Corsica is rightly called the island of beauty.
It is a true paradise for hikers – interconnected by a vast network of well-marked hiking trails for every taste and difficulty.
Spring and fall are perfect times to visit the Corsica.
In the spring, you can enjoy the flowering, scented maquis - the shrubbery blanketing more than half the island. And you will have breathtaking views to snow-capped peaks (Corsica's highest mountain is over 2,700 m).
In the fall you can enjoy that both days and nights are still warm and that the sea and rivers are still warm enough for bathing.
I am personally a passionate hiker who lost my heart to Corsica in general and the Balagne region in particular more than 30 years ago.
In 2004, my husband and I bought an apartment in Algajola - a medieval village in Balagne on the coast between Ile Rousse and Calvi. We rent it out during the periods we do not use it ourselves. If anyone dreams of a hiking holiday in Balagne on your own, I will be happy to offer specific suggestions for day trips from Algajola.
Our own apartment (see www.algajola.dk) is ideal for e.g. 2-3 couples or 4-6 individuals who wish to spend a hiking & beach holiday together.
Here's a rundown of how you might piece a hiking holiday in Corsica together yourself
The hiking options are almost indefinite, and it is recommended that you decide exactly which trip you want to take when you know the weather forecast for the day.
In spring it is generally recommended to choose the more coastal and lower altitude routes, as there is often snow from about 1500 meters altitude.
As a general rule, the hikes up into the mountains should be started as early in the morning as possible, as clouds may draw up around noon.
Here is just a small selection of suggestions for hiking day trips:
· Train ride to Ile Rousse - market etc. and hiking back to Algajola along the coast (10 km, 137 height meters, effective walking time 2½ hours). You pass Bodri and Junquidou - two white sandy beaches with turquise water on your way. Enjoy a swim and take a pause on one of the beach restaurants you pass on your way.
· Hike along the Fango River from Tuarelli to Manso (Tuarelli is approx. 45 min drive from Algajola. The hike is 8.5 km and takes approx. 3 hours including bathing in the river. Approx. 250 height meters). Take a small detour to Galleria and a swim at the beach with black pebbles by the Fango delta (which can be explored by rental kayaks).
· Hike directly from Algajola along Roman mule trail to the picturesque villages of Pigna (and visits its many artisan shops)) and St. Antonino (enjoy the views from this birds nest village) (altitude 497m). Ca. 14 km. Ca. 4-5 hours. > 500 altitude meters.
· Hike directly from Algajola along the coast via St. Ambrosio (where you can stop for refreshments) to the national reserve Punta di Spanu (14.5 km, about 3 hours). Fantastic view over the Calvi bay by the end of the road and good spot to take a swim by the faboulous rock formations.
· Hike from Lumio to the abandoned village d'Occhi (10 mins drive from Algajola. Approx. 5 km. Approx. 2 hours).
· Hike in the Ghuissani area (Approx. 1-hour drive from Algajola). Hike either from the Col de Bataglia (8 km, approx. 3 hours, 410 altitude meters, 1128 - 758 - 1128 m) and enjoy a lunch at Restaurant Merendella in the pass or hike along the Tartagine River (12 km, approx. 4 hours including lunch at maison Forrestiere, 539 altitude meters, 795 - 555 - 795 meters) and a swim in the river pool when you cross the second Genovese bridge.
· Hike on the Revelatta Peninsula (15-20 min. drive from Algajola) (approx. 10 km, 2½ hours). Follow the Sentier des cretes on the way out to the lighthouse and follow the path on the east side of the peninsula on the return trip. Drive up to see the views from Notre Dame de la Serra and stop for a visit in Calvi on your way back.
· Hike in Gorge de la Restonica to the glacier lakes Lac de Melo and Lac de Capitello (approx. 1½ hours’ drive from Algajola. 7 km, 4 hours, 620 altitude meters). Take a swim in the river after the hike and visit Corte (especially its old citadel part) on your way back
Maps, guide books and detailed tour descriptions can be found in the apartment.