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Corse

Mai 2013

Raw mountains and tame beaches: One week of camping, hiking, running and swimming on Europe's most beautiful island.

Road trip

Night was short and day was long on the way down to Corse: When the sun was rising, the first 100 kilometers were already done.
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Ferry

I am a landlubber, I have to admit. So the sea and boats are simply fascinating for me. While others spent the four hours ferry trip from Livorno to Bastia reading, eating, sleeping or chatting, I spent most of the time watching the waves.
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Cross country

To visit a friend in Propriano, we drove from Bastia in the northeast all the way down to the southwest. Small mountain roads, heavy rain, fog, crazy other drivers and finally even an egg thrown on our windshield out of the dark really made it one of the most freaking road trips I've ever done.
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Carneval

On the list of things I didn't expect in April or May, carnival definitely had it's place. But Corse is different in many ways, so way not going crazy on a carnival in Sartène?
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The south

Yes! It's a tourist trap. Bonifazio, Porto Vecchio, all that stuff down there. If you don't arrive on your sailing boat or at least behave like you did, you are probably at the wrong place. But as everywhere, there are still nice spots to discover, if you just look close enough!
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U Borgu

Sort of a tourist trap as well, but worth the view and down on the port's bay, don't miss this place to eat when you're to Porto Vecchio.
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The old saltern

The amazing thing about really old travel guides is, that most of the stuff recommended there is now gone. So was the saltern of Porto Vecchio – but at least it wasn't replaced with a new hotel monstrosity…
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Beach

A simple WOW. Probably the most amazing beaches you can find in Europe – especially in the off season, when most of them are nearly empty. From cozy small to impressive huge bays, you will find your spot at the crystal clear seaside of Corse. Just, if you go there in April, probably bring a wetsuit.
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West coast

The old travel guide book wrote so enthusiastically about the colors at the west coast, we finally gave it a try. Turned out, without sun the rocks aren't as glowing red and the sea maybe isn't as azure blue as expected, so we went running instead.
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Mountains

If you're up for some hiking, climbing, mountaineering, even skiing: Corse is your place to be. The hardest one of you might walk the whole GR20 trail, for us discovering just parts of it and some other of the millions of old shepherd trails were great enough. We started with Col de Bavella. The crazy mountain road up there made me miss my road bike – but hiking a piece of the GR20 absolutely compensated for it.
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Restonica and Tavignano Valley

Starting into the Restonica Valley at summerly 25 °C it became slightly colder with every meter climbed until we felt like winter when reaching the frozen, snow-covered Lac de Mélo. Next day's trip along the Tavignano river started springlike in the morning and ended with autumn rain in the afternoon.
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Corte

Basecamp for our favorite mountain hikes, Corte is the heart of Corse in many ways. It has been the island's capital some hundred years ago and now holds its only university. After disovering the great valleys, mountains, rivers and lakes around, you get Corse's probably most authentical food there for the most reasonable prices.
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© 2017 Benedikt Altschuh