The Balagne

The Balagne

Duration of the trip by car: 5 hours

Distance: 151 km

Accessibility of the road network: any vehicle

Tourist offices:
Calvi +33(0)4 95 65 16 67

Tourist Board:
Île-Rousse +33(0)4 95 35 40 34

Tourist Board:
Macinaggio +33(0)4 95 35 40 34

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The gentle and majestic Balagne Valley, which dominates one of the most beautiful bays in the Mediterranean, would like to inspire poets. The hills covered with olive trees, decorated with lemon, orange and fig trees, have long symbolized the "Garden of Corsica" and testify to the mild climate. The Balagne is famous for its two towns, Calvi and Île-Rousse, and is also home to splendid villages surrounded by orchards and vineyards that have come together to present their heritage and promote their traditions. This is how the "Balagne Craftsmen's Road" was born: a tour of the most beautiful villages to discover traditional crafts such as cutlers, beekeepers, olive growers, ceramists, etc....

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After 1h30 pleasant drive (new axis especially straight and wide for Corsica!) from the campsite on the N193, then N197 from Ponte Leccia, you reach Île-Rousse. There you cross the city towards the small commercial port to reach the emblematic island of the city. This island is not really an island as it is connected to the city by a pier that protects the port. It consists of red ochre rocks carved with cells. This small and very mineral universe is the subject of a walk to discover the old Genoese tower and the lighthouse. In the centre of the city, La Paoli, lined by plane trees and cafés in the shade, is the liveliest place.

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Two kilometres from the Île-Rousse exit, turn left onto the D151, which will take you to Calvi via the most picturesque villages in the region: Aregno, from there you can take the D413 to San Antonio, because this village offers a panoramic view of the Regino valley, the hilly landscape from Belgodère to Lumio, the high mountains, the Algajola basin and the sea. Its harmonious maze of narrow streets is home to the rebirth of Corsican craftsmanship.

Then it goes down to Cateri, Cassano, Zilla, known for its spring water, and finally to Calenzana.
Calvi, the capital of the Balgne, is a Genoese town proud of its bright bay in mountainous surroundings. It is one of the most beautiful sea areas in Corsica. Located on the promontory, between the Gulf of Calvi and the Gulf of Révellata, the Citadel builds the ochre walls of its mighty bastion above the lower town and the port, where it is pleasant to stroll.

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Chapel Notre-dame de la Serra
This chapel was built between 1850 and 1860 on the ruins of a 15th century sanctuary that was destroyed during the siege of Calvis by the English in 1794. Take the D81 towards Galéria. After 4 km on the left, a small road leads you to the chapel. From the top of its enclosure there is a splendid view of the citadel of Calvi, the Mediterranean coast and the surrounding mountains.

The Corsican olive trees, destroyed mainly by the frost of 1956, are sometimes centuries old. Oliu di Corsica, the Corsican olive oil AOC is produced only with old varieties. The fruits, which are harvested at an advanced stage of ripeness and thus eliminate most of their bitterness, give this oil a great sweetness. Corsican oils offer the same variety as oenological science.

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