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Gulf of Porto

Gulf of Porto
Gulf of Porto: Calanche of Piana, Gulf of Girolata, Scandola Reserve is a natural area with dramatic geological landforms and wealthy undersea life. It also is the habitat of the rare osprey, peregrine falcons and bearded vultures. The Gulf is situated on the western coast of Corsica, between Punta Muchillina and Punta Nera.

The sheer cliffs of the Gulf contain many grottos and are flanked by numerous stacks and almost inaccessible islets and coves. The coastline is also noted for its red cliffs, some 900 metres high, sand beaches, and headlands.


John Booth (New Zealand):
Although the views of the Gulf of Porto from Piana, Porto and Girolata are spectacular, it was really necessary to take a cruise with one of several operators in Porto to get a close-up experience of the coastline.

The three spectacular seascapes of the area included in these cruises are:

The Calanches of Piana on the south side are steep rugged cliffs of red rock, the colour of which varies with the light over the course of a day. The cliffs are riddled with caves, some at sea level which vessels can enter.

Girolata is a small touristy village beside the gulf's only beach. It is only accessible from the sea, being surrounded by steep, high cliffs.

The Scandola Reserve is an area of rocky stacks rising vertically out of the water, with arches and other features only reachable by boat. The bird and sea life is prolific here.

Porto is difficult to reach because of Corsica's terrain. I travelled there by bus from Ajaccio, and away to Calvi. Both routes involved crossing steep mountain passes and fast-flowing streams, both journeys of several hours duration. But very scenic with frequent glimpses of the coast.
Date posted: October 2015
Adrienne A. (USA):
Corsica is by far, by FAR, the most beautiful place I've ever visited. Crystal-clear water, pristine beaches, mountains, and a friendly atmosphere. I would recommend it as a vacation spot to everyone.

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Site info

Gulf of Porto: Calanche of Piana, Gulf of Girolata, Scandola Reserve
Country: France
Inscribed: 1983
Natural Heritage
Criteria:  (7) (8) (10)
Category: Natural landscape, Marine / Coastal

Site history:
2006Name change
From "Cape Girolata, Cape Porto, Scandola Nature Reserve and the Piana Calanches in Corsica" to "Gulf of Porto: Calanche of Piana, Gulf of Girolata, Scandola Reserve"
1996Name change
Name Change to add "...and the Piana Calanches"
1983 Inscribed
Reasons for inscription

Site links

Official website:
»Porto tourisme

In the news:
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Related Forum posts:
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Getting there

This WHS has 1 location(s).


Columnar Jointing .
Mediterranean shore .
Pisan colonies . Republic of Genoa .
Human Activity
Sea Ports .
Paleozoic .
WHS on Other Lists
Biodiversity hotspot . Natura 2000 .
World Heritage Process
Name changes .

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