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 - October 2015
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.
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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Full name: Gulf of Porto: Calanche of Piana, Gulf of Girolata, Scandola Reserve
2006 - Name changeFrom "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"
1996 - Name changeName Change to add "...and the Piana Calanches"
1983 - InscribedReasons for inscription
The site has 10 connections.
- Columnar Jointing Scandola Nature Reserve
- Paleozoic ... to have undergone two distinct cycles of volcanic activity in the Permian. Since then cycles of erosion and rejuvenation have been at work and there are high cliffs of red porphyry, rhyoliths and basaltic pillars, considerably eroded by wave action. (AB ev)
World Heritage Process
- Name changes Two times: in 1996 to add "...and the Piana Calanches", and in 2006 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"