One Week in April

sarsfox

Posted: Thu, Mar 23, 2017, 21:20

Hey guys!

My partner and I are going to be in Corsica April 10-17! We're very excited, but need to come up with an itinerary that includes the best hikes possible. While we are both in decent shape and 30 years old, it sounds like the GR20 would be too vigorous for us (not to mention we only have a week).

So, what should we do? We're coming in and out of Bastia. Right now, my best idea is to spend one night in Cap Corse, and then head to Calvi/Balagne where we will do a loop of the GR20 through Calenzana and check out the lakes/forests in the area.

We'd like to check out the west (Calanques de Piana, Gorges de la Spelunca, etc) too but maybe don't have enough time.

What do you think of this plan? Should we instead focus on the center of the island (Corte)?

Please help! Thanks :0

S



SQFP

Posted: Fri, Mar 24, 2017, 22:53

Hi, it all depends on what gear/training you have, how confident you feel wandering off the beaten paths, and what kind of accommodation you expect (please remember that 'refuges' are unmanned till late May, i.e. no food supplies). Expect chilly weather and some snow here and there above 1500m (5000 ft) a.s.l.

As for the hikes, all your suggestions would be fine (hiking in the Cap Corse, Tavignanu-Ark roundtrip west of Corte, easy trails near Piana and Porto, a bout of GR20 near Calenzana/Carozzu/Spasimata) even though one week might not be enough! FYI the (in-)famous touristic path that runs at the bottom of the Spelunca Gorges is a bit on the unimpressive side if you are after panoramic views...

--

French geologist with a soft spot for Corsica...



sarsfox

Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2017, 9:50

Thanks for the reply kind sir!

We will have the most basic gear -- smartphones for gps, hiking shoes, poles, daypacks/camelbacks -- and no training, other than some long distance backpacking treks (1 month long in comfortable climates) we've done.

We won't feel confident wandering off beaten paths, but there have got to be some spectacular trails without too many tourists (especially in April), right?

It's a priority for us not be surrounded by tourists! Is there a way to see the Spelunca Gorges without so many fellow tourists? Or would you recommend to skip it.

I understand a week is not enough :/
However, given our limitations, what would you recommend for the week?

Thanks!



sarsfox

Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2017, 9:50

Thanks for the reply kind sir!

We will have the most basic gear -- smartphones for gps, hiking shoes, poles, daypacks/camelbacks -- and no training, other than some long distance backpacking treks (1 month long in comfortable climates) we've done.

We won't feel confident wandering off beaten paths, but there have got to be some spectacular trails without too many tourists (especially in April), right?

It's a priority for us not be surrounded by tourists! Is there a way to see the Spelunca Gorges without so many fellow tourists? Or would you recommend to skip it.

I understand a week is not enough :/
However, given our limitations, what would you recommend for the week?

Thanks!



Gaffr

Posted: Mon, Mar 27, 2017, 12:47

Can I suggest a couple of day-walk guides that we have when not on the multi day trails.
'Rother Walking Guide' for the Island and 'Walking in Corsica'...Cicerone...Gillian Price.
Many day walks in both of these books.

Dare I say that I was a bit underwhelmed by the Spelunca gorge. Coming from Ota and heading up to Evisa while travelling the Mare e Monti I seem to recall spending a great deal of the time in the trees that kind-of blocked out the gorge.
The Tavignano gorge is much more interesting....Corte up to Sega refuge and beyond. I guess that the refuge won't be open when you are there but up and down could be fitted into a day.

--

Gaffr



SQFP

Posted: Tue, Mar 28, 2017, 17:42

I'd say "skip the Spelunca" unless you happen to be there already. I would not count this as a goal in itself.

Here are some suggestions if you're after wilderness and panoramic views away from the crowd:
- the left bank of the Tavignanu W of Corte (extra credits: farther up to a ruined chapel or even to the Melu shelter)
- the natural Arch to the WNW of Corte (extra credits: up to the Canaghja pass / Mount Pinerole for neat views)
- the Ota-Lonca gorges-Larata-San Petru-Ota (or Porto) roundtrip (with canyon, chestnut grove, panoramic views over the Spelunca and the Gulf of Porto)
- the Piana-Ortu-Porto hike (one-of-a-kind granite scenery above Piana, panoramic view near Capu d'Ortu)
No special skills required for these "long" day-walks, should be in reach of the average hiker if keeping it lightweight.

--

French geologist with a soft spot for Corsica...



sarsfox

Posted: Tue, Mar 28, 2017, 18:53

Amazing - thank you guys so much for this advice.

I'm having a bit of trouble figuring out exactly where some of these places are ie: the Ota-Lonca gorges-Larata-San Petru-Ota (or Porto)

I can't find "Larata" or "San Petru" on a map. Is there a page on this site that details these hikes, that you know of?

Where would you suggest we sleep during the week? A couple nights in Corte and a couple nights in Porto/Ota?

Thank you!!



SQFP

Posted: Tue, Mar 28, 2017, 23:00

Use Google Maps, then zoom in to reveal the magic of the trails ;) Even better: the topo maps by the French Mapping Agency - well-maintained hiking trails are colored purple: http://tinyurl.com/HikesFrenchIGN

Corte to the Arch (and farther to Bocca Canaghja): https://goo.gl/maps/jV8GREbxZiH2
Corte to the Forestry hut (and chapel a tad below): https://goo.gl/maps/85NqaJpspcT2
(Healthy hikers combine both in a loop)

Ota - Larata - San Petru - back to Ota: https://goo.gl/maps/bnfy8zvHuLN2
Ota - Larata - San Petru - down to Porto: https://goo.gl/maps/fpdHKtrLRn22
(there is water near Larata)

Piana - Foce d'Ortu (=pass) - Capu d'Ortu (=peak) to the north: https://goo.gl/maps/MmaUBsrTgmu
(if feeling dandy: from Foce d'Ortu a rough, steep trail goes down to Porto/Camping Funtana a l'Ora)

When it comes to accommodation, there are decent hotels in Corte, two lovely guesthouses in Ota, and pricey hotels in Porto as well.

--

French geologist with a soft spot for Corsica...



Michele
moderator

Posted: Wed, Mar 29, 2017, 7:29

SQFP, thanks for your excellent contribution!!! It would be supercool if you could share the above gps tracks with us in gpx format.
Thank you

--Michele



SQFP

Posted: Fri, Mar 31, 2017, 20:35

Sure. Will prepare that in the coming days. (Probably on a new thread, to keep things tidy)

--

French geologist with a soft spot for Corsica...



sarsfox

Posted: Sat, Apr 1, 2017, 10:27

These are so helpful. SQFP - please do let us know what thread you post those on, if so!

Thanks
Sam