|Monte Cinto Ridge seen from Col de Stazzona
Paglia Orba is generally claimed to be the most beautiful mountain of Corsica. It is also one of the highest mountains of the island (actually the fourth highest) with an altitude of 2525m. It commands very nice views of neighbouring Punta Minuta (2556m) and Monte Cinto (2706m)
. Unlike most mountains on Corsica Paglia Orba is made of conglomerate rock dating back to the permian time.
The main attraction of the ascent however is the proximity to Capu Tafonatu (2343m) just on the other side of the Col de Maures with ist huge (30m x 12m) hole.
The climb starts from the Col de Vergio on Road D84. The Col can be reached by car from Porto on the western coast or from Bastia or Corte on the eastern part of the island.
From Bastia and Corte take RN 193 and at Francardo turn into the Golo valley using D84. The first part of the drive takes you through the magnificient Scala di Sta Regina, a beautiful gorge which invites climbers. The road follows the Golo river and in the climbs in a lot of wide turns towards Col de Vergio.
From Ajaccio take the coastal highway D81. It is not very far but the highway winds around and over a lot of bays and passes. Shortly before Porto you have to go through the Calenche. The road is VERY narrow, and since the Calenche is a major tourist attraction lots of coaches use it. So it can take up to an hour to drive the 5km between Piana and Porto! From Porto get on D84 which leads you to Col de Vergio.
No parking passes or permits required.
When To Climb
April through October. Winter must be very tricky. You won't be able to get to the trailhead at Col de Vergio most of the time. It is often closed in winter.
A campground can be found in the Golo valley near Lozzi (actually the starting point for the ascent to Monte Cinto) some 35km to the east. For overnight accomodation you can use the Ciottulu di i Mori, but bring your own stuff. The bivouac lies on the main trecking path GR20, so in summer you should be prepared to meet lots of treckers up there.
For Weather information for Corsica lookup the Meteo Corse
As for Maps I used only a road map scale 1:200000 since the guidebook I used has maps and is really excellent.
The book is:
Corsica (Corse / Korsika)
Klaus Wolfsperger, Tom Krupp
ISBN: 3-7633-4819-0 (English)
ISBN: 3-7633-4907-3 (French)
ISBN: 3-7633-4280-X (German)