During your tour of the Cap Corse,don’t miss to visit Erbalunga.
This charming fishing village is an ideal stop: small port, pedestrian promontory, Genoese tower, baroque church and a very pleasant atmosphere.
Here is our guide to visit the village of Erbalunga: access, map, tips and things to do.
Why visit Erbalunga in Corsica?
Is the village Erbalunga worth a visit?
Erbalunga is a charming little pedestrian village north of Bastia.
It is one of the main villages to visit on the east coast of Cap Corse.
This is probably due to the tiny peninsula on which it is built. The old houses are cramped on this small lot. And to finish the charm, you find the ruins of a Genoese tower at the tip of the peninsula.
This village has a lot of charm.
It is very different from the other famous village of Cap Corse Nonza
It is one of the most charming places to see in Corsica(see our list). Take a look:
Best things to do in Erbalunga
- Walk around the village,
- Walk around the small port to admire the Genoese tower,
- Sit on the edge of the port and enjoy the atmosphere,
- Admire the baroque façade of the church.
One of the most beautiful villages of Corsica!
History of Erbalunga fast
You will not guess by visiting it today, but it was a major port for North Corsica.
The fief was created in the 15th century and was inhabited by a 16th century castle.
Its tower, rebuilt at the end of the 17th century, is now in ruins but still has a lot of character. You will see more pictures later in the article.
Recently, it has become a small fishing village where artists and personalities have come to enjoy the peaceful environment.
More pictures after the practical advice.
How to get to Erbalunga Cap Corse – Map and directions
Where is Erbalunga in Corsica? Card
- Erbalunga is located on the east coast of Cap Corse
- North of Bastia.
- Bastia to Erbalunga = 20 min drive
- Saint-Florent to Erbalunga = 50 min
- The complete tour of Cap Corse can be done in one day. However, we recommend 2 days to have time to explore these small villages and to do some walking.
- And see all our tips for planning a dream trip to Corsica here
- Here is a map to help you find your way:
Need to rent a car in Corsica?
- Compare prices on our preferred platform: DiscoverCars – one of the best rated sites.
- Choose a car that is powerful enough (the roads are steep) but compact (some passages are narrow).
- Think of thecomplete insurance (some roads are tortuous and narrow).
- There is a lot of demand, book it early.
How to get to Erbalunga, Cap Corse
Erbalunga is located in the municipality of Brando.
The best way to explore Erbalunga and the Cap Corse is by car.
It is a direct route from Bastia on the D80.
No difficulty, on this side the road is wide with a nice view in each direction.
In summer, buses run between Bastia and Erbalunga. See the site of the commune of Brando.
The bus makes the trip in 20 minutes. Every hour.
Parking in Erbalunga
There are 2 paying parking lots in the city.
The main municipal parking lot is right in front of the small peninsula and the harbor.
Just cross the D80 to enter the pedestrian part of the city.
The parking lot has about 120 beaches.
Parking is not a problem during the off-season, but if you are looking to eat in Erbalunga in the middle of the summer, you will have a hard time finding parking at lunchtime.
Sorry, we forgot to take a picture of the parking lot.
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Visit the village of Erbalunga – tips
How long to visit Erbalunga?
Erbalunga is one of the easiest villages to visit in the Cap Corse.
It is quite small and easy to navigate. Also, there are almost no cars (except for deliveries), so it’s nice.
Allow 1 hour if you are just visiting the village, longer if you want to enjoy the restaurants and the atmosphere.
And more, if you want to explore the ruins of the castle of the Chapel of Our Lady of the Snows above the village.
When to visit Erbalunga?
Erbalunga is a pleasant destination all year round.
As we mentioned before, if you are visiting in the middle of summer, arrive early enough to park.
Erbalunga faces east, so it is an ideal place for sunrises.
Procession and festival
If you want to enjoy some events in the village (or avoid them), know that in Erbalunga you have:
- The Holy Week in March with its procession
- Procession during the feast of Saint Erasmus which takes place on June 2nd. It includes a blessing of the sea and the boats.
- The Cap sur le Rire Festival in July
- Mid-summer piano nights – site
- The music festival of Erbalunga which takes place in the Théâtre de Verdure (outdoor amphitheater on the heights of the village) – with great names of classical music since 1989, in August.
- Follow the programming
Erbalunga has a wide variety of restaurants, about a dozen. They range from pizzerias, to local seafood and Corsican cuisine, to a Michelin-starred gourmet restaurant.
It is a great place for lunch.
