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Walking holiday in Corsica: a Mountain in the Sea

Walking holiday in Corsica: a Mountain in the Sea


Have a look at our Guests' reviews 

From its jagged coastline and sandy beaches to the serrated rocky summits that soar into and above the clouds, and everything in between, the landscapes are as sumptuous as they are contrasting. And from the comforts of charming accommodations we'll venture into the heart of it all.

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  • At or near the top of the list of the world's greatest hiking destinations
  • A boat ride through the Scandola nature reserve 
  • The otherworldly Lake Nino on the infamous GR 20 hiking trail
  • The forgotten village of Girolata, only accessible by foot 
  • The sandy beaches of Calvi
  • A fairy-tale hotel on the emerald waters of the Restonica gorge

Day 1

Arrival in Ajaccio

Ajaccio beach sun

  • Ajaccio
  • Access: regular ferries from the mainland with Corsica ferries, and regular flights including Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Toulon & Nice.
  • Arrive in the capital of Corsica, Ajaccio, the birthplace of Napoleon. A private shuttle (included) will take you along the pristine coastline to our secluded hotel, set a short drive from the centre of town, but in the most peaceful of beach settings, with amazing sea views. You meet your guide at 6.30pm for a briefing and welcome dinner before settling in for the night. Night in Ajaccio.
  • We recommendAdd a pre-night in Ajaccio to enjoy the pristine coastline and beautiful beaches 
  • Access: regular ferries from the mainland with Corsica ferries, and regular flights including Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Toulon & Nice.

Day 2

    • Distance :
    • 10 km
    • Elevation :
    • + 500m
      - 500m

Famous Calanches of Piana

capu Rosso Corsica coastline

  • Ajaccio > Piana > Porto (4h - 6 miles)
  • In the morning we hop into our trusty minivan (driven by the guide: we'll have exclusive use of them all week) and head northbound along the scenic coastline. The road winds through the maquis vegetation of aromatic herbs and scrub, climbing high above the coast. By the time we reach the pretty village of Piana, the coastline is at its most spectacular: blood-red stone pinnacles jutting out of the sea and soaring hundreds of meters into the skies, creating a chaos of giant granite structures carved by the waters and the winds. Our  hike traverses the heart of these structures, called the Calanches de Piana.
    We settle into a hotel in the tiny port town of Porto for a 2 night stay, watching the sun set into the Mediterranean from our private balconies. We enjoy dinner together in town.

Day 3

    • Distance :
    • 7 km
    • Elevation :
    • + 100m
      - 300m

Girolata and boat ride

  • Porto > Girolata > Scandola > Porto (2h30 - 4 miles)
  • We hike along a majestic coastline path through the maquis vegetation on the Sentier du Facteur - literally the mailman's path - the very path taken by Guy the mailman, every day for decades, to deliver mail to our destination, only accessible by foot . Etched into the jagged coast, the path weaves around inlets, dives to hidden coves (swimming opportunities!), before the village of Girolata appears. Just a handful of golden stone homes set on a small hill, and topped by an ancient Genoese tower -- the whole scene is timeless. After time to enjoy a cool drink in the village, we hitch a ride on a boat, and enjoy a scenic journey back to Porto, via the Scandola nature reserve. We enjoy dinner in Porto together before a second night in the small port village.

Day 4

    • Distance :
    • 20 km
    • Elevation :
    • + 700m
      - 700m

GR20 hiking route - Lake Nino

  • Porto > GR 20 > Lake Nino > Corte (7h30 - 12.5 miles)
  • It's our most ambitious day of hiking. We leave early in the morning and trade the sea for mountains, which in Corsica happens almost instantly. Leaving by foot from Corsica's highest road pass, we hop on the infamous GR20, often touted as Europe's most difficult hiking trail. We'll be following it all day, though there are no tricky parts on today's section (no scrambling or exposed terrain). After a pleasant forest path we rise to a grassy and stony ridge-line. Soon after we reach a pass, Lake Nino comes into view. Surrounded by grassy bogs of an unfathomable green, wild horses grazing along the water's edge, and with a backdrop of black, serrated summits, the scene seems painted from a storybook. We enjoy a lengthy picnic lunch before retracing our steps and returning to the pass. Continuing eastward we reach the town of Corte, where we settle in for a 3 night stay. Our hotel is set on the banks of the Restonica gorge, by its emerald waters, one of the top accommodations on the island. We enjoy dinner together. Night in Corte.

Day 5

    • Distance :
    • 10 km
    • Elevation :
    • + 300m
      - 300m

Manganello river and shepherd's hut

  • Corte > Canaglia > Manganello > Corte (3h - 6 miles)
  • We begin our hike in the lost village of Canaglia. Following the Mare a Mare route that crosses the centre of the island, our leisurely and shaded path follows alongside the Manganello river. Following it upstream, crystal-clear pools of water are framed by majestic boulders, making for plenty of swimming opportunities along the way. We cross the GR20 hiking route, and follow it just ten minutes to reach an isolated shepherd's hut in a clearing, with views of the high summits in the background. Here we're treated to a lunch made by the shepherd himself, just for us, including his own cheeses and local charcuterie. We return to Corte and visit the island's historic capital before enjoying dinner in town. Night in Corte.        

