Hiking Corsica Mare e Monti


 5 day walk - of the Mare e Monti (sea and mountains) Corsica (Corse), France

Getting there: A low cost airlines flight to Marseille, the bus to town centre, half an hour walking to the harbor, and with the night ferry (12 hours) to Ajaccio.
The bus, simultaneously the post-van, can bring you - half an hour after arrival of the ferry - to Marignana (2 hours, 70 km.). Here we started our trail.  
Maps: La Carte Touristique locale nr.73, scale 1:100.000. Or: wandelgids/guide 065 Corse - Corsica entre Mer et Montagne | FFRP(9782751407949).
Waymarking is generally in the form of stripes of orange paint on rocks, walls and trees along the route. So metimes you have to look for the marks (orange stripes).

Accommodation: on the route many Gîtes d’étappe. And a kind of bunkhouse in Girolata, under management of a "dreamer". Most Gîtes are, in theory, open - unfortunately - from April. We think that the services for tourists is getting less in France.

April 2004: a part of the Mare e Monti. The whole trail can be done in 9-11 days. 125 km.
In April nature is green and temperatures tolerable. In summer temperatures can be very high (40° or more), Too hot to walk.

The part of the “Mare e Monti “ we walked is of an exceptional beauty, especially the last day: frequently views at the Reserve Naturelle de Scandola, a masterpiece of nature, recognized by the United Nations as a Natural World Heritage Site. 

Height: from sea level - 767 m. The trail is never even/flat, rolling stones.... 

Day 1:  Marignana (1072 m.) - Ota (675 m.)
             via Evisa and the Gorges de Spelunca).......11 km.
Day 2:  Ota - Serriera ( 289 m.)............................ ....11 km.
Day 3:  Serriera - Curzu.............................................08 km.
Day 4:  Curzu (318 m.) - Girolata *( 0 m.)................13 km.
Day 5:  Girolata - Bocca a Croca (269 m.)
             via the Variante
             and the bus to Porto and Ajaccio.

* Girolata you only can come in and leave on foot or by boat. By reservation and in good weather a ferry brings you to Porto, where the bus (twice a day) brings you to Ajaccio.

On trail: Day 1: the Gorges de Spelunca, partly along the Spelunca river, partly through foreswts and steep cliffs. The result of a process of erosion lasting millions of years, in which the river has "drilled itself" through the granite landscape. 
At the Genoese bridges - already worthwhile in itself - there are pools where you can swim.

Impressive depths and heights, bare granite walls, plunging into the foaming green torrent, caused by the convergence of the rivers, the - almost sinister - sunlight reflections, hidden villages, clambering ridges, a walk on the beach;  those deep blue Mediterranean views, the broom, the fig-trees, the olives and - as we already said - at the end the masterpiece of nature: Scandola peninsula, a World Heritage Site! In practice the only way to enjoy the splendours of this coastline is by taking a boat.
Strange rock formations emerge from the crystal clear sea in the Gulf of Girolata, and the coastline is peppered with jagged inlets and caves.

The Genoese introduced the sweet chestnut on the island.You'll see the tree everywhere. This tree was considered as the ' bread tree ' of Corsica. Chestnut flour was the raw material for baked products and pulenta (chestnut puree). Chestnuts served as pig feed and the peels of the dried fruit as fuel. Of the wood furniture were manufactured. Nothing was lost
The Mare e Monti is heavy, more than moderate, but it brings a walker almost…..everything.
One of Corsica’s most celebrated trails.

Click here for a report about the Mare a Mare Sud, Corse