Calvi, its bay, its round paths, its happy people raising their glasses, its children from the alleys, the old soul of its sunlit stones. To enjoy this unique place, discover the ten essential things to do in Calvi.

Ah… Corsica! This rock nestled in the sea, its untamed beauty, its rebellious culture, the hugs of its big-hearted inhabitants, and its songs of freedom. In the northwest of the Isle of Beauty, Calvi is no exception. Discover chains of cliffs sliding onto pure beaches, vibrant traditions, and places steeped in history. The second most touristic city in Corsica, visiting Calvi is almost mandatory during a stay on the Isle of Beauty. Divided into two parts, the medieval city consists of an upper part, famous for its citadel, and a lower part, where the marina is nestled. However, there is so much to do in Calvi! Why not start with the ten essential things to do in Calvi?

1. Le quai Landry

Le quai Landry is one of the best places to be in Calvi

The marina that borders the Quai Landry is a real invitation to stroll and enjoy the good life. An essential walk to do in Calvi, which can be enjoyed at any time. In the early hours, time stands still. Floating palaces and modest boats gently lap the port’s waters. Fishermen are busy in the early morning while you have your coffee. After your dreamy and early morning wanderings, lunchtime arrives. Why not try local specialties? Finally, the excitement of the night arrives. This is an opportunity to visit Calvi to the rhythm of its festive, warm, and musical evenings.

2. The Citadel of Calvi

aerial view on The Citadel of Calvi

Calvi’s citadel is absolutely remarkable. Perched on its rocky promontory, imperial above the Mediterranean, it testifies to Corsica’s rich historical heritage. From the heights of this iconic monument, visit Calvi in one glance thanks to the 360-degree view of the city, the ramparts, the port, and the maquis. Then get lost in the maze of cobbled streets with old-world charm. Brush against the walls of typical houses, discover the most beautiful squares, and immerse yourself in the flowers hanging from the old stone.

3. Discovery of historical treasures of Calvi

The Saint-Jean-Baptiste cathedral, Calvi's religious lung

Looking for what to do in Calvi and are you a fan of historical heritage? Good news. Calvi is a treasure of history set on water. After your random walk through the citadel’s secret streets, you can follow the traces of the monuments that stand at street corners. The Saint-Jean-Baptiste cathedral, Calvi’s religious lung. The Saint-Antoine Abbé oratory, guardian of religious traditions. The Salt Tower, the lookout of the ancient medieval city. The Sampiero Barracks, the former residence of the Genoese governors of the 16th century. The Sainte-Marie-Majeure church, the beautiful pink and gold in a setting. The Revellata lighthouse, accessible from trails in wild Corsica. Or the much-coveted and mysterious house of Christopher Columbus.

4. Tanning session

La plage de la Pinède, Calvi

Corsica means paradisiacal beaches. The city of Calvi is no exception. It’s impossible to visit Calvi without going through its immaculate sandbanks, haloed with pine forests, wetted by crystal-clear waters. Calvi’s beaches also abound with water sports schools. Essential things to do in Calvi, try windsurfing, kayaking, paddleboarding, or jet skiing.

  • La plage de la Pinède: Accessible on foot from the city center, this is one of the most popular beaches. With postcard landscapes, chic beach huts, water activities, and the famous Calvi on the Rocks festival, it’s an ideal place to combine relaxation and sensational experiences.
  • La plage de Sainte-Restitude: Located at the exit of Calvi, towards Lumio, this cove offers a horizon of pebbles, rocks, and azure waves. Known for its tranquility, this beach is full of the famous eyes of Saint Lucia. These shell opercula, considered good luck charms, are emblematic in Corsica.
  • La plage de l’Algajola: Located between Calvi and Île Rousse, this relaxed beach stretches at the foot of the cultural village of Algajola. Another medieval gem floating on the sea.
  • La plage Lozari: A paradise for families and sports enthusiasts, this beach not far from Île Rousse is a haven for nature lovers. Spread your towel on a dune of white sand, take a dip in the turquoise water, and reflect in the shadow of the mountain.

