As you take the scenic Corniche road leading from Bastia, the second village you discover is that of San Martino di Lota situated on the East Coast of the Cap Corse. Often referred to as the eagle nest, it boasts views over Elba and the Tuscan archipelago. A small and typically Corsican village, it is also a great base from which to explore the untamed and exceptionally beautiful Cap Corse region.
Plage de Pietracorbara
The sandy beach at Pietracorbara, 9 km north of Erbalunga offers clear waters, a café and a water sports centre with canoeing, windsurfing and sailing all available for both adults and children.
Plage de Porticciolo
Just 15 minutes north of Erbalunga 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.
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
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 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.
Bastia is one of Corsica’s most successful commercial towns and known as the capital of Haute Corse. It is overlooked by the honey coloured Citadel and bustles with harbour side 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.
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.
There is a horse riding centre in Erbalunga for those with some experience, offering treks into the mountains and on to the sandy beaches further up the coast, from 1 hour to a day in duration.