Bonifacio was founded in 828AD by Count Bonifacio of Tuscany. Its magnificent natural harbour has always been sought after and the Genovese took it over in 12th century and rebuilt the city. It remained in the hands of Genova until 1769 when France gained control.
The city is at the southern tip of Corsica. It is perched high above the sea, on chalk white limestone cliffs and is a tangle of narrow streets filled with delightful medieval houses.
We sailed across the Strait of Bonifacio from the northern end of Sardinia. The area is notorious for strong winds and the day we crossed the wind was fierce. We knew we were in for a rough crossing when the ferry staff began to hand out sea sick bags shortly after we left port. Fortunately we didn’t need them, but many did and I preferred to brave the wind on deck rather than be inside with the sea sick passengers.
From the back deck of the boat you can see the coast of Corsica in the distance. The huge boat did a 360 degree turn before we left the harbour….very impressive.
You can see here how windy and rough the conditions were. No wonder people were sick.
The journey across the strait takes only 50 minutes and soon we were met by the magnificent cliffs of Corsica.
The old city of Bonifacio sits high on the cliff above the harbour.
The views from the top are spectacular.
The ancient city is very well preserved and the narrow streets provided several hours of delightful wandering.
We were fascinated by the narrow and very steep staircases to the upper floors of the houses.
This one had a very modern metal hand rail. Most did not.
There is an amazing old fort to walk through and imagine the people who lived and worked here centuries ago.
There were views from here over the newer part of the town and along the magnificent coast line.
We wandered past the gorgeous old church.
The stones at the entrance have been worn down by centuries of footsteps.
The portico in front of the church is most unusual.
Then it was time for lunch, and there was no shortage of interesting looking places to eat.
We found a place that served some local delicacies, mussels and an eggplant dish that proved to be interesting rather than delicious.
On our way back to the car park we discovered the incredible cemetery which I have written about in a previous post and found some gorgeous old buildings crumbling along the cliffs.
The coastline here is one of the most spectacular I have ever seen.
In the late afternoon we made our way back to the ferry for the return to Sardinia. Bonifacio put on a spectacular sunset for us.
Bonifacio is an incredible place to visit……put it on your list.
Take a look at the previous post about the gorgeous cemetery…click here.