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Autumn in Balagne

The combination of sea, culture and nature makes Balagne the ideal destination!

As you fly above the Balagne just before landing at Calvi, you are amazed by the abundance of beauty, with scenery that varies between mountain, sea, exuberant nature and an imposing citadel!

From Calvi to Ile-Rousse

Make the most of the quiet season and visit the Genoese citadel of  Calvi , where you can hire a Walkman to enjoy an audio-guide visit, and stroll along the paved pedestrian streets that will take you to another time. For lunch, succumb to the temptation of stopping on the terrace of a restaurant by the port to sample fried fish of the day accompanied by a glass of white wine from Calvi. In the afternoon, take the children along the path that runs alongside the seafront to the south of Calvi and head for Pointe de la Revellata and its lighthouse.

Diving centres that are open all year round offer the chance to discover the wreck of the mythical Bombardier B17, which was sunk in 1944 during the Second World War and now sits 28 metres below the waves. The region’s equestrian centres provide you with horses that are well accustomed to the steep pathways of the Balagne.

Don’t forget to visit the abandoned hamlet of Occi, accessible from Lumio, which provides a grandiose view across the Balagne.

You will be surprised by the number of Roman and Baroque religious buildings in the Balagne. It is a veritable open air architectural exhibition. Corbara, a village boasting Moorish architecture, will astonish you with its magnificent religious heritage.

Journey down once more to Algajola, a former fortified town and the ancient seat of the Bishop of Balagne. Children will turn into knights when they encounter the old château where writer José Giovani set the first part of his novel ”The Adventurers”, adapted for a film starring Lino Ventura and Alain Delon.

To round off your escapade,  Ile Rousse  (red coloured granite) and a well-deserved stop-off at the port. This former Roman market town was transformed into a veritable port in the mid XVIII Century by Pascal Paoli in order to compete with Calvi, which had remained loyal to the Genoese.

At the port of Ile Rousse we will serve you a dish of Corsican veal with olives (grown naturally and without using hormones) accompanied by fresh tagliatelle produced on the island….and you can sample some chestnut ice cream that has also been made on site. The sunset across the peninsula of La Pietra will make you yearn for never-ending holidays! Make the most of the season by taking in a lungful of the Corsican aromas that fragrance thebotanical park of Saleccia!

The Balanin back-country: Mountainous Balagne

 

The following day, head off along the artisans’ route in order to discover the savoir-faire of these men and women who make Corsica what it is through their works. The artisans will offer you a warm welcome and you can take the time to listen to them, watch them work and stock-up on gifts for your friends: Raku ceramics, essential oils, mosaics, blown bubbled glass, earthenware and stoneware pottery, cow or lamb’s leather, gold and silver jewellery…

The AOC wines of Calvi-Balagne can be explored at the production sites, in friendly wine-growing estates that open their doors to you for delicious tastings that are first class. Signs labelled « Strada Vinaghjola » can be seen throughout the territory and these indicate the presence of one or more estates. 

San-Antonino, is a village that should not be overlooked and is worthy of the label “Most Beautiful Villages of France”.  Meander along its cobbled narrow streets, vaulted passageways and its medieval eagle’s nest, where inhabitants sought refuge during the invasions of Barbary pirates.

A great many churches, mostly in the baroque style, can be visited in the Balagne. The church of Saint Blaise de Calenzana, with its polychrome marbles, provides an example of the richness of the baroque period in Corsica.  

From the Ostriconi to the Giussani

The Giussani is criss-crossed by numerous pathways and autumn provides the opportunity to set off on a walk with the whole family to recharge the batteries in this natural environment and to explore a great many threshing yards, mills and Genoese bridges that are testament to the importance of agriculture here through the centuries. Olmi-Capella, Vallica, Mausoleo and Poggiola are the villages of the Giussani located at an altitude of 900 metres in the heart of the Corsican Regional Nature Park. Don’t forget to admire the baroque churches of the Giussani and their magnificent organs. Enjoy the charm and tranquillity in the midst of the centuries-old chestnut trees and holm oaks, where you may be lucky enough to spot a mouflon mountain sheep or a bearded vulture.

Journey back down to the medieval village of Lama and finish in style with a walk on the long beaches of Ostriconi,close to the Agriates desert.

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