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.
A large beach which is rarely crowded. Access to the beach is between the turnings for Palasca and Belgodère and there is ample car parking. With a couple of beach cafés, this beach is stepped and shelves quite steeply at the waterline. Please note in rough seas, beware with less accomplished swimmers and children.
The town beach of L'Ile Rousse can be very busy and has excellent facilities with cafés, restaurants and sunloungers lining the beach. If you're prepared to wander a little further, 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.
A celebration of the sea held in l'Ile Rousse every May. In addition to fish and seafood produce, there are many activities for children as well as scientific stands, competitions, exhibitions and workshops.
Estivoce in Pigna
Estivoce is a celebration of Corsican music and arts with concerts of polyphonic music from June to September with many of the celebrations being in July.
Fiera di l’Artigiani in Felicetu
The craftsmen of the Strada di l’Artigiani congregate to celebrate their crafts every August.
Fiera di u Sumere in Sant’Antonino
Celebrating the donkey in August, the only form of transport in the cobbled winding streets of this mountain village. Take a donkey ride around the village to view the picturesque surroundings and magnificent views.
Foire de l'Amandier in Aregno
Held in the Balagne village of Aregno every August, the Foire de l’Amandier includes tastings, painting exhibitions, events for children and cooking contests all based around the almond and its trees.
Foire de l'Alivu in Montegrosso
Around 10,000 visitors honour the olive in July, in a delightful olive grove setting with exhibitions demonstrating olive production over the years and artisans selling refreshments and local produce.
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.
L’lle Rousse - Calvi by train
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.
Explore the narrow streets of Sant'Antonino, the oldest inhabited village in Corsica and labelled as "one of the most beautiful villages in France". The village affords 360° views of the surrounding countryside and coast, has several restaurants, a local produce shop and the famous ‘maison du citron’ (run by Mr Antonino), which serves excellent citron pressé.
Strada di l’Artigiani
Follow the craft trail “Strada di l’Artigiani” through the villages of la Balagne and sample the local specialities en route.