High mountain trek at lakes Melo and Capitello in Corsica

Mountain range, region / State

Korsické Alpy / France



28. 05. 2013


2 / 5


↑ 735 m

↓ 735 m


6.8 km

4 hours


max. 1940 m n.m.

min. 1382 m n.m.

Elevation profile of the route

Meters climbed: 735 m
Dismal metres: 735 m

The breathtaking mountain lakes of Melo and Capitello in Corsica

Starting point

The start of this short mountain hike begins in the car park of the Bergerie de Grotelle bar, located at the end of the D623 road from Corte towards the south-west.

Description of the hike

The path from the car park is well marked, you cannot get lost here. From the car park, head southwest along the yellow sign towards lakes Melo and Capitello. The hike goes through the Restonica valley, where the river of the same name flows. For the first kilometre you will follow the right side of the valley, with the river on your left.

Shortly after the sheepfold, the yellow marker bends to the left to cross the Restonica stream, after crossing the stream you follow the left side of the valley. From here you will reach Lake Melo without any problems. However, you can also take the other route, where you do not cross Restonica and still follow the right side of the valley.

The hike on the right side of the valley is a bit more sporty, chains and ladders await you here (photo). From Lake Melo, you will then reach Lake Capitello in a westerly direction, where the trail goes over a rocky rise of 200 meters in altitude.

There can be a slightly adrenaline-pumping traverse (photo) on a ledge (be very careful) almost at Lake Capitello when snow is falling. The whole trek is well marked with yellow signs and camel men. The return trip follows the same route as the ascent.


This one-day trek is less demanding due to its low elevation and short walking distance. The only difficult spots are the chains and the ladder below Lake Melo. Even during the summer months, there can be a small layer of snow, which makes movement a little more difficult - especially when crossing from Lake Melo to Lake Capitello on the traverse along a narrow ledge.

Water availability

It is a good idea to buy water for the hike either directly in the Corte from which you will start or in the parking lot of the Bergerie de Grotelle bar. During the trek, it is then possible to take water flowing directly from the lakes. It should be clean and drinkable water, however, due to the marked number of tourists in the summer time, drinking from the La Restoncia river is not recommended.

Mountain peaks

From Lake Capitello you can see the mighty Monte Rotondo 2,622 m above sea level and above Lake Capu and Sorbi 2,267 m above sea level.


The only danger may be the summer snow, which will make the whole trek a bit more challenging. In the more exposed parts of the transition from Lake Melo to Lake Capitello, the difference between snow and no snow is quite noticeable. Especially when crossing the rock step, the snow on the rocks is dangerous and slippery.


Food on this one-day trek can only be done with chocolate or energy bars or sandwiches. This is not a long trek where you would use a cooker.


This short mountain hike to Lakes Mělo and Capitello is particularly popular with mountain hikers due to its accessibility to the stunning high mountain lakes. It's less than 16 km from Corte, a 30-minute drive. Also, the low elevation and the low difficulty of the hike (to Lake Melo) are good reasons for many to undertake this beautiful mountain hike.

Lake Melo is regularly stocked with trout, which is the responsibility of the Corsica National Park Authority. Both lakes are very cold all year round, Capitello is even frozen 8 months of the year and its temperature never exceeds 14°C.

Posted by: 18. 03. 2017
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