Walking and active holidays in Corsica

Tra Mare e Monti - Calvi to Cargèse

Self guided walking 9 days / 8 nights

Level 1 2 3 4

Point to Point - 7 days walking
Comfortable 3* Hotels, Auberge, Cabin
Starting from 1260 €
  • Sense of discovery and adventure
  • UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Contrasting landscapes
  • Calvi, Galeria, Porto, Evisa, Cargese

The Mare e Monti North is a fabulous long distance walk along the beautiful west coast of Corsica. From Calvi, you will head inland towards the high summits and the forest of Bonifatu. The trail leads past the natural reserve of Scandola, an area protected by UNESCO and classed as a world heritage site, to the Gulf of Porto. You stay in the unique little fishing village of Girolata which is only accessible by boat or foot, before walking on towards Ota and Evisa, in the Spelunca Gorge. The walk finishes in the ‘Greek’ town of Cargèse, a spectacular village with twin churches high above the sea. You can expect hotel accommodation, a friendly atmosphere and good food.

Groups, families or businesses

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Day 1 - Arrive Calvi

Arrive into 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 Citadelle. It is great to just sit in one of the cafés opposite the harbour and soak up the atmosphere. Visit the shops along the rue Clemenceau, and whatever you do don’t forget to climb through the atmospheric streets of the citadelle and see the cathedral St Jean Baptiste or simply just relax on the 5km of pine backed beach.  Stay at a comfortable 3* near the beach on B&B Basis.

Day 2 - Calvi to Bonifatu

Today is an good start to the walking, taking a small mule track that climbs from the village of Calenzana, also part of the famouts GR20 to the fontaine d’Ortiventi from where we have a great view over the Balagne villages. You then drop down on a track that crosses the forest of Sambuccu, once used by the Genoese for their naval constructions. After crossing the bridge over the Figarella we can see the Auberge in the forest and your stop for tonight.

10km, 4h30, +540m, -300m.

Day 3 - Bonifatu to Tuarelli

From Bonifatu you follow a forest track that is known as the Chemin de Ronde, that gently climbs towards the south-west. You walk through a forest of maritime pines and oak trees before crossing the col at the Bocca di Bocassa and dropping gently down to arrive at Tuarelli rock pools, the perfect place for a laze on the sun baked rocks and a swim. A taxi transfer at the end of the day will take you to Galeria and your 3 hotel with a pool on Half Board.

14km, 6h30, +730m, -1170m.

Day 4 - Galeria to Girolata

You will not see your bag tonight so make sure you have all you need for tonight in your day pack. The path today is simply beautiful and you will have remarkable views over the gulf of Girolata, the Genoese tower and the red granite cliffs of Scandola reserve. Sections along the ridge will provide a challenge before reaching the your stop for tonight at the picturesque harbour of Girolata. The accommodation is a room in a simple beachside cabin on Half Board.

11km, 6h00, +750m, -780m.

Day 5 - Girolata to Serriera

From Girolata's beach, you follow the postman’s path that runs alongside the coast, to Col de la Croix. From here you leave the Mare e Monti and continue down to the coast to walk along magnificent ridge path in a south-westerly direction - this path offers beautiful views – perhaps some of the best in Corsica - an explosion of colours and fantastic landscapes. Tonight’s stop is in a comfortable 3* hotel on Half Board with a pool near the beach at Bussaghia.

17km, 7h00, +950m, -950m.

Day 6 - Serriera to Porto

After a ride to the trailhead, from Serriera, the Mare e Monti then climbs steeply up through a pine forest to the Capu San Petru. The views from here are again sublime, across the Gulf of Porto. After a walk on the flat, the path plunges down through a high mountain landscape towards the village of Ota, a delightful place with old stone houses, bourgainvillia and chestnut trees. Overnight in 3* hotel on B&B basis.

13.5km, 7h00, +775m, -1200m.

Day 7 - Ota to Evisa

A taxi takes you back to the trailhead at Ota. The path will take you along the Portu river before crossing over the Ponte Vecchju bridge, remains of the Genoese occupation on the island. The trail then follows the Spelunca Gorges, along the rivers of Aitone and Tavulella, crossing over the Zaglia Genoese bridge before starting a steep, long climb before arriving at the village of Evisa, perched high above the Golfe of Porto and surrounded by chestnut forests.

9km, 3h30, +600m, -150m.

Day 8 - Marignana to Revinda

The path heads up above the Fiuminale valley giving wonderful views that can be enjoyed from under chestnut trees. Cutting through the Vaccarecciu chestnut groves you will reach the 'Culetta a u Prunu' where you will notice the ruins of an old chestnut drier. Your route then leads you to the Casta shepherds cabins and copper mines to Revinda. From Revinda, a transfer by taxi at the end of the day will take you to your Hotel Restaurant in Cargèse.

15km, 6h30, +500m, -780m.

Day 9 - End of stay in Cargèse

End of holiday in Cargese, extra nights and transfers to Ajaccio available, please ask for details.

This itinerary is correct at time of publication. Should situations arise that are beyond our control, such as severe weather conditions, or other such factors that could put your safety at risk, the itinerary may be modified.

Departure on request every day from April to mid October. 2 persons minimum.

Please select your departure date in the calender below to see the price and click on the button to the right to make a reservation.

Prices : €1260pp (May, June, September & October) €1390pp (July & August)   

Supplements/Discounts

Single Supplements : €367 pp (April, May, June, September & October) €474 pp (July & August)

The Tra Mare e Monti is available in simpler gite / dorm style accommodation from €990pp, please ask for details.

