Calanche de Piana visitor guide

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The calanche de Piana are south of the village of Piana in the west of Corsica and are one of the most impressive scenic highlights on the island, indeed anywhere in France. Extending over several kilometres, the calanche (calanques in French) are a series of red rocks and cliffs that plunge up to 300 metres into the Mediterranean below.

Visiting the Calanche de Piana

To reach the calanche simply follow the road that follows the coast south-west of Porto towards Piana. Even before you reach the calanche you have very beautiful views across the Gulf of Porto and the village itself. You enter the actual calanche after a few kilometres.

France This Way review: we were warned that the road through the Calanche de Piana can be busy, slow and dangerous. It was none of these when we visited but we recommend you visit either first thing in the morning or quite late in the afternoon, and ideally outside high summer: this will allow you to escape the crowds, avoid the coaches and also to see the rocks at their best when the sun is not too high in the sky.

It is possible to simply explore the calanche by car, although we strongly recommend you also find time to explore on foot to better appreciate the environment.


Trails through the calanche de Piana

The most popular is the trail called the Chateau Fort that starts next to the rock called the Tete de Chien: unlike many rocks that are given animal names this one really does look exactly like the head of a dog, is signposted and is on a bend in the road soon after you enter the calanques so is easy to find. From here a path leads through the rocks and forest before reaching a stunning viewpoint across the cliffs and sea, and a large rock in the shape of a castle (hence the name).

This round trip takes a little more than an hour to complete. Although it is quite an easy walk there are short stretches that are steeper and a bit slippery so we recommend you wear walking shoes although many people don't!

You can also park near the cafe in the middle of the drive and follow the walk up the hill that follows the corniche. This walk also takes about an hour and has exceptional views. After your walk you will also be tempted by the cafe which must surely have one of the best views ever for a cafe!

From Porto you can also take a boat trip along the coast to see the calanche from a different perspective.

Attractions nearby

The drive north along the coast from Porto towards Osani is different in character from the calanques but also very impressive.

As well as exploring the Calanche de Piana, you will want to take a look around the villages of Porto and Piana while you are here: both are interesting villages as well as also having small beaches.

Another important scenic highlight is to the east of Porto where you can explore the mountains and valley of the Gorges de Spelunca. As with the Calanques de Piana, beyween Evisa and Ota there is a short footpath through the gorges that leads through lovely scenery.

See more scenic highlights in France. You can find more travel ideas in the Corsica guide.

See also: 

Photos of Calanche de Piana

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Map of Calanche de Piana and places nearby


Visit near Calanche de Piana with France This Way reviews



Piana is a small and very picturesque village, well placed to explore the stunning coastal scenery of western Corsica

Piana guide


Porto is a small port town surrounded by the Calanques de Piana, the Scandola Nature reserve and beautiful mountain scenery

Porto guide
Gorges de Spelunca

Gorges de Spelunca

The Gorges de Spelunca in west Corsica is a lovely river valley that passes through the mountains

Gorges de Spelunca guide


Capo-di-Feno, west of Ajaccio is home to two of the loveliest beaches in the region: Petit Capo and Grand Capo

Capo-di-Feno guide
Restonica Valley

Restonica Valley

The Valley of the Restonica includes the lovely Restonica gorges as well as a hike to Lake Melo and Lake Capitello

Restonica Valley guide


Calenzana is a traditional Corsican town with interesting monuments in the Balagne region

Calenzana guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Corse-du-Sud

The French version of this page is at Calanche de Piana (Francais)