Memories of an exile

"By the scent of its maquis, from afar, with closed eyes I would recognise Corsica."

Napoleon Bonaparte

The "Veranu" in western Corsica

All seasons are beautiful, but in spring the region is an inexhaustible garden of colours and scents. It offers "time to take your time"...

International Happiness Day is held on 20 March each year, so it will fall at the same time as the arrival of spring until 2044. A wonderful coincidence, as it is obvious to all that spring is the season to return to the happiness of enjoying!

In nature, it is an explosion of colours. The maquis is in flower and the light is exceptional. The fragrant scents come out of the maquis and it is these scents that made Napoleon say "that by the scent of its maquis, from a distance, with my eyes closed I would recognise Corsica."

The climate is almost ideal, sunny but reasonably warm for those who fear the rigours of the summer climate, spring is the perfect time to discover the region in a different way, by the sea or by hiking trails. But there are also traditions that are rooted in the mists of time and give your holiday that magical touch between mysticism and religion. 

And of course, for the little ones as well as for the older ones, Easter is still an opportunity to make a few splurges and indulge in the sweet and savoury treats of the moment.

To really know Corsica

It has its own maquis perfume! Anyone who has not seen the maquis in flower at the end of April and beginning of May cannot form an idea of Corsica. The whole island is then transformed into a colossal bouquet, all the essences of an unheard of and powerfully aromatic vegetation are starred with corollas from which rise these scents...

Dr Pascal ZUCARELLI in 1931, taking over from Albert SURIER

The maquis and its scents

An inextricable place with a thousand scents

Less high than a forest and always green, the maquis covers almost half of the territory. Dense and fragrant, bushy and thorny, it is found on abandoned soils and is mostly composed of arbutus, heather, rockrose, immortelle, myrtle, thyme, rosemary, mastic, asphodel, cyclamen, clematis, sarsaparilla, honeysuckle, bramble and holm oak. Lost in the maquis, one can find cork oaks or olive trees, memories of ancient cultures.

On the warm slopes of the coast, Mediterranean flora grows, where exotic flora (prickly pear, tamarisk, American agave, aloe, eucalyptus...) and scrubland and maquis plants (Phoenician juniper, wild olive tree, juniper, mastic tree, pine, thyme, rosemary, rockrose, lavender, oak, clematis, tree heather, myrtle, asphodel, fennel, immortelle...).

The maquis and its dreamlike landscapes 

To marvel, to feel reborn with nature, we share with you good reasons (do we really need any?) to discover West Corsica in spring, from the Easter holidays to the month of June.

  • The omnipresent maquis is adorned in a thousand shades and the vegetation seems to want to devour the road. The villages bathed in light and the mild temperatures call us to contemplation and to the terraces of the cafés.
  • It is good to walk, to breathe, to breathe... You don't need to go far, you will always find a path in the bush ready to welcome your meditative steps. Walking simply, without any concern for performance, is conducive to rejuvenation, disengages the mind and allows you to (re)find yourself.
  • If the water temperatures are still a little cool for the more chilly, you can enjoy the beaches quietly to air your body and mind and listen to the murmur of the water 
  • Tourism remains moderate in this season and the great outdoors are yours to enjoy
  • The rates are very competitive on all accommodation offers

Easter tradition

The "Merendella

This is a tradition that has been perpetuated in Corsica for centuries, and an opportunity for the family to get together for a picnic in the countryside at Easter. It is an opportunity to gather the different generations around a convivial and rural meal, composed of some typical island specialities.

On the beach, in the mountains, in the scrubland and elsewhere, celebrate Easter in all its beauty and enjoy the mild summer and spring sunshine at any time

Traditions and Religion

Holy Week

At the beginning of the Easter festival

The Easter celebrations generally begin at the beginning of Holy Week. They are characterised by religious processions through all the streets of the island of beauty. More precisely, the processions (Way of the Cross) take place on Good Friday.

 On Holy Saturday, all Corsicans prepare for the upcoming commemoration. It is also the day when priests bless the houses in the villages of the island. Holy Saturday is also the religious day when the branches used on the previous Sunday are burned during Palm Sunday.

Another important tradition: the Crucette, These are woven palm crosses that are hung all year round on a wall or on the rear view mirror of a car and thus ensure divine protection. They are sold or distributed for Palm Sunday, in addition to the olive branches

Holy Week is an important time for Christians and even more so for Corsicans who have particular traditions. There is a particular one in Western Corsica, that of the village of Cargèse

A former Greek colony, it celebrates Easter in its Catholic church of the Byzantine rite, following its own ritual, under the leadership of the Archimandrite. Songs and lamentations in the unlit church on Good Friday evening, candlelight ceremonies for the return of light on Holy Saturday, and the singing of the Greek rite at midnight are expressions of the mystical atmosphere that pervades these ceremonies. On Easter Monday, a procession takes place during which a Holy Icon of the Greek colony is exposed at the four cardinal points.

