On this walking trip, you will venture away from the famous beaches and cosmopolitan towns of the south up into the Alta Rocca. Carpeted with heather and wild herbs, your trail will lead you through sleepy perched villages, pink granite pinnacles and archaeological sites whilst never failing to offer breathtaking views of the coastline below.
One of the most popular long-distance footpaths on the island, the Mare a Mare South trail crosses the rocky spine of the island between Porto Vecchio Gulf and the Valinco Gulf, taking in the full cross-section of Corsican landscapes from the deep blue inlets of the coast to the beautiful forests and high peaks of the Alta Rocca region. It will also offer you the opportunity to take cooling dips in the clear waters of the many rock pools and rivers along the way. All in all, this is an ideal trip for those looking to swap the hustle and bustle of the coastal south for a more off-the-beaten-track experience, spectacular mountain scenery and timeless village life.
Mare a Mare South
Duration: 8 days
Difficulty level: Moderately challenging walking
Type: Self Guided
Start and finish point: Porto Vecchio
Departure dates: Every Sunday from 31st May to 20th September 2015
Day 1: Start your holiday in Porto Vecchio
Fly to Figari and spend the rest of the day exploring Porto Vecchio. Night in Porto Vecchio.
Day 2: From Porto Vecchio to Cartalavonu
Your walking circuit starts in Porto Vecchio. After a short taxi transfer to Alzu di Gallina you will start walking towards the mountains. Passing through the Ospedale villages you will reach Cartalavonu situated at 1020m altitude. The trail will take you through the Corsican scrub and under maritime pine trees until finally reaching the plateau of Cartalavonu.
Night in Cartalavonu.
Distance: 16.3km Around 5H walking, Altitude gain: +1110m. Descent: -150m
Day 3: From Cartalavonu to San-Gavino-di-Carbini
The start provides you with a beautiful viewpoint over the Gulf of Porto-Vecchio and the lake of Ospédale.You take a short detour around the summit of Vacca Morta (which also rewards you with great panormaic views). After passing through the col de Mela, you discover the needles of Bavella mountains and the charming little village of Carbini. Your last section takes you through Levie and a couple of archeological sites, the most famous being Cucuruzzu, dating back from the Bronze Age, before reaching San-Gavinu-di-Carbini.
Night in San-Gavino-di-Carbin.
Distance: 18.7km. Around 7H walking, Altitude gain +900m. Descent: -1250m
Day 4: From San-Gavino-di-Carbini to Quenza
The path you follow leads you through shaded undergrowth and runs alongside the stream of Pian di Santu. You will walk into the heart of the Alta Rocca villages, from Zonza to Quenza - an absolutely charming walk!
Night in Quenza.
Distance: 10.8km. Around 4H walking. Altitude gain: +470m. Descent: -340m.
Day 5: From Quenza to Aullène
Quenza is famous for its church that dates back to the year 1000. You leave this village and hike up to the playeau of Cuscione and the hamlet of Hgjallicu, before descending through scrubland and pass by the shepherds' huts of Lavu Donacu before reaching your final destination for the evening.
Night in Aullène.
Distance: 8.5km Around 3H walking. Altitude gain: +410m. Descent: -370m
Day 6: From Aullène to Santa Lucia di Tallano
Today's walk commences through a chestnut forest and Serra di Scopamena and you will notice the old mill that has been restored by the Corsican Natural Park. In the shade of the oak trees and thick vegetation, you can swim in the local fresh river while enjoying your surroundings. You will then climb up through the middle of oak and strawberry trees to the Col de Tavara and the hamlet of Altagène. A bend in the path then takes you through the scrubland to the bell tower and olive groves of Santa Lucia di Tallano.
Night in Santa Lucia di Tallano.
Distance: 13.5km Around 5H 40 walking, Altitude gain and loss +750m, -1130m.
Day 7: From Santa Lucia di Tallano to Burgo
Passing the XIIth century Roman chapel St-Jean-Baptiste, the path descends through a forest of oak trees to the Piombatu Bridge that crosses the Rizzanese. You will head towards Fozzano, a village famous for a story from Mérimée. After which you will make your way towards Baracci, crossing the Capannajola and the Baracci river close to an old water mill.
Night in Burgo.
Distance: 15km Around 5H20 walking, Altitude gain +840m. Descent: -1100m.
Day 8: End of holiday
After breakfast in Burgo you will be transfered to the airport for your return journey home.