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Photo of Scandola Nature Reserve

Visit Scandola Nature Reserve

The Scandola Natural Reserve (created 1975) is a World Heritage Site to the south-west of Calvi, on the Cape Girolata peninsula (hal way down the west coast of Corsica).

The reserve covers approximately 900 hectares of land and 1000 hectares of sea, and is an exceptional sight even among the many natural wonders that you will discover in Corsica.

Exploring the Scandola Nature Reserve

There is no way to enter Scandola by car, and to enter by foot involves crossing very high mountains, so in practice the only way to enjoy the splendours of this coastline is by taking a boat - trips leave from Calvi, and less frequently from nearby Porto.

Scandola nature reserve, CorsicaThe trip is worth making and recommended, because you will discover some of the finest coastline to be found anywhere in Corsica - France. people who took the trip before us said they had seen dolphins but we were not so lucky. Perhaps bext time!

Strange rock formations emerge from the crystal clear sea in the Gulf of Girolata, and the coastline is peppered with jagged inlets and caves.

Always beautiful but especially so later in the afternoon, as the rocks catch the setting sun. Set against the blue of the sea and sky, the colours and shapes are an extraordinary sight.

Flora and fauna

The Scandola reserve has a wide range of sea birds - including cormorants and giant gulls - that benefit from the protected environment.

There are also established seal and dolphin colonies. Ospreys are also becoming established in the region, after great efforts by conservationists.

And keep looking into the water - even if you don't see dolphins Scandola is said to have more than 450 different seaweeds!

You can find more local travel ideas in the North-West Corsica guide,

See also: 

Map of Scandola Nature Reserve and places to visit


Scandola Nature Reserve places to visit



Girolata is a quiet and remote beach and village on the coast near Porto in western Corsica

Girolata guide
Calanches de Piana

Calanches de Piana

The calanches of Piana are exceptionally scenic rock formations on the coast of western Corsica near Porto.

Calanches de Piana guide


Piana is an attractive village overlooking the Calanches de Piana. The Calanches de Piana are outstandingly beautiful.

Piana guide


Porto is a pleasant resort close to the Calanches de Piana. It is a good base for visiting the Calanques.

Porto guide


Ota is a pretty village near Porto in western Corsica and a popular starting point for hiking the Gorges de Spelunca and Aitone Forest

Ota guide
Gorges de Spelunca

Gorges de Spelunca

The Gorges de Spelunca are a scenic highlight east of Porto in Corsica, best explored by following an ancient mule trail below the cliffs

Gorges de Spelunca guide
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