Punta di l'Acellu

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 41.80008°N / 9.21444°E
Additional Information County: Bavella, Bavedda
Activities Activities: Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Additional Information Elevation: 5210 ft / 1588 m
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Geographical classification: Corsica - Corse > Bavella Massif > Punta di l'Acellu

Punta di l'Acellu 1588 m

Punta di l'Acellu, the wilderness surrounded by a vivid blue sea, the rough granite with the incredible “tafoni”, the forest of pino laricio. The superb beauty of the Bavella landscape, regarded by many people as the most astonishing amongst the Mediterranean countries, is out of discussion. The admittance to the wild and magnificent stone microcosm of Bavella, quite a wonderful natural museum, is Col de Bavella, dominated by the stunning Aiguilles de Bavella, erected above the pine forest and with an irresistible attraction for climbers. 

A crazy cloud over Punta di l'Acellu
A crazy cloud over Punta di l'Acellu
Summit of Punta di l'Acellu
Summit of Punta di l'Acellu


Punta di l’Acellu – meaning Peak of the Bird – is one of these "aiguilles", a fine tower rising above the Bavella Col, quite obvious from the pass and also named First Tower, the Southernmost and the first one amongst Aiguilles de Bavella. In reason of its closeness to the Bavella Pass and the quality of the granite, Punta di l'Acellu is frequently climbed.

The most interesting routes are East face routes and the super-classic Arete de Zonza, following the South ridge of Acellu. The name "Acellu" derives from an ancient popular saying, in accordance of which “only a bird could reach the summit”.




Play of clouds among the "aiguilles"


Getting There

Access to the island

The magnificent island of Corsica, l'Ile de Beauté (the Island of Beauty) belonging to France but much closer to Italy, can be easily approached by plane (airports both in Bastia on the Eastern coast and Ajaccio on the Western coast)and by ferry-boat from Livorno and Savona italian ports. The most convenient destination in Corsica to visit the Bavella area, one of the wildest region of the island, is the airport of Bastia if you’re getting there by plane; the same Bastia port if you’re getting there by ferry-boat.

Main entrance into Bavella group is Col de Bavella m. 1211.

Acellu - The Bird - seen from Col de Bavella
Acellu - The Bird - seen from Col de Bavella
Bavella, a wild nature
Bavella, a wild nature


Road approach to Col de Bavella

- From BASTIA (Corsica Eastern coast) follow the road RN 198 towards Solenzara; a few kilometers before getting there, turn to right following D268 to Col de Bavella (km. 130 from Bastia).

- From AIACCIO (Corsica Western coast) follow the road RN 196 to Petreto, then N852 to Aullene, Quenza and Zonza (km. 90 from Aiaccio). From Zonza follow the road D268 to Col de Bavella.



Walking Approach

The starting point to reach the tower is Col de Bavella m. 1211. Wide parking area. It's possible to spend the night at the pass or getting there directly from Zonza, a small typical village situated in the South side of Col de Bavella (9 km. from the pass).

Walking on GR20 Alpine variant
Approaching on the GR20 Alpine variant


From Col de Bavella follow the GR20 “Alpine Variant” (yellow marks) rising steeply towards the Acellu Pass. Just before getting to the pass, leave the main trail (GR20 Alpine Variant) and turn to left, going down on a slope skirting the SE Face and then getting the bottom of the South Ridge (Arete de Zonza).

Routes overview

Punta di l'Acellu routes overview from left to right - French Scale

“Arête Integrale de Zonza” D, 5b 300 mt.

This route follow the long ridge facing Zonza and running on the left hand side of SE face. A great outing on a highly satisfactory route, the classic of classic in Bavella.


“Quilici Route” D+ 100 m.
“Precht Route” D

The smooth chimney - La Masino
The smooth chimney - La Masino
Wall of clouds on Punta di l'Acellu
Wall of clouds on the summit











Acellu South-East Face

“Via Belluno” TD, 6a 150 m.
“Le Temps Peau Noir” TD+,6b 150 m.<br/p>
“La JPQ” TD+,6b 150 m.
“Afanassief” ED, 6c 150 mt.
"La Masino Direct" TD, 6a 150 mt.
“I Brumi di l’Agellu” TD+,6b 150 mt.

Arête de Zonza, the greatest classic climb of Bavella
Arete de Zonza, the greatest classic climb of Bavella
Abseiling Punta di L'Acellu
Abseiling Punta di L'Acellu










Acellu South-West Face

“Normal Route”

Descent from Punta di l'Acellu - From the summit head to NW (towards Punta di l'Ariettu, Tour II) following some cairns that lead to an anchor under an overhang. Rapping down about 25 meters, you will reach the first ledge. Walk along the ledge towards right – facing out – getting to a narrow gully which descends at foot of the tower, near Col de l'Acellu and GR20 Alpine Variant.


Punta di l’Acellu was first climbed in 1927 by the Belgian Van Hege-Solvay and Delwart Ganshof along the Etrier Route. The second ascent was realized the same year by an Austrian party (climbing the same route). The third ascent, 18 years later, was realized by Miss Ferrè de Peroux with the Chamonix alpine guides Arthur Ravanel and Alphonse Couttet.

Red Tape

Sunset from Col de Bavella
Sunset from Col de Bavella
Cyclamen born after the flood...(Bavella Massif)
Cyclamen born after the flood...





Bavella is really a fantastic world, a preserved milieu situated inside the Parc Naturel Régional de Corse - Parcu di Corsica. Free camping and bivouac are not allowed. Fires are strictly forbidden. Maximum care is required to keep for the future this extraordinary environment.

When to climb

Best season to climb in Aiguilles de Bavella Group goes from late April to middle October.

Nature and climate

Nature is wild and peculiar; in Corsica we can find more than the 5% of authoctonous kinds of flower and plants, in addition to authoctonous fauna. On the contrary, several kinds of animal current inside Mediterranean countries are away from Corsica, like squirrels and vipers.

An ancient tree
An ancient tree
Pino Laricio tormented by the wind - Bavella
Pino Laricio tormented by the wind



Climate is the typical one of the mediterranean middle-mountain areas situated at these latitudes: often very hot in summer and with cold and snowy winters; early and middle Spring and early Fall are the better seasons to climb. Due to Bavella closeness to the sea, winds are often stronger how much they are at the same height in the Alps. Rainfall sometimes are important and dangerous when joined with strong winds. On the contrary, sometimes we can find some long periods of drought.



Where to stay


Punta Caletta map

-Auberge du Col de Bavella – Hotel and Gite d’Etape AUBERGE DU COL DE BAVELLA

-Les Aiguilles de Bavella – Gite d’Etape GITE D'ETAPE LES AIGUILLES DE BAVELLA


–Hotel L’Aiglon, Hotel de la Terrasse -Municipal Camping of Zonza, Camping La Riviere

Guidebooks and maps

Bavedda (Corsica) Climbing, hiking and Canyoning Guidebook
Bavedda, Rocca é Sole
Massif de Bavella Guide d'Escalade en Corse
Bavella French IGN map

“Bavedda – Aiguilles entre ciel et torrents: Escalade, Rando, Canyon” by Jean Louis Fenouil and Jean Paul Quilici - FFME

“Guide d’escalade en Corse” Vol. I Massif de Bavella by Jean Paul Quilici – Bernard Vaucher

“Rocca è Sole” Massif de Bavedda by Jean Paul Quilici – Francis Thibaudeau

Map IGN 4253 ET “Aiguilles de Bavella – Solenzara”



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Bavella MassifMountains & Rocks