The achingly chic island of Corsica has long been a vogue French holiday escape. The ravishing natural beauty of the island is a vision of light, sculpted rocks of white and gold, slithers of silver sand and medieval villages that seem untouched by time. If there’s one place that’s not to be missed on the island, it’s Bonifacio. Dating back to the 9th century, the deeply sketched fortress town is a vision straight out of the pages of a fantasy novel. Enjoying a superb location at Corsica’s southernmost point, the city rises on the rocks of craggy limestone cliffs and overlooks the azure waters of the Mediterranean. The ancient town is like an open-air museum with rich layers of history waiting around every corner. Throw in golden beaches, nature trailers and a thriving marina, and you have one of Europe’s most delightful escapes.
Where to Stay
Boutique bliss abounds in Bonifacio and one of the best spots in town has to be the Hotel Version Marquis. Nestled into the island’s lush landscape, you will immediately be charmed by the 5-star ambiance and refined natural décor. The exclusive hotel offers just 14 boutique suites with contemporary furnishings, Italian-style showers, plush bathrobes and king-sized beds. All suites come equipped with a private terrace, where you can calm your senses with panoramic views of the peaceful landscape below. Everything you need is right at your doorstep with the hotel offering beach buggy transfers and boat rides. Elsewhere, enjoy the bliss of Bonifacio from the marvelous infinity pool that overlooks the Citadelle and ebbs into the blue horizon.
Take a look through our Luxury Hotel Guide to Bonifacio for an expanded list of accommodation.
Where to Dine
Foodies will find that the Bonfacio’s open-air pantry gifts the best of both worlds. When French flavors meet Italian flair, you have something truly spectacular – especially when you wrap it all up in a sensational hillside setting. There’s no better place to enjoy an alfresco meal than A Cheda Restaurant, which can be found in the pretty courtyard garden of the hotel with the same name. Stone steps, shaded spaces and guests tucked into corners make for a thoroughly relaxed dining affair. Chef Lionel Lebrun takes traditional Corsican cuisine and adds a contemporary twist. As a result, beautiful tapas plates flow out of the kitchen with ingredients plucked fresh from the garden and gleaming fish caught straight from the sea.
Check out our Restaurant Guide to Corsica for the complete list of gastronomic experiences.
What to Do
Fortress walls borrowed from the pages of Homer and impossibly white sandy beaches borrowed from the pages of Robinson Crusoe – Bonifacio will do plenty to spark your imagination. Lined with medieval houses and interesting chapels, the maze-like Old Town is a must for wanders who want to witness a slice of how life would have looked centuries ago. It’s a completely different story down by the marina, where vibrant cafés, chic boutiques and seaside eateries along the quayside provide a vibrant atmosphere. Those wanting to dig a little deeper and explore the wonderful wilds of the surrounding area will find yacht trips to nearby Lavezzi a prime place for snorkeling in limpid waters of blue. Sardinia can also be easily accessed by boat for those wishing to cross Italian waters for a fine-tuned day trip.
What to Pack
Sitting on a gold stone bluff overlooking the breathtaking sea, Bonifacio is the golden town with its endless maze of alleyways, paint-box chapel facades and blissfully boutique hotel scene. Days spent lounging by the pool with a cocktail in hand, followed by top-notch treatment at the spa are a wonderful way to unwind while soaking in the magical atmosphere of Corsica. Featuring a stylish and simple graphic wave design, these Frescobol Carioca Copacabana Large Swim Shorts are built from a lightweight technical fabric that’s designed to keep you comfortable at all times.
These trusty Oliver Peoples Forman L.A. Acetate Sunglasses have a vintage-inspired round-frame silhouette that’s centered by a distinct keyhole bridge for a confident choice of eyewear. Equal parts stylish and comfortable, finish the look off with these Balenciaga Pool Rubber Slide Sandals, which will take you from the resort to the beach and back.