The best months to go rock climbing in Corsica are from spring to early June and then September until the end of autumn. In main summer months of July and August will be just too hot and very busy.
The island of Corsica has a stunning alpine landscape with peaks over 2,000m that dramatically fall away into the sea. This landscape means there is an abundance of beautiful bolted rock to climb, from coarse weathered granite rock, to sandstone or limestone rock. There is climbing all over the island, from single pitch routes to multi-pitch routes up to 300m long, plus many bouldering areas. Corsica is claimed to have more unclimbed rock than anywhere else in Europe - a truly impressive statement. The rock climbing main areas within Corsica are described below:
(1) Rock climbing around Bastia and Cap Corse. Here the sports climbing ranges from sea cliffs through to inland crags up to 50m long, all on bolted limestone rock.
(2) Rock climbing around Isula Rossa in the Balagne region. High in mountains are a series of isolated buttresses that offer mainly bolted single pitch routes on granite rock.
(3) Rock climbing around Corti
in central Corsica. The heart of Corsican climbing
is definitely at the Gorges de la Restonica. This valley stretches for nearly 10Km out of Corti, with crags
both low lying and high up in the mountains giving single
and multi-pitch routes. Here are 100's of sports routes on
bolted granite rock offering a good mixture of climbing styles
from; big slabs; technical vertical walls with cracks and
corners; to overhangs and roofs. There is also a great range
of grades from F4 up to F8b, with a good quantity of routes
in the F5's, F6's & F7's. The shear quantity of rock here,
also means there is great potential for developing new routes.
Around Capuralinu (only 20 minutes from Corti) there are a series of limestone bolted crags. Here the rock climbing is mainly single pitch, with the majority of the grades from F6b upwards.
(4) Rock climbing around Aiacciu. At Gozzi there is perfect balance of mountains and the cliffs, with a great diversity of climbing styles. The red granite is fully bolted with a mixture of single-pitch routes to multi-pitch routes up to 300m long - the longest bolted routes on the island. There are other granite crags around this area, all of which are bolted giving both single and multi-pitch routes (up to 5 pitches long).
(5) Rock climbing in southern Corsica. Here there is a mixture of limestone and granite rock. The limestone crags tend to be at a lower altitude and are single pitch. The granite crags are concentrated around Bavella, which is high up in the mountains. Here there are single and multi-pitch (up to 3 pitches long) bolted routes.
(6) The North West part of the island is where there are many long multi-pitch routes ranging from 150m to over 400m long. These routes are generally not bolted and therefore require traditional protection such as nuts and cams. The guidebook called “Grandes voies de Corse” describes a selection of the best routes in this area and is available to buy from our shop.
Corsica is a great place for bouldering with many established areas in the same places as the sports climbing areas. The bouldering in Corsica is generally on excellent granite rock with a wide range of grades to choose from. Corsica Bloc describes 22 bouldering areas across Corsica and is available to buy from our shop.
Click on the image to view a larger photograph.
These photographs show some of the excellent rock climbing to be found in Corsica. All photographs are by Dave Pickford.