We discovered Corsica, the French Mediterranean island, last winter while searching for a dog-friendly ferry crossing to visit a friend in Sardinia. The much easier and faster route would have taken us from Spain, however, the French ferries offer much more liberal rules for dogs. So, we headed to Corsica.
Neither of us had really heard of the island prior to our visit. We knew nothing about it and thought it would just serve as a connecting point between mainland France and our destination.
Having spent several hours on a boat and many more in the car upon our arrival, we were itching to stretch our legs and find a trail to run. To my delight, I discovered that Corsica is the most mountainous island in the Mediterranean and boasts several long distance trails, including the 112-mile GR 20, known as one of the most difficult long distance walking trails in Europe.
While our short visit did not allow such a demanding trek, thousands of miles interconnected paths span the entire island enabling plenty of shorter excursions.
Itching to get a run in before losing daylight, we simply headed up toward the ski area in Bastelica and looked for the dotted lines indicating a trail on our map and stopped the car when a spot called to us.
That first run took us along a wide forest road, high above a river flowing below. Jagged peaks swallowed by lush green trees guided our journey. After that run, we quickly realized we needed to spend more time on the island.
On our return home, we decided to spend a couple days on Corsica to explore the trails. Our first night took us to Porto-Vecchio, near Col de Bavella, one of the most scenic mountain areas of the island. The drive alone was a treat. Quaint hillside villages perched in front of jaw dropping scenery dotted the serpentine road. We could have stopped at every bend to admire the view and take photos of the jagged granite cliffs towering over the valley below.
We opted for the easy 4-5-mile Trou de Bomb. Located in the southern part of the island (Corse du Sud), the route leads to an 8-meter hole in a rock. If you’re feeling brave, you can even climb up to the hole for a peak through.
The following day, we stayed in Vizzavona, a small hiking village that serves as a stopping place for GR 20 through hikers. To sample a taste of the GR 20, run along the trail to the Cascade des Anglais. The trail follows the L’Angone River to a waterfall with mountain views. Continue along the path as long as you like.
Corsica has endless activities for outdoor seekers. Swim, paddle board, or kayak in the turquoise waters. Or indulge in something to get your adrenaline pumping like mountain biking, rock climbing, white water rafting, or canyoning. Corsica has something for everyone and is a true nature lover’s paradise.
The weather is quite mild year round, and we found January to be perfect for trail running. We recommend avoiding the summer months during the high tourism season and hotter temperatures.
- Trail running shoes
- Running socks – Go wool or synthetic to avoid blisters
- Running tights like the KÜHL TRAVRSE LEGGING or SKÜLPT TIGHT KAPRI in winter or the SKÜLPT SHORT during warmer months
- Moisture-wicking long-sleeved top like the KÜHL KASKADE ZIP NECK or the AKKOMPLICE KREW for cooler weather or the ASPIRA TANK in summer
- A layering sweater or fleece like the KÜHL AKTIVATOR FZ to keep you warm after running
- Rain and storms roll through during the summer months, so be prepared with a breathable wind and water resistant jacket like the KÜHL PARAJAX
- A running vest to hold water and food for longer adventures
Jen Sotolongo is a writer, photographer, and blogger. Together with her husband and their dogs, she travels the world in search of the most dog-friendly cities and outdoor adventures. Join their journey at Long Haul Trekkers.