A day at the races, between Bavella and Bonifacio.

My wife and I have a pet subject concerning our pure nature holidays. My wife and I love a pure nature holiday. In the mountains as well as in the sea, we really appreciate walks and hikes, and we particularly like to get off the beaten track.

Thus, one Sunday morning, during a visit to the superb site of Bavella, we learned by chance that there was a racecourse with races every Sunday afternoon during July and August not far away.

My wife asked me if I’m interested in going there… and with a wide smile, I answer her “of course”!


It is 1 p.m.: after a “mountain” lunch under the laricio pines of Bavella, we take to the road and drive a few kilometres towards Zonza. After a little over a quarter of an hour, on our left, we discover the entrance of a shaded and already well-filled car park. However we do find a parking spot quite easily.

So here we are at the Viseo racecourse, the highest in Europe, at an altitude of 950 metres. Thanks to this and to the shade generated by a superb forest of majestic pines, there is a very pleasant freshness in the air. Moreover, many families have set up tables and chairs to enjoy the smoked meats, cheeses and wines of Corsica in style.

A little further on, we can hear neighing and hooves slamming against the walls of their stalls. The horses must acclimatize themselves to the place, be inspected by a veterinarian while the jockeys climb onto the scale to have their weight controlled. Their multi coloured silks already give a very colourful show.

The first race starts at 2 p.m. I didn’t have time to discover the stands or the counters where the bets are taken… the horses are galloping in the opposite straight line with the mountains in the background, the show is magnificent.

In the wink of an eye here they are already at the finish line: the sound of horses galloping is quite impressive, but it is quickly drowned by the cries of the spectators. Obviously, horse number 2 has a lot of supporters. Unfortunately for them, it is number 4 that crosses the line first, followed by horse number 7 and then only the famous number 2.

We are already in the sixth race: for the added thrill, I bet in the third, fourth and fifth races. Just a few euros, next to nothing: I don’t know the horses, the stables or the jockeys. And since I am not a lucky gambler… I haven’t won anything yet in three races… except maybe, surely, the wonderful memory of one of the most beautiful afternoons I have spent in Corsica.

The sixth race is even prettier to look at than the others: it is a horse-drawn trot. But all of a sudden, my wife asked me: “tell me, rather than just looking at the horses, wouldn’t you like to ride? »

Ride a horse? Oh, yeah, why not, a great idea. There is a “ranch” in Bonifacio, a few minutes from our hotel. And I know that at the end of the day, there is even a possibility to ride on the beach and take a dip with the horses.

And so it was that one hour after the end of the races in Viséo, we were already in Bonifacio, on the beach, riding on much less spirited horses. We spent the end of the day riding in the water and a memory like nowhere else: a day horse riding between the mountain and the sea.

The 2019 meetings:

  • In June: Sunday 30 June In July:
  • Sunday 14 and Sunday 28 July (28 July postponed to Sunday 04 August because of the weather conditions)
  • In August: Sunday 04, Sunday 18 and Sunday 25 August

Rendez-vous from 14:00. Entry 5 €

For more information: http: //www.hippodrome-zonza.frPoint

GPS: 41.773413 / 9.199864