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Quite a drive in the mountains to find Soccia, given as one of the loveliest villages of Corsica. Not much room for parking here but that is why we are born with legs, to get us where the car can't go.... Not many people about but a nice walk up and down the narrow streets. To get there it is some 53 kms from Porto but worth it if you have the time.
Updated Oct 26, 2011
This trail was perhaps the best, and most comfortable hike we did. Starting from Ota out and back hike is around 9 kms. You follow the river Porto most of the way until the trail starts climbing up into the ravines where it becomes the Talulella stream, you can no longer see it but can still hear it below. Along the way, first there is a Genoan bridge the Pianella which you cross to continue. The trail comes out behind the football stadium and a bit further you have to cross the road. This is the hard and rugged bit although for a hardened hiker it will pose no problem at all. A normal walker like myself should just take it a bit easier. The trail eventually comes out to the second Genoan bridge, the Zaglia. It is possible to continue to the village of Evisa, but most turn round here. For those that just want a good walk, drive down from Ota to the road bridge and start your hike from there. There is plenty of parking. In Ota you can park just behind the church. Although the Pianella bridge looks newer (perhaps renovated) it is in fact from the XVth c, whilst the Zaglia is only from 1797. Both are classed as historic monuments.
You may find herds of goats on the trail near the beginning, just take it slowly and they will move out of the way. Be watchful of the rams though.
Written Oct 26, 2011
Girolata can only be got to by one of the boat trips or a 7kms hike down from the main road. There is no trail, not even for mountain bikes. They have only had electricity here since 1986!!!! The place has now become very touristy since the tour boats now stop here, but it still has a charm of its own. It does also have a splendid Genoan fort that can be visited, but the tour boats don't give you a lot of time, so keep your eye on your watch.
Possibility of swimming in the harbour, the waters are that clear and warm.
Written Oct 24, 2011
Down on the port there are 3 companies that do boat trips out around Capo Rosso, Girolata and the Nature reserve of Scandola. They all have roughly the same price and all take about 3 3/4 hours. Cost is 40/42 euros per person. It's certainly not cheap, but for an almost 4 hour trip to some of the finest scenery around the coast of Corsica, I feel it's well worth it. We went with the Porto Linea company who do also have shorter trips, just to see Scandola or Les Calanche de Piana and the Capo Rosso. You'll find all the ticket sellers down near the hotels and restaurants even up until 22h00 so you're not likely to miss out. Trips start at around 8h30/9h00 so you have enough time in the morning except probably for July/August, and go from the marina just under the Genoan tower.
Tip : If you take your car, go round on the other side of the river from town, the parking is free there, not so in town.
Written Oct 24, 2011
Phone: Porto Linea - 06 08 16 89 71
The trail out to the Castle rock, standing up above "les Calanche" is a popular one amongst tourists as there is plenty of parking space, plus the trail is given as easy!! Although not that long, about 1 km each way, in parts it is covered with rock and beware, the outward trip is all downhill so coming back is that much harder. Count about 60/75 mins for the return trip including the photo opp. when you get there. Plenty of cairns to follow and the trail is well worn. Beautiful views out to Capo Rosso and to the Reserve de Scandola.
Updated Oct 23, 2011
The superb site of "Les Calanche" near Piana can be seen from the sea or by stopping along the road in one of the many pull-outs. The pink coloured rocks, literally streaming down the mountainside into the sea takes the breath away.
In case anyone is wondering, the Corsican word "Calanche" is the equivalant of the French "Calanques", but here does not take an"S" in the plural.
Written Oct 23, 2011