This tour takes in the picturesque mountain villages of Corsica’s Balagne region, which is famous for its olive groves and fruit orchards. First up, you’ll pass through the ancient village of Calenzana, with its views of Calvi Bay, the Genoese towers of Caldanu and Spano, and the Monte Grosso mountains. From here, it’s on to the villages of Zilia, Cassano and Lughignono, before making tracks for Col de Salvi and Cateri. Cateri is particularly good-looking, with its balcony-clad houses and 12th-century chapel. Then it’s on to Sant Antonino, one of the oldest villages in Corsica. There’s some free time here, so you’ll get to explore the winding lanes, stepped alleyways and stone houses that spill down the hillside. You’ll then drive on passing through the village of Ile Rousse and, finally, Lumio. In ancient times, this place was at the centre of sun-worshipping cult activity.
This guided driving tour takes you through Corsica’s picturesque Balagne region, which is overflowing with olive groves, fruit orchards and velvet green hills. You’ll set off towards Notre Dame de la Serra, an 18th-century chapel that offers up sweeping views of the mountains and Calvi below. You can get off the bus for a photo stop, before continuing past wind-whipped bays and beaches. Next, you’ll venture through the countryside. As you pass the ruins of an ancient silver mine, keep an eye out for the Genoese tower where Prince Bonaparte built his hunting pavilion in 1852, and try to spot the Capo Tondo or ‘Round Mountain’ on the way. Driving on, you’ll pass close by to the coastal wildlife reserve of Scandola, where you’ll come across the Balagne Deserte – a deserted region of red rock that’s smothered in greenery. Nearby, you can see the Cirque de Bonifato – a dense forest filled with evergreens and pines. A relaxing tour and complete scenic treat!
This guided walking tour gives you the lowdown on Calvi’s past, from its origins as a quaint fishing village and its century spent as a Genoese stronghold, to how it emerged as the trendy hotspot it is today. After setting off from the pier, you’ll head for the citadel, which is perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking the port. You’ll pass through the drawbridge and stop to admire the sweeping views, before heading for the Place d’Armes and the 13th-century Cathedral St John Baptiste, which dominates the main square. Next on the agenda is the former home of Calvi’s most famous resident, Christopher Columbus. Then it’s over to the enormous Caserne Sampiero, which used to be the governor’s palace. It dates back to the 13th century and, in those days, the castle’s tower was used as a dungeon. Next up, you’ll visit the Oratoire St Antoine Church, with its graceful granite carvings, before moving on to the city’s ancient ramparts and the Ville Basse – the lower part of Calvi. Last but not least, you’ll take in a very different face of the town – the Quay Landry. Its sleek marina, boutiques and café-lined promenade attract a well-heeled crowd.
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