It’s safe to say after two years of very limited travel opportunities, I was extremely excited to be given the chance to fly out to Corsica for my first visit to the island.
It was so nice seeing people travelling again, and it felt like life was back to normal! All we needed was our proof of vaccination, and we’d filled out a pre-departure form. We arrived at Bastia Airport, and once we’d collected our electric car, we set off towards Erbalunga, our first stop. Erbalunga is a tranquil fishing village, with narrow streets, and squares dotted with shops, bars and restaurants. This is a great place to stay for a couple of nights when touring the north of the island.
After spending some time in the village, carried on towards Calvi which approximately took two hours. We arrived at our base for the next couple of days, Le Home, which are adult-only apartments set in beautifully well-kept gardens. I had a comfortable one-bedroom apartment which had everything you need for holiday living. You really cannot beat the location here, it’s just a five-minute walk to Calvi harbour where there is a vast choice of bars and restaurants along the waterfront. We sat out for dinner and when the sun set, the mountain back drop turned a stunning pink/red colour, it was the perfect view for eating dinner al fresco!
The next day arrived, and we caught the train from Calvi along to L’Ile Rousse. This train is a fantastic way to explore different areas in the Calvi and La Balagne region if you don’t fancy driving. The journey to L’Ile Rousse takes around 45 minutes and travels right along the coast, so you get to take in the stunning scenery along the way. There are stops along this route including Algajola which is a charming little village with a long stretch of beach. L’Ile Rousse is a lovely market town and has a central square filled with cafés and restaurants, and streets dotted with shops and boutiques. It also has three beautiful beaches, what more could you want?
Another day arrived and we ventured up into the citadel in Calvi. Full of history, you will find cobbled streets, dotted with a few shops and restaurants. The views from up here are fantastic and it’s a must visit for history buffs!
The view from Calvi Citadel
I found Calvi to be the perfect base for a first-time visitor. Everything you need is on your doorstep, the fabulous beach, numerous shops and restaurants and you have the train to venture out and explore. You really don’t need to rely on a car here. But it was time to leave and we set off on a drive to our final stop, St Florent. The drive from Calvi through the mountains took approximately an hour and a half and the scenery and views were stunning - Calvi and St Florent are a great combination for a twin-centre holiday.
We arrived at St Florent and had some time to explore. In the town centre you will find narrow streets filled with cafés and shops, and then along the waterfront there is a wide choice of restaurants to choose from. The atmosphere here was great, it was lovely to sit in a bustling café with the locals on a Friday afternoon, watching them play a game of pétanque.
We checked into our hotel for the night, Hôtel Dolce Notte. This is a small boutique-style hotel, right on the waterfront, with all the guest rooms facing the sea. It was so lovely to sit on the balcony and watch the sun go down. This hotel provides breakfast in your room, and the selection of pastries on offer was a particularly great way to start your day. The hotel provides canoes and kayak hire and is just a 10-minute stroll to the marina.
We ventured out for dinner, and this was the one place where we had to leave our name and come back in half an hour as they were full, that’s always a good sign! In the height of the season, I would recommend making reservations in advance.
A highlight of the trip was the food. A lot of the restaurants had daily specials on offer, including fresh fish, and it was great to be able to try lots of different things that I wouldn’t normally choose. The Corsican Rosé was also a highlight, delicious.
My trip to Corsica has been one to remember, and I can’t wait to return!