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The Cinaruggia is a great little summit walk, or a good cross country run. It’s right on our doorstep, I like pairing it up with a swim afterwards in one of the nearby creeks.
The summit itself is quite magnificent and very easy to ascend.
It’s proximity to the sea and the sky means you can reach out, touch the clouds and watch the ever changing light as it dances across the rippled water.
The Cinaruggia summit: 528m
Carte IGN: 4153 OT Ajaccio
Access: From Ajaccio take the D111 along the sea front in a westerly direction towards the Pointe de la Parata, iles Sanguinaires. At the beach, called Plage de Terre Sacrée turn right. Drive to the top of the hill to the place named (central solaire / central scientifique.) At the entrance of the scientific centre, turn right into the small parking area.
Effective walking times: 3h00
Altitude Gain: +500m, -500m
Points of interest: Fantastic views of the Gulf of Ajaccio and the iles Sanguinaires. A lush coastal vegetation of Mediterranean maquis. Views of the Plage St Antoine, Ajaccio and distant summits.
Refreshment: There are a number of cafés and beach bars all along the coast road.
From the car park at the scientific centre, take the path in a north easterly direction towards the mountain ridge. It goes up alongside the centre’s fencing, towards the altitude point marked 100m on the map. From here, the path veers to the right and progresses in an easterly direction.
Continue gaining height, the path hugs the mountain side, you will arrive at the first good viewpoint. There is a borne with the number 723 marked on it. As you look out to sea, on your left, you have the first noticeable bare rocky outcrop. The granite rocks sculpted by the wind and the sea form some wonderful shapes.
Further up, there is a stream that crosses the path which is very noticeable in the winter months.
Watch out – Once up at 350m altitude, the trail starts to level out. Look out for a small elusive path on the left. There is no signpost but there is a slab of rock and a small yellow cross painted on a rock about 3 metres higher up.
Turn left here, leaving the main ‘Sentier des Cretes’ follow this small path north, snaking between the rocky outcrops. After 500m distance, you will arrive at a main path called the ‘Cretes Hautes.’ Turn right, walk 50 metres, after this short distance, you come to a chunky cairn on the left that marks the short 50 metre trail through the maquis to the summit. You will soon see its distinct wooden cross.
Retrace your steps back to the main path, turn left and continue to the point marked ‘Finosa Rnes.’ Where there is a small stone cabin.
Turn right at the cabin, take the trail downhill until you re-join the Sentier des Cretes. There is a wooden signposts marking this junction, indicating ‘Cretes Hautes, Bois des Anglais, Site de la Parata.’
Turn right, follow the trail for 2.5kms back to the car parking area.