The Gulf of Porto is a nature reserve, which is part of the Regional Natural Park of Corsica, occupying the Scandola peninsula, an impressive, porphyritic rock mass. The vegetation is an outstanding example of scrubland. Seagulls, cormorants and sea eagles can be found there. The clear waters, with their islets and inaccessible caves, host a rich marine life.
The Scandola Nature Reserve is located on the west coast of the French island of Corsica, within the Corsica Regional Park. The reserve was established in 1975. The park and reserve has been recognized by the United Nations as a Natural World Heritage Site, and was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1983. Also within the Gulf of Porto are the Calanques de Piana, the Corsican calanques located in Piana, between Ajaccio and Calvi, in the gulf of Porto. A calanque is a narrow, steep-walled inlet that is developed in limestone, dolomite, or other carbonate strata and found along the Mediterranean coast. A calanque is a steep-sided valley formed within karstic regions either by fluvial erosion or the collapse of the roof of a cave that has been subsequently partially submerged by a rise in sea level.
The Scandola Reserve is situated on the west coast of Corsica between Punta Muchillina and Punta Nera and includes Cape Girolata and Cape Porto. The reserve covers an area of 19.19 km2 of which 9.19 km2 is land and 10 km2 ihis sea. The reserve has two sectors, the Elpa Nera inlet and the peninsula of Scandola. The jagged and sheer cliffs contain many grottos and are flanked by numerous stacks and almost inaccessible islets and coves, such as Tuara. The coastline is also noted for its red cliffs, sand beaches, and headlands.
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