A cliff top path, a golden sand beach, a giant sea cave and breathtaking views… the beach of Saint-Antoine is one of the must-see places in Bonifacio.
Here is our guide to how to get there and what to see.
Why visit the beach of Saint-Antoine in Bonifacio
Is St. Antoine Beach worth it?
The beach of Saint-Antoine, is not the most paradisiacal, but certainly one of the most spectacular.
Between the cliffs, the caves, and the views of Bonifacio on the way there, its exploration is unforgettable. The landscape seems lunar.
It is necessary to walk to reach this hidden beach, one of our favorites in Corsica.
It is also called Pertusato beach, and by its Corsican name Plage Sant Antoniu.
Why is this beach famous?
Saint-Antoine is much less famous than the beaches on the side of Porto-Vecchio (such as on Palombaggia), but we recommend it if you are ready to walk a little because:
- The views from the access hike are sublime
- It is located at the foot of cliffs
- the sand is fine
She is famous for:
- The islet in continuity of the Cape of Pertusato which has the shape of a boat, and which is called rudder of Corsica
- The Grotte de l’Orca, a very impressive open air cave in front of the white cliffs.
It is one of the most beautiful beaches around Bonifacio(see our list).
It is located at the foot of Cape Pertusato, the second most southern point of Corsica.
Its Corsican name is Capu Partusatu.
It takes its name from the pierced rock that it overlooks. The term Pertüsu meaning hole.
And from the beach, you can see the hole, as in the photo below.
See our article on the Cape and the lighthouse.
Access and Map – plage de Saint-Antoine, Corsica
Where is the beach of Saint-Antoine?
- South of Bonifacio
- From Bonifacio: hiking or road + walking (see next section)
- Driving time from Porto-Vecchio = 35min
- Driving time from Ajaccio = 2h30
- Here is a map to help you find your way:
OUR TIPS FOR RENTING A CAR IN Corsica
- Compare prices on our preferred platform: DiscoverCars – one of the best rated sites.
- Choose a car that is powerful enough (the roads are steep) but compact (some passages are narrow).
- Think of thecomplete insurance (some roads are tortuous and narrow).
- There is a lot of demand, book it early.
How to get to Saint-Antoine Beach
You have 2 options to get there (walking required in both cases):
- Hiking from Bonifacio: path that goes along the cliff with magnificent views. An easy 6km route that starts at the Chapelle Saint-Roch. Follow the signs “Sentier de Pertusato”.
- By car on the D260 road to the semaphore parking lot (also called Grotte de Saint Antoine parking lot) then 1km walk.
And then you have to do 10 to 15 minutes of hiking on a more difficult slope. See details below.
We forgot to take a picture of the parking for you… Sorry.
Be aware that it is really small. So if you are visiting during a busy period, you have to come early or late to find space.
But if you have the courage, stay parked in Bonifacio and do the full hike because the views are really majestic.
If you leave from Bonifacio
If you decide to leave from Bonifacio, the path starts next to the Saint-Roch chapel. It is a small white building overlooking the sea in a hollow of the cliff.
You start on the Campu Romanilu path and then you join the path that takes you along these cliffs.
Take the time to turn around and enjoy the exceptional views. The further away you go, the more you appreciate Bonifacio’s position!
Always be very careful at the edge of the cliffs, the limestone is crumbling!
From the parking lot
From the parking lot, the path is easy, wide and obvious.
You see the lighthouse in the distance. You can’t go wrong!
Just know, it’s not a straight line. The path is a little longer to go around the cliffs.
And there is no shade at all, protect yourself!
Before reaching the lighthouse, you will discover several viewpoints. At an opening in the cliff, you enjoy breathtaking views of the chalk cliffs with striations.
Turning and descending
Be careful not to walk to the lighthouse.
The turn to go down to the beach is about 250m before.
A small path invites you to go down along the cliff.
The first part of the descent is the most difficult.
Be sure to wear closed-toe shoes and avoid slick soles.
It is sloping and slippery.
Don’t try it if it’s wet!
Once past this difficult passage, it’s a smoother descent on a classic path.
Don’t forget that you will have to go back up the same way on the way back.
Below is a photo of a difficult passage, taken while climbing.
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On the sand and in the water… practical advice
Best time to visit
There is no shade on the trails, so we do not recommend doing this walk in the middle of the day in summer.
The beach is particularly beautiful in the morning, when the rays of the sun strike the white cliffs.
In any case, don’t forget that you are in a natural reserve, the Bouches de Bonifacio. Follow the rules and take all your waste with you.
The sand of the beach of Saint Antoine is golden with a slight pink touch.
