Visible only from the sea - Scandola
Located in the commune of Osani, just outside the limits of the Scandola nature reserve, it can be reached by boat. Formerly known as the Imbuto tower, it is built on a hill at the end of the bay of Elbo and is far from any habitation.
The bay which shelters it was a protected anchorage on the west coast, with fresh water, in the valley which opens out at the bottom of the bay. The inhabitants of Girolata, who used to cultivate gardens here, used to drive their herds into these very difficult to access places. On the heights, rustic, almost troglodyte dwellings have been built as shelters.
The site is completely closed to the public and therefore has no coastal paths. The only way around is by boat, and it is a delight for the eyes.
Visible only from the sea - Scandola
It is known as Gargalo, Gargalu or Gargali according to the maps
After the bay of Elbo, which opens up the territory of West Corsica, the landscape becomes more and more breathtaking as you move westwards, ending in inaccessible islets. At the end of the point, Gargalu is the highest of the satellite islets of Corsica on which a square tower is built.
It is part of the Scandola nature reserve and is dominated by an ancient Genoese tower, there is also a lighthouse on its western end.
This Genoese tower in ruins, occupied by guards until the 19th century, communicated with the soldiers of the Girolata fort to command the entrance to the bay of Elbo.
Now restored, it remains inaccessible because it is in the heart of the Scandola nature reserve. The tower, built in the second half of the 16th century, dominates the island at an altitude of 129 metres. The islet Gargalu shelters a very beautiful population of maritime lavaterre, a protected species very rare in Corsica and in France, with beautiful white flowers decorated with a dark red heart.
At sea, a pavement of encrusting algae marks the limit of the water on the cliffs beaten by the waves: this very original formation is very fragile.
Tower and fort of GirolataThe tower stands at an altitude of 36 metres on a rocky spur in the Gulf of Girolata.
In the 16th century, Girolata was one of the most exposed places to Turkish raids. The site is notably known for having been the place where the great Turkish corsair Dragute was captured with his squadron on 15 June 1540 by the Genoese admiral Giovannettino Doria.
Its isolation made it particularly important: enemy ships could stay in this bay in complete peace, one of the few places capable of sheltering their galleys and other small ships from the prevailing W winds. Galleys at that time were shallow-draft ships, generally not more than 1m, which could therefore sink into the bottom of the anchorage, sheltered from the Libeccio?
A simple Genoese tower was not enough to protect this isolated place, so a real fortress was built in the middle of the 16th century (currently being restored, it will soon be possible to visit it). The hamlet of Girolata, at the bottom of the gulf of the same name, is only accessible by sea, or on foot by a mule track in the maquis and the mountains. Out of season, there are no more than a dozen or so inhabitants. In summer, many tourists come to admire the site, which makes you lose the feeling of being isolated at the end of the world, but does not prevent you from being dazzled by the beauty of the place.
Tower of Porto
One of the 4 square towers of Corsica
One of the few square Genoese towers on the island, the Tower of Porto, originally Porto de Sia, is no less famous.
It is located in the municipality of Ota and stands on a rocky spur at a height of 45 metres in the Gulf of Porto.
Built in the middle of the 16th century, it houses an exhibition on Corsican shores and a small museum of heather at its feet.
At its summit, an exceptional panorama of the Gulf of Porto awaits you.
Capo Rosso Tower
A breathtaking panorama
Thus, this territory was called "Land of the Four Towers".
Built in 1608, at the beginning of the 17th century which saw the construction of most of the Genoese towers on the western side of Corsica, the Turghiu tower communicated with three other towers, Orchinu, Omigna and Paomia (today Cargèse)
Crowned by the Turghiu tower, built on the edge of a 331-metre cliff, Capu Rossu is a fabulous promontory, one of the highest maritime cliffs in Europe, offering unforgettable views over the glowing landscapes of the Calanche de Piana and Scandula in the evening light, and eastwards to the tooth of Paglia Orba and the summit of Monte Cintu.
From the road at the start of Piana in the direction of the Arone beach, you reach a paved path, bordered by long dry stone walls, which leads to the end of the point, to the foot of the Turghiu tower and then a winding path in the middle of the red rock. The top of the tower is accessible by a small narrow interior staircase and there on the plateau, a magical 360°, a breathtaking view
But be careful to get there and back: it's a three and a half hour walk, always in the sun, and it's not so much the difficulty of the walk as the heat that slows down the visitor
In the commune of Cargèse, at an altitude of 172 metres, on the promontory of Punta d'Orchinu, on the ridge, stands a Genoese tower, partly ruined, which can be seen from a great distance. Orchinu offers a grandiose landscape of maquis bordered by cliffs that plunge into the sea. The same landscape can be found here, marked by the presence of low dry stone walls, ruined houses and wheat threshing floors, all of which are vestiges of the site's agricultural past that the shrubbery is progressively hiding.
Its construction was financed by the pieve of Paomia, Revinda and Salona: the four towers of Paomia (today Cargese), Orchinu, Omigna and Capu Rossu communicated with each other to warn the local populations of the arrival of barbarian ships.
