Visit Calvi

What to do in Calvi

Map of CalviSituated at the north-western tip of the island, facing the Côte d'Azur coastline, and benefiting from favourable weather conditions and beautiful surroundings, the small town of Calvi occupies a privileged position in Corsica. Calvi has become the economic and tourist capital of the Balagne and the town is now one of the region's two tourist hubs Corsicathe other being Porto-Vecchio.

The town of Calvi can be visited on foot! It is advisable to park your car on the marina or in the car park at the bottom of the citadel.

  • The lower partWith the navy, it's a tourist and commercial sector that has retained a certain charm.
  • The citadel is of some historical and architectural interest.

The citadel of CalviAt the foot of the fortifications stands a statue of Christopher Columbus, a Genoese adventurer and Calvinese by birth. Some people believe that he was born in the citadel (see the ruins labelled "Christopher Columbus's house"), but this is not the case. Calvi is not the only one to claim her birth...

Once you have climbed the staircase, you will come across the entrance to the citadel, topped by a marble plaque bearing the town's motto: "civita semper fidelis", a gift from the Genoese after the Calvais fought off Franco-Turkish troops in the 16th century. This motto was adopted by France at the end of the 18th century, when the Calvais defended themselves against the English.The port of Calvi

After passing through the gate, turn left and then right as you climb the hill, to admire the view of the navy from Calvi. The tower where salt was once stored can also be seen below on the left. The climb continues towards the highest point of the citadel, the church.

On the Place d'Armes, the former governors' palace, on two occasions in the history of Genoese Corsica, the governors moved from Bastia to Calvi. Before entering the church, on the left you can admire the view of the Revellata, then on your right, a staircase leads past the ruins of Christopher Columbus's house. Turn right again and you'll find the church.

Visiting Calvi: must-see places

Notre dame de la Serra in CalviOne of the most beautiful Belvederes in Corsica ! Head for the north exit of Calvi towards Galeria for about 5 kilometres, then take a small fork in the road on the left at the sign " Our Lady of the Serra "Go all the way. You've arrived. Climb the few steps that separate you from happiness.

Open the gate and you'll find a small chapel surrounded by a courtyard and the imposing statue of Notre Dame de la Serra, and then a dreamlike vision opens up: a panoramic view of the whole of the Serra. the bay of Calvi and the Réginu valley as far as Lumio!

Une vieille légende locale dit que si vous emmenez l’amour de votre vie là-bas, vous vivrez avec elle ou lui une histoire merveilleuse, ça a marché pour certains 😉

Saint Jean Batiste Cathedral in CalviThe Cathedral of St John the Baptist

Built in the 16th century, the Greek cross plan is enhanced by the play of colours between white and sky blue, and the high altar is in polychrome marble, typical of Baroque altars. The statues on either side of the altar: the Mater Dolorosa, the Virgin and Child.

On the other side, the Christ of miracles. It protects the population from plagues. Legend has it that in 1555, during the war against the French allied with the Turks, the Genoese exposed the Christ on the ramparts of the citadel and, by a "miracle", the siege was lifted and the town spared.

Calvi trainThe Calvi pine forest

This is the famous Calvi beach served in summer by the trinighelluthe little beach train. The beach is lined with bathing establishments where you can eat "with your feet in the water", but which only occupy a very small part of it. There are sailing and diving schools and watercraft hire.

The salt tower

Built in 1897, this imposing tower is a former lookout post where salt was stored. It became part of the citadel in 1934. The extension now forms a vaulted passageway between Quai Landry and the Port de Commerce. The ramparts of the citadel and the salt tower, owned by the municipality, were listed as Historic Monuments in 1992.

Church of Sainte-Marie-Majeure in CalviChurch of Sainte-Marie-Majeure

Baroque in style, it is painted pink and beige and is located in the Lower Town. CalviIts forecourt opens onto rue Clemenceau. According to a hagiographic legend, several Christians were martyred here on the orders of the emperor Diocletian. Among the victims was Restituta, a wealthy Roman patrician who, after living in Libya, had taken refuge in Calvi.

Pyrrhus, the prefect of Corsica and Sardinia, had her arrested, tried and tortured for a long time before having her beheaded on 21 May 304. Patron saint of the Balagne region, her ashes now rest in the chapel of Sainte-Restitude in Calenzana, where her Carrara marble sarcophagus was unearthed in 1951.

The Revellata peninsula

The other side of CalviIt is a wilderness, inhospitable except to yachtsmen in the gulf it forms, swept by violent westerly winds. There are no trees left on this stretch of land, only short-stemmed scrubland, sculpted by the wind on its western side and reborn after each fire.

