Take the ferry to Ile Rousse, at Balagne, on one of the most beautiful golf courses in Corsica for a moment of pure relaxation and unforgettable discoveries!
Ile Rousse (L'Ile-Rousse), Lisula in Corsican, has been inhabited since the earliest times and was built throughout the history of Corsica, between the sea and the mountains.
For a thousand years before our time, Île-Rousse was a small prosperous town. It was originally known as Agilla by the Phoenicians and later became a Roman market and was renamed Rubico Rocega. It was located very close to the sea and so was subject to so many invasions that its inhabitants gradually left and moved to the villages of Santa Reparata, Monticello, Corbara and Pigna.
Inside the old part of the city, visitors can walk along the cobbled streets and cross them which are named after historical figures. Some of the Florentine-inspired houses are absolutely magnificent. The church of Notre Dame de la Miséricorde, originally built on Notre Dame Street, was rebuilt on the heights of the city centre, next to the former Franciscan convent. As for our parish, the Church of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady, it is located in Place Paoli.
Take a moment at the Place Paoli village square, under the watchful eye of “Babbù” Pascal Paoli. Enjoy your time here, either sitting on the terrace of a café, or playing a game of petanque with friends and avid players, in the shade of the hundred-year-old plane trees.
Head off for a walk along the A Marinella footpath which runs alongside one of the three magnificent sandy beaches, Napoleon beach. This path will lead you as far as the small island of la Pietra, with its red-ochre porphyry rock. At the summit of this island, you can look out over the Balagne coastline, from Calvi up to Agriate Point, and the villages which contribute to the history of Ile-Rousse. This is the perfect spot to watch the sunset and take some superb photos to remember forever.
It is very important that you have organized your ferry to Ile Rousse in advance, having arranged all the details. This is the key and first step for a great holiday!
How to get to Ile Rousse by ferry
Ships from mainland of France and Italy dock in Ile Rousse. Below are some of the most popular itineraries from / to the port of Ile Rousse:
- From Toulon: It is the best connection, with 5 connections a week and a journey lasting 7-11 hours
- From Nice: 3 connections per week with a duration of around 6 hours
- From Savona: Up to 3 times a week with a 7 hour trip
- From Livorno: available twice a week with a duration 8 hours
Ile Rousse is 25 minutes from Calvi-Saint Catherine airport. Flights from Paris, Marseille and Nice land there all year round. Several low-cost airlines have seasonal flights connecting Calvi with European cities such as Geneva, Bordeaux, Zurich, Brussels, Lille, Nantes and Bern.
If you are driving in Corsica, Ile Rousse is easily accessible by car. The driving time from the capital Ajaccio is 2 hours 30 minutes and from Bastia is 1 hour 30 minutes.
Ile Rousse ferry port
Ile Rousse Ferry port welcomes over 400,000 visitors annually. It is located on the eastern side of the Pietra peninsula, within walking distance of the city centre. However, the port has taxis to take passengers to other parts of Corsica. The ferry terminal at Port Ile Rousse has free WiFi, toilets and a children's playground. A free shuttle service to the city is available, as well as paid parking. Passengers with ferry tickets to Ile Rousse can depart from the North or South exits of the terminal, depending on their preference. Next to the port of L'ile-Rousse is the main marina of the city with a 50 and 60 metre pier. The marina accommodates over 150 yachts and fishing boats.
Transportation in Ile Rousse
Arriving by ferry tickets to Ile Rousse, tourists quickly realize that it is a small town with all the attractions nearby. Taxis are easy to find and are useful if you plan to visit nearby villages or beaches. Travellers staying in Ile Russe for a long time should consider renting a car. Driving holidays allow many day trips around the rest of the island. Note that, there are many paid parking options in and around Ile Rousse.
In order to leave the port facilities, grab a taxi since there are many waiting to pick you up or call +33 4 95 60 21 79.
Moreover, if you wish to explore further than the town, a good way to get transerred is by bus. You can check the itineraries in Ile Rousse Bus Routes.
Holidays in Ile Rousse
A gem of a holiday destination on the northwest coast of Corsica, the tradition of Ile Rousse has remained humble despite its rise in popularity with international travellers. The authentically Corsican region of Balagne, otherwise known as the ‘garden of Corsica’ is not only famous for its fertile soils producing best quality products but also for the captivating beauty of hilltop villages, rich architectural heritage and a legacy of arts and crafts. Enjoying a mild microclimate and proximity of wonderful crystal-clear water beaches nested in the lush vegetation of surrounding hills, this lovely convivial town makes for a delightful holiday destination.
