Lavezzi Islands: The definitive guide

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How to visit the Lavezzi islands?

You’re planning to visit the Lavezzi islands during your next trip to Corsica?

Great idea!

In this nature reserve, you will discover sumptuous beaches and coves featuring fine sand and crystal clear water.

In order to help you plan your visit, I have prepared this guide of the Lavezzi islands, with all my best tips.

In addition, I will also give you a list of the best things to do around the Lavezzi islands as well as my selection of the best accommodations depending on your budget.

Let’s plan your visit!

Visit the Lavezzi Islands by boat from Bonifacio

The Lavezzi Islands archipelago is located 10 km South of Bonifacio. The easiest way to get there is to take a boat from this city.

You’ll have the choice between 2 different boat-trips starting from Bonifacio:

  • Take the shuttle boat
  • Do a full-day cruise

You’ll find every details you need about these boat trips below:

Shuttle boats to the Lavezzi Islands

From the port of Bonifacio, you can take a shuttle boat to reach the Lavezzi Islands.

During peak season, boats are departing every hour from 9:30.

You can’t book your trip in advance, so you will have to buy your tickets directly at the company’s ticket office located on the port.

Be aware that the schedules may change due to weather conditions. These rather small boats can’t sail in case of strong winds or heavy swell!

From Bonifacio, it takes about 30 minutes to reach Lavezzu island, the largest island of the archipelago.

There, you can spend as much time as you want to discover the island, but don’t miss the last shuttle!

The return trip is a 1-hour commented cruise along the coast of Southern Corsica. You should stay on the boat’s right side to get the best views.

From the boat, you’ll admire Cavallo Islands, the Gulf of Sperone and Cape Pertusato. You’ll also enjoy a breathtaking view of Bonifacio’s 70-meter high white cliffs and its citadel overlooking the sea!

At the end of your cruise, you’ll discover Sdragonato cave, renowned for the hole in its ceiling, shaped as the map of Corsica.

You’ll find every information you need, including the rates and schedules of these shuttle boats to the Lavezzi Islands, on the boat company’s official website. 

Voyage Tips - Advice

The SPMB, the boat company managing the shuttles to the Lavezzi Islands, offers 2 private and free parking lots for its clients.

They are located next to the police station (“Gendarmerie”) and well-indicated by signs.

You can also buy your tickets directly at the car park, which is very convenient!

Lavezzi Islands
The Lavezzi Islands

Full-day cruises to the Lavezzi Islands

If you want to discover the Lavezzi islands, you can also opt for a full-day cruise departing from the port of Bonifacio.

During this boat-trip, you’ll stop 2 times:

  • The first time in a cove on Lavezzu Island. There, you’ll have plenty of time to take a dip and relax!
  • The second time at Sperone beach for another swimming break.

This cruise also includes a breakfast served right after boarding the boat, and a generous lunch with an aperitif, delicatessen from Corsica, lobster pasta, cheese, coffee and wine.

On the way back, you’ll sail in the Bouches de Bonifacio Nature Reserve and admire the island of Cavallo, Cape Pertusato, the Grain of Sand and Bonifacio’s cliffs.

You’ll also discover Napoleon’s Cave and Sdragonato Cave, famous for its hole shaped as Corsica!

If you want to do a cruise to the Lavezzi Island from Bonifacio, have a look at the company’s official website.

Voyage Tips - Advice

Contrary to the shuttle boats, these full-day cruises to the Lavezzi Islands must be booked in advance!

Visit Lavezzi Islands
Visit the Lavezzi Islands

Lavezzu Island

Lavezzu (or Lavezzo) is the archipelago’s largest island. It’s also the island you’ll discover if you take the shuttle boat from Bonifacio.

Once you’re on the island, choose the right spot to enjoy a perfect day sunbathing and swimming!

You can also walk all around the island. This short hike takes about 1 hour, but you should count at least 2h30 with the many photo stops.

The Lavezzi Islands are really one of the most beautiful places I’ve visited during my road-trip in Corsica. During your visit, you’ll discover many magnificent beaches and coves with crystal clear water and big granite rocks at the water’s edge.

