If you search most beautiful’ island or port in the Mediterranean, you will often see the names of Bonifacio and Lavezzi. And they are just 6 miles apart. This is one of the most beautiful areas of the Mediterranean Sea.
The Bonifacio Strait is the windiest and ranks among the wildest places in the Mediterranean, thus surging to nearly mythological status among the real sailors who come year for racing super yachts and Swans in May and September. Lavezzi is a pristine National Park, a playful pastime of some ancient sea god who created a charming, Japanese-style rock garden with thousand of pink and grey boulders scattered artfully among crystal waters. The stones shelter three different coves and lagoons, offering a combined shelter from all quarters. The sand is very, very white and even the scant vegetation contributes to the general effect with pure Mediterranean scents. This small paradise should be thoroughly avoided, especially during the day, in July and August when uncouth French tourist boats vomit hundreds of tourists, but thankfully they are duly re-embarked by 7pm. A random walk around the many paths of the island for sunset is a must, alone with the wind and the ancient tombs remembering the victims of the Semillante, aground here in 1855 with 700 soldiers bound for the Crimean War.
Bonifacio is a natural harbour and wins the ‘most charming Mediterranean port’ competition hands down. Must be approached from the Sea for best result. The White Cliffs would be reason enough for a detour, dwarfing their Dover counterparts. The citadel perched on top of the cliffs add to the charme and raise the place to a 2 star level. Add a mile deep natural harbour under the cliffs and… voilà, you have a 3 stars destination worth of a whole journey.
The real magic of Bonifacio explode in winter, when the crowds are gone, when the port is nearly empty. Sometimes the south west winds creates a strange tidal effect so the sea breathes up and down, like a chest, nearly entering the shops and the bars. That is the only sound in the perfect silence between the old houses of the citadel.
A perfect day? Have an early morning walk around town, calling at the fishmonger for oysters and fish, to the bakery for baguette and to the wine shop for some bottles of chardonnay. Then sail out of Bonifacio to Lavezzi in the middle of winter, the frosty air rolling down the snowy peaks of Corse. You’ll have the place to yourself, and you will feel the owner of the sea.