Places to Visit in Ile Rousse
With a dose of history, nature and fun family attractions, the best places to visit in L'ile-Rousse are an authentic introduction to the region's past and present.
Phare de la Pietra: It is a must to visit the rocky islet of Ile de la Pietra when on holiday in L'Ile-Rousse. The walk to the lighthouse at the tip of the peninsula takes about 15 minutes from the centre. Scuba diving enthusiasts should walk the path up to the bay on the west coast of the island to observe the vibrant aquatic life. Also on Ile de la Pietra are the ruins of a 16th century tower. On pleasant days, the islet is perfect for a picnic while sunbathing on the rocks and waving to passengers arriving at the port with ferry tickets for L'Ile-Rousse in hand.
L'Ile Rousse Food Market: Created in 1850 in the classic Greek temple style with 21 columns, the L'Ile Rousse food market is filled with activity every morning. Next to Paoli Square, the market offers the freshest produce. From fish and olive oil to honey, meats and vegetables. Due to the market's reputation among locals and tourists, stalls often extend into the streets. There, you'll find Corsicans selling special culinary souvenirs.
Le Petit Train: Tourists can enjoy the thrill of riding not one but two small trains during their stay in L'Ile Rousse. The local petit train rides along the coast, stopping at all the major stops and attractions in L'Ile Rousse. A return trip costs €7 and includes a visit to the Pietra lighthouse. A trip on the other Le Petite Train that travels from Calvi is one of the things to do in L'Ile Rousse. The relaxing 45-minute journey between the two towns promises stunning views and includes stops at various villages and beaches along the way.
Calvi:The town of Calvi ensures a change of pace from the tranquillity of L'Il-Russ. An attractive place in Calvi is the marina that welcomes luxury yachts daily. The hilltop citadel and its ancient streets are a step back in time from where tourists can see the stunning views of the sea. Calvi's cafes are a pleasant respite during a day in the city. However, food connoisseurs should plan a meal at the Michelin-starred La Signoria restaurant.
Salezia Park: is located 4 kilometres away and consists of beautiful botanical gardens covering 7 hectares. The park features a variety of colourful Corsican flora, some domesticated animals, a playground and plenty of shaded areas for visitors. A restaurant, open only for lunch, serves refreshing refreshments. An adult ticket to Salezia Park costs €9.
Ile Rousse Beaches
Soft sand, turquoise waters and the warmth of the summer sun, days at the beach in L'Ile-Rousse are filled with temptations and fun along its stunning coastline.
L'Ile-Rousse beach: The town's main beach is a white sandy beach with shallow and inviting blue waters. Crowded during the summer, it's hard to find parking near the beach later in the day. The promenade bordering the coast is ideal for a morning run or an evening stroll. Just behind the beach, many restaurants and shops create a lively atmosphere from early morning to late evening.
Piaghja di Lisula: is a short walk from the L'ile-Rousse beach. However, it remains less crowded than its sister beach. The water here is equally clear, although a few rocks on the sandy bottom add drama to the otherwise endlessly flat panoramic view. The parking area next to the beach is not paved. It is, however, free of charge.
Lozari Beach: Among the best beaches in L'Ile-Rousse, Lozari is 15 minutes along the coast north of town. There aren't many amenities here, except for a restaurant and free parking. Remember to bring an umbrella and extra towels to sit on the white sand. The seabed deepens relatively quickly. This makes the clear waters of Lozari Beach ideal for snorkeling.
Bodari beach: As one of the stops on the short train from Calvi to L'Ile Rus, Bodari is easily accessible for a family outing in the sun. The wide but small sandy beach is picturesque, set among steep hills and a deep blue sea. Undoubtedly comfortable, Bodari fills up even when there are no facilities. So, one has to walk 5 minutes from the parking lot to the beach. The sea in Bodari is unpredictable, especially on stormy days.
Stridi Beach: An incredible swimming opportunity is located 15 km north of L'Ile-Rousse in the arid area of the Agriate desert. Plage di l'Ostriconi is a seaside paradise, accessible just a 20-minute walk from the car park. One of the best beaches in L'Ile-Rousse, l'Ostriconi's reputation sees many travellers and families come here when the weather is warm. As a result, lifeguards are on duty on the beach from June to August. Although wild and lacking in amenities, l'Ostriconi lures visitors with its picturesque surroundings and serene waters.
Plage du Napoléon: an attractive white sandy is the main town beach with a lively promenade de la Marinella and numerous cafes and restaurants. Due to its central position, this much-loved beach may get busy in summer.
Plage Nautique: just to the side of the road near the marina is a perfect spot for water sports lovers.