In West Corsica there is a spectacular viewpoint just outside the village of Piana. If you want to get there, you’ll have to do something for it. Let’s be honest: this view must be earned! This implies a four hour hike (return) on a trail which is very exposed to the sun. The name says it all, Capo Rosso is a red cape. These red/pink granite cliffs perched high above the Calanques de Piana offer a stunning view of the coastline and surrounding mountains. At the highest point of the cape, the Genoese tower of Turghiu proudly overlooks the surrounding countryside.
Hiking to Capo Rosso
The hike starts quite simply on a slightly descending trail through the maquis. The maquis is a type of vegetation that can be frequently found in Corsica. A dry and rocky area is very appreciated by this type of vegetation, therefore this island is a very pleasant place to stay for these shrubs. The trail follows the coastline so we have a continuous view of the sea and some beautiful azure bays. After descending on a rocky path for almost an hour, we reach an old sheep barn where a group of cows are quietly grazing. So much cuteness in this place. Picture perfect and the ideal setting for a little break.
From this point the climb to the summit continues via the east side of the cape. This is a steep climb over rocky paths and rocks. Just as the first easier part of the hike, this part of the hike is never sheltered. We mostly hike in the sun, so carrying a large amount of water is not a luxury but a necessity. In summer, it’s even advised not to do this hike because of the heat, which I can totally understand. We start at half past ten in the morning on a sunny but not too hot day but we quickly notice that it could not have hurt to start earlier. The climb in full sun is a bit challenging. Thankfully the beautiful surroundings make up for it. Hiking on the pink rocks is a delight to the eye. And the beautiful pink color contrasts very well against the blue sky and sea.
On the last stretch we slightly move away from the trail so I feel more like a mountain goat than a hiker. We climb and when the Genoese tower is finally in sight, the real reward follows. A 360 degree view of the Calanques de Piana, the bay of Porto and the Scandola Reserve to the north, Cargèse and Sagone Bay to the south.
To get the most out of it we climb upwards. A stone staircase leads us in the tower and a narrow interior staircase takes us to a panoramic viewpoint. The perfect place for a lunch break! We see many boats passing through the creeks of Piana and see some fine white sandy beaches, where I wouldn’t mind going for a swim. Also the inland looks gorgeous from here and I see so many additional hiking opportunities. The combination of pink, blue and green in this landscape is magical. La Corse, tu es magnifique!
Enjoying panoramic views of sea and mountains
On our way down we follow the same trail as during our way up. First a steep descent on the rocks, then a gradual ascent to the starting point.
- Difficulty: The first part is easy, the second part is a little more difficult because of the rocky climb (and heat when the hike is made in full sun).
- Duration hike: Approx. 4 uur return (without breaks).
- Starting point: Near Piana (the road between Porto and Ajaccio) via the D284 towards the Plage d’Arone. The parking lot is located in a large bend to the left. From there you already see Capo Rosso in the distance.
- Viewpoint: The Genoese tower of Turghiu, 331 m.
Want to read more about hiking in Corsica? You might also like this:
Hiking in Corsica: Gorges de la Spelunca
Hiking in Corsica: le Trou de la Bombe
Incredible rock formations in western Corsica: Calanques de Piana