Calvi Beach Corsica – Is it Worth Visiting?

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Located on the northwest coast of the French isle of Corsica, Calvi’s charm has attracted visitors for years.

Let’s take a look at why travelers flock to Calvi and whether it’s worth a visit.

Where is Calvi?

Calvi is a small town in Haute Corse – the northern region of Corsica (La Corse in French).

It’s a popular destination for those who love being by the sea as well as those who crave a bit of culture!

Flying into Corsica

Despite being quite a small island, Corsica has four airports.

The airports are located in:

  • Ajaccio – the Campo dell Oro airport. This is the biggest of Corsica’s airports.
  • Bastia – Poretto airport.
  • Calvi
  • Figari

Calvi and Figari are both minor airports, so flights directly into Calvi are often much more limited than those to Ajaccio and Bastia.

Travel by Boat

Ferries from mainland France to Corsica are frequent, with up to 30 crossings each day.

You can travel from many of the southern French ports including Nice and Toulon.

The ferries that get closest to Calvi dock in Bastia or in the northern town of Ile de Rousse.

Reaching Calvi

When I visited Calvi, I was already on vacation in France.

I took an overnight ferry from Nice to Ile de Rousse. We then took a bus from Ile de Rousse to Calvi.

Our return journey was from Bastia, so we took a bus from Calvi to Bastia and took and onward ferry back to mainland France.

The journey from Bastia takes two to three hours, depending on your transport method. You can also hire a car to reach Calvi.

Things to Do at Calvi Beach

Many people travel to Calvi each year for its crystal-clear waters and stunning Citadel backdrop.

If you’re a beach lover, Calvi Beach will not disappoint you. The Plage de Calvi is a popular spot for sunbathing, swimming and watersports.

There are a range of restaurants, cafés and bars dotted along the shore and in the town, meaning you won’t have to venture far from the sands if you get a little hungry.

Water Sports

Whilst many come to Calvi to relax and soak up the atmosphere, others desire a bit of an adrenaline boost.

Take a look at some of Calvi’s water sports offerings:

  • Surfing – Calvi is a great sport for surfers thanks to an almost relentless Mistral blowing throughout the winter months from November to March. It’s essentially driven by wind swell, churning up the northern Mediterranean waters that create waves as high as 10 feet.
  • Sailing – The Calvi Nautique Club is a sailing club that has been established for over forty years. They offer catamarans, dinghies, windsurfs, kayaks and paddle boards for hire. They also give private and group lessons with professional and experienced instructors.
  • Diving – Calvi is a real divers’ paradise. With Mediterranean fish, rocky alcoves and underwater caves in crystal-clear waters, Calvi’s dive scene is quite simply epic! If you’ve never tried diving, you can sign up for an Introduction to Diving Course. There are other lessons available if you’re a little more experienced too.
  • Fishing and harpoon fishing
  • Speed boats and jet skis – There are places along the sands where you can hire jet skis and speed boats if you’re looking for a rush of adrenaline.

Cruises and Boat Tours

With the water as turquoise and inviting as it is, you’ll not be surprised that boat tours and cruises are a popular activity for visitors.

Here are a few of our favorites:

Scandola and Piana Guided Boat Tour

This boat tour takes you to the UNESCO-listed Scandola Natural Reserve where you can explore the little inlets at the Calanques de Piana. There’s music onboard and you can even have a swim.

Private Speed Boat Tour

This speedboat tour comes with your own personal skipper. You have the freedom to stop and swim or snorkel at places like Alga beach as well as enjoy a typical Corsican aperitif at sunset.

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Private Boat Tour of Scandola Nature Reserve

The volcanic nature reserve of Scandola is all yours on this comfortable private boat tour. Your skipper is well informed and can take you to the most beautiful places for spot of exclusive swimming.

Calvi Sunset Cruise

This cruise will take you to the Revellata Peninsula with swimming on the way at Alga Beach. You’ll learn about the island’s history from your tour guide too.

Snorkeling Boat Tour

If you want to dive a little deeper into what Calvi beach has to offer, hop on this snorkeling boat tour where you’ll witness the breathtaking corals and fish of Pointe de la Revellata. This is a family-friendly tour to an iconic place – you’ll certainly not regret this one.

Around the Town

Whilst the waterfront has a lot to offer visitors, Calvi town itself is something you don’t want to miss. You can visit the monuments in the older parts of town including Calvi’s Genoese Citadel.

It’s built onto the water and overlooks the nearby snow-capped mountain of Monte Grossu. You can wander its narrow streets and pay a visit to the Corsican boutiques, delis, cafés and restaurants.

The area is awash with history with locals claiming famous links to Christopher Columbus (although there’s no proof he did live there!) and Napoleon Bonaparte.

There are old ruins in the citadel where there was once a house occupied by Columbus’ family. As for Napoleon, you’ll see his Godfather’s house as well as that of his nephew in Calvi’s famous citadel.

Calvi on the Rocks

This yearly event in early July sees DJs and live performers fill the beach in Calvi with revelers coming from far and wide.

The cultural festivities aim to mix traditional artistic performances with modern music styles including feel good music and electro rock with good old Corsican music too.

Other Activities

If you want to explore a little more around Calvi, why not try one of these trips?

  • Sea and Mountains Quad Bike TripThis trip will take you on a two-hour scenic tour of Calvi’s coast.
  • Guided Jeep Tour to Lotu and Saleccia  – Discover the white sandy beaches of Saleccia and Lotus and the Agriate desert where you’ll ride and stop for a swim. Check out the tour here.
  • If hiking is your thing, these 7 Hikes in Corsica are a great alternative, with most accessible from Calvi!

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Calvi Food and Drink

Let’s face it – no trip to a picturesque waterside town would be complete without a meal or two.

Here are some of our favorites:

  • Beachside Tapas and Wine at Ebrezza
  • Beachside food and drink at La Licorne, Calvi.
  • A seafood lover’s delight at Le Comme Chez Soi

Final Thoughts Calvi

So, is Calvi worth visiting? I think you now know the answer to that question!

If you love quaint, historical towns with a quiet Mediterranean feel with watersports and adventures thrown in, you’re sure to love Calvi.

I can’t wait to go back! Now I just need to sort my travel insurance and pack my suitcase!

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