WALK IN THE GARDEN OF THE WIND
Set out from Tizzano or Campomoro and enter a fabulous conservatory of natural Mediterranean landscapes and habitats. Follow in the footsteps of the men who have travelled and worked these lands since the Bronze Age. Enjoy the freedom of a full day’s walk between the sea, the maquis and fantastically shaped rock formations. Spot the blue rock thrush, the woodlark flitting from the grassy meadows to the junipers, the fragrance of myrtle and immortelles, the gulls skimming the waves, and admire the towers standing guard over the horizon and the seemingly endless stretch of stone walls.
These spaces are living and fragile. Please respect the regulations, avoid damaging the landscapes and wildlife and do not disturb the tranquillity of the site. Do not leave any trace of your visit.
Bring: walking shoes, water supply and sunscreen. In autumn and spring, come more fully equipped. Even if the weather is often fine, it can change very quickly.
Beware of fires: Do not head out on the footpaths on days of strong summer winds.
Obtain weather information from Meteo France.
Tel.: 08 36 68 02 20 (€0.34 per minute)
These protected areas are open to the public: To preserve their natural character and the quality of their landscapes, please observe the regulations. Camping, bivouacs, the use of motor vehicles off the tracks provided for the purpose, fires, and littering are prohibited. Guards ensure compliance with these rules and are available to inform you.
Follow the footpath markers…
CAMPOMORO TOWER AREA
On the path that leads to Campomoro tower, Antò, a timeless tower keeper, informs us of his life as a torregianu through an interpretive footpath. In a few stations, he tells us of the old gardens and walls invaded by the scrub, the oleasters that have been grafted for the production of olives, the shepherds and great landowners, the special relationship between the inhabitants of the country and the stone, the production of charcoal and the port of trade… A living memory of the place, he invites us on an extraordinary journey through time.
During the Genoese period, Campomoro, formerly called Port’ Erice, exported wheat and other produce towards Genoa and its dependencies.
Built in 1586, less than one year after the pillage of Sartène when Hassan Pasha at the head of 2000 men raided the town and captured hundreds of villagers, Campomoro tower is the most massive tower in Corsica. With fortified walls whose southern angle forms a real ship’s bow, it was designed as a solid stronghold that could accommodate a significant garrison. A permanent exhibition inside the tower traces this turbulent period in the history of Corsica.
What a contrast between the eastern, leeward side of the tower, where the scrub rises in search of sunlight, and the western side that faces the sea, where the wind stunts the growth of the Phoenician juniper and sculpts them into windswept flags. Near the Anse des Génois, a dolphin-shaped rock attracts the curiosity of visitors. This quirk of nature is all the more surprising because off ‘Punta di Campumoru’ it is common to observe groups of bottlenose dolphins and sometimes whales.
La marine de Campomoro, jadis appelée Port’ Erice, exportait à la période génoise blé́ et autres produits de la terre vers Gênes et ses présides.
La tour de Campomoro, érigée en 1586 en moins d’une année après le sac de Sartène de 1583, qui vit Hassan Pacha, à la tête de 2 000 hommes, fondre sur la cité et capturer des centaines de villageois, est la plus massive des tours de Corse. Avec son enceinte fortifiée dont l’angle sud forme une véritable proue de navire, elle fut conçue comme une solide place forte où pouvait séjourner une garnison importante. Une exposition permanente, installés à l’intérieur de la tour retrace cette époque mouvementée de l’histoire de la Corse.
Quel contraste entre la face orientale de la tour où, abrité, le maquis s’élève à la recherche de lumière, et la façade occidentale tournée vers le large où les genévriers de Phénicie, sculptés par le vent en forme de drapeau, n’ont pas loisir à grandir. Vers l’anse des Génois, un rocher en forme de dauphin attire la curiosité́. Ce clin d’œil de la nature est étonnant, car au large de la « Punta di Campumoru », il est fréquent de voir nager des groupes de grands dauphins et parfois des rorquals.
Walk and moderate hike
Here, the resurgent maquis, the force of the elements, the breath-taking views and the traces of history great and small are swept by the libecciu, punente or the maestrale.
As you make your way along these footpaths that follow the forms of this rugged coast, among the wind-swept vegetation and weather-carved rocks, you will encounter fantastic landscapes that vary with the seasons, the weather or even the luminosity of the moment. Amid this verdant, florid scrubland that sometimes dries up but ultimately resists the onslaught of the Mediterranean climate, you will come across small man-made constructions that stand like testimonies to the last century. These threshing floors, fountains, terraces and dry-stone walls, charcoal kilns and sheepfolds give us a glimpse of extensive farming and grazing activity.
The coastal footpath
FROM CAMPOMORO TO TIZZANO
Nestled along the coast is a multitude of hidden coves among a fantastic bestiary of boulders and rocks that have been carved by the sea and the winds. Leaving Tizzano or Campomoro, the coastal footpath offers a different natural spectacle every day, giving hikers the feeling of a new discovery every time they come back. The atmosphere here is very maritime and yet the maquis descends to embrace the ever-present Mediterranean that is sometimes calm, almost lifeless and silent, and sometimes a fury of white foam that spews its spray to the hilltops.
Men once fled this coast to escape the frequent raids of peoples from across the seas, and, more recently, to join the higher, more generous pastures during the hottest months. Today, this coastline attracts visitors thanks to the devotion of the men and women who love the land where they were born or who have adopted it. Between the two hamlets, as if by magic, there is a lighthouse that has become a refuge for hikers who flee the inconvenience of the modern world to immerse themselves in the immensity of this landscape that is only interrupted by the glimmer of the lantern.
THE SENETOSA CIRCULAR FOOTPATHS
Discover the stories of the towers, those of the lighthouse that warned the many seamen who sailed past Senetosa of the dangers, or the stories of one tower, Senetosa, built to warn the local populations of the arrival of the dangerous Barbary pirates. The Senetosa sector possesses a wealth of man-made heritage that we like to rediscover for its impression of timelessness, as if it has always been there, since the beginning of time or at least since the birth of the Island of Beauty. These small buildings reflect a dense farming and grazing activity in the Conca valley, where there were said to be a thousand homes. Sheepfolds, orii, threshing floors, terraces and dry-stone walls follow each other along these footpaths through unspoilt, protected landscapes. Constructed in 1609 by Giovanni de Cauro, the Genoese tower was one of the last to be built on the Corsican coast in order to alert the local populations of the ‘landings’ of the Barbary pirates. Guarded by a chief and two soldiers until 1713, it was assigned to the Roads and Bridges department in 1857: the archives state that it was ‘completely ruined’. Senetosa lighthouse was built towards the end of the Corsican illumination programme, following the Tasmania shipwreck. It was designed by the engineer Zevaco. Work began in 1889 and the lighthouse was lit on 15 May 1892 with a white flashing light every 5 seconds. It marks the Sec des Moines and the west entrance to the Bouches de Bonifacio.
FROM BELVÉDÈRE TO CAMPOMORO
Along the ancient traditional track linking the hilltop hamlet to the harbour, the footpath meanders under the green oaks and among the high scrub and leads through the rocky outcrops. A dizzying view of the rocky coasts of the Aliva and the Omu.