Famous for its turquoise waters bordered by polished rocks, Santa Giulia bay also boasts one of the most beautiful beaches in Corsica. With fine sand and shallow, warm water, Santa Giulia beach mostly attracts sunbathers, but don’t hesitate to bring your snorkel gear along: the small rocky reef located at the center of the bay lends itself to a nice snorkeling session.
Santa Giulia is located about 5km south of Porto Vecchio and 20km north of Bonifacio. A few roads lead to the beach but in order to get as close as possible to the snorkel area, we advise to stop at the well-indicated parking lot located next to Moby Dick Hotel. During summer, the beach is often packed with tourists: consider arriving early to ensure you can park, or take the beach shuttle to avoid parking issues.
We advise to enter the water in front of the rocky reef as much as possible, so as to reduce the swimming distance to the spot.
The snorkel area encompasses the surroundings of the rocky islets located at the center of the bay, about 150m from the beach. While the bay’s seabed is mostly sandy, polished rocks covered with seaweed and a few Posidonia meadows can be seen in this area, both sheltering a more abundant sealife.
Water is very shallow next to the beach, and you might have to walk for about 15 meters before being able to use your fins. Swim towards the rocky islets. You will come through a rather monotonous white sand area (↕2-5ft/0.5-1,5m), where astrospecten sea stars (astrospecten bispinosus) and some small groups of juvenile mullets can nevertheless be seen.
Once close to the islets, you can start exploring the rocky area the way you like. Be aware that the external side of the reef (facing the open sea) is generally more exposed to waves than the inside (facing the beach).
Huge blocks of polished granite are scattered on the seabed, alternating with sandy areas and Posidonia meadows (↕1,5-3m). Sea urchins and hermit crabs (pagurus) can often be seen on the rocks just underneath the water surface. Rocks covered with algae are the territory of five-spotted wrasse and peacock wrasse, whose males sport beautiful fins rimmed with fluorescent blue. Small groups of salema can also be seen around the rocks, as well as common two-banded seabream. If lucky, you will also spot a gilt-heat or a sharpsnout seabream in the deeper areas.
Santa Giulia beach is packed with visitors during summer. Mind the other swimmers, snorkelers and all kinds of boats sharing the bay with you.
The Moby Dick hotel is located next to the beach, right in front of the spot. Along Santa Giulia beach, several other restaurants and accommodation options can be found. The closest supermarkets are in Porto Vecchio, about 10 minutes if driving from the beach.
Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.
This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.
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