Monday, June 22, 2009


A walk in the Balagne

When we were here in March we discovered that we could walk from our apartment in Quartier Salduccio to the old chapel of St Peter and St Paul just south of Lumio (illustrated). Today, we decided to explore further and created our own 10km walk which I can recommend to you.

Turn left off the Balanina road just south of Lumio and go towards Quartier Salduccio. After the first crossroads, the little road turns very sharply left after a few hundred metres and comes to a halt altogether in another 100m. This is where the walk starts.

We followed the footpath that continues north along the same direction as the road through shady woodland. The path is well marked. In spring, the ground near the path can be a little damp and is covered in spring flowers and delicate pink orchids; in June the grass (and the path) is bone dry and everything is golden.

In about a quarter of an hour the track becomes a paved road again, and we enjoyed a welcome coffee from our flask on the wall of the little cemetery surrounding the ancient chapel of St Peter and St Paul – a building dating from the 11th century.

After a welcome break we turned right towards the vineyard of Etienne Suzzoni’s Clos Columbu, which we reached in another 15 minutes. Here we enjoyed a glass of one of the best rosés in the Balagne (and weighed down our rucksacks by buying two bottles!) then returned the way we’d come along the lane back to the chapel.

On reaching the chapel we turned right, and where the road turns sharply left to rejoin the Balanina, we continued straight on along a track towards the village of Lumio. We had an excellent sandwich and some liquid refreshment at the Café a Mossa in Lumio, then retraced our path past the chapel and back to Salduccio.

The countryside is a riot of green and gold at this time of year. The bright green of the trees contrasts with the burnt gold of the dry grasses that line the paths. Butterflies of all imaginable hues, cheeky lizards, grasshoppers and tiny red and black beetles were talking points. Otherwise, all was quiet, sunny and peaceful - what a wonderful way to spend four hours on a warm and sunny day in the Balagne in June.

always enjoy your posts...cheeky lizards! :)
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