Rock Climbing in Corsica: the top 5 spots. Where to climb in Corsica?

rock climbing in Corsica

The French island of Corsica, in the Mediterranean Sea, has the ideal mountainous landscape, filled with rock climbing opportunities. And the options are not limited to one of the island’s regions. In fact, you can climb all over the Corsican territory. Another fantastic advantage is that the mild climate makes it possible to climb year-round!

The peaks in Corsica rise up to 2000 meters. The rock variety is ample: you can choose between granite, limestone or sandstone walls.

Perhaps more associated with the GR20 hike, Corsica is not the most popular rock climbing destination. But this is actually an advantage! You will be amazed at the potential that Corsica has for rock climbing, allowing you to discover stunning landscapes along the way. Besides, it is a great option if you want to avoid the crowds.

Getting to Corsica is easy. You can fly to one of the main airports on the island, which are Bastia, Calvi, Ajaccio and Figari. Alternatively, you can take a ferry from continental France (Marseille, Nice or Toulon) or from Italy (Livorno, Genova or Savona), arriving to Calvi, Bastia or Ajaccio.

Rock climbing in Corsica.
Cédric enjoys a break at the top of one of Corsica’s towers. Photo: courtesy of Cédric Specia.

Cédric is one of the few local IFMGA certified mountain guides in Corsica, and he is part of the Explore-Share community. He considers himself lucky to live in Corsica, his home since 1995. In fact, he still feels like a pioneer when he climbs in this land he knows so well. We asked him to share with us his 5 favourite climbing spots, and here they are!

An Explore-Share user who climbed with him in May 2017, recently wrote us the following: “I had 2 amazing days climbing in Corsica with Cédric as my guide. Cédric introduced me to the Corsican backcountry that he lovingly called his garden: massive towering mountains, emerald waters of roaring streams, beautiful wild flowers. I highly recommend Cédric to anyone looking for a guide be it in Corsica or anywhere else. I miss this incredible place already and look forward to coming back!”

In order to help our users choose among the wide variety of climbing options in Corsica, we asked Cédric to share with us his 5 favorite climbing spots, and here they are!

Restonica

The Restonica valley is one of the most beautiful valleys in Corsica, extending to the southwest of Corte, in the northern part of the island. The granite peaks enclosing the valley are impressive and the mountain lakes are captivating. Together with the Restonica river itself, the setting is simply stunning.

The terrain is extremely varied, offering all kinds of routes where you can practice different climbing styles. Going there with a guide will ensure you climb the walls best suited to your level and to what you want to achieve.

Rock climbing in Corsica Restonica
Winter is a great time to climb the Lombarducciu (2261m), in Restonica. Photo: Cédric Specia.

Cédric enjoys several climbing routes in the Restonica valley. Some examples are the Amandulina route, in Monte Leonardo, an exciting multi-pitch route, and the Lombarducciu, a great choice for the winter. Check them out on this page, which also includes options in other great locations around Corte. In fact, one of them is Tavignanu, of which you will learn more about below.

Tavignanu

The Tavignanu river runs north to the Restonica river. The sites for rock climbing in the valley are also conveniently located near the small town of Corte.

A true gem of Tavignanu is the Ombra di l’omu, a multi-pitch route at the Punta Finosa (1855m). Another option is climbing at the Rossolinu (908m), where the granite rock is splendid. Ombre et lumière and Le bonheur est dans le pré are two fantastic routes. Here you can climb on very well-equipped routes, which will allow you to appreciate the beauty of the valley.

Rock climbing in Corsica Tavignanu
Ombra di l’omu is a route opened in 1992 in Tavignanu. This wall beautifully dominates Corte. Photo: Cédric Specia.

Bavella

The Aiguilles de Bavella, shaped as needles, are a characteristic landscape of the area, located in the center of the massif of the same name. Located in the South of the island, Bavella’s red granite walls are waiting for you. There is also limestone rock, mainly at lower altitudes.

Bavella is full of intricate routes, perfect for adventurous climbers. It is a wilder terrain than Restonica, with more complex approaches. There are both single-pitch and multi-pitch routes here. It is probably the most popular destination for rock climbing in Corsica. Cédric can take you on an organized 6-day rock climbing trip in the region, or you can check out this program to see many of the climbing options in Bavella and choose your favorite to climb with him.

With so many options, you will for sure find one that tempts you and is appropriate for your climbing skills. In fact, it will be hard to choose just one!

Rock climbing in Corsica Bavella
Rock climbing the Jeef route of the Punta di u Corbu (1157m), in Bavella. Photo: Cédric Specia.

Asco

Located in northwestern Corsica, the Asco valley is only 15 km away from Corte. This area is splendid for rock climbing, with various orientations on different faces. The landscape is impressive and the valley has a beautiful air of high mountain.

In particular, Marcia (2003m) is one of the few summits that are not accessible for hiking. Therefore, rock climbing there will give you a unique perspective! In particular, the southeast ridge is a fantastic climb.

Rock climbing in Corsica Asco
Climbing the southeast ridge of the Petite colonne de Marcia (2003m). Photo: Cédric Specia.

Check out the routes that you can climb with Cédric in the Asco valley here.

Niolu

Finally, Cédric has chosen the splendid Niolu valley for rock climbing. The scenery there is breathtaking. Besides, there are routes with a wide range of climbing difficulty, making it a destination that will please everyone. Monte Cintu dominates the landscape of the area, rising at over 2700 meters.

The highlights at the Niolu valley include Capu Tafunatu, Paglia Orba, Punta Castelluccia, Punta Licciola and Cinque Frati. In particular, at the northwest face of Paglia Orba, the Surella d’Irlanda route is beautiful, though steep and demanding.

Rock climbing in Corsica Niolu
Contemplating the challenge of the north face of Paglia Orba, at the Niolu valley. Photo: Cédric Specia.

These are Cédric’s top picks for rock climbing in Corsica. But there are so many more! Check out all the options for guided rock climbing on the island offered on Explore&Share.