Views on the citadel, impressive limestone cliffs, views on the sea… The Cap de Pertusato (Capu Partusatu in Corsican) is one of our favorite places in Bonifacio.
You are not in the citadel but, while walking, you can see it above these magnificent limestone cliffs.
Here is our guide to walk to the lighthouse of Pertusato, admire the splendid views and discover the rudder of Corsica and the beach of Saint-Antoine.
Why visit the Cape of Pertusato?
Is the Cape of Pertusato worth it? Our opinion:
Yes, the walk is worth it!
The cape of Pertusato is an unforgettable place. One of the best things to do in Bonifacio.
Even if the lighthouse is not visited, the walk to reach it is rather easy and spectacular.
During this walk you will appreciate:
- The white and striated cliffs,
- The view on the citadel of Bonifacio perched on these cliffs,
- turquoise waters,
- a background of Corsican mountains
Why are the cape and the lighthouse of Pertusato famous?
The cape and the lighthouse are famous for their location and for the cliffs.
In fact, the cape of Pertusato is the second most southern point of the island of Beauty.
For information the most southern point is Capu Testagro (a little to the East). Even if the small island called the Governor of Corsica, which is in the prolongation of the Cape of Pertusato arrives more in the south…
And the Cape is also known for its cliffs. They are more than 100m high in some places and are protected by the Bouches de Bonifacio nature reserve.
And the Lighthouse of Pertusato…
As for the lighthouse, it is a square tower of 21m high which was first installed in 1844 by Augusin Fresnel. This was the second lighthouse to be established on the island. We tell you more in the article.
The name Capu Partusatu
Its Corsican name is Capu Partusatu.
It takes its name from the pierced rock that it overlooks.
The term Pertüsu meaning hole.
Tips and map – Pertusato lighthouse, Corsica
Where is the lighthouse of Pertusato
- South of Bonifacio
- From Bonifacio: hiking or road + walking (see next section)
- Driving time from Porto-Vecchio = 35min
- Driving time from Ajaccio = 2h30
How to get there
The Cape Pertusato South of Bonifacio.
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.
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.
We are sorry, we forgot to take a picture of the parking for you…
Be aware that it is really small. So if you are visiting during a busy period, you should 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.
How long and how difficult
It depends on where you start and how far you go:
- If you start from the semaphore parking and go to the lighthouse, the path is easy, in good condition and it takes you 40min to 1h with the round trip and plenty of time to admire the views
- If you walk from Bonifacio, allow 1h30 to 3h to really enjoy the beautiful views. The path is also easy.
- If you add the access to the Saint-Antoine beach to see the cave, the rudder and the cape itself, the path becomes more difficult (a little steep and slippery descent, then ascent). Add 30min walking and time to explore the beach.
Best time to visit
Avoid the middle of the day to avoid the heat and the crowds.
There is no shade at all on the path.
It is a very beautiful place to admire the sunset.
But the view on the cape from Bonifacio at sunset is beautiful too. Here it is:
- There is no shade, so bring covering clothes and plenty of water
- If you go down to the beach of Saint-Antoine, bring good walking shoes (and take your swimsuit!)
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Walk to the lighthouse – Pertusato trail
If you leave from Bonifacio
If you decide to leave from Bonifacio, the path starts next to the Saint-Roch chapel which overhangs the sea in a hollow of the cliff.
You start on the historic Campu Romanilu trail with views of the citadel behind you.
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!
Path from the parking lot
Once you arrive at the semaphore, you join those who start from the parking lot.
The path is very 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.
At the end of a loop, you have a view of the semaphore with Bonifacio in the background, and the low vegetation in the foreground.
Be careful not to confuse the lighthouse and the semaphore.
This round and white building, and it is used to monitor and control the maritime spaces (not to light them).
It is a rather dangerous place. The frigate La Sémillante was wrecked in 1855.
Before reaching the lighthouse, you will discover an opening in the cliff with breathtaking views.
In our opinion, this is the best point to appreciate the chalk cliffs with striations.
Again, be careful at the edge of the cliffs. They are friable and there is no protection.
The lighthouse in figures
Then you arrive at the lighthouse of Pertusato.
It is not open to the public, but you can enjoy it from the outside.
Here is some information to learn more:
- Designed in 1838
- Built in 1844
- 2nd lighthouse to be built on the island (after that of the Bloody Islands).
- Its base is square with a 17m long side
- Height of 16,55
- Elevation of almost 100m
- Automation in 1985
- Current range of 25 miles (46km)
- Lantern: 1000W halogen lamp
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Capu Partusatu and the rudder of Corsica
But don’t stop at the lighthouse.
For the best views of the cape, keep going and turn around!
From the top of the cliffs, you have an exceptional view of the area.
See the picture below, you can see:
- Cape Pertusato pierced
- The top of the cave
- The small islet in the extension of the cape, sometimes called the rudder of Corsica. It looks like the hull of a boat. (But there is also a place dug in the cliff in Bonifacio, which is called the rudder of Corsica)
And don’t forget to look behind you. On a clear day you can see the Lavezzi Islands and Sardinia in the distance.
Flora, fauna and geology Bouches de Bonifacio.
The Cap Pertusato is ideal to appreciate the reserve of the Bouches de Bonifacio.
Here the cliffs made of hundred meters of sediment and marine organisms deposit.
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.
And along the way you can also see:
- Arboreal sagebrush, fragrant and ashy,
- orchids, scillas, rosebushes in spring or fall
- the maritime asteroid
- the astragalus of Marseille
- and about fifty rare protected species such as Limoniums, Silene velutina…
Drought and wind resistant plants are needed.
And look up to the sky to find out:
- Audouin’s Gull
- crested cormorant
- Ashen shearwater…
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:
Descent to the beach of Saint-Antoine
If all these beautiful views are not enough for you, you can also go down to the magnificent beach of Saint-Antoine at the foot of the cape.
The path starts a little before the lighthouse.
The descent is a bit steep and slippery, but well worth it!
At the bottom you discover fine sand and crystal clear waters.
You can approach the cape and observe the impressive Orca cave.
To learn more, read our article on the beach of Saint-Antoine.
It is one of the most beautiful beaches around Bonifacio(see our list).
BEST THINGS TO DO IN Southern Corsica
Cape Pertusato from the sea
Until now we have seen the Cape of Pertusato and its lighthouse from the land.
Also know that the boat tours to the Lavezzi islands, allow you to observe them very well from the sea.
On the way there and on the way back, you can admire them from different angles.
Here are some pictures taken from the boat.
The other lighthouse of Bonifacio
And finally, you should know that the lighthouse of Pertusato, is not “The” Lighthouse of Bonifacio. There is a second one at the entrance of the port of Bonifacio.
It is called Madonetta lighthouse and it dates from 1854.
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