By Anne the 24/01/2023

Natural reservoirs of Renoso lakes

Lake Bastani, the most visited lake of the island

Nestled in natural cavities on the foothills of an imposing massif, the seven lakes of Renoso are easy to visit either alone or with a guide. Hikers come here to discover the history of Corsican mountains and their rural past.

They are the vestiges of a time when the glaciers were so large that it was impossible to see the rock that supported them. After centuries of heat, the glaciers melted and mountain lakes filled the cavities left by these ice giants, providing an essential life support system to the flora, fauna rural activities, the lakes are becoming more popular as visitors seek freedom and new discoveries. The Renoso massif, the third largest on the island, shelters several lakes.

Lake Bastiani is the biggest, most famous and most visited in the area, and has a silvery granite cobalt-coloured heart. It’s also the highest lake there and its ancient flow paths to the surrounding meadows indicate that there were several other small lakes here a few centuries ago. For many years, herds of cattle were lodged here to take advantage of the rich bounty of these mountains. But beware of sudden weather changes due to the altitude.

It’s better to explore the area with professional guides. As they share advice and their passion for, and tales of the area, hikers can get a fascinating understanding of the local culture and history.

Unless you reach the 2,353m high peak of the Resono mountain, only Bastani will be visible. The lakes of Vitalaca, Bracca, Nielluccio, Alzeta or the twins of Rina await keen hikers willing to climb in order to admire their beauty.

Placed above each other and connected by channels, some lakes are slowly disappearing, a natural phenomenon for these glacial remains. Surrounded by grass, they gradually give way to become peat bogs, called pozzine in the Corsican language.

Whether in Pozzolu or Pozzi, this phenomenon can be seen on several sections of this massif. The peat bogs are seriously impressive, and you can easily imagine just how big the lake must have been to have filled the entire valley.


These fish filled water holes form a graceful curve in the land, making for a beautiful pasture for the herds and creating a feeling of absolute freedom to walkers. Try walking barefoot on the to truly commune with nature here.  The lakes of Rina, on the Renoso massif, are gradually disappearing, little by little they are forming into peat bogs. The pozzine are protected and must not be walked on. They shelter a rare and endemic species, Corsican butterwort. It’s a carnivorous plant with sticky leaves and blooms from June to September.

The treasures of Renoso are relatively accessible to all, but you will have to climb to see them.

From the ski resorts of Ghisoni-Capanelle and Val d'Ese , and from Verde or Scalella, there are many walking and hiking paths. On these foothills, rock and water are inseparable, the two elements complement each other and make for memorable views.


The Rina lakes, on the Renoso massif, are disappearing, gradually becoming peat bogs.



Local tasting

A walk across the mountains is also an opportunity to meet local shepherds who live and work on the land who are always happy to share a taste of their products. They have honed their knowhow for a thousand years and each offers a unique taste of Corsica according to their herd, the ground, the terroir, and their farming procedures. From one sheep farm to another, the difference in flavours is enormous...  

©Nicolas Wallon ©Nicolas Wallon


Horseback riding

During the summer season, the Val d’Ese resort offers horseback riding trips to the Pozzi of Bastelica site. It’s a fun and unusual way to discover the area without a tiring hike. Bonding with the horses creates an unusual opportunity to discover the trail and makes it more accessible for those who may be worried about tackling the paths without a guide.

©Nicolas Wallon ©Nicolas Wallon

Under the snow

In winter discover the treasures of Renoso on skis, snowshoes or snow boots. When the landscape is covered with a thick blanket of snow and the lakes are pure white, the pozzines are hidden, and you can only guess where they are by the differences in snow cover. Every season brings its own wonders, but in winter, everything changes and cries out to be discovered.


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