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Tra mare e monti , these are not words typed by my sleeping cat on the keyboard but rather a Corsican hiking trail.

This poetic-sounding jargon means “ Between sea and mountain ”.

Yes, there’s not just the GR20 on the Isle of Beauty! Corsica is full of hiking trails, each one more amazing than the last.

Come on! I'll take you for a little presentation of the path before we look at the equipment which you will need to travel through it.

Okay, I lied to you. Talking about the Mare e Monti in the singular is an abuse of language since in reality... There are two.
  • The Mare e Monti Nord (in red on the map)
  • The Mare e Monti Sud (brown on the map)

Did you know ? There are also three trails in Corsica called Mare a mare : the northern one (in purple on the map), the central one (in green) and the southern one (in navy blue). As their name suggests, these connect “the sea to the sea”, or more precisely the east coast to the west coast of the island.

And when should we leave? The best period is, as is often the case , during mid-season , that is to say either in spring or in autumn. Before, it's too hot and after, it's too cold. I'm exaggerating a bit, but that's basically it. Please note: before April and after October, the lodges may be closed. Check carefully in advance that you will have enough accommodation.

Ok, but are the landscapes worth it?
It's not called the Isle of Beauty for nothing. On the Mare e Monti paths, as the name suggests, you will find a gentle mix of mountains and coastal paths . But you will also see translucent waters, mountains that emerge sharply from the sea, picturesque gulfs, arid scrubland, paths dotted with aromatic Mediterranean herbs, natural swimming pools, snow-capped peaks overlooking coves, and finally a UNESCO-listed valley. We might as well tell you that you will be better off than in the RER A during rush hour on a Monday morning.

1 kilometer in Corsica, it wears out, it wears out, 1 kilometer in Corsica, it wears out the shoes.

I keep my tourist guide hat on to give you an overview of the itinerary:

  • The Mare e Monti Nord is done in 10 to 12 days of walking , it measures 120 km. Its positive altitude difference oscillates between 400 m+ and 1200 m+. The departure is in Calenzana, the arrival in Cargèse.
  • The Mare e Monti Sud is shorter than the Mare e Monti Nord. It can be done in just 5 days of walking for 74 km. It has a positive altitude difference which oscillates between 300 m+ and 1000 m+. The departure is in Grosseto-Prugna and the arrival is in Propriano.

This is all well and good, but where do we sleep?

Please note that wild bivouac is prohibited in Corsica. When it comes to sleeping, two options are available to you.

  1. Either you prefer comfort (and light hiking) and you opt for accommodation in one of the shelters there all along the way. Just be sure to check in advance that they are open if you are walking out of season.
  2. Either you want to favor a more authentic adventure and bivouac in the areas near the shelters provided for this purpose. Don't worry, Muule has everything you need to equip you with the best sleeping bags , tents andbivouac mattresses to sleep like a baby and rest (really).
  3. Last but not least: there is one last solution (there is always one). Don't say it was me who told you, but some hikers defy the ban by bivouacing in nature outside the areas. We must then be extra vigilant to avoid fires which, as we know, are frequent in the region. It is also important to leave nothing behind to preserve the beauty of this wild region. Motus and tight-lipped, I didn't tell you anything.

Tips to keep in mind (from muule): It would be stupid to twist your ankle on the second day, right? We agree. We therefore advise you to swap your super stylish low-top hiking shoes for hiking shoes with medium and high uppers for this hiking trail, due to its relatively steep slope. We know it's hard but sometimes you have to know how to put the health factor ahead of aesthetics. In addition, some of our models give a very nice little vintage feel (yes, we promise). We'll also let you check out our hiking t-shirts , shorts ,backpacks and the rest of the gear you'll need to make the adventure as pleasant as possible.


Article written by Solenn de Muule on April 4, 2024.

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