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Top 10 Things to Do in Calvi without a car

Updated on May 30, 2024 by Kathryn Burrington

Blog > Top 10 Things to Do in Calvi without a car

With beautiful beaches, concerts, boat trips and walks through the cobbled alleyways of the citadel, there's plenty to do in Calvi without needing a car.

The best way to explore the island of Corsica is without doubt by car, or by bicycle if you're one of the rare breed of outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy almost vertical, tortuous uphill climbs and many a hairpin bend. If you're wondering where to stay in Corsica without a car, towns like Calvi and L’Ile Rousse in la Balagne are the perfect choice. If driving while on holiday is not for you, here are 10 wonderful ways to explore Calvi and the surrounding area without a car.


Top Ten Things to Do in and around Calvi, Corsica

1. Explore the citadel

The majestic citadel, which stands guard over the town and the luxury yacht-filled harbour, is well worth the climb through twisting cobbled lanes. You’ll be rewarded with glorious views in every direction. There are also some great places to eat here including lovely little cafés, the perfect pit stop for a slice of homemade cake, as well as several excellent restaurants and the chic (but rather expensive) ​Chez Tao bar.

Things to do in Calvi, Corsica, France

If you stay in our citadel apartment, Casa Anna, you'll have all this right on your doorstep.


2. Take a boat ride to Girolata & the Scandola Nature Reserve

For a view of the citadel and Calvi Bay from the sea, hop on a boat ride to Girolata and the surrounding nature reserve. Girolata is a charming little village, only accessible by boat or via a long mule track down the hillside. It gets rather busy when you stop off for lunch but there are some lovely little restaurants there. And both as you arrive and leave the village, you’ll have plenty of time to admire the reserve, with its dramatic red cliffs rising up out of the sea.


3. Grab a picnic and relax on the beach

As well as a large supermarket, you’ll find some smaller ones around the town, but our favourite place to pick up some local charcuterie, grapes, cheeses and some seriously good pastries is Au marché de l'Orée des Pins on Avenue Christopher Colomb, opposite the turning for Route de Pietra Maggiore. And it’s just a couple of minutes’ walk from the beach.


4. Water sports in the bay

There are also plenty of water sport activities on top of the waves too, including windsurfing, kayaking and sailing - all wonderful ways to admire Calvi from the water.

Things to do in Calvi, Corsica, France


5. Try some scuba diving 

Corsica is a wonderful place for the diving enthusiasts, and there are a number of scuba diving schools in Calvi including Diving Calvi A Piaghja and Calvi Plongee. Even if scuba diving isn’t for you, it’s worth taking a snorkel and flippers to discover the world beneath the waves.


6. Buy a gelato by the marina

On Quai Landry, there are a couple of ice-cream parlours where, for a few euros, you can have a large scoop of the ‘chocolat noir’ or a myriad of other flavours in a cone. Enjoy your gelato as you stroll along the marina, or take a seat an enjoy a spot of people-watching.

Things to do in Calvi, Corsica


7. Climb up to Notre Dame de la Serra

On top of the hillside that forms a backdrop to Calvi is the little chapel of Notre Dame de la Serra. It’s well worth the climb for the reward you'll receive at the top – a magnificent view of the sweeping bay of Calvi. Be sure to take plenty of water, sun cream, a hat and do wear a comfortable pair of walking boots. A local legend says that if you take the love of your life to admire the view here, you will spend many happy years together.

Where to stay in Corsica without a car? Calvi or L'Ile Rousse

Several footpaths lead here which are marked on Google maps.


8. Catch the train to the seaside village of Algajola

The rickety train ride from Calvi along the coast is worth doing for the views alone. The charming village of Algajola is about 25 minutes along the track. It has a huge stretch of sandy beach, known as Aregno Plage, some lovely restaurants and a small citadel too.


9. Catch a train to the town of L’Ile Rousse

The train continues for another 20 minutes to the picturesque town of L’Ile Rousse; a must see for any visitor. The town square has some wonderful pavement cafes and every morning there's an aromatic food market just north of the square – a great place to pick up something for a picnic lunch or some edible souvenirs.

Where to stay in Corsica without a car? Calvi or L'Ile Rousse


What’s more, it's just a couple of minutes stroll to the wonderful beach of L’Ile Rousse, where the water is the clearest you could hope to find anywhere.


10. Concert in the Cathedral

Music fans will enjoy the concerts often held in Calvi Cathedral in the centre of the citadel and also sometimes in the nearby Oratoria. Look out for posters or ask at the tourist information office by the marina to find out what's going on while you're in Corsica.


If we've tempted you to visit Calvi, you'll find a wonderful range of apartments, villas and hotels in and around Calvi on our website. I think you'll agree, there's plenty to do in Calvi without the need to hire a car (or bicycle!). You can also find out more about the resort using our online guide


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