Bonjour Corsica. We arrived yesterday evening from Sardegna (50 nm) and we are ready to discover the west coast of Corsica!
A curious name, almost alarming, for a natural wonder. Located at the entry of the gulf of Ajaccio, the Iles Sanguinaires archipelago is composed of four porphyry islets of a dark red which gives them their emblematic name.
Another remarkable feature of the site, is the Iles Sanguinaires’ lighthouse, dating back to 1870, which is built on the highest point of the Grande Île (Large Island), at 80 metres above sea level. An old semaphore can be found further south. It marks out the south-western coast of Corsica and the entry to the gulf of Ajaccio.
The Îles Sanguinaires and their lighthouse received a visit from a special guest: Alphonse Daudet who stayed on the Grande Ile in 1863. This obviously unforgettable stay inspired him to describe “ the Sanguinaires lighthouse ” in “ The letters from my mill ”:
“ Just imagine a reddish island and of savage aspect; the lighthouse at one point, an old Genoese tower at the other where, during my time, an eagle nested. Lower down, at the edge of the water, a ruined lazeretto, invaded everywhere by grasses; then, ravines, scrubland, large rocks, wild goats, small Corsican horses roaming with the wind in their manes; finally, up above, in a swirl of sea birds, the lighthouse with its platform of white masonry, where the guards walk at length, the green door with a lancet arch, the small cast iron tower, and above the large faceted lantern which blazes in the sun and shines its light even during the day… Here is the Iles Sanguinaires, as I saw it last night, whilst listening to my snoring pines. It was in this enchanted island before having a mill, that I’d shut myself away sometimes when I needed fresh air and solitude .”
No other description can better convey the beauty and tranquillity of this magical place which reveals all its splendour during sunset.