The Revellata peninsula in CalviThe Revellata lighthouse

Four kilometres of tracks lead to the pointe de la Revellata, where a lighthouse has been built, also known as the "Phare du golfe de Calvi ". As if sheltered by it, the Stareso building was built underneath, flush with the water.

Construction began at the end of 1838 and the lighthouse was lit in 1844. Its main current features: 99.50 metres above sea level, a light with 2 white flashes every 10 seconds and a range of 21 miles.

Owned by the State, in 2001 it was listed in the Patrimoine de France as an unprotected MH (Monuments Historiques) building.

Where to stay during your holiday in Calvi

Hotel in Calvi

If you'd like to pack your bags and get some service, here's a list of the three best hotels in Calvi.

Hotel Calvi Casa
Hotel Calvi Signoria
Hotel Calvi Villa

House Swap Calvi Home Exchange

If you prefer to be independent and organise your holiday as you see fit, you'll certainly opt for a holiday rental in Calvi. Here is a selection of the three best holiday rentals in Calvi:

How do I get to Calvi?

Calvi has an airport linking the north of Corsica to several mainland towns.

Getting around Calvi

To visit Calvi, you have a choice of five means of transport. The first is cycling, perhaps the most exotic and is recommended for those with some physical fitness. Hire a bike and explore the narrow streets of the city at your own pace.

If you're a two-wheeler fan and don't feel up to pedalling, you can hire a scooter. Also in the hire section, the car is still practical and allows you to don't confine yourself to the city of Calvi. You will find on Liligo website a price comparison tool to see what the different rental agencies in Calvi have to offer. If you don't have a driving licence, you can also take a taxi, and there are plenty waiting for you.

The last means of locomotion is the "u trinighellu". This is a little train that runs along the coast from Calvi to Ile Rousse. The return journey costs around €12 and timetables vary according to the season, so it's best to ask at your hotel reception.

Things to do in Calvi

A Granitula

A Granitula in CalviIn the image of Christ carrying his cross, hooded penitents retrace the Way of the Cross barefoot. Starting from the Saint-Jean-Baptiste cathedral in the Upper Town, their ordeal was a long one. Accompanied by members of the Confraternities of Saint-Erasme and Saint-Antoine, who were carrying the body of the reclining Christ and the Virgin of Sorrows respectively, they descended from the Calvi Citadel to the Baroque church of Santa Maria Maggiore in the Lower Town.

On the church square, they whirl around for a long time, singing religious hymns. They then return to the Cathedral to lay the body of Christ and the Virgin of Sorrows. Thousands of candles are lit in the windows of the streets along the way.

Calvi Jazz Festival

From 13 to 18 June at Calvi. Tickets on sale at the Office Municipal de Calvi. A not-to-be-missed event in the region, the Festival du Jazz de Calvi Over the last fifteen years or so, it has become a meeting place for leading jazz singers and musicians from all over the world.

Calvi on the Rocks

From 14 to 16 July at Calvi. Tickets on sale atCalvi Municipal Office. In a completely different genre, Calvi on the Rocks is bringing the city of Christopher Columbus to the rhythm of rock and modern music! It's a chance to see this beautiful city transformed into a giant festival... with parades, concerts and guaranteed atmosphere!

Calvi Polyphonic Festival

In September at Calvi Fans of polyphonic music from around the world will be delighted by the singers and the concert venues. From the Cathédrale Sainte-Marie in Bastia to the auditorium in Pigna and the oratoire, the most beautiful voices will be thrilled by these magnificent venues! Tickets on sale at the Office Municipal de Calvi. More info on Corsican polyphonies here.


Festiventu in CalviA Calvi from 29/10 to 2/11, a must-see! As one local journalist so aptly put it: "If you sow the wind (of ideas), you'll reap the whirlwind (of thoughts)". The Festival du Vent, a major event in the cultural calendar, is a must-see! CorsicaThe event offers an impressive range of activities, debates on ecology and wind, demonstrations and instructions of all kinds!

That's right, concerts, street shows, aerial activities, dialogues with the public Festiventu offers a wide range of themes and activities, including sustainable development, ecology and citizenship. Thanks to Festiventu and through Calvithe Corsica Every year at this time of year, it's the scene of some fantastic encounters, full of knowledge, passion and creativity. So... GOOD WIND to you all!

For further information: 04 95 65 16 67 and 01 53 20 93 00,

Tickets on sale at the Calvi Municipal Office.

Calvi Municipal Tourist Office
20260 CALVI
Tel : 04 95 65 16 67

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  1. Avatar for JP Colaianni JP Colaianni 6 March

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