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In 1676 a group of 600 Greeks, escaping from the invasion of their country by Turkey, set up home in Corsica. The location they chose was at Cargese, and as a result it is still known as 'the Greek village'.
Cargese is an attractive town of whitewashed houses in a picturesque setting on a rocky promontory overlooking a deep blue bay and with a marina on the coast. There are a good number of restaurants in the town.
Predictably the setting means that Cargese has not escaped from touristic development (there are significant levels of development along much of the coast here) and there is a popular 'Club Med' resort close by.
There are several high quality beaches close to hand if you are looking for a little more solitude. The Plage de Peru just north of the town is one of the best. Others that are also close to hand but slightly less accessible include the beaches at Monachi and Stagnoli.
The Plage du Chiuni is the closest to the Club Med resort, about five miles from the center of Cargèse.
Two notable monuments in Cargese are the churches, standing facing each other in the center of the town and with belltowers setting the skyline for the village.
There is a Latin (Roman catholic) church and a Greek Byzantine church, both dating from the 19th century. The highlight of the former is the interior with its 'trompe l'oeil' paintings , and the views from the terrace.
In the Greek church the highlight is the four icons brought here in 1676 when the location was first occupied depicting: the Virgin and Child; Saint John the Baptist; Christ being placed in a tomb; and three saints from the church.
There are several places of interest near to Cargese that merit a visit. These include:
- the Convent of Saint Francois, established by monks from the Order of Saint Francois from the 15th century onwards (the current buildings date from the 17th - 19th centuries); and
- the dolmen at Paomia. Paomia itself was a village in the middle ages but was almost completely destroyed in the following centuries
Photo of Cargese, Corsica - see photo credit and copyright
You can find more local travel ideas in the Corsica guide.