2 Days in Calvi: Itinerary with Top 16 Things to Do

What to do in Calvi?

Have you planned to visit Calvi during your stay in Corsica?

Excellent idea!

Pretty town located between sea, mountains and forests, Calvi, in Balagne, is quite simply one of the most beautiful towns in Corsica.

In order to help you organize your stay, I have concocted this Top 16 things to do and see in Calvi. You will know everything about the best places of interest in the city and its surroundings!

And that’s not all, I have also prepared itineraries for you to visit Calvi in ​​1, 2, 3, 4, 5 days (even a week or more!) as well as my selection of the best hotels to sleep in Calvi.

Of course, everything is accompanied by my advice and practical information on where to eat, where to go out and more.

So, what to do and see in Calvi? 

Visit Calvi: the essentials

1. The Citadel of Calvi

The citadel is the main place of interest in Calvi.

Dominating the city, perched on its rocky promontory, it is one of the first things you will see when you arrive!

Built by the Genoese (its construction began in the 13th century and ended in the 16th century), it consists of 2 towers and 5 bastions. The French will come up against the solidity of its walls several times, before succeeding in conquering it at the end of the 18th century.

It is the only Corsican city with Bonifacio to have remained faithful to the Republic of Genoa until the end. This perfectly illustrates the city’s motto engraved at the entrance to the citadel: “Civitas Calvi Semper fidelis” – The Calvian city, always faithful.

A walk in the citadel district and along the ramparts allows you to admire many views of the city and the sea. You can also discover:

  • The Saint-Jean-Baptiste church where there is a very beautiful triptych on wood as well as 2 statues venerated by the inhabitants: the Christ of Miracles and Our Lady of the Rosary. It is classified as a historical monument.
  • The former palace of the Genoese governors or Caserne Sampiero: built in the 15th century, today is the mess of the officers of the foreign legion.
  • The Saint-Antoine oratory and its collection of sacred art objects
  • The birthplace of Christopher Columbus, which according to legend is the birthplace of Christopher Columbus in 1441 (but officially he was born in Genoa 10 years later). It is now in ruins.

To visit the Citadel district, you can hire an audioguide from the tourist office located on the marina.

Tips for your Calvi itinerary:

To visit Calvi, everything is done on foot. You will find paid car parks where you can park your car at the entrance to the citadel or just before the port, opposite the Super U supermarket.

Calvi itinerary 3 day
The Citadel of Calvi

2. The Port

The port is another important tourist site in Calvi.

Along Quai Landry, you will find plenty of trendy bars and restaurants with a direct view of the boats and Calvi beach in the distance.

It is also from here that boat trips leave to discover the surroundings of Calvi or the Scandola nature reserve.

At the end of the port, the salt tower marks the boundary between the lower town and the citadel. A former watchtower where salt was also stored, it is listed as a historical monument. 

Tips for your Calvi itinerary:

Take advantage of your walk on the port to go through the tourist office to get a map of the city.

Calvi itinerary 3 day
The port of Calvi seen from the Citadel

3. The Old Town of Calvi

At the foot of the citadel, you will find the old town or lower town of Calvi.

The cobbled streets there are lined with many local craft and souvenir shops. 

Among the things to see absolutely in this part of Calvi, I advise you to go through the Sainte-Marie-Majeure church: in the Baroque style, it has a facade colored in pink and beige. Free access.

Right next door, you can also take a trip to the covered market to bring back some Corsican specialties. Farmhouse cheeses and charcuterie are the ideal ingredients for a sandwich with the good taste of Corsica!

Good to know: the producers are present at the market only in the morning.

Calvi itinerary 3 day
The old town of Calvi

4. Calvi Beach

During your stay in Calvi, you will certainly want to take advantage of its huge fine sandy beach stretching over nearly 4.5 km.

Beginning at the entrance to the port and bordered by the pine forest, it offers miles to lay down your towel and relax. It is ideal with children because the water is shallow for several tens of meters.

You will also find restaurantsdeckchairs and parasols for rent and will have the possibility of practicing nautical activities.

No doubt, this is the essential place to go swimming in Calvi!