To celebrate Easter Monday you can also opt for outdoor picnics

The "Campanile" also called "Cacavellu

For Easter Sunday in the region, look forward to a day of joy and resurrection to be celebrated over a traditional Easter meal with your family.

The traditional menu usually includes lamb, cabri and, of course, a selection of sweets. For dessert, discover or enjoy the flavour of traditional cakes such as cacavelli(cacavellu is a sweet bread in the shape of a crown, into which a whole hard-boiled egg is inserted, to mark the end of Lent) or campanile, panette, etc. ..

Easter Sunday marks the end of the days of hardship and the beginning of a great day of Easter festivities in Corsica.

Origin and recipe of Cacavellu

It is said that Easter cake was used to mark the end of Lent, a period of fasting for Christians. The recipe for this cake was created using eggs that were not eaten during this period.

The tradition has continued and the eggs that are incorporated into the cacavelli are either eaten by the children or eaten at the traditional Easter Monday picnic.

You'll have to bake to enjoy it!

The preparation time is quite long, because of the resting time needed for the dough.
Gourmets will have to take it upon themselves to wait 2 to 3 hours before tasting!

Ingredients
500 g flour
1 sachet baker's yeast
2 whole eggs
125 g sugar
salt
50 g lard
1 dose pastis
20 cl water

  • In a bowl, mix the flour, salt and sugar, then add 2 eggs, the softened lard, the pastis and the warm water mixed with the yeast.
  • Mix and knead the dough vigorously. Then let the dough rest covered with a cloth for about 2 hours in a room at room temperature away from draughts and light.
  • Before preparing our cacavellu, preheat your oven to 180°C.
  • Roll the dough into a large ball (save some for two more balls: to hold the egg).
  • Insert an egg on one side (raw with its shell) and cover it with two small puddings to form a cross on top.
  • To bake the Easter cake, put it in the oven at 180°C for about 40 minutes. You can brush it with an egg yolk to give it a nice golden colour.
  • The egg will cook quietly while the cacavellu is cooking.

And now you can enjoy it at the Merendella

Discover Corsica differently

An island break in winter is sometimes just what you need to recharge your batteries in the heart of an invigorating natural environment offering different but equally breathtaking coastal and mountain landscapes.

So grab your gloves and scarves and come and enjoy your winter adventure in West Corsica.

More than an adventure, this journey will become a true self-discovery.

We enjoy a different landscape

We all know Corsica with its climate, its high temperatures, its beaches, its turquoise waters, its palm trees, its green maquis and its walks under the sun. But Corsica also lives outside the summer and does not go into hibernation, contrary to popular belief.

Even if these cold winter months do not often offer access to many leisure activities or other discoveries, there are good ideas to make your winter getaway a restful and exotic stay, perhaps even confusing for those who already know it.

Discover the different face of our territory, which is enjoying the new-found calm and offers a charm that is far too little known in the Corsica we love so much.

A selection of activities to do in winter:

  1. Enjoy the beach by yourself and have a peaceful picnic
  2. Snowshoeing in the mountains and getting a breath of fresh air
  3. Hiking at low altitude with a view of the snow-capped mountains
  4. Ski, luger (a nod to our Swiss friends), in Vergio and enjoy its ski resort
  5. To exchange with the inhabitants, who are more accessible in this period, and to share the Corsican culture
Vergio pass winter snow
sunset winter

Enjoying the sunsets

... breathtaking

This is the time of year when the sunsets are the most spectacular in terms of colour.

It is often necessary to wait until the end of a rather gloomy day when the sun has finally shown its face, just before it gives way to the moon... And then, the magic happens.

Flaming reds and crimson oranges mingle with soft pinks and shimmering purples. A veritable explosion of colours, both warm and cold, on a sea of fluffy clouds, a simple pleasure for the eyes.

Corsican specialities

Winter is the time for small, reassuring family dishes that warm the stomachs and hearts.

An island of sharing, there are many specialities made for large gatherings with family and/or friends.

The star products of the winter :

  • All sausages
  • Brocciu (best period)
  • Clementines and other citrus fruits
  • Arbouses and myrtles 

Our winter specialities :

  1. Pulenta, figatellu, brocciu (fried eggs)
  2. Wild boar stew
  3. Corsican peasant soup
  4. Teddy Bear Walk
  5. Omelette with brocciu
  6. Figatellu with lentils
  7. Cabri in sauce
  8. Brocciu fritters
  9. Lamb in sauce

West Corsica, for you alone...

... or almost

No car in front or behind and the road stretches out in front of you...

What better way to enjoy the scenery? You won't have the stress of stopping to take a picture or just calmly admire the scenery.

Autumn invites you to come and enjoy walks in the forest and evenings with friends around the fire in this beautiful season of colour.

It is also the second harvest season, when the last fruits reach maturity and when the harvests mark the gastronomy of our regions.

But autumn is also the perfect season for gourmet hikes to combine the desire for the great outdoors with gastronomy. 

Let yourself be inspired... you won't regret it.

Poetry of autumn...

