Set amidst a blanket of olive, orange and lemon orchards that set down to the sea, sits the hillside village of Aregno. This village is famous for its almond festival, which takes place every August and, it is a great starting point to explore the perched villages of la Balagne and their awe-inspiring views. Drive down from the hills and discover the beach of Aregno, a superb curve of golden sand and crystal clear water.
This beach is a kilometre-long curve of coarse sand beneath a picturesque Genoese citadel. During the months of July & August, the beach is extremely busy, but out of high season, you can have this beach pretty much all to yourself!
East of Sant’Ambroggio lies Bodri Plage, an unspoilt beach reached by a walk through the maquis and over the railway line. The walk is worth it, as the beach has almost white sand and a turquoise sea.
Foire de l’Amandier in Aregno
Since 1997, Aregno has played host to Corsicas only Almond festival. Held at the beginning of August, nut farmers and their families travel from all over the island to take part in the cooking competitions.
Festivoce in Pigna
Held early August, this festival provides a forum for long nights of traditional a cappella singing in the outdoor amphitheatre.
Calvi Jazz Festival
Held in late June, this festival consists of a week of concerts in and around the citadel. Those in the music tent on the port or in the cathedral in the citadel are usually very popular and well known and require you to book a ticket. Jamming sessions in the harbour front bars in the evenings add to the ambiance.
At the end of October, on Calvi beach, this festival celebrates everything connected with wind. Hundreds of kites and microlight aircraft displays on the beach coupled with concerts every evening has resulted in this festival attractive thousands of visitors every year.
THINGS TO SEE & DO
The pretty blue shuttered village of Pigna is well worth a visit, just 2km from Aregno, its home to some fabulous craft shops and the irresistible setting to the Festivoce, a festival of Corsican polyphony.
Midway between Calvi & L’lle Rousse Algajola is Balagne’s 3rd largest resort. It is a considerably quieter than its more famous neighbours and consists of just one street, which begins alongside Aregno beach and leads up to the Algajola Citadelle. It is situated on the main bus and train routes between Bastia and Calvi, so is very well connected by public transport, and has a regular service in both directions.
Le Chariot Restaurant, Algajola
A must visit restaurant in Algajola. With such an amazing Mediterranean feel, and serving some of the best pizzas you will find on the island.
Strada di l’Artigiani
Follow the craft trail “Strada di l’Artigiani” through the villages of la Balagne and sample the local specialities en route.
Visit Calvi Town & The Citadel
Calvi Towns social life focuses on the many restaurants and cafés of the quai landry which is a large seafront walkway that links the marina and the port effortlessly. To get the best possible feel of the town, this is the place to be! A walk up through the narrow passageways off quai landry will take you to rue Clemenceau where you will find an array of restaurants and souvenir shops plenty. Further walking will present the Ste-Marie-Majeure, built in 1774.
Calvi – L’lle Rousse by train
This regular service allows you to explore the coastline to the east of Calvi, stopping at all of the beaches en route, which means you can jump on in Algajola and travel in either direction! The line built in the 1880’s and 1890’s hugging the coast is undoubtedly one of the worlds most scenic railways. The complete journey takes approx 50 minutes, and depending on the time of year travelling, there are between 5 and 10 return journeys a day.