Balagne is situated in the North West region of the island. It is known as the garden of Corsica, it has rolling hillsides, vineyards, perched villages, as well as some beautiful wild beaches. Amongst the many places to visit in the Balagne is an abandoned village, called Occi. The village nestles at 377 meters altitude just above Lumio. it has a rich history, a mystical ambiance and a view that is simply breathtaking with the whole of Calvi laid out below. Some say it’s the best place to see the sunset in the Balagne. Wandering around the ruins, is like an enigmatic step back in time and you can’t help but imagine what life was like in times gone past.
The village is in a wild natural setting amongst a fragrant Mediterranean hillside of herbs and scrub, called maquis.
There is a proverb in Corsica that says «The maquis has no eyes but sees everything»
« A machja, ochji un ha ma ochji teni ».
The coasts of Corsica have been victim of centuries of invasions, there were successions of attacks. In the middle ages, the Sarasin’s devastated the island and in particular, the Balagne region. The inhabitants of a hamlet called Spano, situated on a point of land opposite Calvi decided to leave their homes and take refuge a little higher up in the hills and build the village of Occi. In 1589 the village had 150 inhabitants. A village of stone houses and a chapel called Annunziata that still welcomes people in for mess some 300 years later.
By 1852, with the coastline a lot safer and the lifestyle more attractive down below, there were only 60 people left in Occi. Little by little the inhabitants moved away, the last person to live there was a gentleman called Felix Giuidicellu in 1918.
There are two ways to get up to the ruins of Occi. The first option sets off from the hotel/restaurant called Chez Charles situated in the centre of Lumio. Go behind the hotel where there is a small gravel parking area. It takes 30 mins from the parking.
The second option sets out from a campsite called Le Panoramic at Lavatoggiu. It takes 20 mins to access the village from here. Take a look at our ‘Villages de Balagnes holiday’ .