Highlights of Bonifacio
Duration: 3 1/2 hours
Tour Code: pch-001
Delve into the often turbulent, intriguing history of Bonifacio by touring its well-preserved, medieval old town by wheeled train and on foot.
Traveling by coach from the pier, you'll drive south toward the tip of Corsica. Before long you will arrive in Bonifacio, which perches high atop a promontory of chalk-white limestone that the sea has sculpted into unusual shapes. It is without doubt, a stunning setting. Upon arrival, you will hop aboard a small wheeled-train which will take you up into the medieval old town, the oldest community on Corsica. As you ride through the labyrinthine streets of the Bosco quarter, you'll see the 14th century St. Francis convent, an ancient cemetery dedicated to mariners, and St. Dominique, a church built in 1270, perhaps by the Kings Templar. On a clear day, you may even be able to catch a glimpse of the island of Sardinia off in the distance.
After your brief orientation by train, you will commence a guided walking tour of the town, navigating through tiny, narrow streets that are bordered by tall houses. So many of Bonifacio's buildings and streets tell fascinating stories, such as the 12th century St. Marie Majeure Church which sits over an underground cistern that supplied water during times of siege. Emperors Napoleon Bonaparte and Charles V once stayed in houses on what is now called Two Emperors Road. The Chapel St. Roch was built on the spot where the last victim of the plague died in 1528. During your visit, you will also have some free time to further explore on your own, or shop in the old town. Perhaps pick up some of Bonifacio's coral which is renowned for its deep red color and used in much of the jewelry made locally. Afterward, it's time to rejoin your group and travel back to Porto Vecchio.
Please note: This tour includes nearly 90-minutes of moderate walking, plus any walking done at the guests' discretion during free time. There are cobblestone surfaces within the city and some steps to negotiate, most particularly when entering and exiting the train. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and is not considered suitable for those with mobility concerns. Weather appropriate clothing; sun caps; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested.