Calenzana and the start of the GR20

Discover Corsica

Calenzana, in Haute-Corse, is a charming village nestling at the foot of Monte Grosso (1937 m). Known as the starting point for the famous GR20, this Corsican village attracts hikers from all over the world. Calenzana harmoniously blends history and nature, with its ancient churches, picturesque lanes and breathtaking mountain scenery. It's a place where tradition and nature meet, offering a peaceful atmosphere and breathtaking views over the valley. The village is also a focal point for a variety of hiking trails, making it a must for lovers of nature and Corsican culture. Calenzana is also the starting point for the Mare e Monti Nord.

The Chapel of Santa Restituda: a historical and spiritual treasure in Calenzana

Located just outside the village of Calenzana, the Romanesque chapel of Santa Restituda is an important historical site, marking the burial place of a revered Corsican martyr. Santa Restituda, beheaded for her Christian faith in 303 AD during the reign of the Roman emperor Diocletian, is buried here. Her marble sarcophagus, restored in 1951, is in the crypt of the chapel. The site, a centre of pilgrimage for centuries, features stones dating back to the 11th century and 13th-century frescoes. The Festa di Santa Restituda, celebrated at the end of May, enlivens the site of the ancient chapel with a funfair, stalls, entertainment and local food and drink.

Calenzana's living history: the church of Saint-Blaise and the German cemetery

At the heart of Calenzana stands the Baroque church of Saint-Blaise, built in 1691, although it took several years to complete. In 1732, during an insurrection against the Genoese rulers of Corsica, the villagers of Calenzana rose up, using everything from farm implements to beehives to fight a force of mainly Austrian soldiers. This battle resulted in the deaths of around 500 soldiers, who were buried close to the church, in an area that became known as the 'German Cemetery'. The church tower was erected here in 1862. The village is also home to other small chapels, including a former brotherhood chapel at A Casazza, and U Pala, the former palace of the bishops of Sagone.

Calenzana: a key service point for hikers on the GR20 and beyond

Calenzana, despite having a relatively limited range of services, caters effectively for the needs of a large number of visitors and GR20 hikers. The town offers a range of accommodation options, a selection of bars and restaurants, as well as shops selling food and drink. It also has a post office. For more extensive services, including banks and ATMs, nearby Calvi offers more options.


There is only a small range of accommodation in Calenzana.

  • The Gîte d'Étape Municipal has small 30-bed dormitories and a camping area near the start of the GR20 at Calenzana. Telephone 04 95 62 77 13.
  • Just before the village, at Campianellu, you'll find the Casa Fior Di Macchia guest house, tel. 04 95 33 02 69 or 06 31 88 54 00.
  • Further into the village are the 5-bedroom A Casa Di Jo guest house, tel. 06 79 44 01 61
    In the heart of the village, the three-bedroom Maison d'hôtes "A Casa" welcomes you. Tel. 06 79 57 55 41
  • The 12-room Hôtel  Bel Horizon, is in the centre of the village, opposite the church, tel. 04 95 62 71 72.
  • U Mandarinu  is a small gite with 4 double rooms in the centre of the village, tel. 06 03 81 34 28.

Those looking for more varied accommodation can spend their first night in Calvi, a lively and attractive little port.

Food and drink

  • There is a well-stocked Spar shop at the bottom of Calenzana.
  • Further up the village is the small restaurant L'Olmia and the bar-restaurant Le GR20.
  • Bar Picciu Glacier and Restaurant Pizzeria Prince Pierre are located before the church.
  • Bar Restaurant La Calenzana is to the left of the church, while Bar Le Royal is to the right, opposite the bell tower. 
  • If you'd like to sample local charcuterie, cakes, honey or wine, simply follow the small signs to the appropriate sales points. 
  • An excellent stock of local products can be found at the Atelier du Village, at the upper end of Calenzana. 

Before you leave Calenzana for your GR20 adventure, have a hearty meal and enjoy as much fresh produce as possible.


A bus service between Calvi and Calenzana is provided by Beaux Voyages, tel. 04 95 65 11 35. It runs once or twice a day, except on Sundays. 

There is no bus service between Calvi airport and Calvi, or from Calvi airport to Calenzana, but taxis are available for all incoming flights. In Calvi, taxis can usually be found in the square near the station. If there are no taxis at the airport or station, call  Radio Taxis Calvais, tel. 04 95 65 30 36.

Those travelling the GR20 in the opposite direction and needing to leave Calenzana at the end should call  Taxis Calenzana,, tel. 04 95 62 77 80, mobile 06 08 16 53 65.