TOPO Hiking

Monte Oro, Vizzanova

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Sommet

From the Vizzanova pass and along the GR20, the Monte Oro hike is well worth the detour for a beautiful alpine ascent and a 360° panorama over the heart of Corsica. A considerable physical commitment, some III/IV steps to reach the summit and tricky passages to manage are the main difficulties to negotiate on the route. On the way back, before returning to the starting point via the GR20, you can enjoy a welcome dip in the many translucent pools of the Agnone, before the overcrowded Anglais waterfall.

Technical summary

Type ✦ Hiking
Location ✦ Vizzavona
Region ✦ Haute Corse
Country ✦ France
Length ✦ 17 kms
Elevation gain ✦ 1500 m
Difficulty ✦ D / IV
Max altitude ✦ 2390 m
Duration ✦ 6h to 7h
Interest ✦ ★★

Access to the place

Go to the Vizzanova pass, on the T20 linking Corte to Ajaccio. Before the pass from Corte, get off at the Gare de Vizzanova and park there (bivouac possible).

Map & topo

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 10'

Climb up from the station, passing the GR20 refuge, and take the GR to the right. A few minutes later, where the path forks left towards the Cascade des Anglais, turn right to find the path and the "Monte Oru" signpost marked with yellow dots.

Course

The total ascent is around 1,500m and the distance for the complete loop is around 17 kms. The route is fairly well marked on the ascent, with yellow markings that are sometimes a little faded. Most of the descent is on the GR20, which is very well marked. The summit of Monte Oro is at an altitude of 2390m.

Monte Oro ascent (3h to 3h30)

It starts with a fairly steep forest path, before emerging into open terrain and the sight of large granite walls above. Keep climbing, aiming for the base of these large walls, then, before reaching them, the path bends left to reach a narrow gully that you can see very well in the distance, a natural corridor for passing the bars. Nothing too difficult, although you'll have to get your hands dirty in places, and you'll emerge onto a large flat area below the head of Monte Oro.

To reach the summit, follow the path around the peak to the left. The last pitch runs along a fairly airy ridge, and there are a few steps of IV/IV+ climbing to reach the summit. Superb views!
Descent (3h)

First of all, descend the peak by the same route, de-escalating and then finding the junction with the yellow-marked path. Then turn right up a steep slope, still following the yellow markings. There are a few rocky, airy ridge crossings. Further down, we see a long ridge line with a small lake on the right, the "Grand lac d'Oro" (!). When you reach it, head straight down diagonally to reach the junction with the GR20 (approx. 1 hr from the summit).

On the GR20, it takes 1 hour to descend a wide, rocky valley that's a bit of a challenge, before passing through the forest to reach the bed of the Agnone, the torrent that leads to the Cascade des Anglais. Further down, you'll find a number of beautiful, little-frequented (or less frequented) pools where you can relax your legs.

Back

From the Cascade des Anglais, continue downhill more or less along the bed of the Agnone, its basins sometimes crowded with tourists, following the path through the forest to the buvette at the start of the path up to the waterfalls. It then takes around 30′ to follow the GR20 back to the Vizzanova station.

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