Balagne: must-see around Calvi and Ile Rousse in France

Balagne is a region located in Haute-Corse, on the northwest coast of the Corsica (Island of Beauty). It is often divided in two by its typography, some in the East which main town is Ile-Rousse and in the West where Calvi is located. Between them, one begins to see the hills, from Monte Grossu to Capu of Occu. The most famous seaside resorts of Haute Corse are located in this region.

Map of seaside resorts in Balagne in Corsica

Map with the points of interest of Balagne in Corsica – Haute-Corse

Ostriconi beach in desert of Agriates in Corsica

The famous beach of the Ostriconi south of the desert of Agriates

Its landscapes attract many tourists, curious to discover the mountains and barren landscapes on the one hand, the borders with the desert of the Agriates where Ostriconi Beach is and the Fango Valley, the many resorts sharing a 40-kilometre coastline on the other hand. Further away, in the hinterland, small villages surrounded by orchards perpetuate the identity and the charm of Corsica.

Inhabited since prehistoric times, Balagne is a land of wealth and attractions to visit when strolling around. There remain, for example, a few castle ruins of the eleventh century, without forgetting the fortified cities of Calvi and Algajola founded by the Genoese since the thirteenth century.

Between Calenzana and Lumio, the villages of Pigna, San't Antonio, and Corbara are the first ones to come to mind. While the coastal part is very popular, the one nicknamed "the garden of Corsica", with orchards, fig trees and perched villages with small alleys also delight holidaymakers looking for authenticity. Many craftsmen have also settled here in order to perpetuate the Corsican traditions and a road to their name can be crossed, an opportunity to rediscover the traditions and local know-how.

Ile Rousse seen from the peninsula of Pietra

Ile Rousse seen from the peninsula of Pietra

One can also reach the small seaside resort of Ile Rousse where there are many beaches. Napoleon Beach is the most famous and the most popular.

Main beach in Ile Rousse - Napoleon

The main beach in Ile Rousse

The two most beautiful beaches in Ile Rousse are located in the south, Bodri Beach and Ghjunchitu Beach, two real oases.

Halles in Ile Rousse in Corsica

Halles in Ile Rousse

Located in the East, it was founded in 1758 but has been inhabited since the sixth century BC. It is connected to the mainland by a dike. From the Genoese tower to the lighthouse, Paoli Square and the market of the Halles, the ideal place to discover Corsican products, the place is romantic and very popular with tourists. Saleccia Park is located nearby and has a number of Mediterranean plants.

Bay of Lozari in the north of Ile Rousse in Corsica

The bay of Lozari in the north of Ile Rousse

Do not hesitate to stroll around; it is the opportunity to come across superb swimming areas in Lozari for example, or Belgodère, which offers a magnificent panorama. Speloncato is also worth visiting, the opportunity to climb the Col de la Bocca di A Battaglia and enjoy, the weather permitting, the view of the continent. It is a popular venue for athletes, including paragliding enthusiasts.

Fiscione and Reginu and their Genoese bridges are a must-see, as well as Pigna, which hosted many artists or the monastery of Corbara...

Algajola with its walled city in Corsica

Algajola with its walled city

But Balagne in the west is also full of wonders, including Lumio, from where one can reach the abandoned village of Occi, the panoramas of the Gulf of Calvi and the pretty Romanesque chapel of San Petru e San Paolo...

Hikers are familiar with the famous GR20 trail, which crosses the island in several stages. It ends (or begins) in Calenzana, which overlooks the Gulf. The village of Cateri offers a nice view over the Gulf of Algajola and is home to the oldest convent in Corsica, Marcasso, which is still active.

Do not miss Calvi! The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, which was built in the thirteenth century and of course the fortress, is among the must-see destinations.

Calvi Beach with the citadel

View of the citadel of Calvi from its beach

The wide Pinède Beach is family-oriented, with its gentle slopes and those of the peninsula of Revellata (Alga and Oscellucia) and Argentella in the bay of Crovani (20 km south of Calvi) are very pleasant.

Main beach in Galéria in Corsica

The main beach of the Gulf of Galeria

Galeria is a simple village between Porto and Calvi (one of the most beautiful on the island but also in the worst condition) and visitors enjoy going up the Fango Valley, a swimming paradise. There is also a great beach near the harbour. One can also stop in Manso, a small village where one can discover the natural wonders of the area.

The region of Balagne is a welcoming popular tourist destination. It offers wealth and authenticity, the diversity of its landscapes and traditions making it one of the friendliest Corsican destinations.

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