Sal Montgomery checking out the amazing view up the Fium Orbo valley
We have paddled a lot across Britain this winter. And by the time spring was breaking we were sick of the cold. So we travelled to Corsica to get the first of the European snowmelt.
Corsica is a small island in the Mediterranean Sea that is part of France. It is a hell of a long journey from the UK. Which includes two ferry crossings and driving the entire length of France. The French toll roads make this relatively easy but at a price.
The morning view
Due to the snow pack being relatively small compared to places such as the Alps. The Corsican snowmelt season can be short. Other times of the year can see rainfall bringing the rivers in to condition but for the sun and snowmelt early April is a good bet for a Corsican trip.
Very happy to be on the river after crossing Europe
Sal and I both work as safety kayakers and river guides. In Corsica we were fortunate to be able to join up with the company Escape to Adventure. They run guided kayaking trips across Europe. A week’s work helped us subsidise our trip and meet some cool new people.
Sal Montgomery on the final boof of one of the Travo’s class 5 rapids
The Rocket on the Upper Fium Orbo
There are a lot of classic sections to kayak and information is available however there is no current guide book. A good source of information is at the Ernella camp site. This is a paddlers campsite and the site of the Kayak Session festival. On the banks of the Tavignanu River, it is a great location to meet other paddlers.
The Travo River Teacups section
We warmed up on two sections on the Tavignanu. Following this we paddled sections on the Vechio and Golo. Our favourite sections were on the Fium Orbo where we found some of the cleanest drops of the trip. The Travo has some nice drops but a lot of chossy water. This can only be kayaked on Mondays and Fridays due to fishing access. Other sections with some awesome slides are the Taravo and Codi, however these are on the west coast of the Island.
Along with the classic sections there are lots of side streams with clean waterfalls that are worth exploring. If you don’t look you wont find…..
Corsica is a great place to go kayaking. Its has warm weather, friendly people, good kayaking, good wine and food. It’s a great place to escape from the final few weeks of the British winter. The only downside is the river sections can be long with a mixture of nice drops and chossy boulder gardens. The nature of the rock structure means siphons and undercuts are common so care and safety must be taken. But with this knowledge and good guidance it is an amzing place to take a kayak to.
Review by Matty Nicholas and Sal Montgomery.
Photos by Matty Nicholas, Sal Montgomery and Kester Gunn.