Serra San Tomaghiu

Page Type
Corsica / Corse, France, Europe
Route Type:
Summer, Fall
Time Required:
Most of a day

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Serra San Tomaghiu
Created On: Nov 21, 2015
Last Edited On: Nov 21, 2015


On Serra San TomaghiuCapu a u Tozzu and Serra San Tomaghiu

Capu a u Tozzu is one of the roughly 50 2000ers on Corsica and as such a rather rare mountain. Though it is made up from granite like all its neighbours and though it has a north face typical of the mountains of Haute Corse, its south face makes it easy to get up to so that the actual summit bid is less difficult than the hike to Boca di Reta, the saddle at its base.

The route on this page 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 in 20 minutes.

Getting There

Wind beaten Tree on Serra San TomaghiuWind beaten tree in front of Paglia Orba

There are actually two trailheads for the upper part of this route. One is at the road pass Col di Vergio, from where the route follows GR20 all the way to Boca di Reta, the other (included here as GPS-track) starts at Ferme de Poppaghia also the trailhead for the Lac de Nino Route. Both routes can be combined into a 22km loop.

Both trailheads are located on D84, the road which connects Porto with Corte. The main page gives more information on how to get there.

Route Description

Capu a u TozzuCapu a u Tozzu seen from Boca San Pietro

  • General:
    • Start altitude: 1076m
    • Summit altitude: 2007m
    • Prevailing exposure: NE
    • Type: Hike
    • Protection: None

  • Effort: 2 - Elevation gain: 1000m
  • Power: 2 - Strenuous
  • Psyche: 1 - Easy
  • Difficulty: 1 - Easy
  • Orientation: 1 - Marked trails

From the trailhead at Ferme de Poppaghia the first part of the route follows the trail to Lac de Nino (yellow marks). It heads up Val Colga through a dense forest of Corsican pines. at a little less than 1400m elevation you will come across a section, where hikers have created a display of cairns, filling up split tree trunks for instance. Here the route called Ronde du Val de Niellu turns off to the right.
Monte Cinto
Creative Cairns
Paglia Orba and Monte Cinto

For 5km the trail stays level, winding through the forest on the slopes of Val de Niellu. There are occasional glimpses towards Monte Cinto and Paglia Orba in the north but in general the trees obscur the views. After 8km the route starts to rise and finally heads out onto the wind beaten north-west ridge of Capu a u Tozzu.
Punta Minuta (2556m), Capu Rossu (2498m), Capu Falu (2540m)
On the north-west ridge
Capu Tafonatu (2335m), Paglia Orba (2525m), Punta Licciola (2235m)

Except for a few wind swept pines this ridge, in its central rocky part called Serra San Tomaghiu, is open to all sides and offers great views towards the highest of Corsicas mountains. At first it is broad and grass covered but gets narrow and rocky in its central section. It gradually gets steeper as it closes in on the mountain. GR20, however, turns south from the risge and heads up to Boca di Reta, a broad, slightly pronounced saddle at the southern base of Capu a u Tozzu.
On Serra San Tomaghiu
On Serra San Tomaghiu

From here (1900m) turn onto the broad triangular south slope of Capu a u Tozzu. There is no marked trail but you can easily switchback your way up to the summit. Take your time to admire the views from the top.

Essential Gear

The hike is long (22 - 24km depending on the return route). So take care to bring enough food. Also, Corsica's mountains are fomous for their high winds. Warm clothing is mandatory in all seasons, especially since clouds can build up quickly around noon.