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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.

Hermit crab at Santa Giulia Beach, Corsica
A hermit crab amongst peacock’s tail seaweed.

How to get to Santa Giulia snorkeling spot?

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 you 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.

Santa Giulia Beach snorkeling map

Entering the water to snorkel Santa Giulia

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.

Santa Giulia snorkeling tips

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 peacock’s tail seaweed (Padina pavonica) and a few Posidonia meadows can be seen in this area, both sheltering more abundant sea life.

View over Santa Giulia Beach snorkeling area
Aerial view of Santa Giulia bay. The recommended snorkeling area is around the rocky islets emerging in the center of the bay.

Water is very shallow next to the beach, and you might have to walk for about 15 meters before being able to fin. Swim towards the rocky islets. You will come through a rather monotonous white sand area (↕2-5ft/0.5-1,5m), where sand sea stars and some small groups of juvenile mullets can nevertheless be seen.

Starfish at Santa Giulia Beach, Corsica
A sand sea star found on the sandy beds.

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 can often be seen on the rocks just underneath the water surface.

Mediterranean moray eel in Santa Giulia Beach, Corsica
If Mediterranean morays are most of the time hiding in rock holes, they are exceptionally seen in the open.

Rocks covered with algae are the territory of five-spotted wrasse and peacock wrasse, whose males fins are lined 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 gilt-heat bream or a sharpsnout seabream in the deeper areas.

In the sandy beds surrounding the reef, you may also have the chance to spot a small pelagic stingray darting over the sand.

Santa Giulia beach is packed with visitors during summer. Mind the other swimmers, snorkelers, and all kinds of boats sharing the bay with you.

Stingray in Santa Giulia
Stingrays can occasionally be spotted over the seagrass beds surrounding the islet.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

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.

Live an incredible encounter with a stingray and a moray eel in Santa Giulia sandy beds in this video 👇 shot by Fico!




  • Level required Intermediate
  • Maximum depth16ft/5m
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium to high
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyYes
  • Public toilets & showersNo

MAP Spot

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.