In autumn, the leaves of the trees take on rich hues of gold, purple and violet; - the sun adorns the clouds with more splendid colours; - the forests exhale an intoxicating odour; - and the leaves that fall and begin to litter the paths warn that everything is going to disappear, that everything is going to die, and invite one to contemplate, with more attention and recollection, these splendours that are going to fade. Then all feelings take on a tinge of sweet melancholy, love seizes the heart with a power hitherto unknown. Alphonse Karr

Alphonse Karr

Enjoying the Indian summer

If you love sunny days, you're already thinking of the best ways to make your autumn a little spicy. Take advantage of an autumn getaway to take advantage of our more attractive off-season offers.

This period of mildness, even warmth and sunshine in the heart of autumn is the ideal time for those who have always dreamed of coming to discover the beauty of our region, but who are not necessarily fans of the summer season!

For those who are not so cold, the climate and water temperature are still favourable for enjoying the sea while feeling that the beaches belong to them alone.

The towns and villages are also quieter and offer visitors plenty of time to wander through the streets and soak up the atmosphere and soul of an authentic Corsica, now wild again.

Lake Creno

Autumn walks in nature and its colours

Autumn offers us landscapes with shimmering colours, which we never tire of admiring and reproducing during walks in total freedom.

Why not reveal your artistic soul... 

Our territory has a multitude of walking routes, which you can find in our walking guide or by visiting our offices.

It's autumn! Why not go on an adventure with your family or friends?

Take advantage of the beautiful Indian summer light to (re)discover some of our must-see spots which, after the summer season, have taken on a whole new look and put on their colourful costumes.

Gourmet walk in the forest

What a pleasure it is to enjoy the fruits of your labour, it is a fun activity that you can do alone, if you are a solitary treat hunter or accompanied by your family or a group of friends.

Chestnuts

In autumn, we take advantage of walks in the forest to collect chestnuts.

Distinguishing a chestnut from a marron 

Once equipped and warned, all you have to do is identify any chestnuts that may cross your path.

Firstly, the chestnut is a rather small, triangular and flattened fruit with small "hairs" at the tip. Unlike the chestnut, which is larger, rounder and smoother.

The bug allows you to identify the fruit it contains. The chestnut is contained in a "bogue", bristling with many prickles. It opens in 4 to release its fruit. The chestnut is contained in a "capsule" with soft, short spines, which only opens in 3 to release its fruit.

Roasted on a wood fire, in the oven but also boiled, each one has its own way of tasting them. There are many specialities made from chestnuts as well as derived products, flour, chestnut flour cakes, marrons glacés, etc. Do not hesitate to ask for the products of the region in the shop.

Mushrooms

Mushroom picking remains one of the pleasures of autumn. Their characteristic flavours make them stars of the kitchen and add a heady aroma to our dishes. Ceps, chanterelles, sheep's feet, meadow roses and all the others are particularly tasty and can be eaten on their own, in omelettes or as side dishes. 

*Finally, if in doubt about your harvest, do not hesitate to have it checked by a connoisseur, if you do not know the type of mushroom or if you are not sure, do not collect them. Some species are poisonous and you could be poisoned. Consult an expert.

Relax and breathe fresh air

Autumn also awakens our self-preservation instinct and encourages us to slow down, to save ourselves in all tranquillity and serenity.

What could be better than a stay in Western Corsica to rest, recharge your batteries and enjoy a less active life? 

Sensory discovery around autumn is to get some fresh air, breathe some fresh air, recharge your batteries and leave behind your over-connected daily life.

It'sa mini-break that allows you to let go and focus on the present moment, so that all you hear is the sound of birds, wind, or the falling branches and leaves of trees as you walk along.

Increase your capacity for creativity and concentration, look at the sea and its colours, breathe in the sea spray and the flowers of the maquis. You dream of it! Well, it's possible everywhere here and it's very simple. We are told: "you must refocus on the essential"! And the essential is there, not far away...

Enjoying the riches of autumn...

A strong and independent identity to discover in a different way

The highlands of Western Corsica have a great diversity of landscapes and generously offer you their fullness and authenticity.

Inland, there is a different magic than on the coast, a different world, a certain languor, almost out of sync.

Take the time to get away for a few hours or a day, for a ride, a walk or a bike ride, in the heart of our mountains.

Oxygenate yourself in the heart of one of our beautiful forests, recharge your batteries at the top of the summits, taste the pleasure of freedom and shiver with happiness. 

Are you interested? Here's what we suggest you do to enjoy all the beauty of the region.

Disconnection and rejuvenation guaranteed

aitone drill

Have you ever thought of walking along one of our many paths?

Sunday walker or experienced hiker?

Walks for all tastes and all levels, that is the extent of the offer that our territory has.

From the interpretation trails with their explanatory panels, to family walks in the forests, via the mythical Mare e Monti and the famous coastal path, we give you the keys to recharge your batteries and exercise your body.

Whether you are free or guided, you will discover the little hidden treasures of our area.

Don't forget to breathe in the scent of the maquis, to observe the particular fauna and flora of our magnificent region, in a word: relax!

