Îles Sanguinaires

Located in the south of Corsica, the Sanguinaires Islands were long uninhabited. Loaded with mysteries, the only information about them comes from stories of travelers. In fact, the most notable human presence dates back to the 16th century when the Genoese built a tower on the site of the current lighthouse.

Mezu Mare, the Grande Sanguinaire, also became a health post in 1806 when a lazaret (quarantine space to fight the plague) was built for coral fishermen returning from Africa. Later, in 1865, a semaphore - a combat station - was put into service before being disarmed in 1955.

On the other hand, the current lighthouse was built in 1870 at 80 meters above sea level. Also known as the Gulf of Ajaccio lighthouse. It was automated in 1985, a date that also marks the departure of the last resident of the island.

Composed of magmatic rocks in dark colors, the name of the islands would come from the reflection of the purple rays of the sunset on its rocks or from the color of the Franconians, small plants with pink flowers whose leaves turned bright red in autumn.

Today classified as a Natura 2000 Site, they are real havens of peace for many species endemic to Corsica. As such, play an important part of Ajaccio's natural and cultural heritage. The Sanguinaire Islands have a rich flora: nearly 150 rare and endemic species! Such diversity is usually rare on such a surface.

Visit the Sanguinaires Islands to enjoy virgin spaces and sublime landscapes on the Gulf of Ajaccio, the tip of the Parrata. Also, admire the special fauna and flora of the archipelago.

How to explore Îles Sanguinaires?

  • As you go on a boat ride to this island, you will pass in front of the house of Tino Rossi, a resident born in the region.
  • You can seek solace in the Chapel of the Greeks.
  • Along the coast near the Pointe de la Parrata, take your time to admire the emblematic Genoese tower. Built in 1608, it dominates the region from its high observation point. It was used, like its former neighbor of the Sanguinaires Islands, to prevent the arrival of barbarian pirates and invaders.
  • Visit the lighthouse and climb to its summit, from where you will enjoy an incredible view of the Gulf of Ajaccio, the other islands, and the tip of the Parrata.
  • You can also explore the surroundings, discover the ruins of the lazaret or observe the many species of endemic seabirds.
  • Before returning to Ajaccio, swim in the crystal clear waters of the Sanguinaires Islands and snorkel to discover the fabulous seabed of the archipelago.
  • The best times for this visit are the end of the day during sunset and observing it from the top of the Genoese tower. On these occasions, the waves breaking on the rocks of the islands allow spectacular photos!
  • imageDuration Required
    3 hours

Address of Îles Sanguinaires

Ajaccio, France

Opening & Closing time of Îles Sanguinaires

  • Monday
    Open 24 Hours
  • Tuesday
    Open 24 Hours
  • Wednesday
    Open 24 Hours
  • Thursday
    Open 24 Hours
  • Friday
    Open 24 Hours
  • Saturday
    Open 24 Hours
  • Sunday
    Open 24 Hours

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