In the heart of the four seasons
Situated in a beautiful bay in the region Balagne (the northwestern part of Corsica), the town L’Ile-Rousse with its wonderful white sand beach and its red porphyry islets, which give the Riviera style resort its name, is one of the most pleasant places to stay in the area. Charming coastlines and beaches, beautiful hills and mountains, this is the rich blend offered by L’Ile-Rousse and the region. In the old town, the visitor can stroll through the streets named after Pascal Paoli, Napoleon and Louis Philippe around the sumptuous main square, Place Paoli, shaded by old plane trees. Culture and tradition, a wide range of sports and leisure activities, friendly atmosphere, conviviality and well-being for the whole family: L’Ile-Rousse welcomes you for an exceptional and charming holiday.
What to see
- The Lighthouse from 1857
- The Genoese Tower built in the 16th century
- The old stone jetty, dating back to beginning of the last century
- The ruins of the fortresses of L’Ile-Rousse
- The War Memorial, a statue by the sculptor Antoniucci Volti (1915-1989)
- The neoclassical church « Notre-Dame de la Miséricorde »
- The Covered Market with its 21 pillars, nowadays listed as a historical monument
- The main square, Place Paoli, inaugurated in 1852
- The parish church “Immaculée Conception de Marie”, built in 1889 and dedicated in 1893
Discover the villages located on the hills and enjoy breathtaking landscapes:
Monticello, an elegant village surrounded by a belt of olive trees, with its wonderful small streets, its ancient buildings, imposing houses, chapels, archeological sites and walking paths. It offers one of the most beautiful viewpoints in Corsica.
Not far from it, an amazing corniche road climbs up, reaching Santa Reparata di Balagna, a terraced village of crumbling ancient buildings and arcaded streets which yield spectacular glimpses of the sea.
Do not miss the village Corbara, with its wonderful Baroque edifice, the “Eglise de l’Annonciation” which is the largest of Balagne’s parish churches.
Finish your visit with Pigna, a lively centre dedicated to the promotion of Corsican craft and culture with its artisan’s workshops and its Moorish-style auditorium.
Not to be missed
Everything has to be seen. Open your eyes and have a look at our history. Follow us, take the touristic roads and admire the places:
- Walk to the “îles rousses”: The red islets spread out over 16 hectares. Their name is due to the red porphyry granite. Archeological digs have yielded evidence of settlements on the main peninsula, called “Ile de la Pietra”, during the Neolithic period (sixth millennium B.C.). Much later, in the 16th century, a watchtower was erected by the Genoese in order to prevent from barbarian invasions which threatened the Mediterranean in the middle age. The peninsula is connected to the town by a bridge since 1851. The lighthouse at the far end of the “Ile de la Pietra” was built in 1857. From there, the view towards the archipelago, the town and the villages nearby is spectacular, especially at sunset, when you get the full effect of the glowing red rocks.
- The Covered Market: Taste the full-flavoured gastronomical local products such as fresh fruit and vegetable, fish, meats, cheese, wine, olive oil and many more which can be purchased in the morning under the covered market in L’Ile-Rousse. Built around 1844 by the mayor Piccioni, the Covered Market under the 21-pillared porch looks like a classical temple and is classified as a historical monument since 1993.
- The botanical garden “Parc de Saleccia”: Unique in Corsica, the magnificent “Parc de Saleccia”, set over a seven-hectare site dedicated to aromatic plants and flowers from across the Mediterranean basin, offers its superb walkways through Corsica’s only botanical garden.
- The walking paths from l’Ile-Rousse: Alone or in company, pace up and down the paths around L’Ile-Rouse: near 70km have been cleaned and marked out. These ancient mule tracks through the villages will help you discover the arts and craft, the local products and the heritage of the Balagne.
- Tartagine Forest and Mausoleo: Have a rest in the state-owned forest Tartagine-Melaja. The road climbs gently at 1000meters altitude to reach the “Col de Battaglia”, the ultimate destination for nature lovers seeking spectacular surroundings and breathtaking panoramas.
- The Agriates-desert: Reach the protected Ostriconi Valley and take the road to Saint-Florent. This arid land is the only desert in Europe. Here, time seems to stop: no sand but a dry maquis, hills and valleys looking to the sea and the Cap Corse.
- The “Route des Artisans”: Follow the “Route des Artisans”, the arts and craft circuit, and meet the artisan communities in their workshops: glass-blowers, potters and ceramists, cutlers, jewelers, musical instruments makers and many more.
- The « Route des Vins »: Connoisseurs of fine wines should not miss the vineyards tour itinerary which spread out over 276 hectares between L’Ile-Rousse and Calvi, a delightful wine territory with its aromatic richness and strong identity.
- The beaches around L’Ile-Rousse: Surrounded by wonderful natural scenery with lush greenery and high mountains, Lozari is a beautiful sandy beach, the ideal place to sunbathe and to dive in the warm Mediterranean sea. Famous also for its aquatic sports, it will be appreciated by the whole family.
Wild and beautiful, the large Ostriconi beach will charm you with its white fine sand and its dunes, the turquoise water, the preserved nature and untouched beauty. From the coast road, admire the extraordinary view on the beach and dare the adventure: go downhill between shrubs and rocks, reach this heavenly place and dive into the water.
We welcome you to our homeland and wish you all a pleasant visit.
Office de Tourisme de L’Ile-Rousse
B.P. 42 – avenue Calizi
Tel: +33 (0)4 95 60 04 35
Fax: +33 (0)4 95 60 24 74