Saturday, 5 June 2010


Calvi is often described as a ‘picture postcard’ town, and with the amount of photos I have taken today, it would be hard to disagree!

There wasn’t really anything specific that I was looking for, but I love the old cobbled streets of rue Clemenceau behind the port where you can find lots of interesting little shops selling anything from handmade iron decoration to local specialities of ham, cheese and even jams.

I walked up to the church – you can’t miss it as someone had the bright idea to paint it pink! There is a little square here which has been mostly taken over by the terraces of two restaurants; the Santa Maria on the left and Chez Doumé on the right.

It’s a shame the shutters of Casacalvi weren’t open as this would have made a fabulous photo for the website – what bliss to just tumble down the stairs in the morning for coffee and croissants on the port...

I have to admit though that I was personally more tempted by the simple looking restaurant further up towards the citadel that was offering a set Corsican menu for 19 euros which sounded delicious...

The port was to be my next stop. I really wanted to go up to the citadel and see if I could capture a new shot of the cathedral, but after the walk of several kilometres along the beach, my legs had other ideas, so I had to content myself with photos from the outside looking in.

I wandered along the port and the first thing to catch my eye were the trio of yachts which seemed to each be trying to outdo his neighbour! Like a lot of other visitors, I was really curious, so I walked along the pontoon to see if I could get a look inside the ‘Hampshire’, the largest of the three.

I couldn’t see much, which was a shame, but what I did see looked like a small luxury hotel. Apparently the crew were on board waiting for the guests, so no opportunity to become a paparazzo unfortunately!

The view looking back over the town from out in the bay was amazing (some of these pontoons are really long). Again, you really can’t appreciate all the colourful parasols, the huge palm trees and ancient ramshackle buildings rising up from behind the restaurants lining the port when you are close up.

I’d been a bit of a cheapskate with my parking as I wanted somewhere free and shady, so I’d decided to park up in the pinède and walk along the beach to the town.

The pinède is the area of parasol pines backing the beach, and home to the tennis club, as well as lots of restaurants sitting at the edge of the sand.

As I walked up and over the track for the Trinicellu (Corsican for little train), I had to give passing thought to Railtrack. These lines spend their lives covered in sand and no doubt blobs of sun tan cream and/or ice cream, but the trains still manage to run with few problems. Makes you wonder what the problem is really doesn’t it?

I could have parked closer, but it was nice to take the time to walk right along the beach and back – something I rarely do in the summer - and it was amazing the sights you see (natural beauty and the not so natural). The beach itself is very fine, silvery coloured sand with a few odd pebble sized stones dotted here and there.

Of course, aside from the miles and miles of sand and the warm shallow turquoise water, one of the best things about Calvi beach is the amazing view over the citadel. From the town, one is really too close to really appreciate the size and beauty of the citadel which really isa little village in its own right jutting out to sea.

It wasn’t long before I saw something moving over the water that and realised that it was a bloke on a jetski towing a line of them back to the beach – ah, so that’s how they do it!

Calvi has all manor of water sports available from the beach; jetski, sailing, windsurfing and boat-towed inflatables such as the banana, but the biggest attraction is the 5-6kms of fine sandy beach where children can find and play in the shallows and it’s perfect for sandcastles!

I do miss living in Calvi and although I love the south too, it’s days like today that make me wonder why I moved. It is certainly one of the prettiest and well rounded resorts with a superb sandy beach, beautiful harbour, ancient buildings and all sorts of things to see and do – what more could you ask for?

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