Calvi Corsica is at the center of the region called Balagne, and is perhaps the most photographed and picturesque seaport on the entire island. Every major seaport on the island—notably Bonifacio, Ajaccio, and Porto Vecchio—boasts massive citadels guarding their harbors. But the fourteenth-century Calvi Corsica Citadel is truly a spectacular site. These were all fortress cities built to repel attackers from the sea. Perhaps the rulers from the independent Republic of Genoa recognized that Calvi travel would be easy for invaders from France, as this would be their first port of call en route to Italy. So they built the largest and most formidable citadel on the island.
Your Calvi travel itinerary will undoubtedly take you to this remarkable city within a city, and you will probably return home with numerous photos of it. Many of the Calvi hotels will assist you in booking scenic cruises into the harbor so you have the best views. If you are up for a more extensive expedition, the diving in Calvi is some of the best on the island, and there are excellent views after hiking up into the mountains behind the city.
Today, Calvi travel is still possible by boat. There are regularly scheduled ferries between the port and Marseille, Toulon, and Nice in France, as well as Vado Liguere in Italy. If you’re arriving by ferry, you will find that several Calvi hotels are located around the ferry port and the citadel. One of the finest is the Hotel Saint Christophe, set on a rocky promontory across from the Citadel. There is a swimming pool hanging out over the sea, and a restaurant with panoramic views. Rooms look out over the bay or the Citadel.
There are numerous things to do in Calvi right in the vicinity of the Citadel. Here is the baroque St. John the Baptist Church, the old governor’s mansion, and even the house where it is said Christopher Columbus was born. The ferry port is right at the tip of the Citadel, and the beachside walkway has numerous restaurants, cafés, boutiques, and shops.
If you have been drawn to Calvi Corsica because of beautiful beaches, you won’t be disappointed. The town beach is located just below the Citadel, and curves almost completely around the bay that stretches for almost four miles. There are also some Calvi hotels located along this stretch of beach. You will find them located along the main coastal road (Avenue de Christoph Colomb, named for the famed navigator who was possibly born here). You can find more secluded beaches along the coast on either side of the city.
Calvi Corsica is the gateway for the Scandola Nature Reserve—the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site located about fifteen miles south of the city. This area is accessible only on foot or by boat, and it is the destination for many hiking and diving excursions. The effort to get here will reward you with some of the most dramatic and breathtaking rocky coastline to be seen anywhere in the Mediterranean.