If you prefer to be accompanied and benefit from the knowledge that our guides share along the way, don't hesitate to plan your hiking trip with one of our many professionals.

But above all, whatever your choice, respect the basic rules which are :

  • check the weather
  • take water
  • put on your shoes
  • Equip yourself (appropriate clothing, map, etc.)

In complete safety, the pleasure remains!

A hefty dose of chlorophyll

Do you prefer sea legs or fresh water?

If there is one activity to do in Western Corsica, it is, without any hesitation, the discovery of this splendid coastline by sea. Synonymous with escape and adventure, it is the promise of unique and unforgettable moments.

Now you have to decide where you are going to set off on your adventure and this is where the choice is complicated. But rest assured, the beauty of the coastline is such that, wherever you start from, your maritime adventure will become an incredible and unforgettablememory .And if you're a bit lucky, you'll meet theosprey, the Mediterranean crested cormorant or even the bottlenose dolphin... Magic!

Escape and sensations guaranteed!

dolphins gulf porto
farniente beach corsica boat

Weighing anchor,hiring a boat

Renting a boat guarantees you an unusual travel experience and you don't necessarily need a licence. You will be able to sail independently (and freedom of movement is important too) On the boats without a licence, the motorisation is not the same of course, but for a day or half day the possibilities of visits and bathing in the wild creeks of Western Corsica are innumerable.

The Robinson in you is already dreaming about it, while the explorer is heading for the great sites of the West Coast.

With or without a licence, hiring a boat will make you a happy holidaymaker, proud to bring back anecdotes, advice and images, but shhh!

On the programme, inaccessible coves from the road, still wild and deserted, the ideal place to put your towel down and enjoy a picnic with your family or as a couple, deep gorges plunging into the sea, a festival of colours in every corner. This is certainly the most beautiful part of the coast and, to appreciate it in depth, we recommend that you combine visits on foot with visits by sea.

So cast off and sail away...

Our partners

Do you want to breathe in iodine at the top of your lungs? Our experts are there for you!

Let yourself be guided... Let yourself be accompanied

Leaving with a sailing company or a skipper offers you the advantage of enjoying the fresh air and the sea spray without worrying about manoeuvres, with a free spirit let you embark on a visit of the most beautiful sites of Corsica. A careful commentary and an exceptional site, the promise of an unforgettable day.

The steep coastline offers a splendid space: creeks, caves, sea cliffs, islands and archipelagos sea cliffs, islands and archipelagos, a specific fauna and flora and a breathtaking geology...

Here, our professionals are here to help you discover the beauty of the coastline, the visit of caves and faults, the little hidden treasures known to sailors, an explanation of the protected sites of the maritime and land reserve. Swimming stops in translucent waters with heavenly colours

Come aboard and let yourself be rocked by the gentle currents of the sea...

calanche piana boats
kayak sea west corsica

Trendy and nice...

Fun and eco-friendly, another way to visit and travel on the water with :

  • The kayak, no need for experience, just a little time to get the hang of it and you can quietly move to the rhythm of the paddle. The silence and the sea we dreamed of, and this feeling of being in the water while sitting dry, can you believe it? A little physical all the same the practice of the canoe or kayak is very pleasant and ecological and remains a great idea trend for the discovery of the coast 
  • Paddleboarding is a trendy new water sport that you can try out here. The Stand-Up Paddle or SUP but more simply paddle allows you to discover all the coasts of our region standing on a board, simply equipped with a paddle to direct you. Cool no and in addition by practising the SUP, you build up your thighs, your back, your abs, your arms, without forgetting your shoulders 
  • The pedal boat brings back childhood memories and laughter, you have fun while pedalling, and you pedal while visiting. The best for young and old children
  • Windsurfing 
  • The catamaran

And for more excitement?

For those who want to have a little more excitement, a range of fun and water activities are available. A great way to have a good laugh, with family or friends...

  • Surfing, let's not lie, this is not Hawaii but it's good enough for those who want to learn or practice gently.
  • Jet-ski
  • Towed buoy
  • Water skiing
  • Wakeboard
surf west corsica

Discovering the underwater world

A biodiversity as rich as it is surprising

Nudibranchs, red gorgonians, schools of crayfish, groupers, morays...

The bay of Sagone offers different diving sites for beginners or experienced divers! Magnificent underwater sites where you can explore the wreck of a Canadair, discover an impressive 60m drop off (Punta Locca) or meet the rare Pinna Nobillis, a large protected mother of pearl found at the Calderas de Marifaja.

Capo Rosso and Banc Provençal are for experienced divers.

You can also visit Cargèse and the Calanche de Piana, passing by the impressive drop offs of the Ficajola site and many other spots such as Vardiola, the Sec de Senino, the Pointe de Scopa, Punta Munchillina and Monte Rosso, sites to be discovered near the reserve.

It is important to preserve the seabed and protect species and biodiversity.

To do this, you must not touch or remove any living thing, fauna or flora.

