Discover the best things to do in Bonifacio and fall in love with one of the most beautiful cities in Europe!
Bonifacio, located on the southern tip of the island of the French island of Corsica, is a captivating town known for its dramatic cliffs, medieval architecture, and stunning scenery. With its rich history, natural beauty, and charming atmosphere, Bonifacio is one of the most amazing hidden gems in Europe that very few people seem to know about – making it all the more special.
I was absolutely blown away by Bonifacio! This city feels like stepping back in time with pastel-colored streets, small alleyways, and authentic charm. The best thing about it is that not many people venture to this island so it doesn’t feel overdone or too touristy making it all the more special.
Keep reading for a complete rundown on the best things to do in Bonifacio!
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10 Best Things to Do in Bonifacio
Visit Bonifacio Citadel
Visiting Bonifacio Citadel is easily one of the best things to do in Bonifacio that everyone needs to experience. Sitting atop towering limestone cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the citadel is a remarkable sight that showcases the town’s rich history and architectural beauty.
To visit the Bonifacio Citadel, you can enter through the Porte de Gênes, an impressive stone gateway that leads you into the fortified old town. Once inside, you’ll find a maze of narrow streets lined with ancient buildings, shops, and restaurants.
As you wander through the Citadel, take in the medieval atmosphere and admire the preserved fortifications, watchtowers, and cannons that once defended the town. Don’t miss the chance to walk along the cliffside walkways offering breathtaking views of the coastline and the famous limestone cliffs of Bonifacio.
Visiting the Bonifacio Citadel is a journey back in time, offering a glimpse into the town’s fascinating past and providing stunning vistas of the surrounding natural beauty. This is not only one of the best things to do in Bonifacio, but one of the things you MUST do!
Explore the Old Town
Exploring the Old Town of Bonifacio is a magical journey through narrow cobblestone streets, charming squares, and centuries-old buildings. As you walk through the winding alleys, you’ll understand why Corsica is one of the most beautiful places in France full of history and culture.
Admire the well-preserved medieval architecture, with its tall pastel-colored houses. Stop in one of the many cafés serving coffee and crêpes and take in the unique and picturesque surroundings. Further immerse yourself in the authentic atmosphere of the Old Town by finding local crafts, artwork, and traditional Corsican products to take home as your own travel souvenir.
Don’t miss the chance to explore the hidden corners and secret passages that reveal stunning views of the sea and the stunning cliffs of Bonifacio. Whether you’re captivated by the architecture, the vibrant ambiance, or the panoramic views, exploring the Old Town is one of the top things to do in Bonifacio that will give you the experience of going back in time unlike anywhere else.
Take a Boat Trip to the Lavezzi Islands
A boat trip to the Lavezzi Islands is one of the top things to do in Bonifacio. Located just a short distance from the mainland, the Lavezzi Islands are a small archipelago known for their untouched natural beauty and stunning beaches.
In fact, this part of Corsica is just a short boat ride from the very famous island of Sardinia, Italy which is known to have some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe! The Lavezzi Islands have very similar beaches but are more unknown and untouched.
To get to the Lavezzi Islands board a boat from Bonifacio’s harbor and set sail. As you approach, you’ll be mesmerized by the clear turquoise waters and the rugged coastline. The Lavezzi Islands are a protected marine reserve, offering a sanctuary for diverse marine life and making it a popular spot for snorkeling and diving in Europe.
Keep an eye out for the unique wildlife all around the islands, including colorful fish, seabirds, and the famous Lavezzi tortoises. A boat trip to the Lavezzi Islands is easily one of the top things to do in Corsica that everyone needs to experience.
Hike King Aragon Steps
Going on an unusual “hike” along the King Aragon steps is a thrilling adventure that offers panoramic views and a unique perspective of Bonifacio’s stunning cliffs and harbor. This is one of the best things to do in Bonifacio for a different perspective of the city while getting a little workout in at the same time.
The King Aragon Steps, also known as the Stairway of the King of Aragon, are a series of steep and narrow stone steps carved into the limestone cliffs that make up the base of Bonifacio. The steps wind their way down the cliffs to the water’s edge, providing an incredibly unique path to the water.
Start your hike from the top of the cliffs, near the citadel or the town center. As you descend, you’ll be treated to breathtaking vistas of Bonifacio’s harbor, the sparkling sea, and the rugged coastline. The steps offer a close-up look at the impressive limestone formations and give you a sense of the town’s dramatic setting.
This is not a super challenging hike but it can be difficult due to the the steep and uneven steps. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and take your time to fully appreciate the natural beauty surrounding you. Hiking King Aragon Steps is one of the most unique things to do in Bonifacio sure to WOW you!
