Cruise Port Atlas | Calvi (Corsica), France Day Trips | Attractions

Calvi (Corsica), France Day Trips | Attractions

With limited time in port, planning is the best way to make the most of your time. Should you strike out on your own? Should you hire a local guide? Or should you book a shore excursion offered by the cruise line or an international tour company? Below we have listed the attractions and activities that many other cruisers have enjoyed. This information should help you plan.

The advantage to cruise line tours is that they are timed for your visit and give you flexibility to change your mind after your trip begins. The advantage of using a large international firm is that tours are often less expensive than cruise sponsored tours. The advantage to using a local tour company or guide is that prices can be significantly lower or you may be able to get a customized trip just to see the attractions that interest you most.

Cruise lines that visit Calvi: Star Clippers, Azamara Club Cruises, Seabourn, SeaDream Yacht Club, Silversea, Holland America

Key Attractions: Calvi Citadel, St-Jean-Baptiste Cathedral, Ste-Marie-de-Calvi Church, Notre-Dame-de-la-Serra, Plages Calvi, Algajola Beach, Bodri Beach, L'ile Rousse, Saint-Florent, Sant'Antonio, Corte, Gulf of Porto, Calanques of Piana, Scandola Nature Reserve

Calvi Attractions

Tender Berth to Ste-Marie of Calvi Church - 1.4 KM, 5 minutes, 5 minute walk
Tender Berth to Citadel / St. Jean Baptiste Cathedral - 1 KM, 4 minutes, 10 minute walk
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Tenders dock just below the Citadel, which is where most of the attractions of the city are located. After a short steep climb you enter the walls and find a small, cobbled web of streets. Walking the ramparts is a great way to see the surrounding terrain and take some dramatic photos of the mountains, some high enough to have a snow dusting year round. Within the walls are the Governors Palace, the Baroque St. Jean Baptiste Cathedral, and another house (by my count this is one of four including Ibiza, Savona and Genoa) that purports to be Christopher Columbus' birthplace. There is a Museum of Corsican History in the so-called Tower of Salt. Outside the walls is the pink Ste-Marie of Calvi Church. If you like to take challenging walks ending in great photo opportunities, hike out of town to Notre-Dame-de-la-Serra which sits on a high point above the harbor.

           

   

Photo of Calvi Cathedral by Jean-Pol GRANDMONT, Photo of Calvi from Notre-Dame-de-la-Serra by Pierre BONA

Calvi Area Beaches

Port to Calvi Beach - 2-5 KM, 7-11 minutes, 20-40 minute walk
Port to Algajola Beach - 17 KM, 19 minutes
Port to Bodri Beach - 22 KM, 23 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

For most people, the beaches in the Bay of Calvi provide a great way to enjoy the sun and sand. Along the southern coast of the bay, beginning just outside the city center, the water is shallow and has a sandy bottom that make it perfect for bathers of all ages. For those looking for a bit more adventure, Algajola Beach offers snorkeling and diving opportunities along with parasailing and paragliding. If you are looking for something less crowded and where you can join others in taking off your clothes, Bodri Beach offers fine white sand, clear waters, and smaller crowds.

           

   

Photo of Calvi Beach by Fr.Lattreille, Photo of Pinede (Calvi) Beach by Pierre BONA

L'ile Rousse

Port to L'ile Rousse - 25 KM, 28 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Established by the father of Corsican independence, Pascal Paoli, in the mid 18th century L'ile Rousse is the spot where the French Riviera meets Corsica. If you are looking for a sophisticated resort town with beautiful views of the rocky red islands in the harbor, then this may be your choice. Mainly, L'ile Rousse is a great place to relax in a sophisticated and scenic spot. It is a favorite for European summer holidays.

           

   

Photo of L'ile Rousse by Pinpin

Saint-Florent

Port to Saint-Florent - 69 KM, 1 hour 15 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Another Genoese-founded town, Saint-Florent has become a sophisticated resort town featuring a Romanesque church and a fortress. A marina holds impressive yachts and fishing boats. Not far away is the lovely beach of Saleccia set against sparkling blue waters. The town is very close to the wine region of Patrimonio which produces Corsica's finest wines. Not far from town are two historic monuments built by the Genoese to protect the area: Torra di Mortella and Torra di Fornali. This is a lovely place to spend a relaxing day strolling narrow streets, eating Corsican snacks and shopping.

           

   

Photo of Saint-Florent by Hoheit, Photo of Saint-Florent Cathedral by Pierre BONA

Rocky Mountain Villages

Port to Sant'Antonio - 21 KM, 30 minutes
Port to Corte - 84 KM, 1 hour 20 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Not far from the coastal town of Algajola is the ancient hilltop town of Sant'Antonio, built on a high rock and now listed as one of France's most beautiful villages. No cars are allowed in the town (the roads are too narrow for them) so this is a walking, hiking, climbing destination. Besides the stunning views of the town and the surrounding semi-arid terrain, you can visit the 11th century Church of the Annunciation.

The small city of Corte became the center for Corsican education in the 2nd half of the 20th century and more than half its population is comprised of college students. It is the most remote spot in north Corsica and has a stunning hilltop Citadel which houses a museum. Despite the recent influx of students, this is a great place to experience the genuine Corse culture and see what it was like in centuries past.

           

   

Photo of Corte (public domain), Photo of Sant'Antonio by Pierre BONA

Calanques of Piana, Gulf of Porto, Scandola Nature Reserve

Port to Galeria (Boat trips) - 32 KM, 39 minutes
Port to Scandola Natural Park - 51 KM, 59 minutes
Port to Porto (Boat trips) - 73 KM, 1 hour 25 minutes
Port to Piana Calanques - 80 KM, 1 hour 35 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

A calanque is a geological formation similar to a fjord, that results from the wearing-away of limestone rock formations by wind and sea. Seeing the UNESCO site that is centered on the Gulf of Porto can be challenging. In fact, the most dramatic views are from the sea, so a boat tour out of the central towns of Porto or Galeria is your best option. However, boats are limited to protect the fragile ecosystem. For those who manage to arrange a tour by boat, the rewards are some of France's most dramatic scenery. The shoreline includes red cliffs and rocky outcropping with inaccessible caves and tiny islands inhabited mostly by seabirds. In the Piana area some hiking trails are available.

        

   

Photos of Piana Calanques and Scandola Cliffs by Jean-Pol GRANDMONT

Interests Key:

Art Architecture Beach Children Wild Animals Local Cuisine Flora Gardens-Parks Geology

Diving UNESCO Views Wine Dance Music Shopping History Hiking

Walking & Wheelchair Accessibility:

No Walking Easy Walking Normal Walking Difficult Walking Accessible Limited Not Accessible