GT20/Stage 5: Calinzana - Galeria

From GR20 to Fango

31km - 420m uphill

After a long straight we cross the Fango, completely drained at this place (climb higher up to the Ponte Vecchiu to get water), to the right then a desert of pebbles to the sea and to the left a completely unobstructed view on the mountains with on the horizon a tooth that rises majestically, the Paglia Orba and Capu Tafunatu.

Tracé OpenRunner ici

                             After a stop off in Calinzana, we set off again for Galeria. Be sure not to go straight on when leaving the village, as while the road goes down you will find yourself back in Calvi. Instead, take the small junction before you come to the Esso petrol station which is signposted Moncale rather than Galeria.

 

And be sure to have built up your strength in Calinzana as things are about to get serious.

 

Short stage, 31km, but intense with 420 metres of climbing, and, good news, 667 metres of descent.

 

We attack via the Bocca Di Neraghia, a small pass which in a sense doesn’t climb, since we’re already at almost 300 metres altitude. We’re therefore very much looking forward to the fantastic descent that we know is coming.

 

©ATC-Clémence RAFFI ©ATC-Clémence RAFFI
©ATC-Clémence RAFFI ©ATC-Clémence RAFFI
©ATC-Clémence RAFFI ©ATC-Clémence RAFFI
©ATC-Clémence RAFFI ©ATC-Clémence RAFFI

There’s still very little traffic on these roads which offer breathtaking panoramic views amidst the scrubland desert, the sea to our right and mountains to our left. And up in front of us, a pretty mountain pass is approaching.

This is the Bocca di Marsolinu (Col de Marsolino), which we see getting nearer from some distance away. It isn’t very long but we definitely feel it, with gradients of 7 to 12% (and with 39-degree heat, it’s better to do it off season if you can). And when we turn around we can see Calvi.

 

©ATC-Clémence RAFFI ©ATC-Clémence RAFFI
©ATC-Clémence RAFFI ©ATC-Clémence RAFFI
©ATC-Clémence RAFFI ©ATC-Clémence RAFFI

Anecdote: The col de Marsolino was included in the Tour de France route for the first time in 2013, featuring in the event’s 3rd stage. It is classed as a 2nd category climb. Frenchman Pierre Rolland was the first to reach the summit.

 

PS: In the Tour de France, passes are classed in different categories which range from category 4 for the easiest slopes right up to the major passes which are uncategorised, with the 3rd, 2nd and 1st categories between these two extremes.

 

But in cycling, what’s important to know is the distance, profile and change in altitude. For more information, visit: https://www.cols-cyclisme.com

 

©ATC-Clémence RAFFI ©ATC-Clémence RAFFI

Rest the descent and flat to Galeria, the Valley of Fango.

After a long straight we cross the Fango, completely drained at this place (climb higher up to the Ponte Vecchiu to get water), to the right then a desert of pebbles to the sea and to the left a completely unobstructed view on the mountains with on the horizon a tooth that rises majestically, the Paglia Orba and Capu Tafunatu.

 

©ATC-Clémence RAFFI ©ATC-Clémence RAFFI
©ATC-Clémence RAFFI ©ATC-Clémence RAFFI
©ATC-Clémence RAFFI ©ATC-Clémence RAFFI

We arrive in Galeria, a real oasis of calm away from the throngs of tourists, with its own little port, gulf, coves, gravel beach and Genoese tower.

 

©ATC-Clémence RAFFI ©ATC-Clémence RAFFI
©ATC-Clémence RAFFI ©ATC-Clémence RAFFI

We take a break here to visit the beach and have lunch but it would also be possible to stop for the night as there are hotels, other tourist accommodation, restaurants and a little supermarket where you can stock up on supplies if you need to.

 

Points of interest for tourists in this stage:

  • The Fango Valley
  • Galeria: the Scandola reserve, Girolata...

Recommendation

Should you wish to eat lunch on the beach after doing a little bathing, we recommend l’Altru Sognu.

©ATC-Clémence RAFFI ©ATC-Clémence RAFFI

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