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Scandola Nature Reserve

Scandola Nature Reserve: Our most recommended tours and activities

Ajaccio or Porticcio: Scandola Nature Reserve Boat Tour

1. Ajaccio or Porticcio: Scandola Nature Reserve Boat Tour

Set sail from Ajaccio or Porticcio on a full-day boat tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Scandola Nature Reserve and the Gulf of Porto. Experience one of the last Mediterranean enclaves to provide shelter for endemic flora and birdlife. Stop in the coastal village of Girolata and explore the secluded village for 2 hours. Find a nice restaurant for lunch or enjoy a picnic on the beach. In the winter, the village becomes a virtual backwater with only about 15 residents. Then, venture into the Calanche de Piana to discover an outstanding landscape of pink granite rocks shaped over the centuries by changes in temperature, strong winds, and sea spray. Explore the geological diversity and unique location of the rocks that give a particular aspect to the area.

Porto: Scandola and Calanches of Piana Boat Trip

2. Porto: Scandola and Calanches of Piana Boat Trip

Discover the Gulf of Porto by boat and see why this extraordinary natural area is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the Scandola Nature Reserve and admire striking cliffs, surrounded by the deep blue ocean. See the famous rock formations of Calanche de Piana. Board your boat in Porto and begin your trip by sailing to the Scandola Reserve, home to beautiful cliffs and a marvelous sea bed. Take in an impressive location that has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1975. Become surrounded by more than 30 plant species. Navigate toward the Calanche de Piana to come up close to its unique natural formations. Snap amazing photos of this mesmerizing wonder, then sail back to your starting point in Porto.

From Sagone or Cargèse: Scandola Reserve Boat Tour

3. From Sagone or Cargèse: Scandola Reserve Boat Tour

Discover the wonders of the Corsican Coast accessible only by sea. Visit the Scandola Nature Reserve and have free time in Girolata. Board a 73-seater ship and take a half-day trip to the famous Scandola Nature Reserve, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hear insightful commentary about the reserve from a local guide. Stop for 2 hours or 30 minutes, depending on the option you book, in the small village of Girolata and enjoy free time to explore. Eat lunch at a local restaurant or bring your own food for a picnic with stunning views. Soak up the sunshine on the warm sand, swim, and browse the unique shops in the village. After your stop, the boat tour will continue to Calanques de Piana before going back to Sagone and Cargèse.

Corsica: Day Cruise to Scandola, Girolata & Calanques Piana

4. Corsica: Day Cruise to Scandola, Girolata & Calanques Piana

Explore the hidden wonders of the Corsican coast that are accessible only by sea on a day trip by speedboat. Visit the Scandola Nature Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, enjoy free time to wander through Girolata, and see the natural pools of Calanques de Piana. Begin your cruise in either Sagone or Cargèse, depending on the option you select. Board a 12-seater speedboat and cruise towards the famous Scandola Nature Reserve. As you sail through the Reserve, learn about the jagged cliffs and red rock formations you see from your guide. After leaving the Reserve, take a 30 minute wander through the small village of Girolata, which is only accessible from the sea. Soak up the sun on the sandy beach, go for a swim, or browse the shops. After you've finished, board the boat and continue to the Calanques de Piana. Jump into the clear water for a refreshing swim in the Calanques de Piano before cruising around the stunning caves of Capo Rosso. Return to Sagone or Cargèse past the red cliffs of Corsica.

From Porto: Piana Creeks, Scandola & Girolata on Speedboat

5. From Porto: Piana Creeks, Scandola & Girolata on Speedboat

Departing from Porto, you can admire the Calanches de Piana by sailing along the coast towards Capo Rosso with its caves and natural pools, a magical place listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site. You will then set sail for the Scandola nature reserve. On the way back, you can discover the small hamlet of Girolata, only accessible by sea or on foot. A 30-minute stop is planned there. During this excursion you will enjoy a swimming break, snorkeling (masks provided) depending on weather conditions. Perhaps you will have the chance to observe dolphins or other cetaceans that might cross your path. Duration of the tour about 3h15

From Porto: Piana Creeks and Scandola Semi-Rigid Boat Tour

6. From Porto: Piana Creeks and Scandola Semi-Rigid Boat Tour

Visit one of the best sites of Corsica on boat routes designed to optimize your experience. Get to know Porto's magical gulf, Piana's beautiful creeks and the Scandola's breath-taking reserve. Visit this exceptional destination, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Depending on your option, embark comfortably aboard a standard semi-rigid pneumatic boats or on a family-friendly speedboat with 12-person capacity. Thanks to their small size they can enter caves, navigate to the sea bank and allow you to appreciate the beauty of the landscapes. During this outing at sea, you might be able to observe dolphins or other aquatic mammals that might cross your path.