5. Calvian flavors

Cheese in Calvi, Corsica

During your stay in Corsica, you will inevitably discover its gastronomy: an argument that can justify a trip to the Isle of Beauty on its own. However, each region has its specialties. In Calvi, for example, try the Calvian Luinguine, a flavor explosion from the Mediterranean, or the Calvian fish soup. And for even more delicacies, head to the local markets, brimming with life and regional products. As you’ll understand, food lovers will not lack things to taste and do in Calvi.

6. A boat ride from Calvi

La réserve de Scandola by boat

Why not visit Calvi from its crystal-clear waters? Numerous boat excursions are possible from the port, offering splendid settings and unforgettable memories. By opting for a boat rental, you can venture into exceptional places such as:

  • La réserve de Scandola: A jewel classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site, dotted with faults and caves in volcanic rock.
  • Le désert des Agriates: Known for its white sand beaches, among the most beautiful and preserved in Corsica.
  • Les calanques de Piana: A UNESCO World Heritage site for its incredible blood-red cliffs that leave you speechless.
  • Le golfe de Calvi and la Revellata: Exceptional places to admire at sunset on the water, with a glass of Corsican wine in hand.
  • Girolata: The charming and authentic fishing village.
  • Numerous wild beaches and coves: Places where you’ll be alone, far from mass tourism.

7. A train ride to Île Rousse

Sunset on the ile Rousse's lighthouse close to Calvi

The famous Corsican train, the Trinichellu! This is a typical way to visit Calvi and its surroundings. Board one of the two picturesque wagons, follow the pine forest, and follow the tracks to Île Rousse. This city has a dream beach right in its center. Its charm and ambiance are unique: the warm colors of the house walls, unpretentious seaside restaurants, the white lighthouse at the top of the city, the covered market resembling a Greek temple, and long walking paths on rocky islets.

8. Walk in the woods, on foot or otherwise

Natural bath in the  Fango valley near Calvi

For nature lovers, thrill-seekers, or enchanted forest enthusiasts, the Bonifatu forest offers a beautiful and relaxing setting for hikers. Discover shaded paths, suspended walkways, and translucent natural pools amidst the pines, fruit-laden trees, and views of the surrounding peaks. The green and wild valleys around Calvi, like the Fango valley, also allow you to discover canyoning, climbing, mountain biking, quad biking, or vertiginous dives from rocks.

How to get to Calvi ?

Want to visit Calvi? It’s easy to get there by plane, boat, bus or train!

By plane

The town of Calvi, in north-west Corsica, is easily accessible. It has its own airport, Calvi Sainte-Catherine, located seven kilometers from the city center. By plane from Paris, the Isle of Beauty is only an hour and a half away, so prices are very affordable if you plan ahead. To find the best fare at the time of your choice, check out the comparative offers at Ulysse, which lists the most attractive flights at the moment, whatever your departure city.

Once you’re here, the best way to get around Corsica is by car. If you choose to fly and would like to use a car once you’re on the island, you can rent a car from one of the specialized agencies as soon as you arrive at the airport.

By ferry

From Nice, Marseille or Toulon, for example, you can reach the port of Calvi directly by ferry. A boat trip is longer, but has its charm. The advantage of the ferry is, of course, that you can take your car with you.

Check prices and availability for ferries to Corsica

>> Also Read: How to get to Corsica from Marseille by ferry?

How to get around Calvi ?

As a tourist town, Calvi is very well served by public transport. Many towns are connected to Calvi by rail and road. Train and bus connections are daily and rarely very long, given the size of Corsica.

If you have your own vehicle, you’ll love experiencing the thrill of driving on Corsica’s famous roads!

Where to stay in Calvi ?

Airbnb rentals, guest houses, campsites, hotels, from the most basic to the most luxurious, from the most family-friendly to the most romantic, Calvi offers every type of accommodation. To find what you’re looking for, take a look at our hotel comparator, which selects the best accommodation offers according to your preferred criteria and dates of stay.

As for where to stay, Calvi’s medieval center is an authentic and picturesque place to spend the night. You can enjoy historic monuments, typical restaurants and cafés, cultural and festive events, and the freshness of the port.

Of course, perhaps you’re looking for a more natural and tranquil atmosphere to visit Calvi. In this case, opt for accommodation with your feet in the water, on the edge of the cliffs or in the heart of the maquis. Sleeping around Calvi allows you to discover wilder landscapes and places. In any case, you’ll never be far from the top ten things to do in Calvi!

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