Calvi itinerary 3 day
Calvi beach

5. Take a Boat Trip from Calvi (Scandola etc.)

You can also take advantage of your trip to Calvi to go on a boat trip.

From the port, several companies offer day trips. There are different formulas depending on the type of boat chosen or the places to see.

A word of advice: as these boat trips are extremely popular, I strongly recommend that you reserve your place in advance on the internet!

For example, you can discover:

  • The Scandola Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A superb 4-hour cruise, with a planned stop for snorkeling. Click here to reserve it.
  • The Gulf of Calvi and La Revellata during a walk at sunset with a swim stop. To book by clicking here.
  • The Agriates desert and the splendid beach of Saleccia.

Fishing trips are also organised. For information, it’s here.

Tips for your Calvi itinerary:

To know that if you then continue your circuit in Corsica by descending towards the South and Porto for example, you can also take the cruise to Scandola from there.

Conversely, if you continue your itinerary in Corsica towards the North, you can also go to the Agriates desert from Saint-Florent.

Calvi itinerary 3 day
Boat tour in the Scandola Reserve

6. Quad Bike Excursion in Calvi

If you are looking for a great activity to do in Calvi, in addition to the boat trip, I highly recommend that you take a quad excursion.

You can discover splendid viewpoints over the bay of Calvi while following a route off the beaten track. Your guide, who is also really very nice, will take you to the Revellata and the Notre-Dame de la Serra chapel (I’ll tell you about these places a little further down in the article).

This quad tour lasts 2 hours. And what’s great is that this excursion is only done in small groups.

But it also means that you must reserve in advance to be sure of having a place. There is only one outing per day, so think about it!

Calvi itinerary 3 day
Quad bike ride at Revellata – Calvi

7. The Other Best Activities to Do in Calvi

Here is a list of other activities to do during your holidays in Calvi, during your trip to Corsica:

  • Canyoning in the Fango valley, at Melaghia or at Ruda, the 3 best places to practice this activity near Calvi.
  • Rafting with a descent of the Golo River
  • Climbing: several types of routes adapted to your level.
  • Hiking: more than thirty hikes allow you to explore the paths of Balagne. The description of the routes is available at the Calvi tourist office.
  • Mountain biking: about fifteen mountain biking routes are possible around Calvi and in Balagne. Here too, you will find a trail guide at the tourist office. Well done, it details the distances, elevation, route and difficulty (from green for the very easy to black for the most difficult).
  • Horseback riding in the pine forest by the sea or in the mountains.
  • Water activities: jet-ski, towed buoys, water skiing, windsurfing, kayaking, paddle and more, on the beach of Calvi.
  • 4×4 in the Agriates desertFull day excursion with driver from Calvi to discover the exceptional landscapes of this part of Corsica and a swimming stop on the wild beach of Ghignu.
  • And if you like this type of outing, there is also anothevery nice 4*4 excursion to do from Calvi. During this day, you can discover the magnificent Asco valley accompanied by a guide and swim in the natural pools.

8. Go Scuba Diving

We continue this Calvi tourist guide with another activity: diving.

I highly recommend it to you to discover the richness of the Corsican seabed and the submerged wrecks. The best known is that of the B17, an American bomber shot down during the Second World War and which is now 28 meters deep, off the citadel.

The diving centers located at the level of the marina and on the beach offer baptisms , initiations and aquatic explorations.

Finally, it is possible to take advantage of your stay in Calvi to do an introduction to diving over 2 or 3 days.

Information and reservations by clicking directly here!

Calvi itinerary 3 day
Diving in Corsica

9. Take the Train to Ile Rousse

If you no longer know what to do in Calvi, I advise you to opt for a short trip by train.

But be careful, not just any train: the famous Corsican train!

Called Trinichellu, this small train made up of only 2 carriages runs along the pine forest and the beach from Calvi and takes you to Île Rousse. On the way, several stops are planned for the time to take some pictures of the beautiful beaches located between the 2 cities.

The walk takes around 45 minutes one way and costs around €12 for the round trip. There are several departures per day, it is best to inquire beforehand at Calvi station.

Arrived at Île Rousse, you can take a pleasant walk along the port, on Place Paoli and in the streets of the city center lined with shops and bars.