The best places to swim in Lavezzu Island are:

  • Cala Lazarina, a very pretty sandy beach, often crowded during peak season. There are also many boats anchoring in the bay.
  • Achiarina beach: it’s certainly the island’s most famous beach, and it is therefore very busy! It’s located right next to the shipwreck memorial. (see below)
  • There are several beautiful small sandy coves right next to Achiarna beach. It’s perfect to relax and sunbath away from the crowd, but less convenient for swimming as there are big rocks in the water.
  • Chiesa beach: it’s for me the most beautiful beach of the archipelago. There, you’ll discover huge rocks at the water’s edge, and turquoise waters ideal for swimming. It’s also sheltered from the wind, and boats can’t get too close because of the big rocks!
  • Right after Chiesa, there is another nice and quiet beach. It’s a great place to take a dip in translucent and shallow waters. The bay is also sheltered from the wind, and you can’t get there by boat.

In Lavezzu, you’ll also discover 2 marine cemeteries. More than 800 sailors and soldiers, who perished in the sinking of the Sémillante in 1,855, are buried there. This ship was literally torn apart by the sharp reefs during a storm.

The Bouches de Bonifacio are renowned to be one of the most dangerous places to sail in the Mediterranean.

After this shipwreck, a lighthouse was built on Lavezzu island to prevent further tragedies.

Voyage Tips - Advice

The whole archipelago is listed as a protected nature reserve. It’s strictly forbidden to walk off the marked trails, to pick plants or to fish. You can’t get there with an animal either.

You won’t find any restaurant, toilets or drinking water on the island. Don’t forget to bring everything you need, including a hat and sunscreen. It’s really hard to find a shaded place on Lavezzu!

You should also bring a bag for your garbage, as there are no garbage cans on the island.

Chiesa beach, on Lavezzu Island

Cavallo Island

If you’re doing a full-day cruise to the Lavezzi islands, or if you get there with the shuttle boat from Bonifacio, you’ll sail along Cavallo Island on your way back.

It’s the only inhabited island in the archipelago!

Many celebrities (mostly Italian) are owning a villa on the island. That’s why it’s often nicknamed “Billionaires’ island”. You can’t dock there, but you’ll have the opportunity to admire some of its amazing properties from the sea.

Several luxury houses are available for rent if you wish to stay on the island. But you have to know that it will cost you more than 20 000€ per week!

If you’re looking for a more affordable stay on Cavallo, you can opt for the island’s only hotel: the Hotel & SPA des Pêcheurs.

This 4 stars hotel offers spacious and well-decorated rooms with a private terrace and a sea view, starting from 350€ per night including breakfast.

There, you can also enjoy a swimming pool, a spa, tennis courts and a private beach.

This hotel has an exceptional location. It’s my recommendation for a romantic gateway during your itinerary in Corsica, or even for an intimate honeymoon in the Lavezzi Islands!

Click the button below to book your stay at the hotel & SPA des Pêcheurs: 

Hôtel & SPA des Pêcheurs - Luxury hotel on Cavallo Island
Hôtel & SPA des Pêcheurs – Luxury hotel on Cavallo Island

Visit the Lavezzi Islands from Porto-Vecchio

If you’re staying in Porto-Vecchio during your holidays in Corsica, you can also visit the Lavezzi Islands directly from there.

As there are no shuttle boats, you’ll have to do a full-day cruise to visit the islands!

This excursion starts from the port of Porto-Vecchio at around 9 am. On board, after enjoying a good breakfast, you’ll sail towards Bonifacio and admire the cliffs and the city from the sea.

You’ll arrive at the Lavezzi Islands at lunchtime, and enjoy a meal served on the boat. You can choose between 2 different menus, depending if you prefer fish or meat.

You’ll spend the whole afternoon on Lavezzu Island. There, you can swim, snorkel and walk all around the island.

If you want to book your cruise to the Lavezzi Islands from Porto-Vecchio, it’s on this website.

Lavezzi Corsica
Lavezzi, in Corsica

The 6 best things to do near the Lavezzi Islands

Now that you’ve visited the Lavezzi Islands, how about discovering the surroundings during your stay in Southern Corsica?