Stroll Along the Marina
Taking a stroll along the marina in Bonifacio is a great way to soak in the Mediterranean ambiance and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of the town. The marina of Bonifacio is a hub of activity, with a picturesque waterfront lined with yachts, fishing boats, and charming cafés. Begin your stroll from the harbor area, where you can admire the boats and take in the awe-inspiring views of Bonifacio’s dramatic cliffs.
As you walk along the marina promenade, you’ll pass by a variety of shops, restaurants, and bars. Stop for a coffee or a refreshing drink at one of the waterfront cafes and enjoy the view of the harbor. Most people head straight up to the old town and skip the marina but spending some time in the marina is one of the best things to do in Bonifacio to experience a less popular part of the city.
Here you can watch the comings and goings of boats and ferries, and maybe even spot some local fishermen unloading their catch of the day. The marina is a lively place, especially during the summer months, with a vibrant atmosphere and a constant buzz of activity.
Visit Église Sainte-Marie-Majeure
Église Sainte-Marie-Majeure, also known as the Church of Saint Mary Major, is a stunning attraction in Bonifacio’s Old Town. This Romanesque-style church, dating back to the 12th century, showcases impressive architecture and religious artistry.
Inside, visitors are greeted by beautiful frescoes, intricate details, and a peaceful atmosphere. The church holds historical significance, serving as a window into the town’s past. Take time to admire the craftsmanship, soak in the tranquil ambiance, and appreciate the cultural heritage encapsulated within its walls.
The cafes around Église Sainte-Marie-Majeure are a great place to stop for a coffee or snack while soaking in this church’s untouched beauty. Even just admiring the outside of this church is one of the top things to do in Bonifacio to soak in the history of the town.
Relax on Rondinara Beach
Rondinara Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Corsica ideal for those who want to experience all sides of the island – cities, beaches, and beyond. Visiting Rondinara Beach is one of the top things to do in Bonifacio as it is located just 30 minutes away by car, making it super easy and quick to visit.
With its stunning turquoise waters, sandy shores, and beautiful surroundings I spent a whole day here just relaxing and really enjoying the natural beauty of Corsica. The picturesque bay is surrounded by rolling hills and lush greenery. This creates a calming and peaceful ambiance perfect for taking some time to relax and reflect – rather than being constantly on the move to see the next attraction.
Beach Day at Sperone Beach
Sperone Beach is a true paradise on the southern coast of Corsica, offering a clean and secluded beach experience. With its soft white sand, clear turquoise waters, and stunning backdrop of rugged cliffs, Sperone Beach is the perfect place to visit for beach lovers.
Spend a day relaxing on the warm sand, swimming in the stunning water, and enjoying the serene atmosphere. The beach’s natural beauty and calm setting make it an ideal spot for relaxing and taking a break from constant traveling.
Discover Bonifacio Caves
The Bonifacio Caves are a mesmerizing underground wonder waiting to be discovered. These natural caves, formed by the erosion of limestone cliffs, offer a very unique experience into the geological history of the region. Explore the intricate network of chambers complete with different rock formations which have taken thousands of years to form.
Guided tours provide insightful commentary about the caves’ formation, their ecological importance, and the legends and stories associated with them. As you navigate through the dark passages, you’ll be awed by the mesmerizing rock formations and the mysterious atmosphere that envelops the Bonifacio Caves. This is one of the best things to do in Bonifacio as one of the most unique and captivating adventures you will find.
Try Corsican Cuisine
Trying different Corsican cuisine is one of the best things to do in Bonifacio that will take you on a culinary journey that highlights the island’s unique flavors and ingredients. From the mountains to the waters, the food of Corsica reflects the island’s diverse landscape. Indulge in dishes like Civet de Sanglier (wild boar stew), Agneau Corse (Corsican lamb), and Fritelli (chestnut beignets).
Don’t miss out on trying Brocciu, a fresh cheese made from sheep’s or goat’s milk, and enjoy it in various dishes and desserts. Pair your meals with local wines for a complete Corsican experience.
Where to Stay in Bonifacio
When choosing where to stay in Bonifacio, you have several options to suit different preferences:
- Old Town (Haute Ville): Staying in the heart of the Old Town offers a charming experience with narrow streets, ancient buildings, and fantastic views of the sea and the harbor. You’ll have easy access to local shops, restaurants, and historic landmarks.
- Marina Area: If you prefer a more modern and lively atmosphere, staying near the marina is a great option. You’ll find a variety of restaurants, bars, and boutiques, as well as boat tours to explore the nearby coastline and caves.
- Sperone Peninsula: For those seeking luxury and tranquility, consider accommodations near the Sperone Peninsula. This area boasts beautiful beaches, upscale resorts, and breathtaking views of the Lavezzi Islands.
- Porto-Vecchio: If you want to stay close to Bonifacio but prefer a larger town with more amenities and vibrant nightlife, Porto-Vecchio is a great alternative. It’s just a short drive away and offers a wide range of accommodations.
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