11.0 miles, Full day
Located on the West coast of the island Corsica, the bay of Porto with the regions of Scandola and Capu Rossu is among the world's most beautiful seashores. The all region is included in the UNESCO world heritage.
The region is famous for its mountainous seashore, turquoise clear water and red rocks with mysterious shapes.
Just traveling by car on the D81 between the small villages of Osani and Porto is an unforgettable show. But if you wish to visit the region there are two alternatives:
1. From the sea, by boat or kayak.
2. Walking on breathtaking lanes. Hikes usually start on the top of the mountains where you'll enjoy fantastic scenic view and end on desert tropical-like beaches. It is just wonderful.
This guide include a kayak trip and a hike that both have the same aim: the small fishermen's village of Girolata.
Girolata is a 20 houses village with a few restaurants, two basic shelters with minimal accommodations and a small fortress (XVIth century).
Access to Girolata is restricted to hikers or skippers as there is no road going there. It is a quite easy hike lasting 3 hours but with a quite steep uphill on the way back. Normal sport shoes are sufficient and children used to hike would do the hike easily. 1L beverage/people is sufficient but refill in Girolata or buy a bottle of water there. If your hotel is in Porto, you'll last about 20 minutes by car to each the starting point of the hike, 10 minutes to reach the starting point of the kayak trip.
Porto is an excellent starting point to visit Scandola, the Capu Rossu and Girolata:
Places to stay in Girolata: Restaurant La Cabane du Berger (bungalow, gite) (04 95 20 16 98), Gite le Cormoran (04 95 20 15 55).
The website of the protected reserves of Corsica: www.parc-naturel-corse.com.
To go to Girolata by boat: http://www.naveva.com. Alternatively you could rent a private boat with or without skipper in Porto (overbooked during the high season). Although quite expensive the private boat is perfect to visit Scandola, the Capu Rossu and Girolata. It allows you to have a break where you want, to snorkel, swim, walk al little bit along the cliffs...
There's a small restaurant on the beach Caspio with kayak renting. If you wish to sleep in Girolata, bargain to obtain a equilibrated price.