Bonifacio's setting is breathtaking and is worth the journey to Corsica alone. Perched 70m high upon chalk cliffs, dominating the turquoise sea South to Sardinia, the town's medieval citadel also guards the Mediterranean's most prized moorage, a long, narrow cove now home to Bonifacio's pleasant marina. As Bonifacio is extremely busy in summer, the tranquil mountains behind, with their picturesque villages, offer shaded walks and a pleasant break from the crowds.


Superb views of the coast accompany the climb up to the citadel which is best explored at a leisurely pace, ducking down narrow medieval streets, exploring all its nooks and crannies. The fourteenth century Pisan church Eglise Sainte Marie Majeure has sadly lost much of its original style, though is still worth a visit for its rich interior and elegant loggia. Admire the view onto the sea from the citadel's squares, marvel at the Escalier du Roi d'Aragon, a staircase carved in 1420 leading from the top of the cliff down to the sea, 70m below, and look over the narrow straits that separate Corsica and Sardinia from the belvéd è re.

Still up on the cliff, beyond the citadelle, is the marine cemetery, an elegant little town in itself, and the Eglise Saint Dominique, one of the few gothic churches still standing on the island.

Beautiful beaches are to be found along the coast to each side of Bonifacio. Go water skiing, hire a catamaran or take a boat trip to admire the beautiful Corsican coast, explore the caves near Bonifacio and visit the Lavazzi and Cavallo islands, part of a protected reserve 4km out to sea.

Heading inland, the trendy beach town of Porto Vecchio is only 25 minutes away, while great walks are to be had around the Montagne di Cagna and in the Foret de l'Ospedale. The granite town of Sart è ne, cold, austere and notorious for its bloody vendettas, is also well worth visiting.


Visitors can buy the usual Corsican delicacies in Bonifacio such as lonzo, copa and figatellu or brocciu and tomme cheeses. Wonderful honey is made in the mountains behind Bonifacio and the picturesque village of Santa Lucie de Tallano, beyond Sart è ne, bottles its own olive oil.

Nightlife and Eating Out

A number of mid-range restaurants serve good pizzas and copious plates of Corsican meats and cheeses. Going more upmarket, Bonifacio has a number of excellent restaurants serving traditional Corsican plates such as cannelloni al brocciu or fiadone and superb seafood. The best of these have wonderful views over the Bouches de Bonifacio and onto Sardinia. Wonderful little seasonal restaurants also open up along the coastline and offer an impressive setting for a long supper.

The marina is a nice area to have evening drinks. Though Bonifacio is quite quiet at night, during the summer a number of concerts are organised. Otherwise head out of town to Via Notte, Corsica's biggest nightclub.

Tourist Information

Municipal Tourism office of Bonifacio2, rue Fred Scamaroni20169 Bonifacio.Tel: +33 (0)495 73 11 Dorothy Carrington's book Granite Island (1971) is an excellent general introduction to Corsica.


Figari-Sud Corse Airport is about 20km outside Bonifacio. Small and close to the mountains it has flights to London, Manchester, Switzerland, Paris and other French destinations. Boats leave from Bonifacio to Santa Teresa di Gallura in Sardinia while buses connect the town to Ajaccio, Porto Vecchio and Sart è ne. Ferries leave for France and Italy from Ajaccio and Porto Vecchio.

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