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5 villages along the spectacular north coast of Corsica

Monday 17 february 2020

A cross-border itinerary that will give you unforgettable moments between sea, nature, relaxation, discovering 5 Corsican villages

5 villages along the spectacular north coast of Corsica

If we want to extend our itinerary to discover the villages of the island of Elba or simply let ourselves be amazed by the wonders of the Capo Corso coast, we arrive at the port of Bastia, one of the most important in northern Corsica. Whether you are by car, motorbike or bicycle, this itinerary will show unique panoramas giving unforgettable moments between sea, nature, relaxation and, of course, villages. From Bastia we take the D80, northwards, a road that we will learn to love, and that our journey along the "Corsica finger" begins.


After only twenty minutes (by car or motorbike), on a road that runs alongside the sea, we will arrive in Erbalunga, a small fishing village characterized by its narrow streets, where we will find excellent restaurants where you can taste the local fish and the ruins the Genoese watchtower, near the marina. Erbalunga is a quiet place, with stone houses overlooking a clear sea and resting on a small rocky promontory, today houses of different artists where they can find inspiration in complete peace. Here we cannot miss a visit to the Castle, a hamlet in a panoramic position located 3 kilometers inland. If we visit Erbalunga during the Easter period we will be enchanted by the spectacular processions.

We resume the D80, always north for about 35 minutes by car, along a coast that will pass next to the Tour de l'Osse and will give us glimpses of the sea of rare beauty, up to Macinaggio. This location is part of the municipality of Macinaggio / Rogliano, of which it is the marina. Macinaggio is one of the liveliest centers on the Capo Corso peninsula and is famous for the splendid Tamarone beach, characterized by a crystal clear sea and a relaxing atmosphere. Not to be missed are the Genoese towers Quercioli, Bettolacce and Tour Barbara da Mare, the church of Sant'Agnellu in the center of the village, the island of Finocchiarola and the tourist port.

Let's go back along the D80, this time towards the hinterland, through a gentle hilly road, along which we can stop at Point de vue Rogliano, a panoramic point that offers a wide view of the coast, then take the D153 in Botticella, and then continue on the D253, until our third destination, Barcaggio. The road offers hilly panoramas with distant maritime glimpses whose intense colors make the journey even more spectacular.

One of the northernmost places in Corsica, Barcaggio is a small seaside village with a relaxed atmosphere. An inevitable cold drink sitting in the cool in front of the marina, admiring a suggestive panorama, enriched by the presence of the Ile de la Giraglia. Among the beauties of the area, the Plage de Barcaggio and Plage del Cala Genovese beaches, a destination also appreciated by the cows in the area, making it, with its sweet dunes, an even more suggestive destination.

We say goodbye to the Barcaggio coast and take the D253 towards Botticella and return to the D80, a generous road of landscapes, such as that of the Moulin Mattei, to reach Port de Centuri after deviating on the D35.

In this picturesque location let's get ready to taste the excellent lobster, the traditional catch that has been one of the main activities for centuries. The inhabited area is represented by a handful of houses overlooking the sea where the colors are enhanced by the contrast of the nets for crustacean fishing. Centuri is a romantic location that at sunset is able to fascinate with its photography colors, making every moment truly unforgettable.

It's time to thank the lobster fishermen and return to the D80, heading south, between hills and coastal panoramas of exceptional beauty and charm. Of course there will be hairpin bends, districts and villages but the surprise of the landscapes that we will meet on the road to Nonza will fully satisfy.

Impossible to say how long it will take ... There are too many scenic places where we can stop to admire the panorama between the hills and the sea. The road, which continues to skirt the sea, literally cuts some high rocks giving even more drama to these places. Then it rises in the hills where the landscape becomes more rugged and then again flanking the coast and cutting through villages and urban agglomerations. Between Canelle and Stazzona we will meet the Miniera de Canari, an abandoned asbestos mine that testifies to the past of this region. Passing through Albo we can take a bath at the beach of the same name or visit its tower on the sea but our destination is now close and perhaps we will stay until Nonza beach.

Nonza is one of the most beautiful and characteristic places of the Corsica finger. From the top of a 150-meter rocky peak, topped by a Genoese tower, Nonza faces its black pebble beach as if to cure it. Here we can not fail to visit the particular church with a red and yellow facade, the tower, from which you can enjoy a panorama of the town and the gulf, and to make matters worse, there is also the Santa-Giulia fountain to which they seem miraculous powers. The contrast of the built-up area nestled in the green of the promontory facing the blue expanse of the sea makes this place simply magical.

Although Nonza was the last of the 5 villages that we wanted to visit along our trip to Corsica, the surprises are not yet over. The road from Nonza to Bastia is still full of spectacular landscapes. In fact, up to Farinole, it will coast the sea, to throw itself inland and cut the "finger" through the hills to Bastia. Interesting, along the coast, the village of Negru with its small beach or Farinole beach. Near Santa-Maria, we will say goodbye to the much loved D80 to join the D81 thanks to a roundabout with a unique landscape. Vineyards and rocky mountains in the south, a small town in the west, green hills in the north and east. The hairpin bends will make us go around Frecciasca, then we will cross Piazze, we will meet the Memorial de Col de Teghime and Mount Canarincu, then here is the coast, in the distance, and the city, Bastia.

They will be very exciting days, in a region of Corsica dedicated to real slow tourism. An itinerary to take calmly to enjoy every corner, every glimpse, every curve, every ascent and descent, slowing down and being amazed by many wonders. Honestly, we will cross several narrow roads and sometimes overlooking the sea, and this makes the route not particularly suitable for inexperienced travelers but certainly, it's worth it. At this point, all that remains is to book the most suitable boat on Corsica ferries and while sailing, dream of all the places we told you about ... Bon voyage.


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