The small honey pot port of Erbalunga is the highlight of the east coast. It is famous for its good Friday procession known as the Cerca (search) which has evolved from an ancient fertility rite.
The ruins of the Genoese tower here are a popular subject choice for artists and photographers and the village is also a venue for music and arts festivals.
There is a good range of facilities including shops, cash dispenser machine, post office, bars and restaurants and a dive school at Sisco marina, slightly further north.
Plage de Porticciolo
The nearest beach to Erbalunga is the Plage de Porticciolo. Just 15 minutes north of the town lies a sandy beach near a small port which has turquoise sea and white sand. Its position means that it is rarely busy, and has a beautiful backdrop.
Plage de Farinole
Located past Patrimonio on the western side of the Cap Corse this is a fine sandy beach with a bar & restaurant, and which is generally not too busy. Please be aware that there are often some strong undercurrents and so it can be quite dangerous, especially when the sea is less than calm.
Plage de Nonza
This beach lies north of the village perched on its cliffs and appears black from there. It is in fact made up of green/grey pebbles, many of which are tinted black from asbestos waste, a result of the asbestos mining that previously took place near here. Locals use the beach (which is usually deserted due to its appearance). There are 260 steps leading down to the beach from the village but it is easier to drive to the far end of the beach.
The narrow road down to the golfe d’Aliso (just after the turn off for Luri) ends at a small, red, sandy beach.
Plage de Barcaggio
The most northern beach of the island is often windy but has lovely white sand.
Plage de Tamarone
Situated 2.5km north of Macinaggio at the end of a dirt road is the sandy and clean Plage de Tamarone that boasts deep and clear waters. Do not be surprised if the beach at Macinaggio itself is often covered with shelves of dead posidonia leaves as, although unattractive to wade through, they protect the coast from erosion and shelter the fish. From the car park here, various walks are marked which take you through Le Site Naturels de la Capandula. This reserve also includes the Islands off the coast, which you can see. There is a coastal walk (sentier des douaniers) leading to Barcaggio (3-4hours one way) and also a shorter 1hr 30min circuit that takes in many of the highlights and leads to a second beach Plage des Iles.
Fiera di u Vinu – Luri, July
A lively festival celebrating the wine produced in the Cap Corse region.
A Notte di a Memoria – The Releve du Gouverneur - Bastia, July
A re-enactment of the arrival of the French governor with a light and drum parade through the streets of the citadel.
Les Nuits de la Guitare – Patrimonio, July
Guitar festival with all genres: jazz, flamenco, blues, rock...
Porto Latino - St Florent, August
A hot Latin festival with nightly open-air concerts held in the citadel.
Festival de la Chanson/Corse Pascal Paoli – Furiani, August
Corsican singing concerts.
Festival de Musique – Erbalunga, August
Every type of music you can image from rock to salsa, blues to jazz.
THINGS TO SEE & DO
Worth visiting is Nonza, a flower-garnished slate roofed village, which seems to have sprouted from its craggy foundations. You can climb to the ruined tower for superb views or drive down to the beach which has black sand.
Many of the beaches in this area are shingle and snorkelling from the rocky promontaries is popular with the locals and tourists alike. However, the sandy beach at Pietracorbara 9 km north of Erbalunga offers clear waters, a cafe and a water sports centre with canoeing, windsurfing and sailing all available for both adults and children.
Capital of Haute Corse and just a 15 minute drive from Erbalunga is Bastia, a busy town with a population of 50,000, making it the second largest town on the island. The Place St Nicolas is a pleasant spot to soak up Bastia’s Mediterranean atmosphere and with its shady trees and cafes is the social hub of the town. The Boulevard Paoli and Rue Cesar Campinchi are the main shopping streets running parallel to the square. The old town lies south of Place St Nicolas and surrounds the old port which should not be missed. It is overlooked by the high honey-coloured Genoese Citadel (quite a climb) and bustles with harbourside bars and restaurants. Wander through the old streets behind the old port to find the Place du Marche where there is a local farmers market each morning and the church of St Jean Baptiste, Corsica's largest church is well worth a visit.
Spend a leisurely afternoon visiting a vineyard in the pretty village of Patrimonio, and tasting the superb wines. The Patrimonio region is most famous for its vineyards, much of Corsica’s best wine being produced in this area. You will find dozens of vineyards to visit and the proprietors are happy to welcome you and offer you their wines to sample. There is now a ‘route des vins’, which will lead you to all the vineyards. Just follow the brown road signs. Patrimonio church is of particular interest and its setting is beautiful. A menhir statue was found in one of the vineyards here, it has now been erected just below the church