Bonifacio atop its Limestone Promontory
We arrived into Bonifacio yesterday afternoon and checked out a couple of hotels before deciding on a room with a view at Hotel La Caravelle, overlooking the picturesque natural harbor. The town of Bonifacio sits on a craggy peninsula of limestone, with the Citadel and Old Town perched high above with the colorful marina on one side and the beautiful azure sea on the other side. This dramatic sight at the southernmost point of the island of Corsica is nothing short of spectacular, and it is only about 11 kilometers from the Italian island of Sardinia. The whole day today was filled with one stunning sight after another as we started the day with a challenging run up the steep cliffs in the early morning mist. By the time we met up with Joy & George after breakfast, the mist had evaporated into the crystal-clear blue sky and brilliant sunshine, just in time for our cruise into the Straits of Bonifacio. There were a number of boat trips available, with varying departure times and durations, which could be found down along the port. We scoped out the different trips and booked our seats about an hour before departure, which was no problem this time of year. Our small boat took us past the layered limestone cliffs, into the Lavezzi archipelago, a protected nature reserve of rocky islands with an abundance of interesting stone formations, flora, and cormorants & gulls. Our boat dropped us off on the uninhabited Île Lavezzi, where we had about an hour and a half to explore before continuing on. We started our island visit with a tour of the cemetery and monument commemorating the shipwreck victims of the Sémillante, which sank quickly in a violent storm as it was making its way to Crimea in 1855 with almost 700 French soldiers and crew aboard. We then spent some time hiking around the island, checking out the different beaches until we found the perfect spot to sit, relax, and enjoy our pique-nique of local saucisson, cheese, and red wine, surrounded by the luminous, crystalline Mediterranean Sea. The return trip took us past other islands and beautiful beaches, and into a natural sea cave formed underneath the limestone cliffs.
Bastion de l’Étendard above Bonifacio’s Harbor
A Stopover on île Lavezzi
Cruising among Les Îles Lavezzi
Cruising into a Sea Cave
Return Trip to the Cliffs of Bonifacio
Grain de Sable – An 800-Year Old Chip off the Old Block