Memories, you may say, but you'll have plenty more... 

mother of pearl fish anemone monte rosso

What is snorkeling?

For snorkeling enthusiasts, the West Corsica region offers a rich and incredible variety of activities.

The clear waters, mild climate and preserved marine environments make it one of the best destinations in the region. Schools of sea bream, starfish, moray eels... populate its sea grass beds and rocky bottoms, even at shallow depths.

Snorkeling is an aquatic leisure activity that requires only a mask, a snorkel and fins. The aim is to observe the sea bed and living underwater species by alternating between breathing and snorkelling. It is therefore generally practised between 0 and 5 metres

Leave with a clear head with the pros of palm walking, in a club or with qualified guides.

Put on your fins, adjust your mask and snorkel and let's go for an unforgettable experience...

You can learn to dive!

Diving needs to be learned and perfected in order to be practiced safely. And to dive in complete peace of mind, ask our qualified professionals for information, without forgetting the safety instructions 

After the theory, you can put on your wetsuit and test the mask and fins and this is the big moment. The boat splits the sea and the magnificent landscape passes before our eyes. Finally, it's the dive spot, the recap of the instructions and then it's time to slide into the water.

An anti-stress tool

It's time to explore the water world. You breathe underwater, a sensation you will never forget. Slowly you descend into the depths; remember to decompress regularly. You finally touch the ground of a mysterious world. "And because I am focused on myself, on my breathing, on what I am doing, I feel, I tell you, total relaxation and letting go.

You feel like a fish in water.

With underwater exploration you will become aware of the fragility of the underwater world and will have a greater sensitivity to the protection of this marine environment. Underwater explorer today, ambassador of the oceans tomorrow.

A first dive in Corsica is an opportunity for children and adults alike to learn about the beauty and fragility of the marine environment. Accessible from about 8 years old, some diving clubs offer the possibility of diving in groups or with the family.

Our partners

Want to explore the depths and discover the richness of our seabed? Follow our guides!

Treat yourself to the big blue!

Why not take to the water?

This is an opportunity to see schools of drum fish, large groupers, barracudas and rock cod.

Dive or swim in the crystal clear waters of the West Coast Gulfs to see a real natural aquarium. So strap on your fins, mask and snorkel, grab your GoPro and let's go for a swim in the region's most beautiful spots.

WHAT CAN WE OBSERVE?

Among a multitude of visual treasures living under the sea level, we have concocted a selection of fauna and flora that you can see...

moray eel

FAUNA

  • Soles
  • Barracudas
  • Stripes
  • Starfish
  • Sea Urchins
  • Common thrushes
  • Peacock Turtles
  • Castagnols
  • Transcribing
  • Sea bream
  • Wolves
  • Blackbirds
  • Black-headed Sars

FLORA

  • Posidonia
  • Doris Dalmatian
  • Codium in a ball
  • Spirographs
  • Anemones
  • Brown/red/green algae
sea anemone

Safety instructions for diving 

And yes, it never hurts to repeat these good principles

  • Be in good physical condition.
  • Do not dive when you are tired, have a cold, after a heavy meal, or if you have to catch a plane the same day.
  • Maintain and check your equipment.
  • Check the inflation pressure of the cylinders, the pressure gauge and the correct functioning of the stabilising waistcoat.
  • Be fully conversant with the code of communication in diving.
  • Pay attention to your fellow divers and to the sound signals. React quickly and safely, but without panicking.
  • Never dive alone and stay together, all members of the same group at the same depth as the instructor, never below.
  • Never force your eardrums or sinuses.
  • As soon as a diver is "on reserve", the whole group must ascend.
  • During the ascent, respect the speed indicated by the instructor.
  • Breathe freely, listen, observe.
  • Stay below the safety curve if possible.
  • In all cases, make a 3 minute safety stop at 3 metres.
  • In the event of an accident, stay calm, don't panic, think.
  • If there is any problem, signal to the instructor.
  • Before going out on the surface, take a look around at 3 metres, listen, observe and watch out for obstacles...

Until you see it with your own eyes...

Less famous and yet...

Many of you know or have seen the abandoned village of Occi in Balagna, or the equally famous village of Muna between Murzo and Rosazia. But there is a lesser known but equally interesting abandoned village: U Tassu... 

Follow us on a journey of discovery that takes you back to a time not so long ago when everything was very different.

Already there before Marignana

In 1485, the village is already mentioned in a list of communities in the region, whereas Marignana is not.

It was part of one of the seven hamlets that made up Cristinacce, before it was burnt by the Genoese in 1460.

U Tassu is located in the middle of the triangle formed by the villages of Evisa, Marignana and Cristinacce, on a crossroads of mule tracks.

It was the transit point for all the trade routes of the time, playing a key role in the development of the region. It was also useful for the Niolin shepherds during the transhumance to the piaghje or to the mountains.

At its peak, the hamlet had only a few houses and 95 inhabitants according to a census of 1537.

The beginning of the 20th century saw the construction of the D24 road which led to the gradual decline of Tassu.

