In the third part in review of my 2017 trip to Corsica, we begin in the marina and then go inland to explore the old streets of Corsica via a day trip to Citadel of Calvi.
Located in the Balagne region of north-west Corsica, is the port town of Calvi. As it is located right in the middle of a crest on the north-west part of the island, Calvi has nice views of the sea. Also, it is the major port for large cruise ships traveling to Corsica. Though it is not my favorite destination for a swim at the beach (try Porto Vecchio instead), or my favorite citadel (try Bonifacio) or my favorite scenery (try the Calanques of Piana), it is still a nice location to be able to see all three classic Corsican facets– sea views, citadel, and walk along the nice old cobble stone streets of the city.
So how do you start your day trip to Citadel of Calvi? Because of its location on the crest, start your visit in the Port de Plaisance, which is a friendly marina and an enjoyable place to view all of the cruise ships that come into port and the charming little ferries and boats too. There are a few shops and restaurants right along the crest, along with plenty of points to stop and take in the view and hopefully a nice photo too with the beautiful blue sea serving as your background.
Once you have finished exploring the marina and the beautiful views of the Mediterranean Sea, it is time to head inland to visit the actual citadel itself. The citadel sits high above the port in Calvi where you can observe it towering over all of the beautiful nature below. These pictures below are what it looks like when you look up from the bottom and view the towering citadel of Calvi above, with the addition of the amazing vintage race cars of course.
As you head away from that bright beautiful sea… it is time to take a walk through the town. There are a number of narrow cobble-stone streets seated at an incline that lead you further up the citadel to the heart of Calvi. Tucked between the old houses with distinct french windows, you will find lots of tourist shops, restaurants, and bars. Personally, my favorite part is actually taking a step away from the main streets crowded by tourists and walking down the smaller alleys that have been on the island for what feels like hundreds of years.
If exploring down these quiet alleys and sidewalks on your own is not your style, do not worry there are quite a number of points of interest for you to visit in Calvi. For example, sites in the actual Citadel include: the restored palace of the Genovese governor, and the remains of a house that is rumored to be the place where Christopher Columbus was born, although the original was destroyed in 1794. There is also the Cathédrale St-Jean-Baptiste — that was erected to hold a crucifix named Christ des Miracles which allegedly possess supernatural powers. Also don’t forget to look for the charming pink baroque Church of Saint-Marie with white columns, which I someone lost my photograph of.
If you find yourself traveling through this part of Corsica like I did, I would highly recommend taking the afternoon or early part of the evening to walk the streets, ideally via a day trip to citadel of Calvi and then try to catch the sunset over the crest in the marina. And if you are around in June, make sure to coordinate your trip with the annual jazz festival held every year in Calvi. Then it was time to say goodbye to this lovely little town and end our day trip to Citadel of Calvi by heading out for the next leg of the drive through this magical island with the lovely views of pristine nature.