15-minute walk from the city center, I also advise you to take a tour of the Ile de la Pietra and climb to the lighthouse to admire the view.

Calvi itinerary 3 day
Ile Rousse

10. Calvi on the Rocks

If you are planning to go to Calvi in ​​July, don’t miss the “Calvi on the Rocks” music festival!

It attracts thousands of people from all over the world every year thanks to its quality musical programming and its renowned artists and DJs. It is held every year, at the beginning of July, on the beach, the port and at the open-air theatre.

To be sure to have your places, you must book as far in advance as possible, as soon as the tickets go on sale. Count around €50 for the 1-day pass. 

The information can be found on the official website. 

Another unmissable festival in Calvi but in a completely different genre: the Meetings of Polyphonic Songs.

For 5 days, usually in September, the best polyphonic singing groups from Corsica and all over the world make their voices heard in the Saint-Jean Baptiste Cathedral.

You cannot buy tickets directly on the Internet, they must be reserved by email or telephone with the Calvi tourist office or the association that takes care of it.

Tips for your Calvi itinerary:

Are you going to Calvi?

You know it: the hardest part is certainly to find a hotel offering a good price/performance ratio!

And yes, the closer you get to your travel date, the less availability there will beMany tourists are going to visit Calvi on the same dates as you, and you can be sure that all the best placed and interesting rooms from a price point of view will have already been reserved!

Fortunately, the solution to this problem is simple: do like me and plan ahead!

So take 5 minutes now to take a look at the list of travelers’ favorite hotels in Calvi.

And if you like a hotel, book it!

Cancellation is often free, it’s quick, easy, and it will protect you from the inconvenience of finding nothing, except mediocre rooms at exorbitant prices.

To see the best offers of the moment on Calvi, simply click here.

Once your hotel is booked, it’s time to continue reading this guide!

Calvi itinerary 3 day
Calvi on the rocks

What to do around Calvi?

You have finished your visit to Calvi and you want to continue your Corsica itinerary by visiting the surroundings?

No worries, I have prepared a list of the best things to do around Calvi!

11. The Villages of Balagne

What to do around Calvi?

Visit the most beautiful villages of Balagne of course!

Come on, get in the car and take the road from Moncale which allows you to cross these typical Corsican villages and enjoy splendid viewpoints.

I advise you to go through, in order:

  • Calenzana: known to hikers on the GR20 because this is where the legendary hiking trail starts. It is also the starting point of the Mare e Monti Nord trail connecting Calenzana to Cargèse. To see: the Saint-Blaise church and the Sainte-Restitude Chapel.
  • Zilia, known everywhere in Corsica for its spring water
  • Montemaggiore and its view of the entire bay of Calvi and La Revellata.
  • Speloncato: cobbled streets, baroque church and beautiful view on the program
  • Pigna for its many artists’ workshops: doorman, cabinetmaker, ceramist…
  • Aregno whose Church of the Trinity and San Giovanni is classified as a historical monument
  • Sant’Antonino and its exceptional panorama over the whole of Balagne. It is often listed among the most beautiful villages in Corsica.
  • Occi: an abandoned village that can only be reached on foot, either from the village of Lumio, or from the road, near the “Camping Panoramic”. After a somewhat steep climb, you will be rewarded with the view that awaits you. The perfect place to admire the sunset (while still thinking of going down before dark!).
  • Lumio, pretty balcony village where Laeticia Casta spent part of her childhood.

In each of these villages, you will also find craftsmen, referenced under the label of the “Route des Savoir-Faire de Balagne”.

You will be able to discover jewelry designersconfectionersbiscuit factoriespotterssculptors or even olive oil producers.

To know where exactly all these craftsmen are, it is on the official site.

And if you want to learn more about the Corsican villages and their heritage or if you haven’t rented a car, I advise you to opt for a guided tour.

I also warmly recommend the one organized by Serge, she is at the top! You can book it by clicking here.

Calvi itinerary 3 day
The villages of Balagne, in Corsica

12. Bonifatu Forest

For a change from the seaside, in the vicinity of Calvi, I recommend that you go to the forest of Bonifatu.

Located just 20 km from the city, allow about 30 minutes to get there by car. On site, you can park in the various car parks, near the Auberge de la Forêt (a small restaurant bar and stopover gîte).

