Picture a brilliant blue sky, snow-capped mountains, shimmering waves, glistening sand beaches and a palm-lined harbour full of lively restaurants and bars – this is Calvi.
It’s a fantastic place to visit and, one of the great joys is that you can stay there. For those after a location with spectacular sea views and, enjoy history and culture, it’s hard to beat. And, being a unique and very special to stay I was naturally thrilled to see some of our holiday accommodation on offer this summer.
View from the scenic heights of Calvi Citadel.
Calvi’s grand, 13th-century citadel can be seen from all around. Standing proudly on its headland, perched above the town, it’s a remarkable example of Corsica’s architectural and cultural heritage. Just a five-minute walk from the town centre, we follow the steps up and narrow cobbled streets that wind around résidences and apartments, passing by the Cathédrale Saint Jean-Baptiste. Built in classically Baroque style, it’s also the home of several beautiful works of art and well worth a tour. Passing by a health food bistro serving a selection of light snacks and vegan and vegetarian salads we pause at its grand panorama facing out to sea.
First up is a visit to Casa Anna. Close to the Cathédrale St Jean de Baptiste and the old Governor's Palace, right in the heart of the citadel, Casa Anna is a spacious second-floor apartment. It’s situated at one of the highest points, accessed off the street through large wooden doors. Flinging open the door, we head straight to the windows to take in its views across the bay. This, unsurprisingly, became an instant reaction to each apartment viewing – the scenic draw is simply breathtaking! Spacious and light, furnished in colourful Mediterranean hues with whitewashed walls and many original features, this beautiful apartment is well equipped for four.
Next up – Studio Castille, a stunning one-bedroom apartment, and a great romantic option for two. It’s equipped with everything you need and, once again, more mesmerising sea views across Calvi. We were met by the friendly owners and treated to the prime viewing spot on its full-width balcony, where we enjoyed coffee and shared great enthusiasm for its sought-after setting. Inside it’s tastefully furnished with a real home-from-home feel. Personal touches include a collection of the owner’s favourite books and CDs, as well as plenty of guidebooks and maps to help you explore the local area.
There’s free car parking with accommodation too, for those who have car hire, though driving up the narrow road, can be a little daunting first time round. Heading off along the ramparts we pause for a quick refreshment at La Voûte, a lovely little bistro and bar, providing a perfect stop off on the way down. Posters for an evening of polyphonic singing within the citadel catch our eye – just one of the several events held within the citadel. This traditional performance from soulful choristers and soloists is a great attraction to visitors.
As we leave, the citadel’s alleyways and descending streets we arrive at Hôtel Kasano. This brand new, four-star hotel opened in April 2022. Occupying a fabulous location, right at the base of the citadel, perched on the rocky promontory that embraces the bay of Cavi, it offers first class accommodation and fantastic facilities. There’s free underground car parking too – a unique offering for a central location. Stylish and contemporary, its 40 guest rooms are beautifully furnished with designer fabrics and luxury fittings. Some are designed specifically with young families in mind. Each has a balcony or terrace and views of the citadel, the sea or the infinity pool. Massage and a range of beauty treatments are available within its spa and there’s a hammam and a sauna plus a fitness room too. You will be hard pressed to find a more convenient hotel location, with Calvi’s shops, cafes and restaurants and lively marina just steps away.
Hôtel Kasano room
A five-minute walk away and we arrive at La Porteuse d’Eau – a large two-bedroom apartment with a balcony, perfect for soaking up the sea views and town. Named after the nearby 20th century granite statue of a water carrier that pays tribute to the history of Corsican women, La Porteuse offers a great base for families and friends with modern and comfortable styling and shops and restaurants on the doorstep.
Hôtel Acquale, is a further welcoming four-star option within the heart of Calvi. It’s just a stone’s throw from the promenade, Quai Landry, and the beach. Having undergone refurbishment its choice of rooms and suites provide luxury living. A heated outdoor pool, a new on-site gym and Thalassa spa are among its additions plus, a brand-new roof top bar with a bird’s eye view over Calvi, giving it the extra wow factor.
In recent years, Calvi has reinvented itself as Corsica’s cultural capital and its summer music festivals, including 'Calvi on the Rocks' in July and 'Rencontres de Chants Polyphoniques' in September, are back! Whether you are meandering along the old, cobbled streets of the citadel or having a drink in a café on the Quai Landry, Calvi will leave you refreshed and inspired to see more of this beautiful island. And for those who want to see more, hop on Calvi’s coastal train and see the many beaches nearby. You can beach hop to L'Ile Rousse and return in the evening as the sun goes down to watch the magical glow while the citadel, once again, stands proudly in full view.