The Île Rousse is the other seaside resort on this coast. It takes its name from the porphyry red rocks of the Isle of Pietra, just to the north of the town. As an ancient Roman trading post, its boom years date back to Pascal Paoli who built a port and ramparts to rival the sea trade between Gęnes and Calvi. Its climate is so mild that it could be called the “Mild Isle”. Nothing is more pleasant than strolling through the shade of the 100-year old plane trees in the Place Paoli that is edged with date palms.
Inland, a large number of terraced villages provide the ideal destination for a variety of trips in a magnificent natural setting. At the foot of Montegrosso, explore Calenza which is set against a backdrop of olive groves, and provides the starting point for the GR 20 (long-distance hiking route). To see: the three villages of Montegrosso, Lunghignano and its oil mill, Cassano and its star-shaped square, Montemaggiore and its commanding views over the gulf of Calvi. Sant’Antonio, a perfectly preserved medieval eyrie, Pigna, a lively craft centre and Corbara with its highly Baroque church of the Annunciation and convent that are still used as a place of retreat.
On the heights of Balagne, you will find the region of Ghjunsani where you cannot fail to get away from it all in this place of wild nature. From Belgodere, that is perched on a rocky outcrop overhanging the Reginu valley, a hiking trail will take you to Olmi Capella. Vallica dominates the hillsides that are cut into terraces and set within a majestic mountain ridge. From Mausoleo and Pioggiola you can walk in a landscape dotted with Genoese bridges and chapels. Further to the north, the Ostriconi valley falls into the sea creating a sumptuous white sandy beach. This region was Corsica’s former oil-producing area. Here you will discover many mills, the beautiful village of Lama that is overlooked by Mount Astu, and Pietralba set within its mountain ridge.
On the Île Rousse, tour around the market place with its 21 columns and go for a lovely stroll along the Marinella and visit the traditional coffee-making plant.
Source (AGENCE DU TOURISME)