The best places to visit near the Lavezzi Islands are:

Bonifacio

Bonifacio is certainly the must-see city in Southern Corsica.

You’ll be amazed by its impressive citadel, perched on top of 70-meter high white limestone cliffs! 

During your stroll, you’ll discover the Fortress of the Standard and King of Aragon’s staircase, the two best places to visit in Bonifacio’s upper town.

And if you want to take the most beautiful pictures of Bonifacio, you should walk on the Campu Rumanilu trail. The views of the cliffs are breathtaking!

You can find more information about Bonifacio in my article: The definitive guide to visit Bonifacio.

Bonifacio
Bonifacio

The most beautiful beaches around Bonifacio

If you want to take a dip near Bonifacio and the Lavezzi Islands, you’ll have the choice between many beautiful beaches: 

  • Petit Sperone beach: a beautiful cove with white sand and shallow turquoise waters.
  • Grand Sperone beach: right next to Petit Sperone beach, and just as pretty.
  • Balistra beach, a wild beach in a beautiful mountain scenery!
  • Paragan beach: a magnificent cove sheltered from the wind.
  • Fazzio beach, located next to Paragan, at the end of a small Fjord.
  • Tunara beach: another beautiful beach with white sand and shallow waters!
  • Stagnolu beach, a wild beach located a 5-minute walk from Tunara.
Petit Sperone Beach Bonifacio
Petit Sperone Beach, in Bonifacio

Porto-Vecchio

Porto-Vecchio region is renowned worldwide for its magnificent beaches, often ranked among Corsica’s most beautiful! 

During your trip to Porto-Vecchio, you can discover:

  • Rondinara beach, mostly famous for its amazing shape. This beautiful bay offers shallow waters and is ideal if you’re traveling with children.
  • Palombaggia beach, Porto-Vecchio’s most famous beach. Often considered as one of Corsica’s best beaches with its pine trees, big rocks and turquoise waters.
  • Tamaricciu beach, right next to Palombaggia and ideal for a family trip to Corsica.
  • Santa Giulia beach, a beautiful bay with crystal clear water, surrounded by mountains.

If you want to learn more about the best things to do in Porto-Vecchio, you should read my article: The 17 best things to do in Porto-Vecchio.

Palombaggia beach Corsica
Palombaggia beach, ranked among Corsica’s most beautiful!

The Ospedale

Now that you’ve enjoyed the best beaches in Southern Corsica, how about discovering a completely different scenery in the heart of the island?

You can go hiking in the Ospedale Forest, the closest to Bonifacio and the Lavezzi Islands. It’s located a 30-minute drive from Porto-Vecchio.

There, you will discover the beautiful Ospedale Lake. You can also opt for a 45-minute walk in the forest to reach Corsica’s largest waterfall, the Piscia di Gallu.

The Ospedale Forest and Lake, in Corsica
The Ospedale Forest and Lake, in Corsica

Sartene

Sartene is a typical and authentic village located on the road between Bonifacio and Ajaccio.

The place is very beautiful with its narrow paved streets and old stone houses, but also very touristic and busy! If you want to learn more about Sartene’s history, you can rent an audio guide at the tourist office for 5€.

Voyage Tips - Advice

On the road to Sartene, you can stop at Casa di Roccapina viewpoint, to discover a big rock shaped like a lion. You can also admire the beautiful Roccapina beach located below.

Sartene
Sartene

Sardinia

Now that you’ve visited most of Southern Corsica, how about going another island, and even another country?

Sardinia is just as beautiful as Corsica and the Lavezzi Islands.

From Bonifacio, the ferry takes you to Northern Sardinia in less than one hour. There, you can visit La Maddalena archipelago, the Costa Smeralda and Capo Testa. You’ll discover breathtaking landscapes and magnificent beaches to take a dip!

You can find every information you need to organize your trip to Sardinia in my articles: Visit Sardinia.

Where to stay close to the Lavezzi Islands

If you want to visit the Lavezzi Islands, you should stay in Bonifacio.

You can choose an accommodation in the heart of the city, near the port or the Citadel. From there, you will have an easy access to all the city’s must-see attractions, including the cruises to the Lavezzi Islands!

