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A Flatta is a delightful small hotel (5 luxury bedrooms - see the picture - with 5 more planned) - a Corsican secret hideaway in the maquis - don't be daunted by 3kms of track to reach this haven - run by Joel Guerini and Sophie Anquetil (he's a scion of the famous Calinzana family and she is the daughter of the legendary Jacques Anquetil, the cyclist about whom she's written a personal biography - Pour l'Amour de Jacques published by Grasset) - with high standards and a wonderful restaurant (chef Ludovic Quinton) and a pool with views of the Bay of Calvi - you can make reservations on line. It offers seminar accommodation as well. You are unlikely to find it in the guide books (tel 04 95 62 80 38). Open all year.
The other hotels in the village are The Monte Grosso, 10 bedrooms (tel 04 95 62 70 15; fax 04 95 62 83 21) opposite the restaurants L'Olmia and the Bar-Restaurant GR20 and The Bel Horizon, 13 bedrooms (tel 04 95 62 71 72 or 06 80 10 76 88) in the main square; each has ten or so rooms and are very simple and serve breakfast only. These two are only open in season.
Primarily designed for the GR20 long distance mountain walkers, The Gîte d'étape communal has inexpensive accommodation and camping facilities. It's open from April-October. You can email or telephone your booking - 04 95 62 77 13, or fax it - 04 95 62 70 08.
On the D151 that leads up to Calinzana is the 3* Hotel Le Padro that has 35 small apartments and 13 rooms + pool (tel 04 95 65 95 00; fax 04 95 65 08 88).
On the Route de Bonifatu, there is an outstanding and stylish 4* hotel, the Signoria, with one of the best restaurants in the Balagne (tel 04 95 65 93 00; fax 04 95 65 38 77).
At Bonifatu there is The Auberge de la Forêt which is an hotel - gîte d'étape, Forêt de Bonifatu (tel 04 95 65 09 98) and it's open from April till the end of October.
Over at Argentella on the coast south of Calvi and actually in the commune of Galeria, is the Hotel Marina d'Argentella at the southern end of Argentella beach, 24 rooms (M and Mme Pierre Grisoli: tel 04 95 65 25 08; fax 04 95 65 25 12 email: email@example.com) - open June - September.
Also at Argentella is the Auberge Ferayola - it overlooks the sea on the rugged coast (Tel : 04 95 65 25 25 - fax : 04 95 65 20 78). The small hotel has rooms and chalets, like the one in the picture (open May-September). Situated in a wild spot near Argentella beach, though it also has a lovely tranquil pool.
In the village:
Chez Michel - Le Calenzana has a simple (Corsican in the main) menu and a calm welcome from Laurence Isnard, whose father established the place; in summer it's good to sit outside on the pavement or across the street in the shadow of the parish church - make sure to book, Laurence does a busy trade with the GR20 walkers. (04 95 62 70 25). Open all year.
Le Prince Pierre - Chez Manu in Place Prince Pierre - opposite the fountain (tel 04 95 62 81 97). A stone vaulted pair of rooms, used among others by the local hunting club; traditional fare and there is a big terrace on the other side of the street by the boulodrome. The town council has bought the garden next door and has plans to make a public open space. Open all year.
Bar-Restaurant Le GR20 in rue U Fondu - the road up to the village; more of a pizzeria really (tel 04 95 6066 30).
Outside the village:
A Flatta (see above), 3kms down a track, has an excellent restaurant with magnificent views where you'll be sure of a good reception in the stylish restaurant by Joël and Sophie - a super place to eat (tel 04 95 62 80 38). Open all year.
Les Jardins de Coucou: in two parts - the rustic rooms that are used in winter and the enclosed garden for summer. Serge Ricco has a huge cellar of Corsican and French wines - you can visit the cellars he has just built. He had a Paris restaurant from 1986-91 and now runs the family restaurant and delights in his 6 000 bottle stock, including all the good wines of Corsica, which he maintains in excellent conditions; the food is good and the deserts mouth-watering (04 95 62 77 00 or 06 85 11 23 70). Open all year.
Le Maquis is in the countryside on the road to Montemaggiore (tel 04 95 65 34 13). Jacques & Béatrice Agostini recently took it over and produce traditional Corsican fare, often with music. Open all year and in the summer you can enjoy the swimming pool.
There is a variety of accommodation around Calinzana: villas, gîtes and camp sites. Here are some of them:
Paradella - this is a series of holiday apartments that I recommend highly. Jacques Tercé has built some very interesting gîtes using ancient techniques; grouped so hat there's privacy, though there is a shared 'natural' pool that he's constructed using spring water and no chemicals. An 'alternative' offer, but with all mod cons. You'll see what I mean, even by visiting his website.
Camellu - here's a floor of a house on a vineyard that can accommodate 2-4 people. You'll get a good impression from Bernard Villanova's website.
U Ranchu di Camellu - on a two hectare site there are a series of very simple bungalows that can accommodate between 2-5 people. It's well located and there are sea views.
Stéph Clemot's gîte - a very simple modern house 'in the maquis' for outdoor living with it's own pool. Stéph runs Calvi's sailing club. The link above is to the locations-france website (about 200 Corsican properties). If you decide to send him an email from the site, tell him I sent you. It's on the Montemaggiore road.
Argentella Beach - this is a place for a big group; there are 9 bedrooms (3 baths, 3 showers) huge living space and it's right on the beach near the Scandola nature reserve. Water skis and mooring. And the price to with it.
Paradella Camping - an above average site (not to be confused with the gîtes with the same name above) with lots of shade from eucalyptus trees, plus tennis courts and a large swimming pool; I have met people who have been regular visitors for years.
Camping La Morsetta - is at Argentella, right on the beach; it would be a good place for a really a décontracté holiday as it's very remote. The campsite has a shop so you would not even need to go into to town.
Gîte d'Etape GR20 - This is the municipal gîte, where you can stay in dorm accommodation (booking is advised) or bivouac; it's for serious GR20 walkers, but all the village's facilities and restaurants are close at hand (tel 04 95 62 77 13; It's open from April to October.
La Bergerie de Frassigna, Route de Bonifatu (04 95 60 71 79 & 06 15 20 74 25). Here's one you'll not find in any guide book: you'll need not to imagine shower blocks, groceries, cafés... If you are a serious camper/hiker and are on your way to the GR20, via the Forest of Bonifatu at the northern end, then try Jean-Louis Guidoni, a Calinzana shepherd (goats) who has opened the bergerie of Frassigna on the road from Calvi to Bonifatu as a 'bivouac' site; he and his wife Sandrine not only have goats and make Calinzana cheese, but have pigs, chickens, geese, turkeys, horses... in a wonderful site near the river. Good walking from there and you can buy organic produce. Jean-Louis speaks English having lived in Australia for five years; he's also set up an archery trail with imitation wild animal targets. Tell him I sent you!
If you want any more pointers to enjoying a visit to Calinzana, you could do worse than asking us. If you'd like to visit more of Corsica, then go to Corsica Isula - a website with a vast coverage of all aspects of Corsica.
calinzana.corsica-isula.com © 2005 William Keyser