Visiting the Agriates desert: our guide
The Agriates desert is so called because of its arid climate, very different from the rest of the Corsican area. It consists of 40 kilometers of sandy expanse surrounded by a coast with unspoilt vegetation. Rocky cliffs pierce the sand in places and you can see small ponds scattered everywhere. The desert is uninhabited (except the road log), but it was cultivated with heather, cistus, myrtles, olive trees, oak and maritime pines in the 20th century. It is therefore quite naturally in this preserved natural environment that many species have found refuge. As part of a stay in Corsica, we advise you to discover the site in order to immerse yourself in the wild aspect of the island of beauty. However, to visit the Agriates desert, our guide will be useful.
Discover the Agriates desert
The desert of Agriates is located in the north of the island and covers a total area of 15,000 hectares, cleverly positioned between sea and mountains. It is a wild and natural ensemble that mixes maquis, streams and rocky ridges. Previously cultivated and used for transhumance, it has now been deserted and protected by the Coastal Conservatory since 1979. The Agriates desert is today a high place for Corsican tourism and it is possible to take different ways to visit it.
The village of Casta, located in the Agriates desert is the only one to be inhabited: 22 kilometers of wild beaches and no paved roads for total and magical immersion. To cross the site, take “ the coastal path ” (or coastal path) is recommended. The desert of Agriates also lists the most beautiful beaches in Corsica, in particular that of Saleccia. Here are the various ways to visit the site.
Visit the Agriates desert by road
It is possible to visit the Agriates desert by car, motorbike or 4×4 by taking the only road that crosses the site. This is the D81 which will take you to discover its high peaks. A beautiful road on which it is pleasant to drive and where you can easily park in places to admire a viewpoint or take photos.
By motorbike you will have even more freedom, because less subject to traffic problems. A memorable one-on-one between you and the nature of the site. However, if you are traveling alone, we advise you to bring a GPS so as not to get lost on the isolated and tortuous paths. A 4×4 can be a good option as part of a group excursion, as this type of vehicle will allow you to leave the main road.
Explore the Agriates desert on foot
Many hikers choose Corsica as their destination. It’s not surprising when you know that the island is renowned for having the most beautiful panoramas and hiking trails in France. It is therefore possible to walk the Agriates desert on foot by taking the inland or coastal path. The opportunity to go from beach to beach (beach of Lotu, Saleccia, Roya or Ostriconi).
You can also stop near the old sheepfolds, numerous in the area. The possibilities of hiking are numerous and you will easily find one that will meet your expectations in terms of duration and difficulty. On the other hand, shade is scarce: in summer, remember to walk early in the morning and bring enough to drink to avoid feeling unwell.
Access the Agriates desert by sea
The desert of Agriates is best known for its breathtaking beaches. So what could be better than being able to access it by sea? It is possible to rent a boat to get to the most beautiful beaches in the area, such as Fiume Santo beach, Lotu beach and Saleccia beach. It is possible to start by sea from the port of Saint-Florent.
This can be done in a group of 12 people on an inflatable boat, and it takes less than half an hour to reach the beaches of the Agriates desert by sea. It is also possible to book a sailboat to take the tour while enjoying a meal on board and several stops so you can relax and swim in the turquoise waters that this excursion is famous for. It’s up to you to choose the mode of transport that best suits your desires and your personal situation!