Col de Vergio

The town Porto is, let's say  - in my opinion "understated". You have to look for it somewhere next to the road. But in spite of this - whichever direction you choose to approach Porto or leave it, you find an incredible, spectacular natural setting. That goes not only for the two routes along the coast, but also this one, which crosses to highest paved pass in Corsica. But even if it is the highest pass, the high point of this ride, for me was the limestone canyon that ends in Porto.

1.(40m,00.0km) START-END EAST: jct D81 - D84, east of Porto, at bridge over Riviere de Porto
2.(330m,06.2km) upper turnoff to Ota on D124 is on left
3.(924m,22.5km) right on D70 goes to Col de Sevi, profile stays left
4.(1467m,32.8km) TOP: Col de Vergio
5.(820m,56.8km) Caluccia and its lake on the right
6.(730m,59.3km)turnoff on left detours up Corscia
7.(350m,71.6km)START-END WEST ALT: turnoff on left goes to Col d'Arbitro. Next right goes to Castirla
8.(285m,77.6) START-END WEST: N193 - D84, north of Corte


From West.
So let's start with the high point, not elevation wise, but numbers of pictures taken-wise. On the other side of the canyon the town Ota appears halfway between a craggy limestone peak and the canyon below. I made a lot of use of my telephoto lens at this point. One can also ride a loop through Ota from Porto; for example: up direction Col de Vergio, descend into the canyon and return to Porto on the Ota side.

D84 slowly winds higher, crossing small but massive stone bridges periodically. Meanwhile wild pigs sleep by the roadside, tourists stopping to marvel at the landscape and the pigs, while clouds get tangled in the sharp limestone needles above. Slowly the road winds to the level of these coastal peaks. By the time Evisa is reached the peaks form a background against a wall of blue sea behind them. After Evisa the road enters quiet forest of old-growth high fir trees, and stays in this green tunnel till almost the summit.

On top is a curious monument, that apparently is supposed to be a portrayal of Jesus, if you believe what you read. Under it is enough parking space, to accommodate an entire sports car rally, several touring cyclists and a large variety of other visitors. Most everybody seems to comment on the fact, that the lake with its damn below on the east side is well visible, rather than on the somewhat bewildering, yet interesting statue at the summit. The GR20 hiking route also crosses the road here.


From East. (described downwards) The slope is gentle enough you hardly ever need brakes, even on a fully loaded touring bike. Below St Pancrace the wide open valley descends into a narrow limestone gorge and the road once again takes its surface between walls. But this time it stays close to the bottom of the canyon. The profile descends to the jct with N133. My own route turned off to Castirla shortly before.

A Day on a Tour with this point as highest summit:


(< Belvedere de Saliccio s(u) |  Col de Bigorno > )
Col de Vergio ,  Corscia s(u)-(sh):
Piana > Spelunca > Evisa > Col de Vergio > Calacuccia > Corscia > Pont de Castirla > Castirla: 57.4miles with 5807ft of climbing in 5:44hrs (VDO MC1.0 m4:14.5.20)

A Dayride from the starting point of this day, Piana, is on pags: Col de Sevi