Hiker's Blog on Corsica Island

GR20 with a dog

One of the questions I've been receiving quite often is whether is possible to go with dogs into Parc naturel régionale de Corse (PNRC) and whether a dog can manage to cross the GR 20 trail.

The first answer is simple. On the PNRC's official website they writes: "Les chiens sont admis sur tout le territoire du Parc, mais n'ont pas acces aux refuges." That means dogs are allowed all over the Park's territory, but they must not enter the refuges.

The latter question is more difficult. GR20 is a tough trek and you should consider your dog's fitness level at first. Take into account hot Mediterranean weather in summers, scarce sources of water along the way and coarse or even sharp rocky surface. Is your dog used to such difficult hikes?

If it is, there is one more problem -- Cirque de la Solitude. It's the most difficult part in the 4th stage, where scrambling using your hands and iron chains and ladders is necessary. I can hardly imagin a normal dog can cross it, so be ready to carry it in this place, or avoid the Cirque de la Solitude at all. You can take a sidetrack across Monte Cinto and get back to the GR 20 at Refuge de Tighjettu.

If you can read French, check out this discussion about the dogs on the GR 20 trail.

Posted by Marek Prokop on Wed, 2007-05-23 23:32

Dave Pickford on Climbing in Corsica

Renown UK rock climber, photographer and writer David Pickford visited Corsican mountains and as a result of his journey published the article Corsica: The Ultimate Climber’s Island?. And what’s his answer to the question in the title?

There are only a few places in the world where the drama of an alpine landscape lies within less than a half-hour drive from beaches where the sea is warm enough to swim. Indeed, Corsica may be the only place in the world where it would be quite feasible to climb an ice-fall, then a multi-pitch rock route on a big mountain crag, then go sport climbing, before finishing off the day with a bit of deep water soloing and bouldering on the coast.

The article, that is accompanied with beautiful climbing photos, further mentions Corsica’s most popular climbing areas — Restonica Valley (Gorges de la Restonica), Col de Bavella and Caporalinu north of Corte.

Posted by Marek Prokop on Thu, 2007-05-17 15:58

Two Coastal Trails for Spring

Are you going to Corsica soon and are not still decided, which one of its beautiful hikes to take? I’ve recently added maps and descriptions of the two coastal paths that are great to walk in spring.

  • Sentier des Douaniers is a short (19 km, 1-day) trail located on the north most tip of the Cap Corse.
  • Sentier du Littoral is a 2-day hike along the coast of the famous D?©sert des Agriates and across the even more famous beaches of Saleccia, Loto and Ostriconi.

Both trips are quite easy when walked in colder periods of the year. That’s why I recommend them for spring.

Posted by Marek Prokop on Sun, 2007-04-22 18:24

Maquis, the aromatic spirit of Corsica

Maquis (macchia in Corsican and Italian) is a shrub biome that covers about 20% of Corsica. You can’t walk around the island and don’t meet the maquis. Although most guidebooks mention maquis and its typical scent, more details are rather difficult to find.

Fortunately, Kirsten DeLara wrote a thorough list of plants the maquis consists of and she even included gardening tips for growing those plants in your own garden.

Posted by Marek Prokop on Mon, 2007-04-09 11:01

Snow in Corsica (March 07)

A lot of snow fell in Corsica last week and still lay in the mountains of Corsican interior. According to Meteo France the snow starts from 1200 m on the northern slopes and from 900 m on the southern ones of Haute-Corse (Northern Corsica — Monte Cinto and Monte Rotondo massif). There are 35-50 cm of snow in 1500 metres and up to 120 cm in the northern slopes above 2000 m. In Corse Du Sud (Southern Corsica — Monte Renoso) the snow starts in a little higher elevation between 1000-1500 m.

If you are planning a mountain hike in Corsica within next few weeks, please read my recent post about GR 20 in April. You may also find useful up-to-date Derekthered’s report Snow in the mountains on his Corsica blog.

Posted by Marek Prokop on Thu, 2007-03-29 08:22