Hiking Hidden Corsica

Great Hikes on France's Mediterranean Isle

Overview

Rugged mountains cut by plunging river gorges, enchanting pine and chestnut forests, pristine glacial lakes, white-sand beaches lapped by translucent seas, atmospheric fishing villages—this is Corsica, often called the “Mountain in the Sea.” Set in the middle of the Mediterranean, Corsica belongs to France, but is an entity unto itself, with a delightful blend of French and Italian influences and its own distinctive cuisine and fine wines. On our newest adventure with Trip Leader Tania Masi, whose infectious enthusiasm and knowledge makes every day a five-star experience, we’ll hike the island’s mountainous trails, picnic beside hidden tarns, swim from perfect half-moon beaches, visit winemakers and cheesemakers (and sample their wares, of course!), and venture through river gorges where delightful pools allow us to cool off after a full day of hiking. Many of our hikes are along Corsica’s famous multi-day long-distance trails, the Mare a Mare Nord (Sea to Sea) and the celebrated GR20, one of the most beautiful dramatic treks in Europe that takes in the island’s most spectacular terrain. Our overnights are in charming towns and villages. Join us to explore this hiker’s paradise!

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-4
Calvi / Capu di a Veta / Hikes on the GR20

We meet in Calvi, a vibrant seaside town with a majestic Genoese citadel, and hike straight from our hotel to Capu di a Veta, where we get magnificent views of the west coast. Our next hikes are along sections of the GR20, considered Europe’s most demanding long-distance trail, and include a hike right from our auberge to the Cirque de Bonifatu, a glacial amphitheater of jagged granite peaks.

Hostellerie De L'Abbaye
Calvi, Corsica, France
Days 1 to 2 (2 nights)
Auberge De La Foret Bonifatu
Calenzana, Corsica, France
Day 3 (1 night)
Hotel Le Chalet
Asco, Corsica, France
Day 4 (1 night)
Days 5-6
Gorges du Tavignano / Corte / Lac de Melo and Lac de Capitello

From the lakeside village of Calacuccia, we follow a trail past old shepherds’ stone houses (called bergeries) into the Tavignano River Valley, Corsica’s deepest mountain gorge, and right into the historic town of Corte. Another hike brings us to the mountain lakes of Lac de Melo and Lac de Capitello, dramatically surrounded by towering crags.

Hotel Dominique Colonna
Corte, Corsica, France
Days 5 to 6 (2 nights)
Days 7-10
Plateau de Coscione / The Last Leg of the GR20 / Majestic Bonifacio

We head up to the Plateau de Coscione, where some of Corsica's most beautiful scenery awaits, and hike along the famous GR20 through deep-green fields and past magnificent lakes and boulders, enjoying a picnic among “pozzines”—green spongy grasslands that dominate the plateau. Our final hike along the GR20 takes us through forests surrounded by multi-colored granite formations to the climber’s paradise of Punta Tafunata di Paliri, an impressive crag with a huge rock window. On Day 9, we hike along the coastline to the cove of Cala di Paraguano, and then take some time to explore the majestic village of Bonifacio with its maze of tiny streets and medieval flavor, capping off our adventure with seaside tapas. Depart on Day 10.

Hotel du Tourisme
Zonza, Corsica, France
Day 7 (1 night)
Hotel Le Goeland (June Departure Only)
Porto-Vecchio, Corsica, France
Days 8 to 9 (2 nights)
Le Pinarello Hotel (September Departure Only)
Porto-Vecchio, Corsica, France
Days 8 to 9 (2 nights)

Highlights

Highlights

Hike sections of Corsica’s multi-day long-distance trails, including the celebrated GR20 that traverses the backbone of the island
Enjoy the Corsican lifestyle and its multi-faceted beauty: relaxing beaches and challenging mountain hikes
Sample Corsican delights—savory charcuterie, brocciu cheese, fiadone (a traditional Corsican cheesecake), draft beer made from chestnuts, excellent wines

Details

Length: 10 days
Cost From: $5795  
Arrive: Calvi, Corsica
Depart: Figari, Corsica
Lodging: 9 nights comfortable hotels and inns
Meals: All meals included except 2 dinners (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level:

8 hiking days on moderate to steep trails, 2.5-10 hours a day, van support (for luggage or if you wish to skip a day’s hike). This is a strenuous hiking trip, read “What the Trip is Like” for more details.