Corsica

Corsica is basically a chain of mountains with a coastal plain in the east and smaller hills in the far north and far south. Most of it is covered by the ‘maquis’, a mixture of shrubs and small trees which flowers in spring and summer and smells to me like a cross between pine and heather, though neither of these is present. However, it is hard to penetrate off the beaten track or if the trail has not been maintained. Most of the trails are rockier than those in the Alps, making progress more difficult for older people like myself.

Amongst walkers it is famous for the taxing GR20 trail which runs north to south near the crest of the mountain ridge and takes about 15 days. There are three other long-distance trails which are somewhat shorter and less taxing. All of these run between ‘gites d’etape’ (walkers’ hostels) which effectively means you have to keep to the ‘official’ schedule for each day if you want somewhere to sleep indoors. Details of the shorter trails can be found in Gillian Price, Walking in Corsica, Cicerone, 2003 (since updated).

These long-distance trails are now beyond my capacity, both because of the terrain and the daily distances required. Fortunately, G. Price also includes 18 one-day walks and I chose most of my trails from her book.

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