on sailing along the edge of pre-history: la réserve naturelle de scandola and les calanches de piana
High on my list of places to see in Corsica were les calanches de Piana and the Réserve naturelle de Scandola, both on the west central coast.
If you locate Porto on a map of Corsica, and use the finger to trace the coast to the south, that is where the calanches de Piana are located. They do not extend far from Porto. Assume they stop around the village of Piana.
Note: on the main land of France, the word for calanches is calanques. On Corsica en langue corse, the word calanches is used.
Move the finger back to Porto and walk them in a northern direction to a large peninsula where the Île de Gargali is located. There you will find the coast of the Réserve naturelle de Scandola. It is the peninsula that is about half way between Calvi and Porto.
Before arriving on Corsica, I had heard, and I was told by my French Corsican tutor, that the Calanches and the Réserve were stunning and should not be missed. I was using the Michelin Guide Vert (book, French version) to help plan the voyage. It gave both locations a three star rating, a must for visitors to Corsica
How do you visit the calanches de Piana and the Réserve naturelle de Scandola? You can drive through the calanches de Piana. They are half way between Porto and Cargèse. Or, from Porto, Calvi, and Cargèse, you can join a boat tour and go out for 1 ½ hours or up to five to six hours, depending on how much you want to see and your time restraints. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.) But wait, there’s more!