The Patrimonio region is most famous for its vineyards, much of Corsica’s best wine being produced in this area. You will find dozens of vineyards to visit and the proprietors are happy to welcome you and offer you their wines to sample. There is now a ‘route des vins’, which will lead you to all the vineyards. Just follow the brown road signs. Patrimonio church is of particular interest and its setting is beautiful. A menhir statue was found in one of the vineyards here, it has now been erected just below the church.
Plage de la Roya
The main town beach in St Florent can be reached on foot from the port de plaisance or by car just west of the town centre. There are a multitude of water sports available including windsurfing, sailing, canoeing, Jet skis and diving.
Plage de Loto
One of the most wonderful, isolated beaches of the Désert des Agriates. With its white sand and clear turquoise water it is very popular in July and August though quite deserted the rest of the year. Access is by boat from St Florent - U Saleccia (06 62 16 23 76) and Popeye (04 95 36 90 78). Bear in mind that there is no shade and no bar so you should take whatever you need for protection and your own refreshments.
Plage de Saleccia
A further hour’s walk along the coast of the desert, Saleccia is often less crowded but is equally stunning. It can also be reached by the track next to the bar Relais de Saleccia on the D81 in the Désert des Agriates though it is not recommended with your hire car. The track is really only suitable for 4x4 vehicles, mountain bikes or Quad bikes and is 12km long (mountain bikes and Quad bikes can be hired from the above bar and in St Florent).
Plages d’Olzu and Tettola
Found 2km east of St Florent below the Patrimonio road, these are gently shelving to shallow water and have good expanses of sand and some areas of pebbles.
Rock' Inseme – Biguglia, June
A rock and pop music festival bringing together recognised artists and up-an-coming bands.
Fiera di u Vinu – Luri, July
A lively festival celebrating the wine produced in the Cap Corse region.
A Notte di a Memoria – The Relève du Gouverneur - Bastia, July
A re-enactment of the arrival of the French governor with a light and drum parade through the streets of the citadel.
Les Nuits de la Guitare – Patrimonio, July
The amphitheatre in the village of Patrimonio is the setting for this popular festival that takes place every July and draws stars from the world of guitar, be it jazz, flamenco, blues or rock.
Porto Latino - St Florent, August
A hot Latin festival with nightly open-air concerts held in the citadel.
Festival de la Chanson Corse Pascal Paoli – Furiani, August
Corsican singing concerts.
Festival de Musique – Erbalunga, August
An established music festival showing off some of the greatest national and local talents.
THINGS TO SEE & DO
The sparkling, sheltered bay of St Florent lies between the Cap Corse and the Désert des Agriates. At first sight St Florent appears to be a bustling, attractive waterfront town, with boats, bars, excellent fish restaurants and an almost permanent game of boules in the square, but stroll into the old town and you discover a charming, ageless quarter of old houses, little shops and wine bars. There are pretty squares and quiet corners, with the sea always nearby!
Cathédrale Santa Maria Assunta
Visit the cathedral of the Nebbio region in St Florent, Santa Maria Assunta. It was built by the Pisans in the 12th century, on the site of the ancient Roman city that existed before St Florent (some 800m from the new town centre). The building is highly ornate and a fine example of Pisan architecture and probably one of the island’s most beautiful cathedrals.
Désert des Agriates
The Désert des Agriates is a landscape of wild maquis and rocky cliffs. Take a boat trip to one of its beaches, inaccessible by car, or rent a boat yourself to explore the hidden coastline around the town. Boats from the harbour will take you to the beaches of Saleccia and Loto (three to six departures a day and a 30-minute trip).
Behind St Florent, spreads the quiet attractive countryside of Conca D’Oro with Oletta village perched high above offering spectacular views over the gulf. You will find workshops and cellars of around 10 local artisans.
Often called an island within an island, the Cap Corse is a maquis covered peninsula whose history sets it apart from the rest of the island. Tiny ports divide the east side as the western villages are sited on rugged cliffs. On the west of Cap Corse, narrow roads wind above a dramatically serrated coastline, dotted with little coves, whilst the sea washes on the rocks below and woods and maquis outline the peaks above. Take a day driving around the Cap Corse and discover landscapes of the astounding beauty.
Worth visiting is Nonza, a flower-garnished slate roofed village, standing 150m above a blackened shingled beach offering a dramatic viewpoint across the sea. A great spot for those wishing to drive around Cap Corse.
Visit the Moulin Mattei near Rogliano, which was restored in the early 20th century. Taste their Cap Corse apéritif and enjoy the fabulous view.
Have lunch in Centuri and and watch the fishermen offload their catch.
From Macinaggio one can walk the sentiers des douaniers (customs officers route) to Barcaggio, many follow just a small part of the route for a day's walking - the famous Genoese towers along the way are an impressive sight against the coastal backdrop. The path goes through the Capandula nature reserve which also boasts excellent, uncrowded beaches.
Tour the villages of the Nebbio, taking in the relaxed pace of life. One of the finest examples of Pisan Romanesque architecture can be found at San Michele de Murato, in Murato.