A journey along the south coast of Corsica


Villas on and near the south coast of Corsica >>

Running from the island’s southeasternmost point at Capo Sperone to the lighthouse of Senetosa, the south coast of Corsica is a haven for nature lovers, a paradise for beachgoers and a magnet for walkers, mountain bikers, and water sports enthusiasts.

Our tour begins at Capo Sperone, home to a superbly sited 18-hole golf course standing above a pair of lovely sandy bays. Heading westwards, one soon comes to the mid-19th century Pertusato lighthouse, rising atop the dramatic chalk-white limestone cliffs that continue all the way to Bonifacio, some 3km to the northwest. There are some great coastal walking and mountain biking tracks in this area and the views across the Straits of Bonifacio (les Bouches de Bonifacio) to Sardinia can only be described as breathtaking.

Bonifacio is one of the most spectacularly positioned towns in the Mediterranean, a cliff-top-clinging mix of history, views, and labyrinthine streets that is a must-see for anyone spending time in the south of Corsica. On the other side of the 1km-long inlet that delimits Bonifacio on its northern side (and provides access to the town’s harbour), is a large wooded area that is popular with walkers, especially those heading towards the secluded sandy bays of Arinella, Fazzio and Paraguan. 

Passing the red-roofed Madonetta lighthouse, which sits on a white limestone outcrop connected umbilically to the mainland by a slender walkway, the cliffs gradually give way to low-lying rocks that have been carved out and ground down to create beautiful sandy beaches, including those of La Tonnara, some 5km northwest of Bonifacio.

Heather, arbutus, juniper and lentisk scent the air, mixing with the sea's briny ozone to create a heady cocktail.

From La Tonnara, the coast wends its way in a northwesterly direction, interrupted by a series of small sandy bays offering numerous possibilities for beach lovers. Just to the west of the 2.5km-deep inlet and beaches of Pianottoli-Caldarello, one comes to a little promontory, home to the Bruzzi Nature Reserve. Named after a tiny archipelago, the reserve has a fabulous hiking trail (the Sentier des Bruzzi) that winds through some wonderful scenery. Heather, arbutus, juniper and lentisk scent the air, mixing with the sea's briny ozone to create a heady cocktail, while little coves offer walkers the possibility of a refreshing dip under the ancient gaze of fantastical sea-sculpted granite formations. These pristine surroundings and transparent waters provide an ideal habitat for a wide variety of sea birds and marine life.

Bordered on its western side by the delightful Plage d’Arbitru, the Bruzzi Nature Reserve gives way to more intricately carved coastline. Passing the Tour d’Olmeto, one of a string of a 16th century Genoese watchtowers that line the coast, one soon comes to the gorgeous little beach of Roccapina and then, just round the cape, the Plage de Erbaju, the south coast's longest stretch of sand. These two beaches are overlooked by a towering feline rocky outcrop known as the Lion de Roccapina. An ascent of the Lion is rewarded with jaw-dropping, 360-degree vistas across the Bouches de Bonifacio and vast swathes of southern Corsica.

Continuing westwards, past the long sandy beach of Tralicetu and the tiny harbour village of Tizzano, the scenery becomes more rugged, with a succession of rocky crêtes and deep-chiselled ravines.  At this southwestern tip of  Corsica there are no roads, only coastal walking paths leading to a few idyllic sandy bays, including those of Cala Longa and Tivella. 

Soon, we arrive at our final destination, the double-towered lighthouse of Cape Senetosa. From here, Corsica's south coast turns northwards, passing under the implacable gaze of the 16th century Genoese watchtower of Campomoro and on to the town of Propriano.

Villas on and near the south coast of Corsica >>

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