Our next stage has us heading towards la Balagne.
Be aware that on this stage, there are very few shops along the route and none at all once you’ve crossed the Agriates desert and are on the road to Novella.
I attack the Agriate, which climbs progressively, and is a great warm up, as over a short thirty kilometres or so there are a little under 400 metres of ascent. Behind me is a very beautiful view looking down over San Fiurenzu.
This vast and unspoilt so-called “desert” area is bordered by a rocky coastline and superb sandy beaches that can be accessed by paths or by the coastal trail. Inland, you’re surrounded by nature with landscapes made of rocky hills, glens, streams and marshland as well as a vast amount of scrub.
The road is incredibly beautiful and not very busy, even in July meaning your ride will be peaceful and quiet.
We make a short stop at the maison de Baccialù, an old section house, maintained by the Conservatroire du Littoral, and admire a pretty panoramic view.
When you come to the junction with the T30 national, be very careful as it’s a long straight road, and a relatively busy route. There’s only 200 metres to do but you have to cross the road so you can take a smaller road to Nuvella (Novella). And watch out as there’s no sign (D12)! If necessary, you can make a u-turn a little further on at the junction.
And yes, it’s fine, you’re on the right road. Even though there are no cars, no signs and scrub as far as the eye can see and the road is so narrow you find yourself wondering how cars manage to pass each other.
The village of Nuvella is one of the many stops made by the trinichellu, Corsica’s little train, the station for which has been turned into tourist accommodation. An imposing look out point dominates the village from which you can admire exceptional panoramic views over Ostriconi. Located between mountains and sea, the village has long prospered from olive growing and has something of an Italian air about it.
The Farwest !
The route rejoins the RT301 which goes to Belgude (Belgodère).
After 250 metres of climbing over 5km, and a beautiful ascent up the Col de San Colombano, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were....elsewhere! The view is fantastic all the way along but is particularly impressive at the summit.
And the road is superb until it reaches Belgudevillage which you can see down below.
A short break here would be welcome after this magnificent but also demanding double-desert crossing!
I recommend climbing the steps to the viewing point and you’ll be rewarded by a beautiful 360° panorama.
Points of interest for tourists in this stage:
The terraced villages of Balagne