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42°33.93′N, 08°45.64′E Chart icon.png
Calvi marina and citadel
Moorings in the bay, Calvi

The town of Calvi, tucked into a sheltered bay at the NW corner of the island of Corsica, was little more than a fishing village until the arrival of the Pisans from what is now north Italy in the tenth century. From then until the 13th century the area was a battleground between Pisa and the other powerful city state of Genoa, the Genoese finally prevailing in 1268, when the town of Calvi was fortified with a powerful citadel. It was during the period of Genoese domination of the island that Christopher Columbus was reputedly born in Calvi, a claim that is supported today by a monument built into the walls of the citadel. The fortifications of the town were further strengthened following the integration of Corsica into the new French Republic in 1789. The town was briefly occupied by English naval forces in 1794, a battle in which the famous English Admiral Nelson lost his eye. Today, Calvi hosts a growing number of tourists during the balmy summer months as well as providing a base for a regiment of the French Foreign Legion, who are often seen running in full kit up the steep mountain trails around Calvi.

As the closest harbour to the French mainland coast, Calvi is a natural first port of call for yachts heading to the island and on to Sardinia, Sicily and round the bottom of Italy to the Adriatic and Greece. It has both a medium-sized marina and mooring buoys in the bay.


Give charts applicable to this port or refer to a Chart section of another page (Country or Region) that lists the charts.

Chart Number - Chart Name
Chart Number - Chart Name
Chart Number - Chart Name


Calvi Bay is well sheltered in most conditions, even during a mistral. It is, however, exposed in NE winds. Fortunately these are uncommon in the sailing season but more likely to be experienced during the winter months.

See alsoCorsica.





Also see World Cruiser's Nets.


There are no hazards in the approach to Calvi, except the frequent ferry movements. Ferries have right of way into and out of the harbour and yachts should keep well clear. If coming from the French coast, your first sight will be of Cap Revellata at the extreme NW tip of the island. The citadel of Calvi is visible in good conditions on the headland beyond. In poor visibility, you may well scent Corsica before you see it (Napoleon once famously said he could tell the island blindfold just from the pungent odours of the maquis mountain vegetation of the island).


Calvi is a port of entry/exit to France.

Submit details about facilities for checking in - location of immigration & customs, etc.


Yachts either moor in the marina if there is space or pick up one of the mooring buoys in the bay. Out of season, the choice is between the marina and anchoring in the bay, as the buoys are removed for the winter months, usually from the end of September.

Marinas & Yacht Clubs

The Port de Plaisance at Calvi has a total of 350 berths, of which 180 are ostensibly reserved for visitors. However, there is usually very little space in here from late June to the end of August. The marina does not usually respond to VHF, so try calling on : +33 (0)495 651060. The marina has good shelter in all conditions except strong NE winds, which are only usually experienced in winter. Depths in the marina are from 1.5 to 4.0 metres.


Anchorage in the bay is discouraged during the season as the municipality installs several dozen mooring buoys in the bay. If determined to anchor, you will have to go right over to the eastern side of the bay, which is a long way from the town. No anchoring is permitted in the approach to the harbour in view of the frequent ferries.

Yacht Repairs and Services

List services. If no services are available on the island write "None" and remove all the subsections (Marine Stores, & Repairs/Yards, & Fuel, Water, & Electricity.

Marine Stores

Submit addresses and contact details of marine related businesses that are of interest to cruisers.


Limited repairs. There is a 50T travel lift in the marina.

Fuel, Water, & Electricity

Water and electricity is available in the marina. Water may not be used for washing or boat cleaning, as it is scarce during the summer. There is a fuel dock in the marina.

Things to do ashore


A walk up to the citadel for the views of the bay is a must - the sunset over the bay is occasionally spectacular. The cathedral and the church of Santa Maria in the citadel are worth a visit. The cathedral has a 16th century Christ of the Miracles, credited with saving Calvi from a combined Turkish and French force in 1553, and is sometimes the venue for interesting concerts. If you get the chance of attending a concert of traditional Corsican polyphony, take it - it's some of the most distinctive choral music you will ever hear. The walk out of town up to the church of Notre Dame de la Serra on top of a high peak overlooking the harbour will get the lungs working and it offers magnificent views over the bay. If you take a picnic, there is a stone table at the base of the statue of the virgin. A little shuttle train trundles along the coast eastwards from Calvi to the village of Alcajola, which has a lovely sandy bay and several family restaurants. Hiring a car or scooter will give you access to the delightful mountain villages of Calenzana, Speluncata and San Antonino or to the stunning gorge of the Foret de Bonifatu. A steep 2-3 hour climb from the latter along part of the GR20 walking path (which traverses the mountainous spine of Corsica) leads up to the Refuge de Carrozzu at 1260 metres, a wild spot surrounded by jagged mountain peaks. Another worthwhile trip is up through the Col de Battaglia, a dizzyingly high pass above Speluncato, to the Foret de Tartagine. The route winds down from the pass for miles, passing through more and more desolate forest and becoming virtually a single track before terminating at a forest lodge from where there are lovely walks along the river and through the forest.

Grocery & Supply Stores

Supermarkets and food shops in the town.


Do try a leisurely lunch of Corsican charcuterie, which is delicious, washed down with Pietra, an amber beer flavoured with chestnut flour.




Laundrette reported in the marina.

Motorbike & Car Rentals

Car and scooter hire near the marina.

Garbage Disposal

Bins behind the marina.


List transportation (local and/or international.)


Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)



See France.


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

  • While in Calvi during August 2002, we attended a very moving performance of Corsican polyphonic sacred chants from the 12th to 16th centuries performed by a traditional Corsican group of six male singers, Tempus Fugit, in the cathedral. If they're still performing, sell your grandmother if you have to to buy a ticket! --Atheneoflymington

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Names: Lighthouse, Atheneoflymington

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