My husband and I know Corsica well. White sandy beaches, turquoise sea, and refreshing walks in the mountains: we come here from Belgium every year. Always in the summer months. So for once, we decided to come during what we call “Carnaval holidays”. And you know what? We will come back again! We had the most marvellous days … unexpected, enriching and passionate: here is one amongst many others.
Invariably over the years, our base was Bonifacio. My husband is a golf fanatic and he has the choice of 3 golf courses in Southern Corsica less than an hours drive. Me: I prefer the Gulfs: Sant’Amanza, Rondinara and even Roccapina. Golf can be played in winter or summer, but the gulfs in winter … I find the water a little fresh for swimming. But fortunately there are the walks: along the coast, in historical sites and in the mountains: Bavella under snow is an unforgettable souvenir. You will see …
After a copious meal of local cheeses and authentic Corsican ham, we set off in the early morning to the heights of the Alta Rocca. The summits are all white with snow, but we know that during the day the temperature is very agreeable and the sun shines. No need for down jackets and other mountain equipment: a sweater and a windcheater will suffice. Even just good walking shoes suffice to fix the snowshoe. Not forgetting to take along the snack, bottles of water and energy bars. The children take along a stock of clementines: one of the numerous gustatory pleasures of Corsica during this season.
Once we have arrived, Christophe our guide, welcomes us with a large smile and a big coffee. The children are ready for this adventure, excited next to the multi-coloured snowshoes in snow. Safely attached to their walking shoes, they walk with ease, like young penguins. I personally find it a bit more difficult. But with the help of the ski sticks, my first duck-like steps seem efficient.
We are now off for several kilometres of hiking. The sensation of freedom is extraordinary as we walk where we want, no path, no stress and no worries. And the view is ex-tra-ord-in-ary! From the Gulf of Propriano (remember I adore gulfs) and on the other side the Needles of Bavella. We get an eyeful, a souvenir full and a camera full of views. The silence is also remarkable. Everything is blue, white and calm: what a strange emotion!
The snow grips under the snowshoes and leaves us with a sweet sensation of lightness. In fact it is easier and more comfortable than walking in the sand.
We did kilometres and kilometres without realising. Even my relative physical condition allows me to follow the group with ease. The children are also very good. This snowshoe walk is less tiring than a tennis match.
At picnic time, Christophe, our professional guide creates some comfortable seats in the snow. He even foresaw hot tea, coffee and canistrelli biscuits. He even cleverly thought of bringing some sledges for the children. With the children occupied and under observation, the adults indulge in a short siesta … at 1640 metres altitude, which is certainly a rare pleasure.
Yes, as I told you at the start of this article, the pleasures of winter in Corsica are diverse. I would even say they reach the summits!