Visit North-West Corsica
The region is found in the western and north-western part of Corsica, running south as far as Porto, and inland into the lower hills and mountains. The Balagne region of Corsica is also popular with visitors to the island and has several highlights.
The calanches of Piana are exceptionally scenic rock formations on the coast of western Corsica near Porto.
Scandola Nature Reserve, on the coast of western Corsica, is one of the natural highlights of a visit to Corsica
See Scandola guide
Porto is a pleasant resort close to the Calanches de Piana
See Porto guide
Piana is an attractive village overlooking the Calanches de Piana
See Piana guide
Girolata is a quiet and remote beach and village on the coast near Porto in western Corsica
See Girolata guide
Calvi is a town and resort in north-west Corsica well known for the historical citadel and old town and for its long sandy beach
See Calvi guide
L'Ile Rousse in north-west Corsica is a lively resort town and beach with easy access to many places of interest in the balagne
Lumio is a hilltop village overlooking the Golfe de Calvi
See Lumio guide
Cargese was originally founded as a 'Greek town' in south-west Corsica
See Cargese guide
The Gorges de Spelunca are a scenic highlight east of Porto in Corsica, best explored by following an ancient mule trail below the cliffs
Evisa is a village near Porto in western Corsica, well placed for hiking the Gorges de Spelunca and Aitone Forest
See Evisa guide
Ota is a pretty village near Porto in western Corsica and a popular starting point for hiking the Gorges de Spelunca and Aitone Forest
See Ota guide
Creno Lake is surrounded by forests and one of many attractive lakes in the Corsican hills
One of the highlights of a visit is exploring the perched villages of Balagne set in the hillsides to the east of Calvi and to the south of L'Ile-Rousse. There are dozens of these small villages and each has its own particular charm. Most also have their own little church.
Time spent exploring these quiet roads in the hills exposes a Corsica that is far from the crowds of the popular resorts and beaches, and also very beautiful, with many fine views across the region to distract you en route.
Because of the nature of the roads, and the time you might or might not have available, it is hard to recommend a particular route or series of villages to visit.
The most popular route is perhaps the D71 road between Belgodere and Lucio passing through several villages and much impressive scenery - the villages along the 'corniche road' (starting from Belgodere and heading south-west) include Occhiatana, Costa, Ville-di-Paraso, Speloncato, Nessa, Feliceto, Muro, Avapessa, Cateri, and Lavatoggio.
Other particularly worthwhile 'groups' of these villages that can be visited together include:
- Corbara, Pigna and Aregno, Sant'Antonino (classified as one of the 'most beautiful villages in France) and Cateri in the northern part of the region;
- Vallica, Olmi-Cappella, Mausoleo, Pioggiola further south-west again;
- Calenzana, Lunghignano, Montemaggiore, Cassano and Zilia at the southern edge of the region
You don't need to visit every village on these lists but it is worthwhile spending at least a little time away from the coast and exploring the Balagne villages.