This area along the northwest coast of Corsica has been renowned since Roman times as an orchard of olive, fig and orange trees and the breadbasket of the island.
Set beneath a wall of imposing jagged mountains which remain snow-capped until July, the rocky coastline shelters a string of stunning white sand beaches and an old fishing settlement now turned into one of the island's most popular resort towns.
In the shadow of its citadel built by the Genoese, Calvi bathes in the legend of Christopher Columbus whose birthplace it is said to be. It was during an attack on Calvi that another famous mariner, Lord Nelson lost his eye.
Not far away from this historic and compact gem can be found another port town, Ile Rousse, founded by Pascal Paoli in direct contrast to Calvi, which he felt was too Genoese. Tiny villages such as San Antonio and Pigna nestle in its scenery, proudly displaying their reactivated craft.
Many of the settlements along this coast have been developed into busy holiday villages, however the crowds are more than compensated by the stunning scenery and idyllic beaches. Trains connect Calvi and Ile Rousse with Ajaccio and Bastia. Buses are also available.
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