No buckets or spades in the boot of the car this morning, we’re off to our cultural holiday outing: visit of the sublime Bonifacio, and its millenary fortress overlooking the sea.

Bonifacio is above all the memory of a top class visit… an unforgettable memory: sea cruise, houses on the edge of the cliffs, vertiginous stairway and the turquoise waters and sun.  It’s been over 20 years since I have been here! This time, I set out with my husband and children (two) who will have to be motivated!

Bonifacio, here we are!

Ok, the car is parked in the port parking.  We are ready to conquer Bonifacio!  Tristan and Pablo, my children, are already nagging to visit the big tower, which can be perceived from the port!  I explain to my sons that it is more a fortress than a tower and I promise, we will play knights up there!

Normally, in our morning program, it is the inevitable sea cruise.  But finally, we forget the idea of the sea outing, as the sea is a little stormy today… My kids don’t have sea legs!  So no boarding! They won’t play at being shipmates.

Near the embarkation for boat outings is the Tourist Office.  Mélanie, the hostess suggests some interesting things to do with our kids.  We follow her advice to the letter: we take the Petit Train to the Citadel.  The children are happy and laughing seeing my hair blowing in the wind!  This train ride is pleasant, with the light sea breeze! The driver tells us some stories of the history of Bonifacio and the views on portside are sublime.  A stop by the marine cemetery with its white chapels facing the sea, remind us for a few seconds of the Greek islands.  The change of scenery is complete! Following the Tourist Office map, the Petit Train stops not far from the most visited monument in Corsica: the King of Aragon’s Stairway.

The infernal descent!

There they are, these stairs dug into the rocks.  The visit is not expensive and it’s free of charge for children!  We take a Monument Pass and with this we also have access to the Fortress: the famous fortress that Tristan and Pablo cannot wait to discover!

The stairway! Not to be missed when visiting Bonifacio is one of its most unusual visits.  Some very breath-taking views on the way and the walk, at the foot of the cliffs, is magnificent.  We are under the spell of this immense beauty!  Courageous, my kids climbed the 189 steps without grumbling! Mum and Dad are very proud!  The Tourist Office gives a diploma to each deserving child, to reward this physical achievement.  Super idea!

We continue wandering through the picturesque alleys in the heart of the Citadel: full of people, but yet not impairing us to roam.  We choose a small restaurant overlooking the cliffs for lunch, the Dolce Vita!

It’s fortress time! 

2 p.m.: It’s time to raise the flag on the Fortress of the Standard! Off to the Genoa Gate and the monument entrance.

Here we are! With the famous game-book (advised by Melanie this morning at the Tourist Office) in our pockets.  Pencil at hand, the children begin the visit of the Fortress of the Standard, the fortress that overlooks the port.  The little game-book is well conceived: a mascot named Fanfan, guides the children through the various nooks and crannies of the Fortress.  Tristan and Pablo are over the moon in the underground rooms as they can even try on medieval helmets…!  It is extremely well organised for children to enjoy a fun moment, as well as learning a little history, and for adults at the same time!  For those who are not enamoured of old stones or history, the visit of the Fortress terraces offers unique views over the cliffs, Sardinia and the port.  It is impossible to remain indifferent!  It is well worth the detour!  With or without a GoPro pole!

A fortified return! 

Tristan and Pablo are totally into the visit.  Not at all tired by the afternoon heat no, they want to find the mystery-word!  Hurray, the riddle has been solved!  We leave the Fortress with a lovely reward and practically no more space on the camera’s memory card!

To continue our quest, we take the sentry patrol path to return to the marina.  This fortified patrol path is partly covered, with arrow slits and machicolations.  Some shade and air are most welcome.  Again a walk charged with history, while enjoying an ice cream.  Our calf muscles are beginning to weaken after all the walking.

Return to the port, where an enormous yacht is berthed … which will be the last photo of the day!

Why it’s nice!

  • The white haze of the cliffs
  • The picturesque alleyways
  • A family day rich in colours and history
  • A lunch of aubergines made Bonifacio-style