You can also opt for a stay a bit further from the city, if you’re looking for quieter holidays.

To help you choose the perfect accommodation, here is my selection of the best hotels in Bonifacio, depending on where you want to stay and your budget.

Best hotels in Bonifacio’s city centre:

  • Best Western Hotel du Roy d’Aragon: Located in the old port of Bonifacio. The comfortable and modern double rooms are starting from 80€ per night, with an extra 14.50€ for breakfast. Strong Points: the location at the foothill of the citadel, the copious breakfast, the free parking. A great choice in Bonifacio for its exceptional value for money!
  • Solemare: Located 100 meters from the port and 800 meters from King of Aragon’s staircase. This hotel offers modern double rooms with an original decoration and a view of the port. The prices starts at 110€ per night. Breakfast will cost you 15€. What I loved: the heated outdoor swimming pool, the beautiful view, the private parking. It is one of the few hotels in Bonifacio’s city center with a swimming pool!
  • Santateresa: Located in the upper town of Bonifacio. You will love the design and comfortable double rooms with sea view, starting from 180€ per night, with an extra 17€ for breakfast. What I loved: the excellent location in the heart of the Citadel, the breathtaking view, the beautiful decoration, the private parking. The best choice for a luxury stay in Bonifacio!

Best hotels in Bonifacio’s surroundings:

  • Hotel Maora Village: Located 300 meters from the beach of Maora and 6 km from Bonifacio. The double room with private terrace are starting from 75€, with breakfast included. Strong points: the swimming pool and jacuzzi, the quietness, the excellent breakfast. It’s a great choice in Bonifacio’s surroundings for its exceptional value for money!
  • Les Chambres de Casarina: Located 400 meters from the beach of Maora and 6 km from Bonifacio’s city centre. You’ll love the comfortable and well-decorated double room with balcony, starting from 150€ per night including breakfast. What I loved: the heated swimming pool, the beautiful garden, the quiet location.
  • Hotel Cala di Greco: Located 2 km from the upper town of Bonifacio. There, you will discover well-decorated suites, some with private swimming pool. The prices starts at 200€ per night, with an extra 16€ for breakfast. What I loved: the 2 large heated outdoor swimming pools, the exceptional view over Bonifacio, the magnificent location.  It’s my recommendation for a romantic stay in Bonifacio!
  • Hotel Version Maquis Citadel: This 5* hotel is located 1.5 km away from the citadel. It offers sublime and spacious suites with private terrace, starting from 450€ per night including breakfast. What I loved: the infinity pool, the calm location, the very kind staff, the excellent restaurant. It’s my recommendation for a luxury stay in Bonifacio’s surroundings!
Voyage Tips - Advice

And if you want to spend a few nights on the Lavezzi Islands to enjoy its magnificent landscapes, the only hotel is on Cavallo Island. (I mentioned it earlier)

You can click here to book your stay at the Hotel & SPA des Pêcheurs!

View of Bonifacio from the Hotel Cala di Greco's infinity pool
View of Bonifacio from the Hotel Cala di Greco’s infinity pool

How to get to the Lavezzi Islands?

Porto-Vecchio – Bonifacio/Lavezzi

The port of Bonifacio is located a 40-minute drive from Porto-Vecchio. There, you can take the boat to reach the Lavezzi islands.

Ajaccio – Bonifacio/Lavezzi

Ajaccio is the largest city close to Bonifacio. It’s located 2h40 away by car.

If you want to visit the Lavezzi Islands from Ajaccio, you should drive to Bonifacio in the morning and visit the city in the afternoon.

Then, spend the night in Bonifacio and visit the Lavezzi Islands on the next day!

And you, have you planned to visit the Lavezzi Islands during your holidays in Corsica?

You’re traveling to Corsica? These articles will help you !

Discover all my articles about Corsica: All my articles to help you plan your trip to Corsica are listed there.

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Visit Lavezzi islands Corsica
Visit the Lavezzi islands, in Corsica
Vincent

Creator of the Voyage Tips blog, travel and photography lover. I give you all my best tips to plan your next trip.

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