The Mysterious Megaliths of Filitosa
Propriano, Corsica, France
- Sightseeing drive: Take in stunning vistas of grottos, jagged cliffs, and centuries-old fortifications along the Gulf of Valinco, as your guide shares stories and local history.
- The megaliths: Explore a site dating back at least 5,000 years, home to twenty menhirs, standing stones carved with human features, swords, and armor.
- The museum: See pottery and other artifacts that give tantalizing clues about the Neolithic civilization that created the standing stones, and what their purpose was.
About This Propriano Tour
In 1946, Charles-Antoine Cesari was walking in the heart of the 123 acres of land he farmed north of Propriano when he came across a quarry of scattered granite blocks with very distinctive human features. He had a feeling that his property had been occupied for longer than anyone realized, and he was right.
He had found Corsica's largest collection of anthropomorphic menhirs: huge standing stones that had clearly been carved and placed with a specific purpose in mind. It was another eight years before an archeologist arrived to examine the discovery, finding detailed depictions of faces, outlined ribcages, and weapons clearly visible on the surface of the six- to nine-foot tall pillars.
What wasn't clear was who created them, and why. Some archaeologists think that the statues were carved and planted in the ground as tributes to dead warriors and chieftains. Others conjecture that they were an ancient culture's way of cajoling the gods into keeping the land, and the women, fertile. (Evidence in the museum suggests that, with the rise of Christianity, the menhirs were destroyed as pagan artifacts.) It's possible that the columns represent an enemy tribe, and that they were erected to ward off invasion. If so, it was not an effective strategy. The invaders occupied the site and destroyed some of the stones, using the pieces to build their own temples and structures. Some of them still encircle a 2,000-year old olive tree.
Back to the Stone Age
The standing stones of Filitosa aren't that old in terms of Corsican history. It's possible that people crossed the strait from Sardinia around 9000 B.C., meaning it took about 7,000 years before anyone got around to megalith-making. Even that may be underestimating the arrival of Corsica's first visitors, some human bone fragments are said to be 20,000 years old.
Please exit the gangway to meet your guide. Please look for our displayed logo sign. Staying at a hotel? Be sure to advise the GoBe Crew so we can meet you in the lobby.
This tour offers independent exploration, giving you maximum flexibility to GoBe whatever and wherever you like at the archaeological site and museum, and for the amount of time you wish to spend.
Walking is at your own pace at Filitosa and the amount is at each person's discretion. However it is considered strenuous. Expect unpaved surfaces. If you have limited mobility or use a wheelchair, this tour may be too challenging for you.
Scenic, Cultural, Family Friendly, Transport Only
English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Japanese
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated strenuous. Travelers must consider their physical fitness level and medical history when determining whether this tour is appropriate. Travelers with pre-existing neck, back, knee and/or shoulder injuries, cardiac conditions, asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, other heart or respiratory conditions or any other medical condition must take particular caution when selecting a tour categorized as "strenuous". If you have concerns, you must consult with your personal physician before engaging in any activity that may be too strenuous for you.
Suitable for all ages.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
100 countries, 915 cities… limitless possibilities
All our tours are offered by expert local guides & operators
Head off the beaten path with our unique tours & activities
You can rely on our team of travel industry experts
Your order is subject to TourTrek's Booking Ticket Agreement, including all TourTrek and GoBe policies incorporated therein.
Have you been on this experience?
Write a Review
Fields marked are required.
Please enter your review.