Paid car parks only in summer (4€ for the day for a car, 7.50€ for motorhomes).

Extending over almost 3000 hectares, the forest is the ideal place to go hiking near Calvi.

There are 7 possible hikes from the Auberge de la Forêt:

  • The Calatoghju loop: an easy 2.6 km walk of about 1 hour
  • The Ficaghjola loop which combines hiking and the possibility of swimming in the river. Ideal for families. About 2 hours.
  • The Candia loop, a little more difficult than the previous 2. About 2h30 for 4.1 km.
  • The Finochi loop lasting 4 hours. Fairly technical trail but which offers a panoramic view of the Bonifatu circus.
  • The Erbaghjolu loop. 5 hours of walking reserved for experienced hikers.
  • The refuge of Ortu di U Piobbu which you will reach in 3h30 of walking and which is part of the 1st stage of the GR20.
  • The Carozzu refuge: 2h30 to reach it

Always from the car park, down, you will find a path that will take you to the river in less than 5 minutes. The place is great for swimming with lots of natural pools and what’s more, it’s shaded! It really is the ideal place for a family picnic around Calvi.

Tips for your Calvi itinerary:

Before going on a hike in the Bonifatu forest, find out about the risk of fire and the risk of thunderstorms.

In the event of a storm, do not stay at the edge of the water. Even if it’s not raining where you are, the river can suddenly overflow.

Calvi itinerary 3 day
La foret de Bonifatu

13. The Tip of the Revellata

About 10 km northwest of Calvi, I advise you to go to Revellata.

This wild peninsula is the ideal place to enjoy beautiful coves and a white sand beach where you can swim in peace.

At the tip of Revellata, you will also find a lighthouse as well as the Stareso oceanographic center, a seabed study station. They also organize summer diving courses.

The hike that leads there is really nice and the path is also part of the customs trail or coastal path. All along, you will be entitled to splendid views of Calvi and the coast.

There are 2 ways to do the walk:

  • Park in the car park at the top of La Revellata, walk down to Alga beach and follow the coastal path to the lighthouse.
  • From Calvi, leave your car in the parking lot of the citadel and reach La Revellata on foot via the coastal footpath ( starting point here – Google Maps link ).

If you don’t feel like walking but still want to swim at La Revellata, I advise you to book a snorkeling trip.

From the marina of Calvi, the boat will take you to the reserve where you will have 1h30 to explore the seabed. All equipment is provided by the provider.

Tips for your Calvi itinerary:

As I told you above, you can also opt for a boat trip to visit the Revellata peninsula.

The second option to make the most of your day at sea in Calvi (at La Revellata or elsewhere!), is to opt for a private boat trip.

You rent a boat with a skipper, and he will take you to the most beautiful places around Calvi

Motor boat, sailboat, catamaran or even yacht : it’s up to you to choose the boat that suits you to spend a dream day!

Calvi itinerary 3 day
the Revellata

14. Notre-Dame de la Serra,

Since you are near Revellata, you absolutely have to go to Notre-Dame de la Serra, located just next door.

Built in the 15th century, the chapel of Notre-Dame de la Serra offers a breathtaking view of the entire bay of Calvi and the surrounding mountains. It’s simply the best view of the city!

You will also see a large rock on which has been erected a statue of the Virgin Mary, considered by the inhabitants as the protector of the city and to whom a pilgrimage is dedicated every year in September.

Calvi itinerary 3 day
Our Lady of the Serra

15. Fango Valley

With the forest of Bonifatu, it is the other essential place to bathe in fresh water in the surroundings of Calvi: the valley of Fango, labeled “  Site Rivière Sauvage ”.

Located just 40 minutes by car from Calvi, it is classified as a biosphere nature reserve by UNESCO and covers more than 26,000 hectares.

By parking at the level of the car park located at “Ponte-Vecchio ”, you will have direct access to the river and several natural swimming pools, perfect for swimming. A path along the river also allows you to get away from the busiest places. This is the right plan if you want to be a little quieter!

And if you want to do some hiking in the Fango Valley, that’s also possible. You will find the details of the routes by stopping at the tourist information point located just before entering the valley. You can’t miss it, you have to go through it!

