L’Île Rousse Sept 14
There’s wind and off we go. Along the northern coast, there’re many small, but secluded beautiful white sandy beaches enclosed by clear turquoise water; Cala di Grotella, Cala di Fecciajo, Punta Negra, Plage de Saleccia, just to name a few.
Well, the wind didn’t last very long, but since we weren’t on a schedule, we could sail at 2 knots. And instead of going to Calvi, we stopped 10NM short, and decided to go into L’Île Rousse.
Beautiful sunsets on the west coast of Corsica
L’Île Rousse was not one of Pilot Guide author Rod Heikell’s favorite places to see, but we found it acceptable in its unpretentious way. The town was found by Pascal Paoli and the town square, La Place Paoli, was obviously named after him. Next to the square is a covered market boasting 21 columns, built towards 1850. Like any other towns, there are churches and (ruins of) fortress built on the island. The one place that worth a visit was the walk to the lighthouse, dated back to 1857. There’s a breathtaking view (especially at sunset) of the red granite islands, the sea, port, town and the high perched villages of the Balagna. Along the path, there’s a Genovese tower built in the 15th century and next to the tower, the ruins of an ancient barrack block and of the “Saint Agathe” chapel were dated back to the year one thousand. An old stone jetty was built to protect the little roadstead and now, the commercial port, where ferries to Genoa, Savona, Marseille and Nice could be boarded. Along the waterfront, again, there are the usual cafes and shops, but there are also the pétanque players, rolling their steel balls in the shade of palm and plane trees. A little train, skirted along the bay, takes you to Calvi, 3 times a day.
The ski-boats and water bikes that annoyed Heikell so much were no longer in sight. The water at the anchorage was crystal-clear, one of the best we’ve seen so far. All in all, we enjoyed our stay fairly well.