Capu a u Tozzu above Lac de Nino
Capu a u Tozzu is located in the heart of Corsica near the town of Calacuccia
and Col de Vergio Road Pass
. It is an easy ascent (a few slabs on the Val Colga Route
) of about 3h one way. You will pass beautiful Lac de Nino
known for its setting and its "Pozzi" (swampy ponds). Lots of pigs, cows, donkeys and horses graze on its shores, making it a veritable paradise.
Once you've reached the summit, you will enjoy the views on most of the highest mountains of Corsica : Monte Cintu
, Paglia Orba
, Capu Tafunatu
in the north and Monte Rotondo
Capu a u Tozzu
can be climbed all year long, yet there will be snow in winter. Snowshoes will be therefore recommendable. In summer, the Val Colga
route can be crowded, but above Lac de Nino
the climb will be much quieter.
Capu a u Tozzu
is part of the Parc Naturel de Corse
(Natural Park of Corsica), as a consequence people are not allowed to camp or leave rubbish behind them. Part of the Serra San Tomaghiu Route
belongs to the GR20
trekking trail, which also passes by Lac de Nino
before heading down into Tavignano Valley
Summit Panorama from Capu a u Tozzu
Paglia Orba (2525m) and Monte Cinto (2706m) seen during the ascent
The best solution is to have your own car as this central part of Corsica doesn't have public transportation.
From Porto (44 kms) :
From Corte (44 kms) :
- Take road D84 east towards Col de Vergio (34 kms).
- Cross the saddle until you reach the farm Ferme de Poppaghia (10 kms). There is a small car park with signposts where the trail starts.
- Take road D18 north up to Pont de Castirla (15 kms).
- Turn west, onto D84 through the gorges of Scala de Santa Regina up to Calacuccia Lake (15 kms).
- Stay on the road to reach Ferme de Poppaghia (14 kms).
In 1971 the Parque Naturel de la Corse
was established. It comprises 2500 square km, mainly in the centre of the island. Capu a u Tozzu
is located the outskirts of the park. Camping is not allowed in the park and apart from that the usual restrictions apply.
Accommodation has changed a lot during the last ten years. Today it is possible to book holiday homes, hotel rooms or apartments from any travel office. Also, there are a number of sites on the internet dedicated to Corsica accommodation. You can get apartments and holiday homes in any of the villages nearby but in the summer season most of them will be booked. There are inns (Gites d'Étape) in virtually all of the villages along D84
, the departmental road which runs south of the mountain, catering to the Mare a Mare
trekkers in particular. Also, there is a campground at Lozzi
, which is the trailhead for the southern route to Monte Cinto
Tel : 04 95 47 00 39
(20 bunk beds)
Tel : 04 95 48 05 60
For food shopping, you can either buy what you need before leaving Porto or Corte (depending from you arrive) or there is small supermarket in Calacuccia.
On Serra San Tomaghiu
There are two reasonable routes up to Capu a u Tozzu
, both of which can be combined into a larg loop hike (see attached GPX track). Both start at Ferme di Poppaghia
The hike through Val Colga
starts along a narrow path through dense forest and later turns into a scramble along somewhat polished rocks at the upper end of the valley. It reaches the saddle Bocca a Stazzona
, already a wonderful lookout. To reach the mountain you need to descend to Lac de Nino
, circle it on its southern side and start the easy ascent to Bocca à Reta
. Here you need to head across the path-less south slope of Capu a u Tozzu
towards its summit.
The hike is easy except for a moderate scramble at the end of Val Colga
, right before you reach Bocca a Stazzona.
Serra San Tomaghiu
This route is a bit longer and follows a marked panoramic trail (which has lost its panoramic qualities thanks to a dense forest which obscures the views). It tops out onto the Haute Corse Main Ridge
at Boca di San Petru
where it joins the Corsican long distance trekking trail GR20
. The latter leads across a nice granite ridge towards Boca di Reta
, from where an easy but pathless scramble takes you to the top of Capu a u Tozzu
in 20 minutes.
When to Climb
Capu a u Tozzu seen from Bocca a Stazzona
As mentioned above you can climb Capu a u Tozzu pretty much all year round. However road conditions in winter can prevent crossing Col de Vergio
, which can see quite high snow packs (snow drifts) in the cold months. Weather in Corsica can be very unriliable. Winds are often very high and thunderstorms can develop in less than an hour. Thus it is wise to bring insulating clothes when you climb one of the 2000ers.
Wind beaten Tree on Serra San Tomaghiu
Maps & Books
- Monte d'Oro, Monte Rrotondo
1 : 25.000
Carte de Randonnée 4251 OT
There are quite naturally quite a number of guidebooks, most of them in French. I found the following as good as could be expected:
- Corsica (Corse / Korsika)
ISBN: 978-3-7633-4819-0 (English)
ISBN: 978-3-7633-4907-4 (French)
ISBN: 978-3-7633-4280-8 (German)
- A travers la montagne Corse
Fédération Française de Randonnée Pédestre
ISBN : 978-2751409653