You can also go to Galéria, only 10 minutes by car from Fango. From the parking lot of the Tower, one-hour canoe trips are organized to explore the Fango delta and observe the fauna and flora of this protected natural site.

By opening your eyes and making no noise, you will surely have the opportunity to see the European pond turtle, the gray heron, the egret or even the kingfisher.

For canoeing, the price is €6 per person for 1 hour.

It is not possible to book and the walks are only offered in summer from June to September. The information can be found on the official website.

Calvi itinerary 3 day
The Fango Valley

16. Algajola

Between Ile Rousse and Calvi (20 minutes by car), Algajola is a nice stop for a stroll in the old town and to enjoy the beach.

A small family seaside resort, you will enjoy strolling through the cobbled streets lined with restaurants and in the fortified part of the village. You can also enjoy a large sandy beach. 

On the beach, a center offers lots of activities:

  • Scuba diving and snorkeling
  • Bike rental from 15€
  • Outings with a bike guide from €38
  • Windsurf
  • You paddle
  • You kayak them more
  • Surf

Rates and activities can be found right here.  

Calvi itinerary 3 day

How many days to visit Calvi?

To visit the city of Calvi itself and discover the main places of interest, you will not need more than a day.

But if you want to visit Calvi and the surrounding area, then I recommend that you spend at least 4 days in Calvi. Especially if you also want to enjoy the beach and the activities a bit.

I give you an idea of ​​​​the program just below.

1 Day Calvi Itinerary

Have you planned to spend a day in Calvi? It’s enough to visit the city and see the main places I’m talking about in my top.

Here is an example of a walk to visit Calvi in ​​one day:

  • Discovery of the citadel and its viewpoints
  • Walk in the lower town
  • Walk and lunch on the port (Quai Landry)
  • Choice of afternoon: relaxation on Calvi beach or boat trip to ScandolaLa Revellata or the Agriates desert (departure at 2:30 p.m.)

2 Days Calvi Itinerary

For 2 days in Calvi, resume the program of day 1 and for the second day, add:

  • The car tour of the villages of Balagne or an organized excursion with a great guide ( book here! )
  • Afternoon in the Bonifatu forest for walking and swimming
Calvi itinerary 3 day
Forest near Calvi

3 Days Calvi Itinerary

If you have 3 days in Calvi, in addition to the previous 2 days, I advise you:

  • Join the Revellata to walk a bit and swim in the creeks or at the beach of Alga
  • Climb to Notre-Dame-de-la-Serra to contemplate the panorama over Calvi

4 Days Calvi Itinerary

If you stay 4 days or more in Calvi, you can add:

  • Go swimming in the Fango Valley. I advise you to plan a picnic for lunch!
  • Optional: to do the one-hour canoe tour in the Fango delta

If you prefer, you can also visit the famous Asco valley with an organized tour: book here!

Visit Calvi in ​​5, 6 days or a week!

Are you planning to spend 5, 6 days or a week in Calvi? Here are some activity ideas to keep you busy!

  • Reach Île Rousse by taking the train from Calvi. You can take the opportunity to stop at Algajola or at one of the other beaches along the way.
  • Opt for a first dive
  • Go hiking on the trails of Balagne
  • Go canyoning
  • Take advantage of Calvi beach and indulge in some water activities

There’s plenty to keep you busy, even for a week’s stay in Calvi!

Accommodation in Calvi

  • Le Saint Erasme: Located 850 meters from the port on the seafront. Double room well equipped with good bedding from 70€ per night, breakfast at 10€. Most: the swimming pool, the free private parking, the welcoming staff.
  • Camping La Pinède: Located just 200 meters from Calvi beach. Chalet and bungalow fully equipped, very functional and air-conditioned, with private terrace from 70€ per night. Most: swimming pool, tennis courts, playground, free parking. It is the ideal place for a family holiday in Calvi!
  • Hotel Revellata: Located 450 meters from the port. Design and comfortable double room from 85€ per night, breakfast at 12€. The pluses: outdoor and indoor swimming pool, the Spa, the gym, the view, the excellent breakfast. It is our favorite for its price/performance ratio in Calvi!
  • Hotel Casa Bianca: Located 250 meters from the beach. Spacious and modern double room from €100, breakfast at €12. Most: the location, the welcoming staff, the comfort of the rooms.
  • La Signoria: 5* hotel located 3 km from Calvi beach. Warm and spacious suite with dressing room, marble bathroom and terrace from €320 per night, breakfast included. The pluses: the gourmet restaurant, the Spa, the swimming pool, the calm, the exceptional breakfast. This is our recommendation for a luxury stay in Calvi!
Calvi itinerary 3 day
La Revellata, in Calvi

