This is a very varied 5 days, walking the Mare e Monti North between Calvi and Porto that takes in the mountains, the unspoilt coastline and the contrasts of this intriguing island. The paths are well trodden and way-marked but you still have to be attentive to your maps. You can expect simple auberge style accommodation, friendly atmosphere and good food.
Level of Difficulty: The walks are on good footpaths and trails, the terrain is often rocky and rarely flat. You need to be used to walking all day and take regular exercise to enjoy this holiday. There are many uphill and downhill sections. We describe this walk as moderate with strenuous sections and encourage walkers to use two walking poles.
Day 1: Arrival day
Arrive in Calvi, with time to settle into your hotel before exploring. This picture postcard seaside town is distinctly Mediterranean and you will love the quayside and its vibrant café life crowned by the Genoese citadel. Visit the shops along the Rue Clemenceau, and whatever you do don’t forget to climb through the atmospheric streets of the citadel and see the cathedral St Jean Baptiste or simply just relax on the 5km of pine backed beach.
Day 2: Calvi - Tuarelli (14km)
The transfer picks you up from your hotel and takes you to Bonifatu. At a nearby bridge you follow a forestry track that is known as the 'Chemin de Ronde’ that gently climbs towards the southwest, passing the ruins of the house belonging to Prince Pierre. You then progress into a forest of maritime pines and green oak trees. At an altitude of 1,200m you arrive at the Bocca di Bocassa. After approximately three hours of a very rewarding and relaxing section you arrive at Tuarelli rock pools, the perfect place for a laze on the sun baked rocks and a swim. A transfer will take you onto tonights hotel.
Day 3: Tuarelli - Galeria (9km)
A transfer will take you into Tuarelli and you will walk along the old transhumance path linking Calvi to Niolu, a pleasant route lined with junipers and myrtle bushes, this path also follows the course of the River Fangu. Once at the Ponte Vechju, Paglia Orba is visible in the distance dominating the landscape with an altitude of 2,325m. From here you cross the Fangu Bridge and head on to the hamlet of Fangu. Your route then climbs into the maquis and passes several old shepherds' cabins. Your day of walking finishes with a short downhill stretch in to the village of Galéria where you are rewarded with stunning views over Fangu.
Day 4: Galeria - Girolata (11km)
Today you start by following a beautiful path shaded from the sun. Your path leads you to a natural pool, and an uphill section alongside the river bank. You will shortly come across an area of vegetation, after this you will emerge into a forest of oaks before reaching the Crête du Lucciu (697m). From here you will have remarkable views over the gulf of Girolta, the Genoese tower and the red granite cliffs. You continue west along the ridge path to reach the River Cavone and the coast. This is also a picturesque spot to swim and to cool off after your day of walking.
Day 5: Girolata - Serriera (11km)
From Girolata's beach, you follow the ridge path that runs alongside the coast to Col de la Croix. From here you leave Mare e Monti and continuing along the ridge path in a southwesterly direction you can admire exceptional views over Scandola's natural reserve, one of the largest natural sites in Europe, which displays an explosion of colours and fantastic landscapes.
Day 6: Serriera - Porto (10km)
A transfer will take you to the trailhead where the Mare e Monti then climbs steeply up through a pine forest to the Capu San Petru. The views from here are spectacular, across the Gulf of Porto. The path continues before plunging down through a high mountain landscape towards the village of Ota, a delightful place with old stone houses, bouganvillea and chestnut trees.
Day 7: Return to Calvi by prearranged transfer
Departing mid-morning you return to Calvi for your last nights' stay before departing the next day from Calvi airport.
Day 8: Departure day
Transfer to Calvi airport from your hotel
Click here for the Mare e Mare North - Calacuccia to Piana walking tour.
Click here for the Mare e Mare South - Paths of Alta Rocca walking tour.
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