The cliffs and rocky areas of the Pointe d'Orchinu are home to the nests of numerous bird species: the great osprey and the very fast peregrine falcon, the pale swift, the delicate rock swallow, the Mediterranean crested cormorant, a specialist in underwater hunting despite its permeable plumage, and which can be seen, with its wings spread, drying itself, motionless on a rock. Among the reptiles, a small lizard endemic to Corsica and Sardinia, the dark-skinned Fitzinger's algyroide, takes advantage of the shade of the maquis.
It was part of the land known as the Four Towers and was built by the people of Paomia, Revinda and Salona, who had taken refuge in Renno, in order to protect the cultivable land on the coast from the barbarian pirates. It is a round tower, twelve metres high, built on a rocky base (restored in 2009, visitors can climb up to the roof terrace to admire the view).
On its steep and jagged north coast, the 40 to 50 metre high granite cliffs with felsdpaths plunge into the blue waters. They form a striking contrast with the blond beaches, all round, which occupy the bottom of the neighbouring gulfs, Peru to the south, Chiuni to the north.
Numerous passerines take advantage of the bushes of the maquis, the coastal cliffs shelter the nests of rock species, peregrine falcons, pigeons... At their foot, under the water, the giant limpet, which has become so rare, finds a place to blossom
Starting from Peru beach, to the south of the site, a marked path runs along the old dry stone walls, passing by a beautiful house, its bread oven and the aghja, allowing you to walk around the point and reach the Genoese tower. It takes 3 hours to walk to the beach of Chiuni, passing two small fountains to the north. A variant allows you to complete the walk and return to your starting point.
Formerly called the Paomia Tower, it had existed for almost two centuries when the "Greek" city was founded.
It is part of the "land of the 4 towers" and is one of the 4 towers with those of Omigna, Orchinu and Capu Rossu, which protected this very jagged coastal area between the gulfs of Sagone and Porto from the threat of the Barbary pirates
A "Puntiglione", the "big cape" in Corsican language, protects the town of Cargèse, and it is there that the tower, now in ruins, is located. Today Puntiglione has the appearance of a wild space with its back to the village of Cargèse.
An old wheat threshing floor, a ruined cottage and a few low walls and terraces in the scrubland tell of the former agricultural practices on the site: between the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 20th century, wheat and barley were grown on the point, before being abandoned to make way for pastures for goats and sheep
From the centre of the village, a beautiful 1.5 hour walk takes you to the end of the point, passing under the ruined tower
The tower of Sagone could not protect them, the Giraffe and the Nourrice were scuttled in the port of Sagone while the last Henriette ran aground on the beach.
These three boats were at anchor, loaded and ready to leave when they were attacked by the English army. Indeed, at the time, the port of Sagone was in full activity and was the departure point for the large pieces of wood from the Aïtone forest, for the arsenal of Toulon.
The success of the English in the Gulf of Sagone on 1 May 1811 highlighted the inadequacy of the protection offered by the old Genoese tower and the battery at its foot. Napoleon consequently ordered the construction of new batteries to make the anchorage safer (Transcription of the Police Bulletin of 25 May 1811)
The tower is 30 metres above the road.
It is reached by a small path after crossing a small barrier. It is a tower, in poor condition, round with one floor in granite and schist with a terraced guardiola. On the outside there is a small stone building attached to it. A staircase, cut into the wall, leads up to the terrace.
This 1st May 1811 did not mark the total destruction of our guardian, she continues to watch over the Gulf of Sagone
The tower and the fortress of Capiglioli in the municipality of Casaglione can be seen from the road and access is via an unmarked path. You arrive at a central point on the ridge, and you can see on the right the remains of the fortress and on the left the tower of which only the ruins remain. The only element still visible is the clay water collection pipe from the terrace to the cistern.
This small round tower rests on a bed of rockroses, lentisks, immortals, asphodel and broom, while its fortress was built on a rocky promontory that is impregnable on its eastern, southern and western sides. A large building with thick walls, whose vault has collapsed, still imposes its silhouette on the tip of the Capigliolu peninsula. To get there, you have to park at the sign indicating the exit of the village of Tiuccia on the D81 and plan a 20 minute walk.
Tower of Ancona
In the municipality of Calcatoggio near the sea on the Punta di Palmentoju is the tower of Ancona, small and made of granite and tuff, its construction was completed in August 1582, recognizable by the gaping hole that crosses it, it dominates the Gulf of Sagone and the surrounding villages.
In the pieve of Cinarca, Gêne, who dominated the island, signed a concession contract for the towers of Capigliolu and Ancona, the money advanced by Gêne was to be reimbursed by the agents by taxing the shepherds who came to graze their animals on the land. The brothers Sorba and Geronimo became raccoltori (tax collectors) in charge of charging for grazing and levying the tax on the harvest in Bacini of grain, but in 1857 it was assigned by imperial decree to the bridges and roads. Access to it is forbidden because the tower is on private property and is in poor condition.