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Corsica H2O - Trekking in search of fresh water

by Nicholas Hobley
Corsica, an island surrounded by the sea, an island of mountains. An island of beached, windsurf and sailing boats, but also trekking, canyoning, climbing and skiing. This striking contrast characterises this French island, where water is without a doubt the main player, in both its forms, salt and fresh.
Corsica camminare trekking val restonica bavella

Cascate di Purcaraccia Medium
Cascate di Radule Easy
Lac de Nino Medium
Lake Mello and Lake Campiello Medium

Our search begins with two walks in Val di Niello, to the northwest of Corte, deep in the heart of the Corsican mountains. Compared to other valley Niello is perhaps less fascinating landscape-wise, but its beauty lies in its simplicity and absence of crowds. It would be a shame to miss out on its pine, larch and birch forest at the Bergeries de Radule and Lake Nino high above in the west, quite likely completely alone.

After these two walks we travel southwards to the Restonica valley, renowned as one of the most beautiful on the island. Here, close to Corte and it’s university, there truly is something for every day of the year: walks, ski mountaineering, ice climbing and sport climbing on the fabulous granite crags. We decide to do what seems most obvious: we get up early for the splendid walk up to Lake Melo and Lake Campitello. Just gone midday we return enchanted to our campsite next to the stream, while most others are only just begin their ascent, beneath the scorching sun…

The final stage of our fresh water search leads us to the fantastic granite Bavella spires. It seems superfluous to say it but we’ll say it nevertheless: this is a paradise for climbing and canyoning, a truly enchanting area for its multi-pitch classics. But there’s plenty for walkers, too, and our itinerary takes us into the cold heart of these giants via a canyon worn smooth in time. Unforgettable.

Getting there
Corsica can be reached by plane or by ferry to Bastia.
Access to the valleys
Valle di Niello can be reached by taking the N193 towards Corte (70km). Take the D84 before reaching Corte for Calacuccia.
Val Restonica is located 10km southwest of Corte on the D623.
Bavella is reached by taking the N198 along the east coast to Solenzara. from here take the D268 for Col de Bavella.

For these trekking routes AKU recommends the Zenith GTX:
for demanding treks at mid altitude, rugged terrain, scree..
AKU Expo Planetmountain
mappa Corsica
42451 OT Monte d’oro, Monte Rotondo 1:25000
4253 ET Aiguilles de Bavella Solenzara
Further info
We recommend the following campsites:
Camping U Monte Cintu in Valle di Niello
Camping Tuani in Val Restonica
La Rivière close toCol de Bavella
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