Price includes

Accommodation on half board where stated, local internal transfers, luggage transfers, travel dossier with A4 copies of IGN maps and walking notes.

Price does not include

Reservation fee of €5pp, travel insurance, drinks, picnics, site visits and transfers to Ajaccio or Calvi, travel to Corsica.

Starts

At your first hotel in Calvi.

Ends

At your hotel in Cargèse, after breakfast.

Access

Ajaccio or Bastia Airport or port, Calvi airport or Ile Rousse port. Please ask for details of transport connections.

Accommodation
  • Hotels 2 & 3*, in a twin/double room, please request at time of reservation.
  • Simple gite version available (please ask for details)
  • Continental breakfast (tea, coffee, milk, bread, butter, jam).
  • Half Board nights 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, (based on local specialties, including a starter, a main course and a dessert) B&B nights 1 & 6.

Should you have any food allergies, special requests or dietary requirements, please advise at time of booking.

Number of participants

Reservations for minimum of 2 participants. NB. For safety reasons we do not accept solo hiker reservations on Self-Guided treks.

Level

Moderate. Involves longer walks, generally from 4-6 hours a day. The nature of the terrain presents little technical difficulty but some previous hill walking experience is useful. The ascents will vary from 400m to 800m altitude gain per day. See our level ratings.

Guiding

Self-Guided Walking. We provide you with a Travel Dossier complete with A4 copies of the IGN maps and a walking guide created by our team. During your hike our 24-hour assistance service will also be able to answer all your questions and, if necessary, assist you with the smooth running of your stay.

Luggage transfers

During this walk you will carry only a day sack with a water bottle, camera, picnic, trailfood, sun and wet weather gear. Luggage is transported by vehicle, point to point with the exception of the night in Girolata.

Our customers' reviews

Martha-USA
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Nicola went out of her way to make this trip possible for us. Originally we were to go in 2020 but had to cancel because of COVID then a family emergency resulted in our having to delay our trip again. Nicola worked with us and so that we had a wonderful hiking trip in Corsica. We found Ota spectacular and would have preferred staying there rather than going to Porto, most accommodations were very good.

David-UK
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We habitually take mountain holidays and this is certainly not the first one where we've changed plans mid-way. The weather has been too good and it was too hot for the lower altitude sections of the Mare et Monti walking. We hired a car after Porto and had a fabulous time doing walks from the hotels booked. You guys have done an ace job to facilitate this change of plans.

Gabriela-Switzerland
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Thank you Nicola and the whole team for arranging an amazing holiday for us. We were really amazed by how well everything was organised. We had the time of your lives. Merci beaucoup! :)

Marty-USA
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Thanks for arranging a top-notch experience for us on the Mare e Monti. We really had a wonderful walk, and the arrangements made by your company were thoughtful and timely - We'll definitely take another walk in Corsica with your company in the near future.

Roger-UK
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Accommodation varied as expected but on the whole good. Highlight was the hotel you found us near Bussaglia beach. Excellent food. Girolata is not what cracked up to be. Too many people coming in from boats and the cabins very simple. In view of the extent of work and co-ordination involved in moving luggage and people, we were very satisfied with the service we were provided. We loved all our hikes - they were all different and interesting!

Mark-UK
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Just finished a slightly shorted version of the Tra Mare y Monti with my two teenage children. Nicola at Corsica Adventures was great and helped make it a wonderful trip. Corsica is a wonderful place to hike and Corsica Aventure made it incredibly easily to organise. Thoroughly recommend.

Pippa-UK
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We had a fantastic holiday. In the first week of July we found it very hot and sometimes uncomfortably so. Overall a great experience and will definitely come to Corsica again.

Michael-UK
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Accomodation was never luxury - which we did not want - but always friendly and comfortable. As always, it is almost a shame to only spend one night in these out of the way places. Hard to choose the best, but we all liked L'Alivu, and of course one couple had two nights Transporters were all excellent and friendly. Meals were very Corsican. They even coped with our non meat eating couple to their satisfaction. It would be worth reminding us that the Hotel Capo d Orto does not have a restaurant, and is therefore not half board! Not. problem in the end. We had great fun. Tougher than the parts we had previously done in 2003 (15 years makes a big difference), but not like the GR last year. Luckily, the heat only really hit us on the last day in Carghese and Ajaccio. Excellent value for money - of course we used Corsican Adventure last year - but I found you through the internet.

Jennifer-USA
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We had the most wonderful time exploring and hiking on your beautiful island, thank you/ Some of our favourite parts were finding the friendly locals so welcoming of stumbling onto a beach path across the street from our accommodation. So many times we found ourselves saying "We are so lucky to have found Corsica Aventure".

Sue-UK
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We were fortunate to enjoy a wonderful Mare e Monti trail which Nicola from 'Corsica Aventure' had arranged for us. Nicola made a point of tailoring the trail to the needs of our group so that we had the right combination of rooms and could enjoy a rest day at Porto. Overall the food and variety of accommodation was good. The logistics were carefully planned so that luggage transfers and transfers to and from trail heads were smooth, apart from one delay with a taxi on the second day. Corsica is a stunning island and the contrasting combination of walking in mountains and on the coast with lots of opportunities to swim was a highlight for us. I would be happy to recommend 'Corsica Aventure' to others.