Corsica is deservedly a popular holiday destination. The island has everything that is needed: luxurious beaches, cozy coastal towns, entertainment for tourists for every taste. We started our journey through Corsica from its capital, Ajaccio, and then headed across the island towards another popular city – Bonifacio. This city is definitely worth the trip!
The city of Bonifacio is located in a strategically important area of the island, and therefore has preserved the heritage of various eras. In this place, the inhabitants of the island have always tried to build fortified structures, as well as residential areas and religious institutions. Therefore, now the city consists of two parts: Upper town (or the old town), located on a steep cliff protruding into the sea, and La Marine – the lower port part of the city and its environs.
The Citadel of Bonifacio was built in the 9th century! For more than a thousand years, this fortress has been protecting the inhabitants of the city, and also has been bringing them undeniable benefits. In the age of modern tourism, the citadel attracts numerous visitors, and in the high season the city is filled with life. Its main buildings have been perfectly preserved to this day and represent itself an excellent backdrop for the photographs. To be honest, we did not go to the local cathedrals, although they are the historical monuments and are of tourist interest.
The very location of the fortress on sheer white limestone cliffs is conducive to photography 😊 Even the path from the parking lot to the citadel seems like an attraction – everything is so beautiful around. Also, there are many water excursions in the local caves and grottoes. Boats with tourists ply around the bay, and offer their passengers breathtaking views.
One of the bright attractions of Bonifacio is the stairs of the King of Aragon. According to legend, it was built by the soldiers of the King of Aragon by hand in an incredibly short time (1 day, but it is hard to believe) during the siege of the fortress in 1420. 189 steps with a huge slope are not an easy obstacle, therefore, when selling tickets, there are strict instructions on safety measures (shoes, helmet, health status). But it’s worth it and the views are breathtaking!
Local cuisine deserves a special mention. As in any other tourist place, here you need to be careful not to fall into a typical place designed for a mass tourist – high prices and low quality food. But if you put a little effort into the search, you can find real treasures! We no longer trust any restaurant guides and reviews when choosing a restaurant, but focus on Google Maps reviews (and most importantly, on photos of dishes!). So we found the Casarella restaurant in the old town and it was magical! Homemade pasta with gourmet sauces, amazing home-made desserts, a very soulful atmosphere and a great mood were our reward for the effort put into the search.
While in Corsica, we noticed that among the local souvenirs, craft knives made according to ancient production technologies prevail. They are folding knives made of steel with fine wood finishes. Sold all over the island. And they are made in several local workshops by hand. They look very memorable.
On our trip, we decided to stay only in villas, since there were not many dog-friendly hotels, and they cost a lot. Therefore, our choice fell on Residence Terra Marina villas located near Bonifacio. Like last time, we decided to stop not in the city itself, but in its environs. And again, it was the right choice. Our villa was located in a small cottage village, where there were villas, and a hotel with a swimming pool and a restaurant. And all the local infrastructure was at our service.
The most important thing is a quiet retreat in a villa with the necessary level of privacy. And also – stunning views of the old town of Bonifacio, located on a rock exactly in front of us. Each evening we had a hard time deciding whether to go to dinner in the city, or stay on our luxurious terrace and have something light to eat there. And it was an exciting choice 😊
In addition, I wanted to mention our journey from the Ajaccio region towards Bonifacio. The navigator persistently laid out the “shortest route”, which was supposed to take about an hour and a half. But when we started moving along the road suggested by the navigator on a rented car, we realized that even 3 hours on it would not be enough – the asphalt part quickly ended, a dirt road began with many bends and potholes. We decided not to experiment further, and went to the only “highway” on the island – the T-40. According to the navigator it turned out, we made a “huge detour”, and he tried to return us to the route he had chosen, but we strictly kept to the track and arrived safely.
On the way we decided to have lunch in the local town of Propriano. It cannot be said that it is particularly different from other small towns in Corsica, but its visit was definitely pleasant. At least we managed to take a break from the road and have lunch, and that’s good enough 😊
Next was Porto Vecchio. To be continued…
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