This charming village is set in a beautiful hillside location with views out to sea, where it is believed that Christopher Columbus' mysterious mother was born. The village has a secluded feel with large, smart houses scattered around the zig-zag lanes down the hillside. Monticello village itself has a handful of restaurants and some sports facilities, all within a short drive of the coast.
The is a busy one! Hundreds of sunloungers and parasols belonging to the café restaurants line the beach. If you're prepared to wander you can generally find a quiet spot. Another benefit of its size is that it is generally patrolled. It's a fine yellow sand beach and the water is a gorgeous clear blue. There are good opportunities here for water sports.
Just west of L’Ile Rousse, Bodri Plage is an unspoilt beach, 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.
Baie de Giunchetu
A short walk further west, around the rocky Punta di Genebre you will find this beach. It is slightly less picturesque, but larger.
Festimare – L’Ile Rousse - May
A celebration of the sea. In addition to fish and seafood produce, there are many activities for children as well as scientific stands, competitions, exhibitions and workshops.
Calvi on the Rocks
This festival held in July is a youthful music and arts festival with a mix of electronic music and digital art and includes a concert each night in the citadel.
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
Available from Monticello, trekking through the Balagne hills and discovering the area’s true natural beauty.
L’Ile Rousse old town
Wander the streets and make sure you take a trip to the market held every morning in a majestic covered market place. The produce is local and fresh and includes fish, vegetables, local honey, charcuterie and cheeses. There are ample restaurants to choose from in the narrow streets and around the main square beneath the plane trees and the silver sand of L’Ile Rousse beach is very tempting.
'Le Petit Train'
For the young or the old take a trip on 'Le Petit Train' a tourist train of L’Ile Rousse which will show you the sites at a leisurely pace.
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.
For energetic music lovers, walk up to Notre Dame de la Serra to listen to the violinist playing in the chapel. At 216m above Calvi, you will also be rewarded with fabulous views across the bay below and don’t forget to take water, a hat and sun cream.
Each week held at the Cathédrale Saint Jean-Baptiste, which stands at the highest point of the Citadel you can experience Corsican Polyphonic singing with the concerts of “Chansons polyphoniques”
Taking a train journey is a delightful and different way to experience the varied and wonderful landscapes of Corsica.
L’lle Rousse - Calvi
This regular service allows you to explore the coastline to the west of L’lle Rousse, stopping at all of the beaches en route. 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.