The Island’s Rivers : part 1

‘Fiume di Corsica’
Patrimoniu di Corsica rivers Strictly speaking, Corsica has no river; it is actually an inconsistent river ‘flow’. The multitude of these rivers have provided and still provide, the bulk of drinking water to the inhabitants of the island.

These rivers are naturally bordered with idyllic places, and where one can swim during the hot season. Their sources derive from the mountain ranges that cross from one side of the island to the other, and for the most part, from one of the high altitude lakes; each of them running in the direction of a determined slope, to the western Mediterranean or the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Now, listing from north to south and according to their place of arrival:

– Ostriconi, Figarella, Fango, Porto, Liamone, Gravona, Prunelli Taravo, Rizzanese Ortolo, flowing towards the west and therefore in the western Mediterranean.

– Golo, Bravona, Fium’alto, Tavignano, Fium’orbo, Travo and Stabacco towards the east (Italy), therefore in the Tyrrhenian Sea.


Major rivers:


Springing from the Monte Asco, with a length of 23.2km, and from the slopes of Monte Pozzo di Reghia (1469m), at an altitude of 1050m and in the municipality of Pietralba – between the Branca ravine and the Sossa stream. It flows from the Southeast to the Northwest, thus creating a valley named ‘Paesi d’Ostriconi’, located between the regions of the Nebbiu and Giunssani, going through the Ostriconi valley (giving it its’ name), to then flow into the sea in the municipality of Palasca, in Peraiola cove on the western side of the Agriates desert, between Ile Rousse and Saint Florent.


With a length of 24km, and starting from the Punta di A Muvrella mountain (2148m) in the Niolo. It flows through the forest of Bonifatu, and at a place called Frassigna it becomes a river – the riverbed widens, showing boulders of pink granite throughout the valley. Crossing the Balagne region, it joins the Mediterranean in the Gulf of Calvi.


Finding its’ source at nearly 2500m above sea level, on the slopes of Monte Cinto in the Niolo and on the western side of Capo Tafonato, at about 2000m above sea level, in the district of Albertacce. The mouth of this river  belongs to the nature reserve of the Valley of the Fango Riciniccia, belonging to the municipality of Galéria. It has fifteen refereced tributaries and stretches 23.6km.


Comes into existence around Cristinacce, where it is called the San Petru stream, and at 1600m above sea level, near Capu a Rughia (1712m) and Bocca San Pedru on the GR20 – with a length of 23.6m. It moves rapidly towards the west, feeding on tiny water resurgence in the heart of the Aitone forest (from the snow), and is one of the smaller rivers here in Corsica. At the Gulf of Porto, it flows into the sea, and has nineteen referenced tributaries.


With higher elevations in the centre of the island (source being at the Monte Retto), it comes from the same massif as our previous river. Monte Retto being on the western slope of the Monte Cimatella (2099m) in the municipality of Letia (altitude: 1850m) – 40.9km in length. With a more extended flow, the upper part forms the Piscia waterfall (altitude between 514-546m). And after an impetuous course, it flows into the Gulf of Sagone, in the centre of a beach, between the towns of Coggia and Casaglione. From a historical point of view, the Liamone gave its’ name to the south of Corsica, whereas the Golo gave his to the north of the island.


Originating at the Monte Renoso (2110m), in the municipality of Bocognano – crossing parts of the Vizzavona forest, taking a south west direction and after 46.5km throws herself into the Prunelli river, crossing the forest to finally jump into the sea, in the centre of the gulf, south of Ajaccio.


Springs from the south of the Monte Renoso, in the waters of Lake Vitalacca, at an altitude of 2085m, crossing a forest in Bastelicaccia to finally end its’ race, after 44.43km in the Gulf of Ajaccio – to be noted, it is one of the sources of drinking water on the island.

Particuarity: the Prunelli and the Gravona meet at around 200m from the sea, between Ajaccio airport (Campo del Oro), and the Capitello Tower – and they have the same mouth.


As the name suggests, it is from the Upper Taravo region, from the slopes of the Monte Grosso. Finding its’ source from the north of the Monte Grosso (1895m) at almost 1580m above sea level, in the municipality of Palneca, in the Flasca forest. It then runs through the island into the Valinco Gulf. From the Verde pass, to its’ mouth in the Valinco Gulf, the river literally ‘carves’ a valley of 65.4km – an area of natural beauty and heritage, to end up near a Genoese tower: the tower of Micalona. Forty-one referenced contributors.


The source can be found at the Monte Incudine, in the Alta Rocca, between Punta di Quercitella (1461m) and the Bocca di Castelluciu (1411m), at the Taculaghja (955m) and in the municipality of Zonza. Flowing directly into the Mediterranean Sea, after 44.1km in the Gulf of Valinco (Propriano). There are twenty-four referenced tributaries.
Source: Patrimoniu di Corsica ©

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