Its last inhabitant, Pascal Battesti, died in 1935. Today, the paths are used only by hikers and hunters.

In the 1970s, a few "hippies" decided to settle down to get closer to nature, but the experience was short-lived.

Nowadays, the Marignane association "Scopre", which has restored the roof of the church and a fresco inside, organises a small festival where a mass is celebrated every 29 June.

Tassu abandoned village chapel
Tassu abandoned village

Why don't we go?

Short easy walk

Let's go: from Porto, take the direction of Evisa (D84) then Marignana (D24). You then cross the hamlet of Chidazzu, then in Marignana you turn left onto the D224 and just after the cemetery, you park your car near the stopover gîte.

We walk around: we follow the orange markings of the Mare e Monti/Mare e Mare Nord, on the right of the road upstream.

Generally located in the shade, it is a particularly pleasant path on hot summer days thanks to the shade provided by the many chestnut trees along the route.

After about 30 minutes we reach the abandoned village of Tassu. Beware of a few branches that might get in the way.

The return journey will be along the same path.

And around...?

Want to discover more? Here are a few suggestions in the area.

The Turghju Tower...

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)

Capu Rossu is a fabulous promontory, one of the highest sea cliffs in Europe, offering a 360° view from its summit 

Capo Rosso is the second most western point of Corsica, surpassed by Gargalo in the Scandola nature reserve. It is a pink granite cape accessible only on foot and topped by a Genoese tower.

A little history...

In 1604, Anton Giovanni Sarrola, a notable from the south of Corsica and an orator from the "Delà des Monts", was appointed to build the four towers, at a time when the coastline was subject to the constant raids of the Barbarians.

Thus, this territory was called "Land of the Four Towers".

Barbary pirates, sometimes called Barbary or Ottoman privateers, were Muslim pirates who operated from North Africa, based mainly in the ports of Salé, Rabat, Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli. 

Their predation extended throughout the Mediterranean and beyond: along the Atlantic coast of West Africa and in the North Atlantic as far as Iceland. However, their preferred hunting ground remained mainly the western Mediterranean.

In addition to seizing merchant ships, the main purpose of their attacks was the 'collection' of men, women and children for the slave trade for the Ottoman Empire and the general Arab slave market in North Africa and the Middle East.

Tour of Capo Rosso in pictures

We forget the received ideas

Our environment is our life support

The forest is not just a group of trees.

If we think about the forest, all the elements interact and form a diversity, a rich diversity, a rich ecosystem that is essential for life.

Trees, mushrooms, birds, insects, water sources, inhabitants and the inhabited, all organise themselves and produce essential components of our world.

In addition to maintaining and protecting biodiversity, it protects against natural hazards such as landslides, erosion, etc. and retains its primary economic function: timber production.

So we take advantage of it, but above all we respect it by leaving only our footprints behind us.

It is our source of inspiration and relaxation.

Shinrin Yoku or forest bath

 

The Shinrin Yoku or forest bath promotes the benefits of walking in the forest, reconnecting with nature and especially with oneself.

On this nature retreat, learn to explore the world around you so you can focus on what is important.

Enjoy a playful discovery of the forest and sylvotherapy in sites chosen for their rich biodiversity.

The forests of Western Corsica are ideal places to practice this Japanese art of living. So are we going or what!!! (Oops, I need it too...)

Without hesitation, let's go and discover this invigorating cocktail of ancestral energy.

To stimulate all your senses

You are advised to :

  • clamping the shafts
  • smell the woods
  • test the fresh water of the river with your toes
  • enjoy the silence
  • listen to the murmur of the undergrowth
  • let yourself be transported by the song of the birds

This has benefits for the respiratory system and immediate effects on stress and anxiety.

Softness, serenity, inspiration... fill up on good vibes.

And best of all, the whole family can do it for free.

De-stressing, hugging a tree

Some ideas to start your immersion in nature

Routes to start your therapy (sylvo)

  • The chestnut grove
  • Natural pools
  • Monte Tretorre from Guagno
  • The honey trail and the Murzo forest
  • Monte Cervellu by Rosazia

A lonely village

As if out of time

Suspended from the mountain and forever watched over by the Sposata, Muna is one of those places that call out for their singularity and the enigmatic atmosphere that inhabits these places.

Only a few kilometres from Rosazia and Murzo, its houses built in a staircase on the side of the mountain were gradually emptied of their inhabitants after the First World War.

It only comes back to life with the arrival of good weather and visitors who come to soak up the past.

Originally...

Muna was founded in 1740 for the needs of the forestry industry, which was developing in the area, and was built in a staircase on the slopes of the Sposata.

The wood exploited at that time was transported to the coast via the Liamone River for export. It was used, among other things, to make boat masts.

Access to the hamlet is very difficult and long and is via a mule track that crosses the Muna calanche for about ten kilometres.