Ajaccio: Guided Scandola Nature Reserve Boat Tour

7. Ajaccio: Guided Scandola Nature Reserve Boat Tour

Be one with nature on this guided boat tour of the Scandola and Capo Rosso reserves. Swim in blue waters and discover natural caves and majestic cliffs. Head to the island of Cargalo with your guide and continue through the cathedral fault. Swim in turquoise waters while your appetizer of cold meats and rosé wine from Corsica is prepared. At noon, arrive at Girolata, a fishing village built around an 18th-century fortress accessible only by sea. The boat will sail again at 2 pm towards the Gulf of Porto for another swimming break at Anse Ficaghjola, a village overlooking a beach. Then, proceed to the Calanques of Piana, a geological jewel with cliffs and caves. Upon reaching the natural pool of Capo Rosso, dive in its crystal clear waters. Enjoy a final swim at the Cala di Pala Cove where you can also jump off diving boards of different heights. You will continue with your memorable boat ride until your return, leaving you with unforgettable memories.

Guided tour: Capo Rosso, Calanche di Piana, Porto Scandola

8. Guided tour: Capo Rosso, Calanche di Piana, Porto Scandola

Departing from Sagone or Cargèse, you will discover the Scandola Nature Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its caves in their entirety. Then enjoy a thirty-minute stopover in the small village of Girolata, accessible only by sea. After crossing the Gulf of Porto, swimming stops in the heart of Calanche Di Piana then at Capo Rosso to cool off in these sublime natural settings. Enjoy 12-passenger Narwhal-type semi-rigid vessel Used by the army and the police but also by narco-traffickers for its speed and above all its robustness, this vessel with a V-hull specially designed for all kinds of weather is a real 4X4 of the seas!!! It will delight thrill seekers and reassure the more cautious thanks to its extraordinary passage at sea and its incredible comfort. Its 12 m size will also allow you to slip where larger boats will not be able to pass.

Ajaccio/Porticcio: Scandola and Calanches de Piana Day Trip

9. Ajaccio/Porticcio: Scandola and Calanches de Piana Day Trip

Embark on a day trip from Ajaccio or Porticcio and take a boat to explore the Scandola Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, stopping in Girolata for a break. Then visit the Calanche di Piana and stop for a quick swim in the sea at Capo Rosso. Choose to start your tour of Corsica's UNESCO-listed Scandola Reserve from either Ajaccio or Porticcio. Hop on a boat, and set out to explore the Corsican coastline, with the village of Girolata as your first port of call. This small medieval village is surrounded by the wild landscapes of Corsica and can only be reached by boat or on foot. Explore the village at your leisure and enjoy lunch at one of the local eateries (cost not included). Then, hop back aboard your boat and set out to sea, crossing the Gulf of Porto to visit the Calanche di Piana. From here, make your way to Capo Rosso and go for a dip in the Tyrrhenian Sea. As your tour comes to an end, sit back, relax, and enjoy the panoramic views as your boat cruises back to Ajaccio or Porticcio.

From Ajaccio: Scandola Reserve Boat Tour with Girolata Visit

10. From Ajaccio: Scandola Reserve Boat Tour with Girolata Visit

Discover the most beautiful landscapes of western Corsica: Calanques de Piana, Capo Rosso, Girolata, and to finish in style: the visit of the sublime Scandola Nature Reserve. On this almost inaccessible peninsula, the rocks forged by water and wind have taken on intriguing, almost supernatural shapes, reinforced by the red tone of the cliffs. Your sea trip begins in Ajaccio accompanied by your captain. Well settled in your boat, enjoy the sumptuous landscapes during this boat tour punctuated by the comments of your captain. History of the region, anecdotes, legends and other explanations on the surrounding flora and fauna as well as on the geology. Discover the highlights of western Corsica by going first to the famous Calanques de Piana, a place listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site The Scandola Nature Reserve is home to many species of protected plants and birds such as golden eagles, peregrine falcons and the iconic osprey. It's hard to resist the urge to discover this wild and unspoiled nature, aspiring to rock structures in the caldera, a remnant of very old volcanic eruptions or undulating under pure, crystalline water. The Scandola reserve is a natural marvel both maritime and land listed, of course, in the heritage of Unesco. Here, nature has dictated its law, giving the rocks their specific shape and letting the flora flourish freely. The fauna is not left out in the Scandola reserve. As ospreys spread their wings in search of their next prey, gulls squirm and squawk. At sea, groupers, red mullets, and other moray eels form an incessant ballet, an intriguing and captivating spectacle that your skipper will be delighted to introduce you to. Your sea trip to visit the Scandola Reserve by boat and the must-see places in western Corsica Embark on board and head to Scandola for a magical ride. Your Captain will share with you his love for Corsica and the nature reserve of Scandola, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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What people are saying about Scandola Nature Reserve

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 2,271 reviews

A day trip at sea during which we approached the protected and magnificent sites of Scandola and the creeks of Piana, with a 2-hour stopover in Girolata where we ate very well (the gourmet coffee kept its promise) at the restaurant "Le Good Hope" (reservation recommended). The boat staff is friendly and humorous when commenting. We wholeheartedly recommend this excursion taken in Sept 2022. However, the return trip may seem a bit long for those with motion sickness. Although the weather was very nice (27°), a "wind break" is appreciable at the start in the morning.

It was an amazing experience. Right from pick up to dune bashing belly dancing and almost everything else in the activity. Good job by the entire team. Keep it up.

This walk by the sea makes us discover other facets of Corsica as prodigious as each other. Our eyes are dazzled by so much beauty

Wonderful experience. Convivial staff and beautiful places. a must do!

Excursion so perfect a lot of fun and well organized