Gorges de la Restonica
Gorges de la Restonica

Gorges de la Restonica isone of the most scenic roads of Corsica

Gorges de la Restonica is one of the most scenic highlights of Corsica, France. Located to the south of Corte, the river arises in 1,711m from height in the lake of Melo in the Massif of Rotondo. If you have any anxiety about driving, don’t go. That is a difficult drive and a popular destination. It gets really narrow very often.

The road to reach the gorges is called D623. It’s asphalted with a dead-end. At the top of the Restonica Valley, leave your car in the parking area. A two-hour climb will take you to Lac de Mélo, a trout-filled mountain lake 6,528 feet above sea level. Another hour up is the usually snow-bordered Lac de Capitello. 
Starting from Corte, the ascent is 14.9 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 960 meters. The average percentage is 6.4 %. Note that because the mountains are high (several here are over 2000 metres) many of the mountain lakes remain frozen outside the summer season.  Due to its beauty and accessibility, the Restonica Valley is very popular with visitors to the island, and the road from Corte to the Bergeries de Grotelle (where visitors park) can become very busy in high season. With its glacier-moulded rocks and deep pools it is one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in Corsica.
The journey offers an exhilarating driving experience, with superb views. The drive is not easy, but the views are magnificent. An incredible journey, an unforgettable experience. It is a winding road offering stunning views at every turn. This is definitely one road trip that you want to record with lots of photographs. There are lots of viewpoints, official and unofficial. This place offers a magnificent panoramic view of the surrounding mountains and is the departure point for hikes. The road is a delight to drive, with every kind of twist and turn. As you drive along the road (which follows the river) you will find restaurants and car parks to start walking or enjoy a refreshing swim.

Drive with care as this is a mountain road with dangerous dropoffs. For most of the drive, the road is not very wide. The road is very narrow in some sections. There is little room for error on this road. Sometimes, when the gorge walls get closer, the roads is much more narrow, with a dramatic drop on one side. And sometimes the road is not much wider than a car. The drive will take some skill, some patience, and some tolerance for vertigo. Large vehicles (more than 4.5 metres long or more than 1.9 metres wide) are not allowed on the final part of the road, and traffic levels on the road can be restricted in high season.


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