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.

Thanks to it we managed to find the right way all the time and at half past twelve, after about 4.5 kilometers, arrived to "Bergeries de Ballone" / "Auberge U Vallone". During the journey I noticed a rusted wreck of Lada Niva (Soviet/Russian off-road) dumped in the forest. Normally I’d hated it, but it looked quite well – being green and all surrounded by fern. I took its picture and think it looks very nice, doesn’t it?

Lada Niva in Corsican valley...

Lada Niva in Corsican valley...

After having a coffee in the “auberge” we set out on our way back.  We didn’t use the same track as for the hike here, but at first went to the south along the GR20 and then after approx. 2.5 kilometers turned to the left, to a narrow path leading back to the east to gravel road from Calasima – which closed the whole track into a very nice circle.

The whole trip was 11 kilometers long and with all stops took us 5 hours. Total ascent was cca. 500 meters.

Cinque Frati (Five brothers)

Cinque Frati (Five brothers)

According to the guidebook, this track is recommended especially because it offers a lot of beautiful views to the "Corsican Matterhorn", Paglia Orba. Unfortunately, as I said before, weather was not very good and we didn’t see it at all:-( However, the trip was still worth it and in the afternoon at least view to the valley opened for a while, allowing us to make some nice photos.


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 Viru valley

Elevation diagram - trip to Viru valley

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 CALASIMA Parking at the end of tarmac part of the road 1059 m N 42° 19.853′ E 8° 55.915′
PARKING Parking at the end of the (gravel) road 1149 m N 42° 20.065′ E 8° 55.141′
AUBERGE U VALLONE Bergeries de Ballone / Auberge U Vallone 1424 m N 42° 21.180′ E 8° 54.473′
ODBOCKA Z GR20 Track leaves here GR20 route (Warning: easy to miss!!!) 1390 m N 42° 20.184′ E 8° 53.783′

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