However, note that it is also a popular place for lunch. Many tourists and buses stop here during the summer.
We recommend: The gastronomic restaurant Le Pirate with view on the small harbour – see the map.
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Erbalunga – Hotels and Lodging
Erbalunga is a nice place to spend a night during a road trip around Corsica to enjoy the character and quiet of the place when most of the tourists are gone.
Here are some options to consider for your Erbalunga hotel:
- In the center of the town is Castel Brando.
The 19th century building has been converted into a private mansion and has retained its historic charm. In addition, there is a large swimming pool
– see pictures and availability
- Alternatively, if you are looking for an apartment to stay longer, the Suites in Erbalunga are located a little higher up in the village with great views – see photos and availability
View of the peninsula and downtown
As you can see the old part of the village is a series of houses squeezed on a tiny rocky promontory that juts out into the sea.
At the end of the peninsula are the ruins of the tower that we will see later in the article.
For a better view, turn right out of the parking lot. Do not enter the village but walk a few minutes along the road.
While exploring the old town, you will find some fascinating buildings. Unfortunately, they are not well maintained. But you can see how grand they must have looked when they were built.
Feel free to explore each alley (there are not many) to get different perspectives.
Here is one, with the mountains plunging into the sea and the beautiful black rocks that make up the peninsula.
The houses are really on the edge of the land with balconies over the water!
Genoese tower of Erbalunga
It is possible to go to the foot of the Genoese tower.
At the end of the promontory, you will first approach this ancient building before reaching the Genoese tower.
The Genoese tower called in Corsica, Torra d’Erbalunga exists since 1488.
It was destroyed during the invasions of 1553 and rebuilt a little later. It is part of the vast defense network set up by the Republic of Genoa.
It is classified as a historical monument.
Here it is, photographed closely:
We think the best view is not from up close but from the end of the harbor pier (see next section). We love the way the rocks seem to grow so the tower doesn’t fall.
Port of Erbalunga and pier
After walking to the tower, you can take another street to reach the port.
The small marina has a lot of charm with colorful boats and the possibility to walk around the docks.
You can sit at the end of the pier to admire the village and the mountains in the background.
Saint Erasmus Church
The church of the village of St Erasmus. He is the patron saint of sailors.
Its facade is baroque but hidden by the leaves in spring and summer.
If it is open, take the time to enter.
And in the chapel adjacent to the church are frescoes of the fourteenth century, representing St. Catherine and Christ.
June 2 is St. Erame’s day, and religious events are organized.
Erbalunga is also known for its procession of the Cross of the penitents on Good Friday.
Beach of Erbalunga
Beach in Erbalunga
Erbalunga has a very small pebble beach. You can reach it after a short walk north of the marina.
I’m sorry I forgot to take a picture.
It’s really small but enough to get into the water and cool off on hot summer days.
Beaches near Erbalunga
Your alternative is the largest beach of Sisco-marine, 7 minutes drive north of Erbalunga.
Here you will also find rocks. But the area is larger.
If you are looking for a sandy beach, you should continue north to Pietracorba – marine. It’s a 15 minute drive.
Here you have a long sandy beach.
Note that like all Mediterranean beaches, there may be dead leaves on the sand. They are posidonia and they are essential to the protection of the coastline. Learn more about our article on the beaches of Corsica.
What to see near Erbalunga
The road of Cap Corse
Erbalunga is the main stop on the east coast of Cap Corse.
But the road is beautiful, just driving to Maccinagio is a very nice experience with the hills, the Genoese roads and the deep blue water.
The east coast of Cap Corse is less impressive than the west coast, but it is charming.
The village of Lavasina
Before arriving to Erbalunga, you cross another less known village: Lavasina.
It has a small pebble beach of 200m long nestled in a cove and protected by the church of Our Lady of Lavasina, a place of pilgrimage.
The sanctuary was made famous by the miraculous healing of Marie-Agnès de Bonifacio in 1675.
Every September 8, pilgrims come here to honor the painting of the Virgin Mary and the crowned child.
Alternative route to Erbalunga: Corniche and Santa Lucia
Instead of taking the D80 to go or come back from Erbalunga, you can take the road of the Corniche (D31). It goes up above Bastia and goes down towards Erbalunga.
It is a little more difficult but it takes you to the church of Santa Lucia with its view on Bastia.
Sit on the bench to enjoy the 180° view between mountains and sea. Enter the church. It was built in the 18th century.
See our complete article on the Cap Corse tour, one of the most beautiful destinations on the island.