1307 m ASL

At first I thought this wouldn’t be a problem, since I expected there would be marked trail leading there. However, at the crossroad near Olmeta church, there were three tracks marked – the first one to Nonza (1 h 30 min), another one to Marine de Negru (1 h 15 min) and the third one to Bocca San Lunardu (3 h) / Bastia (6 h). We decided for the last trail, since it (at least roughly) led in our direction). Read More (+ elevation diagram, waypoints, photos) »

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Corsica 2011 – Ferry to Bastia, Patrimonio (14th July)

After waking up (sleeping in the car in a port isn’t exactly comfortable, but at least we rested a little bit) and having small breakfast we got on the M/F Corsica Marina Seconda, ferry heading to the port of Bastia, second largest Corsican city and capital of Haute-Corse department.

MS Queen Victoria

MS Queen Victoria

While leaving Livorno port, we noticed cruise ship MS Queen Victoria there – it was the biggest ship I’ve ever seen so as usually I took a lot of photos (and later at home deleted most of them). After 4 hours  of the journey, we approached to Bastia – however, one thing was different from previous years: there were big clouds over whole coast, completely hiding summit of not only Monte Stello (that we planned to visit the next day) but also of most of other mountains. Read More »

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Corsica 2011 – Journey to Livorno (13th July)

Two days ago I returned from our annual family holiday. We visited (for the fourth time!) Mediterreanean island of Corsica. I liked those ten days spent there a lot and therefore (just like the last year) would like to publish here a small journal, describing hikes and interesting places we visited…


Our trip began on 13th July, when we left for the Italian port of Livorno. I desribed the route quite thoroughly in one of previous posts, so now I’ll just post here a table with distances to some important points of the track and with the times when we got there:

Point on the track Distance [km] Time [hh:mm]
Choceň 0 8:40
Brno 105 10:25
Wien (bridge over Donau/Danube) 239 12:29
Border Austria-Italy (Arnoldstein/Tarvisio) 623 16:51
Bologna Interporto (A1 highway exit) 976 21:03
Firenze Scandicci (A1 highway exit) 1087 22:18
Livorno port 1170 23:15

In Livorno, we parked our car in “stazione marittima”, and went to sleep, because our ferry to Bastia didn’t leave for another 9 hours…

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