Corsica / France / Uncategorized

Day 2 – Sentier des Douaniers (Macinaggio – Santa Maria)

Gatekeeper

Day 2 of our holiday 🙂 I slept really well and we have a bit of a lay in before we start the day. It is very peaceful and quiet where we are and you can hear the birds singing in the morning.

We have breakfast on the terrace and enjoy the mild temperatures.  It is almost midday due to our lay in and the shopping that we needed to do. But hey, it’s holiday and we got time. Michel is cleaning the pool and coming over to have a chat. He leaves us with a few ideas of what we could do. We decide to explore the path along the coast which we had seen yesterday and which is also part of the Sentier des Douaniers,  a path along the coast of Cap Corse between Macinaggio and Centuri.

Clouded Yellow
Clouded Yellow
Painted Lady
Painted Lady

This path is also described in the Rother Walking Guide and marked as ‘easy’. We think it would be a good warm-up for the bigger tours that we have planned and also to get an idea how accurate the descriptions in the guide are.

Tamarone Beach
Tamarone Beach

We decide to do about half the tour from Macinaggio along the coast up to the Santa Maria church,  returning on an inland path. The path is fairly easy but goed shoes are suggested. It surprises me how many people I see in flip flops… The coast is amazing and offers wonderful views and a very diverse nature. I’m surprised by the amount of different butterflies – hopefully many additions to my collection!

One of many lizards we saw
One of many lizards we saw

The path continues from Macinaggio beach up a hill with cliffs on the sea side. At one point an old cannon is left, facing Macinaggio.  As we continue we get to Tamarone Beach. The path goes along several beaches and bays followed by cliffs. We notice plenty of dry sea grass on the beaches which makes it a bit less nice than it usually would be. Fine for walking but less nice for swimming and sunbathing. The path is relatively busy but we have enough moments where it is just us, where we can enjoy the view or have a short break in the rare shade. There are not many trees.

Sentier des Douaniers
Sentier des Douaniers
View along the coast
View along the coast
Îles de Finocchiarola
Îles de Finocchiarola

We continue until we pass three island very close to the coast, the Iles Finocchiarola (Fennel Islands). The islands are small and not accessible during summer due to birds breeding there. We leave the islands behind and continue to the Rade de Santa Maria which is another beach with the Tour de Santa Maria. We are surprised to see cows at the beach. They chill in the sun and eat sea grass… Yes, we had seen them on postcards when we explored the souvenir shops the day be before but we didn’t really believe in it.

Cows at Santa Maria Beach
Cows at Santa Maria Beach
Rade de Santa Maria
Rade de Santa Maria
Santa Maria della Chiappelle
Santa Maria della Chiappelle

At this point we decide to return to Macinaggio. We have the option to go back to Tamarone Beach on a different path and then continue further to Macinaggio. The path leads to the Santa Maria della Chiappella church (closed) where we have a break in the shade of some olive trees, next to an old well.

The way back is a bit quicker and we are happy to get Tamarone beach where a restaurant and bar is. We need to refuel (and take more water for our next tours)!!

On the way back we take a small detour up to the tower at the end of Macinaggio beach. It seems as not many people go up there. The path down is visible at the upper and but then getting narrower and narrower and almost fully overgrown… you can barely see it where it ends.

Tower near Macinaggio
Tower near Macinaggio
This is where the path down from the tower ended...
This is where the path down from the tower ended…
View from the tower - Elba
View from the tower – Elba

Our attempt to take it slow resulted in 17km walking… We watch the sun go down behind the mountains to the back of our house. A wonderful day is coming to an end.

Sunset
Sunset

One important thing we learned today is how important sufficient water is. We had 1l each an that was not enough. We’ll keep this in mind the next days.

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