Founded in 1759 by Pascal Paoli, Ile Rousse, so named on account of the island's red porphyrite rocks, encircles a bay bounded to the north-west by rocky outcrops of ochre hue and to the south by a bay of white sand.
Proudly leading visitors through the lively atmosphere of its cobbled streets, the Old Town offers newcomers the chance to discover remnants of the past in monuments such as the fifteenth-century Genoese tower and its fortifications.
Opposite the covered market with its ancient columns, where local farmers sell their produce, the benches, cafes and fountain of the Place Paoli invite you to dally awhile, breathing in the atmosphere of this bustling hub of the town.
For those who may wish to leave this little paradise, there is the 'U Trinichellu', the small 'Micheline' train of the 1950s, offering connections to Calvi and the most beautiful beaches of the region at Bodri, Marine de Davia and Sant' Ambroggio, while along the coast to the north of the town, the park U Saleccia offers a botanical circuit encompassing seven hectares of plants of the maquis and Mediterranean coastal plain.
Further south, between Galeria and Porto and at the heart of the seaboard section of the Regional Park of Corsica, the Scandola Nature Reserve, created in 1975 and appearing on the UNESCO world heritage list, protects some 900 hectares of flora and fauna and 1000 hectares of marine life.
Key to the vault of this wonder of nature, the Regional Park is home to magnificent forests criss-crossed with innumerable footpaths, amongst them the Forest of Bonifato, which marks the start of the GR 20 hiking trail, one of the most beautiful and famous in Europe.
A land of enchantment, where colours and fragrances merge and mingle, Corsica offers the traveller an island heritage rich in history, where culture and traditions are combined in local craftsmanship and in polyphonic songs, an expression and reflection of the conflicts and struggles of the past, of an island and its people.