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No need to do the GR20 to enjoy South Corsica, as long as you are well informed and well equipped. There is plenty to do in terms of breathtaking trails, all without sweating too much. I suggest you easy walks from 15 minutes to 3 hours maximum. My favorite : the free application iScarpi which allows you to find the best hikes directly on a map, to filter according to your desires in terms of difficulty or duration for example, with even the possibility to use it offline (not bad considering the capricious network in Corsica). But also because, as you will see, the paths are not always easy to find… Fortunately, I put all this on a map that you will find at the end of the article.
The walks of Sari-Solenzara
There are a number of easy walks in Solenzara, starting from the free parking lot of the cemetery. The first one is to the Monastery of Our Lady of the Assunta Gloriosa, or Bethlehem Monastery of Sari-Solenzara. It is a very pleasant path of 2km, rather flat and wide with a clear view on the surrounding mountains. The monastery itself is rather new but in a style that blends well with the landscape. If you are still in shape, turn around and after about 1km take the water trail. You’ll take a more winding, calloused trail along an old riverbed, through a forest and up a good grade. At the top, you will enjoy a breathtaking view of the plain, the mountains and the sea. From here, you can either turn left and walk back down to the parking lot through the small village of Sari, where you will pass one of the works of artist Marie Sandrine Mondary, who paints fish and animals directly on wood. You can also continue your adventure by turning right and taking the Monte Santu trail. Once again, it climbs, but what a view at the top! Monte Santu offers indeed a panoramic view between sea and land, the beaches of Solenzara on one side and the mountains on the other. Otherwise, always starting from the parking lot but this time turning left, take the Path of the Vignali fountain. This refreshing walk plunges you into the meanders of an enchanting and bucolic forest, a real breath of fresh air if you visit Corsica in the middle of summer.
The Fautea tower trail
Solenzara, stronghold of the Côte des Nacres, also offers paths on the beach. The Fautea path, about 15 minutes long, invites you to join one of the many Genoese towers of Corsica, the one of Fautea, and offers a clear view on the beach of the same name. If you still have some energy left, continue your journey on the coastal path, 10 minutes long, which will allow you to reach another beach, wild and deserted, the beach of Lavu Santu, also called beach of the Americans.
The Tamarriciu Coastal Path
This nice 45 minutes path will take you to discover two of the most beautiful beaches of South Corsica: Palombaggia and Tamarriciu, which takes its name from the Tamaris of Africa. Departure : From the main road, take the path on the right of the low stone wall then, at the crow’s feet, go on your right again, until the beach. Don’t panic if you don’t understand anything, go to the Costa Marina restaurant and follow the crowd!
The Bonifacio Coastal Trail
Remember to take good shoes because this path, which takes the Roman way of Campu Rumanilu, is very stony. But this walk will not leave you unmoved: the path goes along the mother-of-pearl cliffs of Bonifacio and allows you to discover the city that overlooks the sea proudly perched on its rock. After visiting the fortified city, it is a completely different show that awaits you on the path. Depending on when you take the path, the changing colors will offer an always new view.
The trails of the Coscione plateau
It will be necessary to be patient to reach these paths on a winding road (for a change) in the heart of the Alta Roca mountains, but it is worth it. Located at 1500 meters of altitude, bring a small jacket. From the parking lot of the Bucchinera refuge, there are three paths: the shepherds’ path, the stone path and the water path. If you had to do only one, the water trail is magical. Imagine: the melted snow has created pozzines, that is to say small water reserves under the ground. This has allowed the development of a green plateau of spongy grass. You feel like you are in a daydream when you walk on this soft ground. Especially since you are not the only creature here. Pigs, cows, goats and horses graze on the grass and roam freely.
The natural pools of Cavu
These pools are located in the town of Zonza. Leave your car on the large parking lot near the tree climbing course and walk along a wide path for a few kilometers, which will take you about 1/2 hour. You will then arrive at the two main pools, formed over the centuries in the rock. I advise you to keep on climbing on the rocks in the direction of the Pont de Marion to reach other pools a little less frequented. You can splash around, have fun sliding down the natural slides or simply sunbathe on the rocks.
Piscia di Ghjaddu Trail
To contemplate the “cascade du pin” (pine waterfall) you will have to borrow by car a road in lace, typical of Corsica! On the road, you will have an amazing vision, that of the Ospedale dam, 1 km from the beginning of the path. With its pines and its great expanses of water, one would almost think one was in Canada, without the bears. The trail starts from a parking area (paying in summer) and leads to a clear view, to admire the superb mountains around, which make all the charm of the island of beauty. It continues then in the forest of pines Laricciu. We are only 30 minutes away from the beaches but we lose 15 degrees, so bring a little sweater, but also good shoes because it will be necessary to be agile, in particular for the last descent a little steep.
Hiking on the GR20 trail in Conca
Yes, to do like the real ones, we go to the town that marks the end of the GR20. Direction Conca, the village of shepherds, also known for its idyllic beaches: Favone, Tarco or Fautea. You will be against the flow of walkers who hurry to pose near the sign that marks the end of their journey, before resting around a drink or on the terrace of the village café. We don’t take the pose, superstition obliges, and we go beyond the sign to begin the ascent. If the hike lasts six hours, at the end of two hours you will already have a breathtaking view on the plain, the beaches and the mountains in the background. It’s up to you to decide if you want to make the pleasure of being a real GR20 hiker last or just enjoy the pleasure of the walk without too much pressure.
If your feet have overheated, go relax them on one of the idyllic beaches in our other related article.
* Music: Ballaké Sissoko – Kadidja (ft. Piers Faccini) *
Here is the map with all the information about the starting places of the trails https://www.google.