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).

Marking of the first part of the track

Marking of the first part of the track

The path was quite nice and wide from the beginning, marked by orange color. At first we slightly descended and after some time crossed a small brook. Just behind the bridge the orange trail turned to the right to very narrow and shaggy path. We decided to stay on “our” wider path, because it was ascending in a correct direction and seemed more comfortable. Plus, it was also marked – sometimes by red color, sometimes by small pieces of black-yellow or white-red plastic tape.

The trail, originally leading to the west gradually turned to south-west – Monte Stello was few kilometers to the north of us, so I started to thing we won’t make it there. However, after 2 hours and 45 minutes we got to the mountain crest, separating eastern and western coast, where we saw a sign, marking path to the left to Monte Stello.

Signpost (village of Olmeta in background)

Signpost (village of Olmeta in background)

It was leading us to the north and after one more hour we got to the place, where our path connected with trail leading from Pozzo and Bocca di Sante Maria. And not much time longer, there was another crossing, with marked track turning left to Olmeta-di-Capocorso, the place where we started our hike! So, we knew we didn’t use the shortest way to get here, but at least we could use another path for our journey back…

At 3 o’clock, 5 hours and 9 kilometers from the start, we were finally standing on the top of Monte Stello. The view to the western coast was amazing, but there were heavy clouds over the eastern coast – however, we didn’t mind since we expected that.

Chapel near Olmeta-di-Capocorso

Chapel near Olmeta-di-Capocorso

For our return we used a little different way (the one I mentioned two paragraphs ago), marked by orange color. It was shorter (even though not as much as we expected) and IMO nicer, since it offered better views to the coast. Plus it leads around very nice chapel, located about 5 km and 250 height meters from Olmeta.

Nevertheless, I was glad we used different tracks for getting there and back, because it was a very beautiful circle, going through a very varied countryside. It was a little longer trip, but I enjoyed it immensely and would like to recommend it to everyone.


Here is the elevation diagram of the track (generated by my GPS altimeter and processed by Garmin BaseCamp application), please click on the miniature to see the diagram in a full size:

Elevation diagram - trip to Monte Stello and back

Elevation diagram - trip to Monte Stello and back

You can also look at the list of some important waypoints. You can download all of them in one GPX file.

Name Description Approx. Elev. Latitude Longitude
PARKING OLMETA Parking space in Olmeta-di-Capocorso 261 m N 42° 46.015′ E 9° 22.147′
MONTE STELLO Summit of Monte Stello 1307 m N 42° 47.312′ E 9° 25.115′
CHAPEL Chapel above Olmeta-di-Capocorso 526 m N 42° 46.920′ E 9° 22.800′

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