After the mistral the weather was fine and settled so we headed back to Porto Veccio to meet up with S/V Intention and head into the mountains. Given our previous experience, rather than head into the marina we decided to leave the yachts at anchor and after a pre dawn start, took the dinghy ashore and jumped on the bus to Col de Bavella high up in the Alta Rocca mountains.
The small town of Bavella has a few bars and restaurants and L’Auberge du col de Bavella with a range of accomodation. There are also cabins to rent and campsites around, but things are busy here in August so you need to book ahead…that said the L’Auberge du col had rooms available at short notice. The town has a classic alpine, mountaineering vibe with heaps of outdoor pursuit activities going on including paragliding, biking, walking, climbing and canyoning drawing in a relaxed outdoor crowd.
There are numerous walks from the Col de Bavella, catering for all levels of difficulty from short 30 min strolls to superb scrambles/climbs to keep even the most hardcore mountineers entertained. We did the 4 hour circuit from the Col de Bavella to the ‘Trou de la Bombe’ – an 8 metre hole in the rock which you scramble up to and peer through to the vertical 1000m drop below. The scenery was spectacular and diverse, from pristine pine forests to craggy rock scrambling. It is one of the more popular routes, but still wasn’t that busy except near the Trou de la bombe. The temperatures down on the coast were in the mid 30’s so it was great to feel the cool mountain air.
The world famous long distance trail the GR 20 (Grande Randonnee 20) also passes though the Col de Bavella. And you can walk a section of it from the Col. There are lots other trails all colour coded and you could spend a week here just walking and soaking up the vibe.
Time here exporing the mountains was a real highlight and at only an hour or so from Porto Veccio or Bonifacio makes it easy to access from your boat. Corsica has an amazing coast line, but the interior and particularly the mountains are spectacular and shouldn’t be missed by anyone visiting Corsica!