“Imagine a reddish island and with an untamed appearance; the lighthouse at one point, at the other an old Genoese tower[…] It was on this enchanted island that before having a windmill, I went to lock myself up every now and then, when I greatly needed lots of air and solitude.” Famous French writer Alphonse Daudet wrote these lines in the 19th century to describe the Sanguinaires archipelago. Listed as a Grand Site de France by the Minsitry of Ecology in 2017, these four wild and rocky islands are located only a few kilometres off Ajaccio. They are a refuge for exceptional species of wild fauna and flora. Mezzu Mare, the main island, counts 150 different plant varieties, often rare and endemic.
The unique access to this one-of-a-kind natural site is to take a cruise boat in Ajaccio. It will give you a chance to discover the coastline, the Greek chapel, the house of singer Tino Rossi, the citadel and the marine cemetery. Once on Mezzu Mare, head to the lighthouse on top of the island, which offers unique views of the gulf of Ajaccio and the Genoese tower on the Parata peninsula. A walk at dusk will offer truly breathtaking scenery, which is what the archipelago's reputation is all about.