Exploring Calvi, Corsica

When you book a holiday in Corsica you have to make a decision.

Are you going to stay in the north or south?

The south is a fancy, chic, St Tropez sort of place. Gorgeous beaches, super yachts, beautiful & manicured towns.

The North is much more rustic, simple, “real” and adventurous.

It really just depends what you want out of a trip.

We went for the north.

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Rugged coastline, wild mountains, crumbling hamlets and a breeze whipping off the sea that’ll take your hat off sooner than you can say “hold onto the hat!”

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We set off to explore the seaside, fortified town of Calvi.

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Clambering up the slippery cobbles into the medieval citadel.

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Tile print dress

Lemon print handbag

Rockstud sandals (sim)

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We roamed the winding streets, climbing higher and higher.

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Ducking into deserted churches with marble floors and dusty windows looking out onto the bay.

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Far from the bustling towns of the south, we barely met a soul on our path.

Finding only a handful of travellers catching their breath in the little bars dotted around the citadel.

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The unmistakably Mediterranean ochre and pink houses permeated with fragrant fig trees, throwing welcome shade onto the streets below.

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We fell in love with the crumbling facades and clever architecture, wrapping itself around the cliffs.

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Pulling up a chair at A Scola for a break.


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Before climbing down into the modern part of town.

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Picking up a few necessities for the house.

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And breathing in the unforgettable (and utterly addictive) smell of “foreign church”.

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A mix of cedar wood, cool marble, hot stone, melting candles and flowery incense.

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We followed our noses to the sea.

Passing the pretty cafes and bars serving iced coffees and frozen cocktails.

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Into the marina to pick out yachts.

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After a successful morning’s exploring we’d built up quite a hunger!

So set off in search of a beach restaurant called Le Matahari, on the other side of Calvi’s horseshoe bay.

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We took a table draped in a white tablecloth, beneath a straw umbrella, kicked off our shoes and wriggled our toes into the sand.

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Ordered a glass of the palest rosé and sat back to people watch.

Puffed up men in speedos stalking their way up and down the shore like proud peacocks. Unbelievably beautiful women, mahogany brown without a scrap of makeup and even less of a bikini!

Families splashed in the shallows, couples strolled hand in hand and men fished from the rocks.

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The menu, written up each day arrived by chalkboard.

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I started with tuna tartar, cut from a fish caught just off shore.

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While my date plumped for octopus.

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But the main event is where this place really shines.

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Scallop risotto.

Perfectly cooked scallops with a side of exquisite risotto and parmesan crisps.

One of the most beautifully balanced and delicious dishes I’ve had in years.

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Now this may not look like much, but it’s penne in a Corsican lemon sauce with courgette.

May sound simple but it is truly, truly mind blowing.

Zingy, creamy, rich, fresh. Just remarkable.

I have some serious recipe testing to do to see if I can recreate this one for you! It’s a game changer.

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Despite our protestations, the pudding menu arrived with a flurry.

How could you possibly say no to these options?

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I settled on an iced coffee.


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The strawberry mille-feuille.

Sheets of crisp pastry, filled with strawberry patisserie cream and fresh berries.

Worth every calorie.

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After lunch we snoozed on sunbeds and swam in the warm, gentle sea.

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Eventually heading home, shoes in hand, to read our books on the terrace.

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Corsica you are almost too good to be true.

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