Where to eat in Calvi

  • Pizzanotte: Located on the road to Calvi airport. All the regulars will tell you that this is the best pizza in Corsica. As I haven’t tested all the Corsican pizzerias, I wouldn’t take a position, but I can assure you that those at Pizzanotte are excellent! Well-stocked, fine pasta and affordable prices (from €10) served in a rustic setting. I recommend the “Pizzad’elo” pizza made with honey, goat cheese, coppa, parmesan and almonds, but all the others are just as good. To take away or eat in.
  • Via Marine: Located rue Clemenceau with a view of the port. The dishes are plentiful and well presented. The menu is varied (fish, meat, pasta, pizza) and the staff really pleasant. Additional positive point: the good desserts that change a little from those straight out of the freezer.
  • Aux bons amis: also located rue Clemenceau. Restaurant specializing in fish and shellfish whose reputation for their famous bouillabaisse is second to none. Everything is fresh and well presented, tasty and quality cuisine. Reservation recommended.

Tips for your Calvi itinerary:

If you want to eat a pizza in Corsica, you may notice that the Corsicans use grated Emmental cheese as the base cheese for their pizza (and not mozzarella).

If you prefer mozzarella, no problem! Remember to ask them when ordering, the change is most of the time free :-).

Where to Go out in Calvi

  • Chez TAO: this is the essential place to go out in Calvi. Located in the heart of the citadel, it is Calvi’s most famous establishment for a drink. This piano bar, which also offers DJ evenings in a chic setting, offers a breathtaking view from its terrace.
  • The tower bar: located on the Landry wharf. This bar offers evenings with Corsican bands every Tuesday and a DJ takes care of the music every other night. Nice view and good cocktails complete the whole thing.
  • Citadella da Fà: Located Avenue of the Republic. An authentic place that offers themed evenings and quality concerts of various musical styles in a friendly atmosphere.
  • The annex: Located Rue Georges Clemenceau, just next to the port, this small discotheque is a nice place to party and dance in Calvi!
Calvi itinerary 3 day
Panorama of Calvi, in Corsica

How to Get to Calvi?

By plane

To go to Calvi, the fastest way is to take the plane, since the city has a small airport. From there you can rent a car or take a taxi to reach your hotel. There are no buses.

If you arrive in Bastia and want to reach Calvi, you have several solutions:

1. Rent a car.

This is what I recommend you do because it is very complicated to visit Corsica and the surroundings of Calvi without a car. This is clearly the best way to get around and access the start of all walks in the forest and in the mountains.

From Bastia, it will take you about 2 hours to go to Calvi by car. 

2. Take the train: allow about 3 hours by train between Bastia and Calvi.

And ferry

Only ferries from GenoaItaly, now dock in Calvi.

If you take the boat from Marseille or Toulon, the boat will land you at Île-Rousse (30 minutes drive from Calvi). From there, you can rent a car to go to Calvi. 

It is also possible to take the boat from Nice, Toulon and Marseille to Bastia. And from there, same principle as if you arrive by plane, you will have to rent a car or make the journey by train.

Tourist Map of Calvi

To help you visualize the city a little better, I made you a  tourist map of Calvi listing the places to visit that I talk about in this top 15 things to do in Calvi. You can display the map legend by clicking on the top left button with a small arrow.

And you, what are you planning to see in Calvi?

Are you going to Corsica, Read also

Discover all our articles on Corsica: all articles on Corsica are listed here.

Camille L.

Passionate about foreign languages, cooking and writing. I wish to share with you the places, the meetings and the gastronomic discoveries which gave relief to my travels.

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