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Cap Corse

Cap Corse

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During your holidays in Corsica you'd like to discover magnificent landscapes and typical villages? What about discovering Cap Corse? Located at the northern end of Corsica, Cap Corse is full of small fishing ports and is accessible by a road along its steep coast.
With Gîtes de France Corse book your vacation rental in Cap Corse and discover a region of character!


From Bastia to Bastia, the road round Cap Corse is fully 128 km long. The Cap Corse is a long promontory jutting out from the north of the island into the Mediterranean forming a peninsula rising at its highest point to 1,200 metres.

The rocks of polished schist to the East and complex ophiolites (rocks subject to high tectonic stress, as in the Alps), to the West, are cut by deep gullies and ravines through which numerous sparkling streams run down to the sea, forming havens and natural harbours at their outlets, ideal for human settlement down the centuries.
The rock formations are of marble, green quartz, red garnet, black silica and other gabbros that soar in amazing jumbled masses in the more inaccessible hinterland, and make the coastal formations that give Cap Corse its a breathtakingly picturesque quality.

On the East coast from Bastia to Macinaggio, the coastline is some 40 kilometres urbanized, as far as Erbalunga.
Beyond lie small villages with their marinas, dotted along the coast: Sisco, Pietracorbara, Cagnano, Santa-Severa, and Meria.

This environment has inspired innumerable novelists and poets. But Mérimée’s Colomba is actually located further south at Fozzano, close to Propriano.

More intimately connected with these amazing land- and seascapes is the Lavasina pilgrimage. Thousands of the faithful come here each 8th September to pay their devotions to a 1677 painting of miraculous origin, honouring the Virgin Mary (La Madonna). The pilgrimage is one of the great religious events of the island.

Macinaggio is a bustling pleasure port, but also boasts a cave inaccessible except by diving below sea level, where archaeologists have discovered the bones of animals dating back as far as 60 or 70,000 years. Specialist Eugène Bonifay recently discovered the first signs of human life in Corsica, from the Paleolithic period.

Rogliano, one of the eight hamlets in Macinaggio, was once the capital of Cap Corse, and in the XIIIth century became the fortified town of San-Colombano, owned and protected by the Da Mare family. The ruins of the Castle of San-Colombano are still there to tell the tale.

Macinaggio is twenty kilometres from Centuri, on the Ersa and Morsiglia road, where the XVIIth century Convent of Servites is still well-preserved. Islands dot the coastline, among them Finocchiarola and Giraglia, whose 26 meter high lighthouse built in 1848 is one of the most powerful in the Mediterranean.

Another monument on this marvellous coastline is the Seneca Tower, named after the Roman philosopher who was exiled to Corsica by Emperor Nero. As with many legends, the story has no foundation—Seneca never lived here!

The 50 kilometre long road from Centuri to Patrimonio takes one through the West coast to Pino with its convent and spectacular burial monuments.
Canari
is a site of magnificent natural beauty, spoiled however by the former asbestos plant, closed down in 1964.

Nonza
is built on a 300 foot sheer cliff dominating the sea and a dark pebble beach. These are not of volcanic origin, but are so-called steriles, the dross of the former plant, transformed by the sea into smooth, inert pebbles. Such is the transforming power of Nature!

Then Farinole, and finally back to Patrimonio and its celebrated wines, the San-Martino menhir and the summertime guitar festival.
The final leg of this circular tour of Cap Corse takes one up to the 536 metre Col of Teghime. This was the theatre of a ferocious battle in 1943 to liberate Bastia from the Nazis, in which many Moroccan troops known as goumiers lost their lives.


Like Corsica itself, but more so, this peninsula is formed by a mountain forced out of the sea, falling sometimes sheer at the coastline, back into it. Cap Corse is in fact an island within an island.
It is home to Corsica’s most famous aperitif, created in 1872 by Louis-Napoleon Mattei, whose family came from Ersa. (The Moulin Mattei or Mattei Mill can still be admired today). The aperitif is a quinquina-based and now world famous tonic wine.


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