Despite the difficulties and the isolation, Muna lives in perfect autonomy thanks to its numerous resources from crops, olive trees, chestnut trees and the food provided by its "breadfruit trees" and flocks of sheep. Its mill and bread ovens

Rejuvenate in the heart of the stones

"For me, it is a place of pilgrimage, every time I have the opportunity I love to come and recharge my batteries in the heart of these stones, to try to understand and imagine what life was like in these ruins. It is a wonderful place full of emotions. 

comment from a young woman from Moselle.

A place full of memories

From its 540m altitude, Muna offers an exceptional panoramic view of the sea in the distance, which calls for contemplation.

As we walk through the village, we gradually return to a not-so-distant past, punctuated by the sound of the church bell and the laughter of children leaving the school. A school that welcomed up to 50 children.

But it is also here that we will feel the sad truth of these village children, who left for the First World War and will never come back.

A commemorative plaque on the wall of the church pays tribute to the children of Muna, which, like many other island communities, paid a heavy price during the war. 

The remaining women and children left the village as time went by. Increasingly silent, Muna gradually died out until 1974 when the last inhabitant finally decided to leave.

Proud of the heritage of their ancestors, the descendants of the inhabitants of Muna have chosen to preserve this hamlet at all costs and why not make it truly alive again one day.

Close your eyes...

...and imagine

If you decide to visit Muna, sit back, close your eyes and let the magic of its history-laden stones take over.

Then you will surely hear the murmurs of women going about their daily chores, but also the laughter of children playing and running in the narrow streets. 

Then stop for a moment in its small church dating from the 17th century which has been restored. There, meditate and imagine yourself, on a Sunday morning, in the midst of 100 inhabitants who have come to attend mass.

A real journey into the past...

How to get there?

In the past, Muna was only accessible by a mule track that led to Rosazia.

Steep and uneven, this path running along the curves of the Liamone for more than ten kilometres proved to be extremely dangerous.

But it was thanks to the singer Antoine Ciosi, who covered a song by the Vincenti brothers called " L'Omu di Muna", that things moved on. Indeed, in 1987, the mule track was replaced by a tarmac road.

You must therefore first reach the village of Vico. Once you have reached Vico, take the D23 to Murzo.

At the church, turn right to go to Muna. On the D4, you pass by Bocca a Verghiu, a very narrow road that runs alongside the calanche of Muna.

Breathtaking landscapes and sensations guaranteed in the middle of these vertiginous cliffs.

Once you arrive at your destination, all you have to do is lace up your walking shoes for a short walk...

Are you hungry?

Famous for the authentic delights it offers, Corsican gastronomy is rooted in the simple pleasures of life.

Gourmets and gourmets, there is always a Corsican speciality for you.

With a wealth of quality producers and craftsmen, travel through the West Corsica region, fork in hand, to discover the thousand and one flavours produced on our land.

Charcuterie

Many Corsican charcuterie products have the "AOP" label, Protected Designation of Origin.

This label identifies products that are produced, processed and prepared in the same place.

Corsican regional products, including charcuterie, thus benefit from a recognised know-how and a reputation guaranteed by this regulation. 

To be tasty, charcuterie must be fatty.

Do not eat it on a diet if you want to enjoy it fully, as the best pieces have bits of fat on the outside or inside.

Some specialities of Corsican charcuterie not to be missed:
  1. DRY SAUSAGE
  2. THE PRISUTTU
  3. THE COPPA
  4. THE LONZU
  5. THE FIGATELLU
 
 
 

Our best vintages

On granite soils with a south/south-west exposure, the vineyards of the area both benefit from the AOP Ajaccio appellation.

Their slightly elevated position allows them to benefit from a marine influence providing warm air during the day and cool air at night.

The most commonly used grape varieties 

  • Sciaccarellu
    A grape variety unique to Corsica, "sciaccarellu", which means "crunchy", reigns supreme in the granitic parts of our territory where it produces wines of great finesse.
    The aromas of red fruits, spices, coffee and maquis flowers released by these reds and their lightly coloured robe give a particular suppleness to these wines.
  • Vermentinu
    Also known as Malvoisie de Corse, the very high quality white wines produced from this grape variety are among the best in the Mediterranean region.
    The floral, apple and almond aromas will delight lovers of dry, voluminous and very typical white wines with a pale yellow-green colour.
  • Niellucciu, Minustellu, Moresconu and Grenache are also used on these lands.

Visit the domains of our territory

  1. Clos d'Alzeto (highest vineyard in Corsica)
  2. Tremica Estate

Both estates ensure a traditional cultivation of the vines with respect for nature, the environment and the place.

corsican wine alzeto
@OuestCorsica A.Sarti

Cheeses

Corsica and its cheeses are a poem, but also a concentrate of taste and character... in short, a real Corsican!

All the cheeses in our region are real farmhouse cheeses, made from raw goat's or sheep's milk, with a strong identity.

They are the storytellers of this authentic land and its shepherds who, for generations, have reproduced the same artisanal production steps to produce 

corsican jams

Jams

So sweet...

Because a little sweetness is always good in this world of brutality, enjoy the many choices of jams: citron, clementine, orange, fig, fig and walnut... Your mouth is already watering!

