Key information: Mare-Mare Sud
- The least demanding of Corsica's long-distance routes, and a good starter route for those who've not tried the pastime before. The south of Corsica has been inhabited since prehistoric times, and this 5-day coast-to-coast walk, from Porto-Vecchio to Propriano, takes you though an interior of lush high-altitude farmland and unexpected contrasts of Alpine topography and Mediterranean vegetation.
- ANYONE GOT ANY GOOD PHOTOS? WE WOULD BE DELIGHTED TO POST THEM!
- Walkopedia rating88
- Natural interest15
- Human interest10
- Negative points0
- Total rating88
- Length: 77km (5 days)
- Maximum Altitude: 1,100m
- Level of Difficulty: Variable
There are two Mare-Mare walks; this, the southern one, is lusher and more reflective of the island's prehistoric and feudal history. For more on the rugged, Spartan bandit country of the Mare-Mare Nord, see our dedicated page.
The land across which the Mare-Mare Sud - a path which connects the coastal settlements of Porto-Vecchio (Genoese, 16th Century) in the east and Propriano in the west by crossing the island's mountainous spine - runs has been continuously farmed since prehistory, and was particularly prominent, and known as the Terre des Seigneurs, in the feudal era. It is a fecund area of great pine forests, high grazing pastures, delicious rivers and charming, isolated villages. A five-day, 77km walk, this is generally straightforward for anyone at a reasonable level of fitness, and, with no more than a 1000m altitude variant in any given day, a good network of overnight accommodation and great bits of sea to top and tail it, would be a great starter-trail for anyone wanting to dip their toe into long-distance walking.
The first day - Porto-Vecchio-Cartalavonu - is the toughest in terms of ascent, with a thousand-metre climb over five-odd hours, but rewards with a terrific botany lesson as it passes through bands of fragrant coastal Mediterranean vegetation, breathtaking Corsican pine forest and, finally, a lovely, lightly wooded and orchid-filled medium-altitude plateau.
Day two carries you up and down across rolling, wooded hill country, with huge granite boulders and great views of the Bavela rock needles, passing through a few ancient hamlets and fording the Fumicicoli river to reach Levie, with its lovely archaeological museum. Here, the trail breaks out of the woods and into wild open mountain country, dotted with delightful villages and interesting detours to Bronze Age settlements and cracking views - a six-hour, not-too-strenuous, walk to the panoramic views at Serra di Scopamena.
Day 4 is another straightforward one, with plentiful shade and memorable river-bathing, to the gem of Ste Lucie de Tallano, a church-filled, ancient town with Arabic connections and a derelict nunnery with lovely views. The final day is a long - almost 7 hours - one, with a 600m ascent and a 1000m descent, that affords gorgeous and varied views and passes through the lovely towns of Fozzano and Burgo before finally descending to Propriano.
Waymarking is in the form of stripes of orange paint on rocks, walls and trees along the route.
Both Porto-Vecchio and Propriano are plentifully supplied with bus links to Ajaccio, Bonifcaio and Bastia.
The trail is accessible in its entirety from mid-April through to early November, but temperatures at middling altitudes, unrelieved by sea breezes, can reach the unbearable in July and August. Expect a lot of tourists in the coastal towns at high season.
Key book: Cicerone's Walking in Corsica.
For more information and photos, including detailed practical information and some warnings, see our Corsica walk page.
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Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.
Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.
Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.
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