Moltifao, the turtle village
Local interest: Hermann’s turtle appeared a million years ago. It is a real living “fossil”. In France, it only survives in the Massif des Maures (Var), and in Corsica, it is the last land turtle. A number of precautions are in place to ensure its survival.
Local interest: LA PORTA is the historic capital of CASTAGNICCIA. It is its gateway, as its name suggests. Its church of SAINT-JEAN BAPTISTE is often considered to be the greatest masterpiece of Baroque art in Corsica.
Places to visit: After high mass in the heart of the CASTAGNICCIA, take a walk on the mountain slopes, covered with chestnut trees and grassy terraces. Access road with beautiful views, Panorama over LA CASTAGNICCIA and QUERCITELLO.
Brando - Lavasina - Erbalunga
Local interest: This commune, with 1,560 inhabitants, is the gateway to Cap Corse, and it is dominated by Monte Stello, 1307 m, which offers an exceptional panoramic view from its summit. It is the finest truly authentic fishing village of Cap Corse.
Don’t miss: the Erbalunga music festival, early August. On September 8th, the grand celebration of the nativity in Lavasina, a significant place of pilgrimage. The religious ceremonies of Holy Thursdays and Fridays punctuated by processions with ancient sacred chants.
Local interest: A tour “From Roman Art to the Baroque”, Nuits de la Guitare in Patrimonio in the open air in July, Festival Porto-Latino in St-Florent in August, the Wine Route in Patrimonio, the little train at Murato.
Places to visit: The Agriates desert, the citadel and the Place des Portes in St-Florent, Roya, Lodo and Saleccia beaches, Nebbio Cathedral (Santa Maria Assunta), the Church of San Michele in Murato, the Roman ruins in Oletta, Pieve, Santo Pietro di Tenda, Rapale, Sorio, and much more.
Local interest: the BD BASTIA comic strip convention in April, the Relève des Gouverneurs (a historical spectacle) in July, the Musicales de Bastia in October, the International Chess Open Competition in November, Spanish Cinema Day in March and April, and the flea market in Place St-Nicolas (Sunday morning).
Places to visit: The Genoese citadel and the old port of Bastia, the Church of Saint Marie and the Chapel of Saint Croix, the Museum of Corsican Ethnography, the miniature village at St. Antoine, the archaeological site of Mariana with its mediaeval Cathedral Church and the Biguglia lagoon.
Local interest: Set at the southern tip of Cap Corse, PATRIMONIO offers an exceptional location on a mountainside, sunny slopes covered with vineyards and a superb view of the bay of Saint-Florent and the Nebbio mountains.
Places to visit: In Patrimonio, you can visit wine cellars, taste and enjoy white, rosé and red wines as well as a delicious muscatel benefitting from the AOC PATRIMONIO.
Don’t miss: the statue menhir unearthed in 1965, and the Church of SAN MARTINU dominating the magnificent countryside.
The Desert des Agriates
Local interest: Stretching between Aliso and the Ostriconi region, the Agriates desert, covering an area of 16,000 ha, was, for a long time, fertile land used for cultivation and livestock. Until the beginning of the century, farmers still cultivated wheat, harvested almonds, lemons and figs.
Places to visit: Today, it is the favourite site of nature lovers, the flora of the Agriates is particularly rich, diverse and colourful. Hikers, riders, joggers and mountain bikers appreciate the not only poetic ruggedness of the landscape but also the beaches.
Local interest: In the heart of the beautiful gulf to which it has given its name, Saint-Florent is built on a slight elevation north of the mouth of the Aliso river. It is the commercial capital of Nebbio and a seaside resort very much oriented towards nautical activities.
Places to visit: A pretty little harbour nestled at the foot of the Cap Corse, bordered to the west by the Désert des Agriates, near Bastia, the Capital of the North. The hinterland around Nebbio, an amphitheatre of mountains and precariously perched villages is worth a visit.
The Biguglia Lagoon nature reserve
Local interest: The Biguglia Lagoon, once the Chiurlinu Lagoon, is the largest on the island: 1,450 hectares, 11 kilometres long, and 2.5 kilometres at its widest point! Bordering the sea, it extends over the four municipalities of Furiani, Biguglia, Borgo and Lucciana.
Places to visit: The exceptional character of this natural site is by no means limited to the quality of its scenery. Its inclusion in the list of wetlands of international importance, not to mention its formal classification as a nature reserve, testifies to its remarkable ecological interest.
Local interest: At the tip of CAP CORSE, Centuri is a small village with 235 inhabitants and is clustered around a charming port. In the summer, it becomes a little “bling bling”: many stars come to visit it. Perhaps because of the delicious lobsters that are Centuri’s speciality.
Places to visit: You will find the main shops, boutiques and especially a small local fishing restaurant.
Local interest: One of those vertiginous villages with a population of 69 inhabitants. A Genoese tower planted on a rock which plunges into the sea, and some houses surprisingly sculpted into the mountains. Pascal Paoli decided to build this tower to watch over St-Florent.
Not to be missed: The church of Sainte-Julie, which dates from the 16th-century, the Sainte-Julie fountain on the edge of the hamlet on the road to Pino, the Paoline Tower built on the remains of the Chateau Gentile, the “Paese in luce” procession through the floodlit village on August 15.
The valley and the beach at Ostriconi
Local interest: Between Balagne, the Agriates desert, the Tenda Massif and the nearby mountain valleys (Asco, Tartagine and Golo), lies Ostriconi, a valley served by the Balanina, which is composed of five villages: Lama, Urtaca, Pietralba, Novella and Palasca.
Places to visit: The flower-filled, listed medieval village of Lama and its Chapel of San Lorenzu; the Monte d’Astu hiking trail; L’Ostriconi beach, the Asco valley; Pietralba, encircled by the mountains; climbing the Bocca di San Pancrazio with its crowning glory, a unique panoramic view of the Agriates.
Local interest: The administrative centre of the Ostriconi Valley, where the large 18th-century bourgeois houses with their richly decorated Italian interiors coexist alongside the medieval quarter with its ancient network of narrow alleyways and vaulted passages.
Places to visit: Marked and longer trails, such as the link with the neighbouring village of Urtaca or the ascent to Monte Asto, the highest point in the Tenda Massif (1535m).
Must see: the European Festival of Film, Cinema and rural world of “Chroniques Villageoises”.
Local interest: This town of 151 inhabitants was visited by Gustave Eiffel, who came here to marry his daughter to a member of the Piccioni family. If you want to see an authentic old Cape village, visit Covili for its vaulted passages and the remains of its water mills.
Not to be missed: The picturesque site of the harbor at Scalo as well as the imposing 19th-century mausoleums surrounded by cypress trees and umbrella pines.
04 95 39 67 81 / 06 28 59 37 55