Accueil » Gravel & Trail around the Aiguilles de Bavella. 16km +600m & 13km +820m

Gravel & Trail around the Aiguilles de Bavella. 16km +600m & 13km +820m

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Part I - Col of Bavella Gravel

Start/Finish

Zonza

Distance

16km

Elevation gain

+600m

Time

1h15

Best seasons

Spring & summer

Difficulty

2/5*

Physical & technical

Starting from Zonza, head towards the beautiful forest trails of the area. This section of forest covers just under 10 kilometers with 3 steep slopes of a few meters, which might require you to get of your bike.

After these challenges, you will be immersed in a forest of fir trees and ferns. A little further on, you will start to discern the peaks piercing the horizon.

Little by little, you will approach the intersection of the road that leads to the summit of Col de Bavella.

The last kilometers are on the road, offering a breathtaking view of your next challenge, the Tour des Aiguilles de Bavella.

After 12 kilometers of gravel and a 600m elevation gain, you will reach the summit of Col de Bavella. Take a left to join the beginning of the 15th stage of the GR20.

You have two options: the first one is to hide your bike by locking it on a tree and let the rest of your belongings dry on a rock! That’s what I did on that day – I left my helmet on the handlebars and my shoes close to my bike. The second option is to park your car the day before at the Col de Bavella parking and then ride your bike back to Zonza. The next day, you can leave your bike in the car while you go for your trail run.

PART 2 - The run around the Aiguilles de Bavella

Start/Finish

Col de Bavella

Distance

13km

Elevation gain

+828m

Time

1h45

Best seasons

spring & summer

Difficulty

3/5*

Physical & technical

The Tour des Aiguilles de Bavella is a 13 km trail with a positive elevation gain of 800 meters. It is one of the most beautiful sections of the GR20. The ascent is quite demanding in terms of both physical effort and technical skills; don’t expect to be able to run the entire time. Take the opportunity to enjoy the surrounding landscape, as a few breaks will be necessary to appreciate the magnificent scenery formed by the various peaks of the beautiful island.

I advise you to check the weather carefully before doing this itinerary. In foggy conditions, visibility can be limited, and temperatures can drop rapidly at higher altitudes. You will cover the majority of the positive elevation gain during this first part, which accounts for about 1/4 of the entire tour.

Then, you will transition to the descent, which is quite technical in the first part with large rocks. Be careful of your ankles! The rest of the descent takes you through the heart of the forest, where you can catch your breath and enjoy the flat terrain that lies ahead for a few kilometers. However, be cautious of the foliage that may hide roots or rocks. With accumulated fatigue, your legs may become heavy, and it will be increasingly difficult to lift your feet. That’s how I ended up on my back!

The end, with a slight positive elevation, is noticeable as you catch sight of the road to Col de Bavella that you climbed earlier in the day.

Enjoy this final effort before getting some energy back at L’Auberge du Col de Bavella and getting back on your bike or simply continuing your journey.

This mix of gravel riding and trail running is an excellent way to discover the Aiguilles de Bavella from various perspectives.

However, you can adapt the itinerary according to your preferences and choose to follow only the stage of the GR20. The access is straightforward from the parking lot located at the top of the pass.

What to wear and take with you?

Near the itinerary
Best Addresses

(*tested)

RESTAURANTS

Lecci (proche de Porto Vecchio)

Trá di Noi*

Beach shack / homemade dishes

Porto Vecchio

L'Alivi

french cuisine

Porto Vecchio

U Cantonnu

Old shepherd's hut / Corsican specialties & vegetarian dishes

Porto Vecchio

Vin 137

wine bar

Porto Vecchio

Casa Corsa

Corsican specialties

Porto Vecchio

La Canne à Sucre*

ice-cream/crepes

Zonza

L'Eternisula*

Wine bar / bistro / local products

Sali-Solenzara

Chez Papou*

fish / meats / burgers / salads

Porto Pollo

Auberge Kalliste*

Contemporary Corsican cuisine / chic bistro

HÉBERGEMENTS

Porto Vecchio

Hôtel Le Goéland*

Hôtel 

Porto Pollo

Auberge Kalliste*

Hôtel 

Zonza

Hôtel du Tourisme*

Hôtel 

Solaro

Camping Sole d'Oru*

Camping

ACTIVITÉS

Corse du Sud

Hiking spots

  • Cuscionu
  • Cascade de Piscia di Gallu*
  • Forêt de L'Ospedale
  • Punta di a Vacca Morta
  • les Aiguilles de Bavella*.
Corse du Sud

Beaches

  • Palombaggia
  • Santa Giulia
  • Solenzara
  • Porto Pollo.
Zonza

Waterfalls & Pools in Southern Corsica

  • Cascades de Polischellu, Piscines Naturelles de Cavu
  • Cascades de Purcaraccia*
  • Pont de Figa Bona.
Zonza

Canyoning

You will find several professionals for these activities: : Natura Canyon, Corsica Madness, Aqa-canyon.

Events

  • Corsica Cyclo GT20 - 18/05/23 au 21/05/23 - Bastia, Haute-Corse

  • Restonica Trail By Utmb et Ultra-trail di Corsica - trail / UTMB World Series Event - 06/07/23 au 08/07/23 - Corte, Haute-Corse

  • A Petralbinca - trail - 04/06/23 - Pietralba, Haute-Corse

  • Trail Via Romana - trail - 30//07/23 - Carpineto, Haute-Corse

Culinary Specialties

  • Cheese: Sheep and goat cheese

  • Charcuterie: Coppa, Panzetta, Figatellu

  • Digestifs: Myrtle liqueur, Limoncellu, Cédratine, Chestnut liqueur

  • Chestnuts

  • Olive oil

  • Honey

  • Wines:

    • AOP Ajaccio

    • AOP Patrimonio

    • AOP Corse Calvi

    • AOP Corse Coteau du Cap Corse

    • Corse Figari

    • AOP Corse Muscat du Cap Corse

    • AOP Corse Porto-Vecchio

    • AOP Corse Sartène

 

For more information on Corsican Agricultural Products, visit Chambre d'Agriculture Corse.

 

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Destinations Gravel is much more than just a guide for gravel routes and recommendations for restaurants, hotels, guesthouses, and local businesses; it embodies the richness of our territories and opens the doors to unforgettable experiences. Whether you’re planning your next trip, a weekend getaway, or simply a ride near your home, Destinations Gravel will inspire you.

 

In addition to being a dedicated source of information for gravel cycling in France and for a few escapes around the world, the guide allows you to discover various aspects of the territories, along with sports-friendly recipes and expert advice on equipment. With captivating content, it takes you on a journey with the commitment to responsible cycling.

 

More than an anonymous reference guide, the routes in Destinations Gravel are tested by @gravel_kim to assist you in choosing your gravel explorations.

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