Located at the very southernmost tip of Corsica, Bonifacio is a good location for accessing great beaches both on the south east and south west coasts of the island. Several beaches near Bonifacio are exposed to strong and reliable winds, making them suitable for water sports such as windsurfing and kite surfing. Others are more sheltered, so ideal for swimming and snorkeling.
As with many beaches in Corsica, those near Bonifacio are largely undeveloped so retain their wild beauty, and are endowed with sparkling turquoise waters and white sands.
There are two small coves actually in Bonifacio (Plage de la Catena and Plage de l’Arinella), on the opposite side of the harbour to the Old Town (reached by a path next to the Aragiuone campsite). These can however be impacted by pollution from the harbour. There is also a tiny, pebbly cove below Bonifacio’s citadel, accessed by steps from Avenue Charles de Gaulle.
Beaches to the East of Bonifacio
Piantarella beach is one of Corsica’s best windsurfing beaches, renowned for its shallow lagoon and strong easterly winds. There are good facilities for hiring windsurfs and kayaks, and lessons are available.
The beach is not quite as attractive as others in the area, and is backed by marshes. To access the main part of the beach walk over/around a small cluster of rocks.
Sperone is an outstanding, untouched pristine beach, with pearl-white sands and aquamarine waters. “Petite Sperone” (the smaller of the two Sperone beaches) can be reached on foot by a 15-minute walk, along Piantarella beach (walk towards the right) then around the headland path. If you hire a kayak at Piantarella you can easily access Sperone by sea.
Sperone has shallow, calmer waters, and is very popular with tourists (despite the walk required). Close by is Sperone Golf Course, one of France’s premier golf courses, with a spectacular cliff-top setting on the Pointe de Sperone.
Calalonga is a small, rather remote beach that isn’t too crowded in the summer and makes a good spot for swimming.
This attractive beach of coarse sand is set in a compact cove with only very limited facilities.
The clear, sparkling sea slopes away from the shoreline fairly steeply, making it ideal for snorkelling (but not so suitable for small children as it deepens quickly). The beach can be quite exposed to the wind.
Rondinara beach is a much photographed unspoilt gem, in the beautiful horseshoe bay of the same name.
The bay, which is flanked by pines, is in a protected nature reserve. Aerial shots of Rondinara beach are often featured on postcards of Corsica due to its alluring, perfectly shaped crescent.
The sea is calm, shallow and gently sloping, making Rondinara ideal for children to swim safely in. The beach is wide and long. The drive to Rondinara is in itself very scenic, along a winding and at times narrow surfaced mountain road.
Beaches to the West of Bonifacio
Tonnara beach is a mecca for water sports enthusiasts! Consistent wind conditions mean that Tonnara is one of the top beaches in Corsica for windsurfing and the increasingly popular sport of kite surfing.
There are some attractive small islands across the bay from the beach, home to several seabird colonies.
With plenty of other activities on offer, good swimming and two restaurants, the beach is positively buzzing with happy holidaymakers!
Roccapina is a beautiful, pristine inlet beach, with exceptionally turquoise clear waters and powder-soft white sand.
It is a popular beach despite its potholed access road, and is overlooked by the majestic “Lion de Roccapina” granite rock formation so named as it resembles a lion when viewed from the road above.
There are rocky headlands either side of the beach, on which the dramatic lion-shaped rock and a Genoese watchtower preside. The granite rocks turn an atmospheric red colour at sunset.