With cheese, on bread, in your yoghurt or for the real gourmets directly with a spoon, you just have to buy it!

Chestnut flour

As the basis of human and animal nutrition, but also used for construction and the manufacture of furniture and objects, the cultivation of chestnut is anchored in Corsican civilisation.

Its cultivation was abandoned at the beginning of the twentieth century and it was not until the 1970s that a revival of the castaneic industry took place.

Today, about 80 farmers cultivate and harvest chestnuts, mainly to make chestnut flour.

Since 2006, an AOC/AOP label "farine de châtaigne corse - Farina castagnina corsa", ensures that Corsican chestnut flour is :

  • the fruit comes from a well-defined geographical area and listed varieties (about fifty of which 20 are the main ones)
  • a unique traditional know-how which gives a very characteristic taste to the Corsican chestnut flour.

This naturally sweet and gluten-free flour is ideal for making desserts, pastries, jams or marrons glacés. It is also used in the production of alcohol and beer.  

In addition to its nutritional qualities, the Corsican chestnut is known for its mineral content such as potassium, iron and magnesium.

In the past, the 35 mills operating on the island produced 150 tonnes of chestnut flour, of which more than 50% was organic.

Since 2010, the sector has been suffering from the arrival of a chestnut pest originating from China, the cynips. Since then, it has been responsible for a significant loss of harvest. 

corsican brocciu

Brocciu

A true national emblem

Emile Bergerat said at the end of the 19th century: " Whoever has not tasted it does not know the island ". That says it all...

To save you from sweating over the pronunciation, we'll help you out a bit. It is pronounced "brotchiou"...

It is a fresh cheese with a soft and creamy texture, made from the whey of both goat's and sheep's milk.

It is salted, heated and stirred until creamy, then placed in a mould to drain and cool.

It can be eaten at any stage of its maturation.

  • very fresh, even while still warm, with sugar and a dash of brandy
  • drier and more mature, it is also called "passu", and is eaten sliced, grated or fried like a classic cheese.

Whether fresh or cooked, brocciu contains 45% fat (sometimes more according to some!) so beware of dieting.

Fresh brocciu is best consumed between November and June.

Very present in the Corsican gastronomy, it is accompanied by our recipes as much salted as sweet: traditional desserts (fiadone, ambrucciata), torte, bastelle, omelettes, fritters, cannelloni, lasagne?

This Corsican cheese is protected by both an AOC since 1983 and a PDO since 1998.

Honey

A traditional activity on the island since antiquity, beekeeping has been structured over time until it has obtained protection, a sign of quality.

The Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée " Miel de Corse - Mele di Corsica" , obtained in 1998 at national level, introduced for the first time in France the notion of "local honey".

Corsican honeys offer a great diversity of tastes.

The 6 varieties of Corsican honey

  1. Spring: light to golden, its taste is sweet, floral and without acidity
  2. Spring Maquis: amber-coloured, it has a delicate caramel or cocoa taste and a liquorice or coconut smell
  3. Miellat du maquis: dark amber, its malty taste with aromas of liquorice, caramel and ripe fruit is persistent in the mouth
  4. Maquis d'été : light to very light amber, it has a floral, fruity and aromatic taste
  5. Chestnut grove: amber-coloured, with a strong, tannic taste, long in the mouth with a slight bitterness
  6. Maquis d'automne: light amber, bitter in taste and strong in the mouth
Corsican olive oil

Olive oil

Sweetness and aroma of the maquis

The Corsican olive orchard, very present on the island, is the reflection of 3,000 years of history.

There are many varieties of olive trees, giving an olive oil with diverse aromas but with a common sweetness.

The quality and typicality of Corsican olive oil has been protected since 2004 by a controlled designation of origin "Corsican olive oil" or "Corsican olive oil - Oliu di Corsica".

The designation guarantees that the oil purchased has been produced :

  • in Corsica
  • with local olive varieties
  • according to an ancestral know-how
  • with modern and environmentally friendly cultivation methods.

There are two ranges of PDO Corsican olive oil:

  1. a fresher one, from the "harvest on the tree", with aromas of almond, artichoke, hay, dried fruit or apple;
  2. the other one is "sweeter", made from the "old-fashioned harvest", by natural fall on nets, with aromas of black olive, dried fruits or flowers of the maquis...

The finesse of Corsican olive oil, its extreme softness and its aromatic palette allow it to sublimate all delicate dishes.

gourmet canistrelli

The Spuntinu

The Corsican-style snack

To satisfy both small and large hunger at the end of a walk, for example, there is nothing like a good spuntinu.

A moment of sharing par excellence, it is a worthy representative of Corsican mountain culture and generally consists of bread, cold cuts and cheese (Corsican, of course!).

This friendly and nice moment is shared on the banks of a river, in the forest with a large rock or a low wall as a makeshift table.

The spuntinu is the very essence of this snack, snack or picnic where you can enjoy without fuss all the gourmet products that Corsica has to offer!

Come on, now take your knife and your napkin and help yourself!