It is rather fine and pleasant.
Note that at any period, some beaches in Corsica can be covered with algae.
This can happen at any beach but not at the same time. It’s random.
Conditions for swimming
The water is transparent.
The slope is more important than on other beaches of the south of Corsica.
The beach is not supervised
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There is no equipment on site.
But if you have the courage to carry your equipment on the sloping path, this is an ideal beach for:
- Snorkeling with rocks and many fish
- Paddleboard or kayak around the cape
Conditions with children
It is not an ideal beach to come with children.
Between the difficult descent and the caves.
It is up to you to judge according to your children and their abilities.
The beach is not supervised.
Hotels and Restaurants
No restaurants or constructions on the beach.
But you have many options in the city of Bonifacio.
WHERE TO STAY IN Bonifacio
To enjoy this incredible citadel, it’s best to spend one or more nights here!
Option 2: around the marina
- Hotel Solemare and its swimming pool with view! – see prices, pictures and availability
Option 3: in the surrounding scrubland
We recommend these charming hotels:
The Orca cave
Once on the beach, take the time to explore the surrounding area.
But be careful where you step!
The most fascinating structure is the open sea cave. She calls it the Orca
It is really impressive because of its size. But we can’t find its dimensions.
The limestone of the cliffs is a soft rock that the waves have carved out over the millennia.
Some people call it the Saint Antoine hole.
Be careful when walking around, the rock is crumbly.
And don’t jump, there is no depth and no way to get back up.
Cape Pertusato and the Rudder of Corsica
The small islet in the extension of the cape, sometimes called the rudder of Corsica.
It looks like the hull of a boat. Depending on the angle, it’s pretty amazing.
(Attention, there is also a place dug in the cliff in Bonifacio, which is called the rudder of Corsica… do not confuse).
The name of Cape Pertusato, comes from the fact that the rock is pierced.
If you walk around, you can see it quite well.
HOW TO GET TO Corsica
Option 1: by ferry
Option 2: by plane
Perfect for geology lovers
The Cap Pertusato is ideal to appreciate the reserve of the Bouches de Bonifacio.
Here the hundred-meter-high cliffs are composed of sediment deposits and marine organisms.
The ground is hard and rocky.
Take time to observe the cliffs, and notice the lapiaz. It is a typical geological formation of the area. It is created by the runoff of rainwater which dissolves the limestone and forms limestone strips separated by gullies.
We are not experts to give you all the information, but the amateurs of geology will be delighted to discover these places.
And the photographers too!
There are lots of interesting rocks, sculpted by the elements.
The lighthouse of Pertusato
From the beach you can see the lighthouse of Pertusato on top of the cliffs. Built in 1844, it was the 2nd lighthouse of the island.
It has a current range of 25 miles (46km)
Before descending to the beach, or after ascending, walk to the lighthouse and afterwards to have beautiful views of Saint-Antoine beach from the top of the cliffs.
You will see even better the pierced cape and the boat rock.
And you can see the hole in the open sea cave.
PLAN YOUR TRIP TO Corsica
Other beautiful beaches in the south of Corsica
South Corsica has a lot of beautiful beaches.
We will not list them all.
But here are some of our favorites, with beautiful rock formations
San Giovanni Beach (St. John)
San Giovanni beach, also called St. John, is hidden in the bay of Figari.
This beach has beautiful rocks. They have different shades of gray and shapes rounded by the elements. It is particularly beautiful on a cloudy day.
See our article
25min drive from Bonifacio.
Beach of Tamaricciu
The beach of Tamaricciu is a long stretch of white sand, turquoise water and pine trees.
When you park along the road, you have a beautiful view on the bay from the top.
Once at sea level, if you walk to the left (facing the water), you will reach the area that makes it famous: big grey rocks and a single pine tree. It really looks like a postcard.
40min drive from Bonifacio.
See our article.
Beach of La Tonnara
It remains wild looking but still has a large parking lot and restaurants.
Its waters are translucent, and thanks to the islets not far from the coast (the Tonnara islands), it creates a kind of lagoon quite calm (but with wind).
And it is possible to explore rocky areas around, a coastal path with beautiful colors.
See our article.
15min drive from Bonifacio.
Plan your trip to Corsica
Discover all our articles to make your trip a success!
- All our practical advice for a trip to Corsica – read
- How to get to Corsica – coming soon
- Which ferry to take to Corsica – read
- Rent a car in Corsica – read
- Where to stay in Corsica – read
- Driving in Corsica – read
- 3 days in Corsica: where to go – read
- 4 or 5 days in Corsica: where to go – read
- The most beautiful destinations in Cose – read