THE CALANQUES DE PIANA
CALANQUES DE PIANA
- List of the best boat excursions to the calanques.
- The best hiking trails to discover the Calanques de Piana.
- Comparing accommodations in the calanques: Hotels, villas, apartments.
Les Calanques de Piana.
The Calanques de Piana are a true wonder of Corsica. Located in the southern part of Corsica, just south of the Gulf of Porto, the Calanques de Piana, along with the Scandola Reserve and the village of Girolata, are designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites.
What sets the Calanques de Piana apart from other calanques in France is the color of their rocks. Formed from ancient magmatic rock, they display a striking reddish hue, owing to Corsica’s volcanic history.
The true splendor of the Calanques de Piana is revealed when the setting sun casts its warm light on the rocks, bringing out their vibrant red color.
Boat Cruises in the Calanques de Piana:
The best way to explore the Calanques de Piana is on a boat excursion.
Starting from the Porto-Ota port, it only takes a few minutes by boat to reach the Calanques de Piana and begin your cruise.
Several companies offer Calanques de Piana tours departing from Porto, Cargèse, or Calvi. Check out our selection of the finest boat excursions in the Calanques de Piana.
- During the summer, it’s advisable to book your boat excursion in advance.
- If you plan to visit the Calanques de Piana from Ajaccio, be prepared for a full day, as Ajaccio’s port is the farthest offering sea excursions to the Calanques de Piana.
- Piana village is nestled in the Corsican mountains, and there are no boat excursion departures from there. To reach the Calanques, you’ll need to go to the ports of Porto, Calvi, or Ajaccio.
During your boat excursion in the Calanques de Piana, you’ll have the opportunity to discover:
- Capo Rosso: Situated south of the Gulf of Porto, Capo Rosso (The Red Cape) lives up to its name. With cliffs towering 400 meters above sea level, Capo Rosso’s precipices plunge into the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Porto. . Overlooking Capo Rosso is Corsica’s tallest Genoese tower, which still stands sentinel at the entrance to the Gulf of Porto.
- Beneath Capo Rosso, the Gulf of Porto’s waters have sculpted a natural pool and marine caves that are truly breathtaking.
- Once past Capo Rosso, the full grandeur of the Calanques de Piana comes into view. Cliffs of a unique red hue gracefully descend into the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Porto, creating unforgettable scenery during your boat excursion.
- Arone Beach: Situated at the base of Capo Rosso, Arone Beach is perfect for a family outing with your toes in the water.
- Ficajola Beach: Tucked away in the Calanques de Piana, Ficajola Beach has maintained its authenticity with its fishermen’s cottages lining the shore.
If you have some extra time, we recommend dedicating a day to a cruise in the Gulf of Porto,
as the Calanques de Piana are just one of the many wonders in the area.
- Girolata Village: To the north of the Gulf, a short boat ride from Porto, you’ll stumble upon Girolata Gulf.
Nestled in the heart of Girolata Gulf is the picturesque fishing village of Girolata, a truly unique gem in Corsica and even in France.
Girolata Village can only be accessed by boat and is built at the base of an ancient Genoese fort. A visit to Girolata Village is an absolute must during your Corsican adventure.
- Scandola Reserve: The northern entrance to the Gulf of Porto marks the gateway to the Scandola Nature Reserve. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1983,
the Scandola Reserve is unlike any other place in France. Accessible only by boat, it is off-limits by road or on foot.
The Scandola Reserve is renowned for its extraordinary wildlife and stunning landscapes.
Calanques de Piana on Foot:
If you prefer hiking, there are numerous trails to explore in the Calanques de Piana.
- The Muleteers trail of Piana – Village of Piana
Starting from the village of Piana, embark on a journey to uncover the ancient Muleteers Trail of Piana, which winds through the red rocks of the Calanques. The view of the Calanques from the Muleteers Trail is truly enchanting.
- The Genoese Tower of Capo Rosso – Municipality of Piana
En route to Arone Beach, you’ll come across a parking area leading to the Genoese Tower of Capo Rosso. The hiking trail offers an exceptional vista of the Gulf of Porto and the Calanques de Piana. From the summit of the Genoese tower, the view is simply breathtaking.
- For those seeking more adventure, mountain biking excursions are available in the Aiguilles de Bavella. Setting out from Cargèse, you’ll explore the Calanques with electric mountain bikes.
- The Hike to the Castle of the Calanques de Piana: This is a short 1.5-kilometer round-trip hike. Despite its name, there isn’t an actual fortress here, but rather a rocky outcrop in the midst of the Calanques de Piana, offering panoramic views of the Gulf of Porto and the Calanques.
Calanques de Piana by Car:
You can also tour the Calanques de Piana without leaving the comfort of your car. The road between Porto-Ota and the village of Cargèse, passing through Piana, ranks among the most scenic in Corsica. Wedged between the sea and the mountains, the road through the Calanques de Piana is unparalleled in France.
The Heart of the Calanques de Piana: : Just beyond the village of Piana, you’ll be treated to a sight known as the Heart of the Calanques de Piana. In this area of the Calanques, the combined forces of wind and sea have sculpted the rock formations into a perfectly defined heart shape within the Corsican mountains.
While the road through the Calanques is one of the most beautiful in France, it’s essential to exercise caution as it’s a very narrow mountain road.
Hotels in the Calanques de Piana:
If you’re looking to enjoy an extended stay in the Calanques, we recommend selecting a hotel in the village of Piana.
Explore our top choices for the best hotels
Calanques de Piana Calanche de Piana or Calanques de Piana?
Both spellings are correct. The term “calanche de Piana” originates from the Corsican language. It’s worth noting that “calanche de Piana” is already in the plural form in Corsican. Therefore, if you intend to write it in Corsican, you should never add an “s” to “calanche de Piana.”
Geography of the Calanques de Piana:
The Calanques de Piana, or “calanche de Piana” in Corsican, represent an extraordinary mountainous massif.
The distinctive red color of the rocks in the Calanques de Piana is a testament to Corsica’s volcanic past, as well as part of southern France.
The Calanques de Piana (calanche de Piana in Corsican) stand apart from the calanques found elsewhere in France.
Our latest articles
Renting a boat is undoubtedly the best way to discover the calanques de Piana during your stay in Corsica. Whether you're a private individual or a professional, you'll find various boats available for rent in Corsica. Please note that during the summer season, demand...
While you can visit the Calanques de Piana by road, we recommend taking a boat to fully experience the splendor of these calanques. From Porto, Calvi, or Ajaccio, you can embark on a boat journey amidst the cliffs of the Calanques de Piana.. If you have the time, we...
On the south side of the Gulf of Porto, the port of Cargès serves as the perfect starting point for embarking on the discovery of the Calanques de Piana, the Scandola Nature Reserve, and the village of Girolata. In just a few minutes by boat from the port of Cargèse,...
The Piana calanques by boat
The calanques from Porto
The calanques from Calvi
The calanques from Ajaccio
Hike Mountain Biking Trails
The Muletier Path Trail in Piana
Mountain Biking Trails
Hotels of Piana
Les Hôtels à Piana
Villas for Rent in Piana
Apartments for Rent in Piana
Calanque de Piana Guide
The Capo Rosso
My name is Pierre-Paul, I’m 38 years old, and I was born in the village of Piana. I grew up in the Calanques de Piana and I know all the trails in the Gulf of Porto. The Scandola Reserve, the village of Girolata, and of course, the Calanques de Piana have no secrets for me, and I would be delighted to help you discover them.