Around Col de Vergio
Key information: Around Col de Vergio
- This col on Corsica's high central ridge, in the north near the island’s highest massif, has several days' worth of top-notch walking literally on its doorstep.
- Walkopedia rating85.5
- Natural interest16
- Human interest6
- Negative points0
- Total rating85.5
- Length: Your choice
- Maximum Altitude: 1,991m
- Level of Difficulty: Variable
This 1,478m col on Corsica's high watershed ridge, in the north near the island’s highest massif, has several days' worth of top-notch walking literally on its doorstep. A bit over a km below the col is the Castellu di Vergio hotel, a bit tired but with decent food and much used by through-walkers, so you can walk from your accommodation.
GR20 south-east to Lac de Nino: follow the famous GR20 trail south, dropping from the hotel then traversing delightfully through beautiful forest, then climbing to the Bocca San Pedru col on the watershed central ridge to gain extravagant views in all directions. A steady climb up the ridge, enjoying wildly distorted trees, then an eastward traverse just below the tree line, and you regain the ridge even higher. More steady walking gets you to the high col (at 1,825m) before dropping to admire the lovely Lac de Nino in its damp high bowl. You can then retrace your steps, or head due north and cross to drop down the wildly beautiful Rau de Colga valley to the road back to the Col de Vergio – but only take this route if you have transport from the roadhead. 12km taking the Rau de Colga, 6 hrs or so. See William Mackesy’s full account of attempting this walk.
The initial traversing path in the Lac de Nino walk continues eastward from where the GR20 turn up the hill as the Sentier de Ronde de Valdu Niellu, a beautiful and interesting – and delightfully level – path through the mountainside forests to the deep, dramatic Rau de Colga gorge, which you can descend to the roadhead; or start down earlier down the Crete d’Orsu Longu crest walk, a comfortably wide crest between steep slopes above the trees, so possessing huge views across the Niellu bowl to Corsica’s highest mountains the whole way down. 3 hrs or so. Only take this route if you have transport from the roadhead.
GR20 north up the Golo valley: this is a stunner. The magnificent Golo valley runs northward from the top of the wide Niellu valley, into the heart of Corsica’s highest group of mountains. You are quickly above the treeline as you climb into a world of crazily eroded granite cliffs and spires and gurgling streams. Through this pristine scenery runs the famously infamous GR20 trail, which you can follow the whole way from just above the Castellu de Vergio hotel to the simple Refuge Ciuttulu di Mori (1,991m) at the head of the valley, below the great peaks of Capu Tafunatu (2,335m) and Paglia Orba. 15km, 6.5hrs or so. Why not stay a night at the refuge and use it as a base for exploring even further north up the GR20, into the heart of some of Corsica’s wildest and remotest landscape?
From the col, you can climb the 1,598m Capu di Vergio on an easy track. Or you can head due north for 15 minutes on a small path, round the hill above the col to get the best possible views back down the broad Niellu valley and north to the mountains above the Golo valley and into the western reaches of the Monte Cinto massif, Corsica's highest area.
Finally, you can drop westward on the path from the col to Evisa or eastward to walk down the northern flanks of the Niellu valley to Calacuccia.
Note: beware of notorious summer thunderstorms, get away from risk areas if one approaches.
Key book: Cicerone’s Walking in Corsica. Find these and other books on Amazon.
SEE OUR CORSICA PAGE FOR DETAILED GENERAL AND PRACTICAL INFORMATION.
ALL PHOTOS AND SUGGESTIONS ARE WELCOME!
WILLIAM MACKESY'S ACCOUNT
of this walk
Other accounts: share your experiences
Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.
Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.
Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.
Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.
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