Duration of the journey by car:
1 h 00 for Corte
+20 minutes from the Grotelle sheep stables
Distance to target:
Corte 64 km
Bergeries de Grotelle +16 km
The road between Corte and Bergeries de Grotelle is very busy during the season.
Corte +33(0)4 95 46 34 05
From the top of its promontory, as a true guardian, the citadel watches over the city. At the junction of the valleys of Restonica and Tavignano, surrounded by the highest peaks of Corsica (Monte Rotondo and Monte Cintu), Corte is the geographical heart of the island. As a paradise for hikers with a wide range of hiking possibilities, the city also symbolizes the highlights of the island's history. Corte, the former capital of Corsica, is today the university and cultural centre of the region.
The old town, dominated by the citadel built in the 16th century, has retained all the charm of a mountain village. You can visit the only remnant of Genoese civil architecture, the Palazzu Nationale, where Pascal Paoli's government lived from 1755 to 1768. As an essential element of the island, the Corsican Museum of Anthropology has found a prominent place in the heart of the citadel in former renovated barracks. Opened in 1997, the exciting museum is divided into two complementary spaces: the Doazan Gallery, which presents an exceptional collection of objects from traditional Corsica, and the Museum in the making Gallery, which analyses the interactions between traditional life and modernity. The Adlernest or Castellu houses the auditorium of the Sound Library (sound archives of Corsican music) and a temporary thematic exhibition space. From this vantage point you have a splendid view of the old town, the valleys of Tavignano and Restonica and the many villages on the slopes of the mountains.
Leave Corte via the Ajaccio road that crosses the bridge over the Tavignano river and immediately turn right onto the D623 (beware, restricted access in season) to go up the Restonica gorges. This parade, listed since 1966, begins between two central peaks. The chestnut trees are soon followed by the Laricio pines. Surrounded by large ochre-coloured rock needles, the valley gradually narrows into gorges of great beauty. At the bottom, the stream breaks in the midst of large boulders of rock that border on magnificent natural swimming pools. The road ends at the sheepfolds of the Grotelle, the starting point of the marked path that leads you to the foot of the large rocky bar with the Melo lake.
The Mélo, from which the Restonica flows, forms an almost perfect circle and is one of the seven lakes of the Rotondo. It is dominated by steep slopes of more than 2,000 metres, where there is still some snow in summer. This lake, raised in trout and salmon, is very popular with fishermen. The bravest can continue their way to Capitello Lake, the jewel of the island's mountains. At an altitude of 1,930 metres, this lake is frozen for eight months out of twelve. Lake Melo has 2h30 outward and return journeys and 1h30 additional outward and return journeys for the Capitello.
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