Discover the summit of Monte Rotondo (Monte Rotondu). The 2nd highest summit of the island! Hiking in Corsica from the upper Restonica valley in Corte. The Monte Rotondo culminates at 2622 M of altitude! A demanding route that passes by Lake Oriente and leads to the Helbronner shelter! Monte Rotondo offers an extraordinary view of seven Corsican lakes!
Monte Rotondo - Monte Rotondu
Among the most beautiful mountainous sites in Corsica is without doubt the exceptional summit of Monte Rotondo, also called Monte Rorondu or Ritondu. A real jewel case of beauty, embedded in the heart of the summits of the upper Restonica Valley. All the splendour of the natural and wild environments with rock as far as the eye can see or even the residues of eternal névés resembling a large petrified wave at the top. An arid universe where only a thin stream of pure water, clear and icy, weaves its way under the slabs, making its way through the scree or the scattered moss until it reaches a green lawn, pozzines or one of the surrounding lakes, with their sparkling colours. A challenging trail of more than 3.5 hours that will lead you to the Helbronner shelter and to the highest point at 2622m for a panoramic and breathtaking view of many glacial lakes! Oriente, Galeria, Vetta Niella (Bettaniella), Ninu, Capitellu, etc...
Monte Rotondo in Corte, Corsica
Starting point of the hike: about 350 m after the Tuani bridge, on the left.
To get there, head towards Corte, the centre of Corsica, then branch off towards the Restonica valley and follow the narrow road to the Tuani bridge. Park about 350 m further on. The entrance to the path is located on your left, at the edge of the road, with the sign "Oriente - Refuge de la Sega" visible.
The Monte Rotondo hiking trail
The route begins with a very stony path, which winds through the wood, under the large Lariccii pines. It is an ascent with an almost constant positive difference in altitude until the lake of Oriente. After about 30 minutes, the forest gives way to a radically different environment, with no shaded areas and the peaks facing you. Follow the clearly visible cairns. It is also possible to deviate from the route and make a stop at the sheepfolds for the greedy ones!
The sublime lake of Oriente and its pozzines!
The route becomes tougher, the thighs are put to the test, count 1h45 for good walkers to reach Lake Oriente, enclosed in the hollow of Monte Rotondu, with its translucent water, its pozzines and its green meadows where the animals come to graze, even the shepherd's sheep!
It is advisable to make a stop at the lake to regain your strength before climbing Monte Rotondu. If the access to the lake seemed difficult and long, wait to see the rest of the route!
The tough ascent of Monte Rotondo and the Helbronner shelter!
Go around the lake to the right, walking on the grass and follow the cairns to the top. There is a lot of stonework, large slabs, and in some places, a few semi-climbing passages. About a hundred metres before the summit, you have to turn left to access a rocky corridor with a strong positive difference in altitude. This is the hardest part! The arrival on the ridges with its superb view of the various lakes, the summits such as Capu Tafunatu or Paglia Orba and the Restonica valley will quickly make you forget the physical pain and the effort required to reach the summit. Discover the Helbronner shelter (built by the mountaineer of the same name) where many hikers have recorded their passage to the summit.
The way back, alternative routes and tips!
This is a hike not to be taken lightly, and is recommended for sportsmen and women who are used to rocky mountain routes. The return from the hike can be done via various routes:
- Take the same route as the first one. Be careful on the way back, follow the cairns on the way back down to Lake Oriente, otherwise you may get stuck on the edge of the cliff.
- Opt for a variant towards the "Maniccia
- Continue for a descent to the lake of Bettaniella with its small sandy beach.
- Thematic walks
- Beginner hike
- Intermediate hike
- Expert hike
- Arches and rocks
- GR20 Corsica
- Lakes & Pozzines
- Mountain peaks
- Genoa Towers