........... La Balagne

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The Balagne region (Ba-LON-ya), is in the Northwest shore of Corsica, it begins with Haute-Balagne, the coast area between L'Ile Rousse and Calvi, and extends to Balagne Déserte, south of Calvi. This fertile region produces many popular agricultural products including wine, olives, and intensely-flavored honey from the surrounding fragrant maquis. To read more about the maquis, click here.

History is alive in every stone that shapes the houses, churches and monasteries on these slopes. Olive trees and mountain villages cling to the steep hillsides in fierce determination. Archeological evidence dates inhabitants in this region back to the sixth millennium BC. A Polychromatic church of the trinity from the 12th century still stands strong (first two photos).

Villages in La Balagne are relatively close to each other, allowing an afternoon tour by car—although the uniqueness and beauty of each village are well worth exploring on a more leisurely basis. Local tourist offices offer La Strada di l'Artigani, a route des Artisans map of the area, detailing where ancient crafts and industries are fashioned.

One can also view many of the Balagne villages by an authentic half-day train ride through the mountains, giving one a unique and a dramatic perspective. Click here to see some mountain village shots from the train, between Calvi and Ponte Leccia.

To see more pictures of La Balagne, select Calvi, Algajola, L'Ile Rousse or Speluncato from the picture menu here.

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