Near Ajaccio, the mysterious Iles Sanguinaires

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The Iles Sanguinaires is an exceptional natural site near Ajaccio renowned for its flamboyant sunsets.

Grand site de France

Several speculations circulate on the origin of the term “Sanguinaires” islands. For some, this name would be due to the color of the rocks at sunset, for others it would be due to the color of the flowers which turn red with the sandstone of the seasons. The Grand Site of the Sanguinaires Islands and the tip of Parata obtained, on March 22, 2017, the label “Grand Site de France“. This label, awarded for 6 years by the Ministry of the Environment, Energy and the Sea, rewards the commitment of local actors in favor of the preservation and sustainable management of the landscape heritage constituted by the tip of the Parata and the Sanguinaires Islands.

Les Iles sanguinaires, near Ajaccio

An archipelagos of four islands

The Sanguinaires Islands is an archipelago of four rocky islands of magmatic origin composed of a dark rock, diorite and a lighter rock, a monzonitic granite. Colonies of seabirds nest there in peace; the yellow-legged gull, more rarely the gray shearwater, the laughing gull and Audouin’s gull. An original flora, made up of more than 150 species on Mezu Mare, the main island, some rare or even absent from the rest of Corsica, including the spectacular fly-eating arum.


A rich past of mysteries

The “Iles Sanguinaires “(bloodthirsty islands) also have a rich past full of mysteries. Many stories of travellers, one of the most famous of which is that of Alphonse Daudet in “Letters from my mill” evoke traces of life in these wild islands.En 1806 Mezu Mare devient un poste sanitaire avec la construction d’un lazaret aujourd’hui en ruines, destiné au pêcheurs de corail retournant d’Afrique. Le sémaphore est mis en service en 1865 et désarmé en 1955. Le phare est automatisé en 1985.
L’archipel est acheté par le Conseil Général de la Corse en 1973.

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