Corsican Mountains And Outdoor Experience
Although a Mediterranean island, Corsica is inherently a mountainous area with the dominant mountain range sprawling over 2000 meters. With the Monte Cintu as the highest peak at 2710 meters of altitude, the average mountain altitude is 560 meters.
The mountainous terrain runs from northwest to southeast direction while separating the island in two regions. While the eastern region is mentioned as “over here”, da monte in qua in Corsican or “land of the commons”, the western region is mentioned as “over there”, da monte inda in Corsican or “land of the lords”.
Before c19, the route between Bastia in northern region and Ajaccio in southern region were inaccessible to each other for lack of carriage roads.
Corsica –the Mountain in the Sea is blessed with towering mountain massifs, most of which are in Parc Naturel Regional de la Corse.
Among them the most significant massifs are Cinto, Retondo, Incudine-Bavella and Renoso.
Cinto is characterized by rugged granitic terrain and volcanic rhyolites; Monte Cinto is the highest mountain of this region and there are many mountains at altitudes of 2500 meters. Retondo has similar landscape with a number of glacial lakes.
The highest peak is Monte Retondo at 2625 meters of altitude. Incudine-Bavella has limestone and granite surface; hence some regions are soft while some are very jagged such as Aiguilles de Bavella.
Incudine at altitude of 2136 meters is the highest peak.
Renoso is mainly granitic and quite insignificant in comparison with other massifs. Monte Renoso is its highest peak at altitude of 2357 meters.
While talking about mountain walks or hiking, the GR20 Route is often considered as the toughest to cover in all over Europe. Also known as Grandes Randonnees, the GR20 is well covered with bridleways and only 4 roads are there crossing it in its 180 kilometers distance.
Experienced hikers will need around 15-16 days to cover the entire route from Calenzana to Conca. Many hikers take off days and seek accommodation at Vizzavona because its northern part is the toughest to climb about 10,000 meters and the southern part is most scenic with dense greenery.
Apart from GR20, there are the transversal Mare e Mare and Mare a Monte routes which are also for experienced hikers.
The Regional Natural Park of Corsica has opened a number of long distance old tracks and transhumance trails like that between Speloncato and Corti.
With so many giant massifs, Corsican mountain region is a paradise for rock climbers. There are a number of rock climbing associations which have been promoting this adventure sports and preparing new rock faces and climbing routes.
There are 5 recognized sites for rock climbing namely Bonifatu, Lumio, Suare, Ile Rousse and Monticello. Various guides are also there for first-timers.
Runners will love to enjoy the 37 kilometers mountain trail running over twelve communes as well as the 2200 meters climb run that acts as link between Castagniccia and Boziu.