The 7 most beautiful walks around Capo Rosso

De Piana à la calanche de Ficajola

In the west of Corsica, the Capo Rosso hike is a must-see, and will inspire you to go on other walks in the area, particularly around the village of Piana and its famous calanques

Capo Rosso is one of Corsica’s most westerly extremities. Between Porto and Cargèse, the coastal region around this rocky promontory contributes fully to the reputation of the Isle of Beauty, which once again fully deserves its nickname: a chaotic and jagged setting of brown granite, austere and magnificent, bathed in the blue immensity of the Mediterranean, forming a striking contrast.

Hiking around Capo Rosso, as elsewhere in Corsica, is ideal from early spring, in April, until late in the off-season, in October. The more you take the trails outside of the tourist season, the more you’ll be able to enjoy the beauty of the landscape… That’s why beautiful winter days are not to be ruled out for exploring Capo Rosso either – on the contrary!

In summer, you’ll still need to be wary of the weather, as temperatures rise: leave early, or late, and always bring a good supply of water and sun protection, as heatstroke can quickly set in… Once you’re well equipped, don’t hesitate to explore the most beautiful walks around Capo Rosso.

1. The Capo Rosso trail

Le sentier du Capo Rosso

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: about 3 hours
  • Distance: 6.9 km
  • Ascent: 457 m
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • See the route

The promontory of Capo Rosso stands out clearly against the backdrop of the Mediterranean Sea to the south of Porto, shortly after the village of Piana: you can’t miss it! A parking area along the road makes it easy to leave your vehicle and take the only path up to this spectacular cape.

Let’s keep it simple: the Capo Rosso hike is magnificent. It has the advantage of being well-marked and easy to follow: you have your objective in sight all the way! At the summit, 331 m above sea level, you reach the Genoese tower of Turghiu, perched high above the sea: the view is breathtaking, taking in 360° of the Gulf of Porto and the Scandola reserve, the calanques of Piana and the jagged granite coastline, as far south as Cargèse.

Without being excessively long, the route nevertheless offers a serious climb to the summit of Capo Rosso, without the benefit of any shade, and through stony passages: good shoes are a must. Facing due west, the spot is particularly popular in the waning sun, but leave enough time to complete the loop before it gets dark.

2. From Piana to Ficajola beach

De Piana à la calanche de Ficajola

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: approx. 2h30
  • Distance: 6.3 km
  • Height difference: 426 m
  • Difficulty: easy
  • See the route

The beautiful views from the Capo Rosso hike make you want to discover more about the Calanques de Piana(Calanche di Piana in Corsica), a rocky coastal area that has been declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco. Calanche, a Corsican term, refers to these granite formations carved out by erosion, and are not strictly speaking calanques, of limestone rock, although the term is also used.

The starting point for this route is the superb Corsican village of Piana, a 10-minute drive from Capo Rosso. Rather than taking the road, the route cuts through the relief to descend the course of the Mezzanu, whose gorge ends in one of the most beautiful beaches in the area: Ficajola beach.

This beach is the epitome of a dreamy Corsican cove, with its unspoilt setting and cliffs framing crystal-clear water… best off-set from the tourist season to avoid the crowds, and not too late in the day, as the cove quickly becomes overshadowed.

3. Loop above the calanques of Piana

Randonnées Capo Rosso : Boucle au-dessus des calanches de Piana

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: approx. 1h45
  • Distance: 4.3 km
  • Height difference: 343 m
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • See the route

Just outside Piana, this beautiful hike around Capo Rosso(15-minute drive) gives you a chance to get some height, taking the little paths that wind through the rocky chaos around the village. Along the way, there are many spectacular vantage points overlooking the calanques of Piana, as well as the surrounding coastline.

Shade, sometimes rare in the area, is present here and particularly welcome: some passages, like the steep, rocky start, require a minimum of effort! Avoid hot weather. And don’t forget your camera for this particularly photogenic hike.

4. The Capu d’Orto loop

La boucle du Capu d'Orto

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: about 5 hours
  • Distance: 12.1 km
  • Ascent: 810 m
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • See the route

For this new hike around Capo Rosso, we’re staying close to Piana, with the same starting point as the previous outing. The itinerary, however, promises to be more demanding, with a solid climb and many kilometers of stony trails to cover… for well-trained hikers.

Once again, the theme of this hike focuses on magnificent views, particularly of the Calanques de Piana. No panorama surpasses that of Capu d’Orto, at an altitude of 1294 m, which marks the high point of the day! With an early start, you’ll have plenty of time to complete this demanding route in its entirety, without rushing.

5. The Genoese tower at Punta d’Omigna

Randonnées Capo Rosso : La tour génoise de la Punta d'Omigna

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: approx. 2 hours
  • Distance: 7.4 km
  • Difference in altitude: 204 m
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • See the route

The Capo Rosso hike is not the only one in the area to target the remains of an ancient Genoese tower… as is the Punta d’Omigna, with its watchtower controlling the entire Gulf of Peru. The route starts at Peru beach(30-minute drive, south of Capo Rosso towards Cargèse), ideal for a dip in the water on arrival.

The easy, looped itinerary takes you around the Pointe d’Omigna to the Genoese tower: superb seascapes from start to finish, with a few Corsican cows to accompany your peregrinations. Accessible to all levels of walker, make the most of it.

6. The Spilonca gorges

Les gorges de la Spilonca

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: about 1 hour
  • Distance: 3.1 km
  • Height difference: 115 m
  • Difficulty: easy
  • See the route

The variety of landscapes in Corsica is exceptional, as evidenced by this lovely hike around Capo Rosso(40-minute drive): this time, we’re exploring the Spilonca gorges, between Ota and Evissa. This ancient mule track, in use for many years, winds through the depths of the gorges in the shade of chestnut trees, sometimes in the riverbed, and crosses the Pont de Zaglia, a beautiful stone edifice dating from the Genoese period (18th century).

This out-and-back route is the easiest part of the trail. To make it even more challenging, don’t hesitate to follow the signs to Evisa on one side and Ota on the other, in order to accumulate a solid vertical drop.

7. The chestnut path

Randonnée Capo Rosso : Le chemin des châtaigniers

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: approx. 2h15
  • Distance: 7.2 km
  • Difference in altitude: 294 m
  • Difficulty: easy
  • See the route

Just an hour’s drive away, it would be a shame to miss out on this beautiful hike around Capo Rosso, which is accessible to all and particularly suitable for families. We start at Evissa, in the village center, and follow the chestnut path dotted with information panels on local history and culture.

The shady path leads through the Aïtone forest before crossing the white water to the Aïtone natural pools, where you can take a refreshing dip. A complete change of scenery, for an in-depth exploration of the Capo Rosso region.