Day 6

    • Distance :
    • 6 km
    • Elevation :
    • + 600m
      - 600m

Lakes Mélo and Capitello

  • Corte > Lac Mélo > Lac Capitello > Corte (4h30 - 4 miles)
  • We leave the comfort of the Restonica gorges before sunrise, and are transferred to the very end of the valley. By foot we climb past a shepherd's hut and up the rocky slopes, heading toward the crystal clear waters of Lake Mélo : one of Corsica's most beautiful glacial lakes. We enjoy the tranquility of the still waters, reflecting the soaring cliffs overhead. After another hour of climbing - with a little scrambling along the way - we reach an even more spectacular lake: Capitello. Frozen eight months of the year, Lake Capitello sits just under the breach that marks the highest point of the GR20 hiking path. We'll be contented to enjoy the scene from below, the lake all to ourselves, before commencing a leisurely descent back to the vans. In the afternoon we'll have some free time to laze by the pool, or sit in the invigorating and rushing waters of the Restonica gorge. We enjoy dinner together before a third and final night in Corte.

Day 7

    • Distance :
    • 2 km
    • Elevation :
    • + 100m
      - 100m

The sandy beaches of Calvi


  • Corte > Calvi (30 mn)
  • One of the best ways to enter the heart of the Corsican mountains is by train. So we'll do that, too. Endearingly nicknamed Micheline - and unfortunately just recently replaced by a modern train - it's able to tackle the most precarious of slopes, and pierce into the heart of the wilderness. Finally leaving the mountains behind, the train reaches the northern and sandy coastline, following it to its terminus, the town of Calvi. We take a short walk, enough to work up an appetite, to enter a secluded cove, no roads in sight. Here we reach an improbable fishing shack/restaurant, where we'll enjoy a feast of grilled fish with our feet in the waters.
    In the afternoon there's the possibility of a 2-hour walk around the maquis-laden peninsula on a scenic coastline path, staring up at the tall peaks we explored just the day before. But our hotel is set right on the sandy and shallow beaches of Calvi, which are more than inviting for a well-earned leisurely afternoon after a week of hiking. We enjoy a farewell dinner together in Calvi. Night in Calvi.

Day 8

Au revoir Corsica!


  • Calvi
  • End of your trip in Calvi after breakfast
  • We recommend: have an extra night in Calvi
  • Return: Calvi is a strategic end of tour destination with an airport and a ferry terminal: daily flights & ferry rides with Corsica ferries to the mainland. Speed boat towards Nice.

GUIDED TRIP - The rates and supplements are per person and subject to availability

Go to the TRIP INFO section:
- to check the minimum of person BASIS of this trip
- to check the single room ( 1 pers. ) supplement

Dates Sup. Status
From Sat Sep 08 2018
to Sat Sep 15 2018
From Sun Jun 02 2019
to Sun Jun 09 2019
From Sun Sep 08 2019
to Sun Sep 15 2019

For a single room ( 1 pers. ) a single supplement will be charged.
> Refer to our TRIP INFO section

  • Hotel Cala di Sole *** - Ajaccio

    Hotel Cala di Sole *** - Ajaccio

    Set along the quiet coastline  - 8km from Ajaccio, the hotel Cala di Sole is a charming hotel that stands right on the Med coast, with a beautiful view on the "Sanguinaires" islands.
    It boats a swimming pool and has its own private sandy beach, away from the bustle of the capital.
    You will enjoy the breakfast on the restaurant terrace, set just above by the beach. 

  • Hotel Les Flots Bleus - Porto

    Hotel Les Flots Bleus - Porto

    Nestled in the tiny and aptly named port village of Porto, all of the rooms face the waters, with perfect views of the sun setting into the Mediterranean Sea.

    The rooms are spacious, with balconies to enjoy the views of the jagged coastline. And wonderful service, too!

  • Hotel Dominique Colonna 4* -  Corte

    Hotel Dominique Colonna 4* - Corte

    A storybook setting by the banks of the Restonica gorge, it's quite arguably the most stunning accommodation on the entire island.

    The grounds are peaceful and immaculate, while the rooms are decorated with taste: elegance and great attention to detail. 

  • Hotel La Caravelle - Calvi

    Hotel La Caravelle - Calvi

    The hotel is set close to the center of town, but far enough to enjoy the tranquility of some of the most beautiful stretches of golden sand beach in Corsica. The rooms are modern and well appointed, the service is friendly, and the dinners are excellent. 

The rates are per person,  and subject to availability

  • Most prices are based on a 2-person booking ( with shared accommodation for a hotel)
  • You will be able to select the exact number of traveller(s) when completing your reservation form
  • If you're travelling SOLO : please contact us

Repatriation insurance - 8 days > 2 weeks trip
  • Repatriation insurance : applicable for all clients visiting the Europe-Schengen region that includes France
  • Rate : for a trip from 8 days > 2 weeks = 14 days
    Supplement for a trip above 14 days
  • See the insurance contract here 


  • The rates are per person (shared room)
  • You can book this guided trip as from 1 participants
  • Guaranteed departure as from 4 participants
  • On our guided trips, you may have the opportunity to meet & travel in Provence with international travellers


  • 7 nights double occupancy with private facilities
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 4 picnic lunches
  • 1 lunch at a beach restaurant, 1 lunch at a shepherd's hut
  • 7 dinners
  • A private van driven by the guide from days 1 to 8
  • Day 1  to 8: Luggage transfers (by mini bus)
  • A private guide during the whole tour, two guides from 9-16 guests
  • All visits described in the itinerary
  • 1 road map


  • Transportation to Ajaccio, and from your hotel in Calvi
  • Entrance fees for visits not included, insurance, drinks
  • Items of personal nature
  • SINGLE supplement  : 295€

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