The island of Cavallo in the Strait of Bonifacio, the only inhabited island in the Lavezzi archipelago, is a paradise in the Mediterranean where cars are prohibited and where one can live in tune with the rhythm of the waves. A few villas, a 5-star hotel, an aerodrome and a marina emerged in the sixties for a privileged clientele who come to Cavallo for its one hundred percent natural environment and to take advantage of the many small islands and coves, far away from mass tourism. For those not lucky enough to have their own residence on the island, accommodation can be found in one of the 52 rooms at the Hotel des Pêcheurs equipped with patios and terraces with a panoramic view. The restaurant provides local and international cuisine with both meat and fish dishes, as well as Italian specialities. A piano and a cocktail bar provide evening entertainment. The spa has a sauna and indoor and outdoor pools. Massages and thalassotherapy treatment are also available.
Cavallo Port, to the south of the island with its wooden pontoons and the discreet facades of its constructions set among the rocks, was built in harmony with the scenery. The marina can host 240 boats of up to 20 metres, 37 of the moorings being reserved for visitors boats with water and electricity supplied. A weather service, waste disposal facilities, WIFI, toilets and showers are also available. Access to the marina is via the south of the island to avoid the reefs to the north and to the west. The access channel is buoyed in green and red and is lit up at night. Assistance with mooring is provided for each boat, guided by the staff on board a dinghy. The sea bed is sandy and the harbour basin is 2 to 5 metres deep.
Experienced skippers able to clear a path through the rocks appearing on the surface, can also reach the island from the south-east via the Cala di Palma, an inlet sheltered from western and north-eastern winds, or from the north via the Cala di Zeri, while watching out for rocks, especially near the northern and eastern sides. Entry from the north via the Cala di Greco is forbidden because of the pipeline that is installed there. A stay on Cavallo island is also an opportunity to discover the many small islands and natural bays that abound such as Poraggia, a granite rock one mile to the north of Cavallo, Perduto to the east and Ratino island to the west, identifiable thanks to its narrow approaches lined with rocks. About 6 miles from Cavallo, the natural harbour of Rondinara bay is sheltered from the wind, making access easy. There you can savour Corsican specialities in the restaurant facing the sea or you can rent a mooring for your boat at the nautical base and put up a tent for a few nights. Rondinara’s turquoise waters and white sand resemble Tahitian scenery, just as does Piana, near the tip of Sperone, a lagoon surrounded by sandy sea beds and transparent water. Nevertheless, the approach is difficult and should only be attempted in fine weather. Two rocks, Pretre and Vachetta, are just nearby and Piantarella lagoon is devoted to kite-surfing and windsurfing.
A fifteen-minute sail from Cavallo marina, the Gulf of Sant’Amanza is accessible from the west via the creek of Stentino. Besides the beaches which are among Corsica’s most beautiful ones, like the Cala di Stentinu or Canettu beach where rocks covered with vegetation plunge into a crystalline sea, there is also the 18-hole Sperone Golf Club that overhangs the sea.
To the south of Cavallo, Lavezzi island is a like a huge granite rock pierced with small bays all as beautiful as one another. To the south-west the Cala Lazarina, an excellent shelter from the wind, provides ideal access to the island. The latter can also be accessed via the Cala di Giunco to the south, by the small buoyed channels of the Cala della Chiesa to the north-west or via the Cala di Greco to the west which provides shelter from westerly winds. For boats arriving from the west or the south, the Lavezzi reef is marked out. Approaching from the north between Cavallo and Lavezzi is not advisable because of the many reefs.
The island is also of historical interest because of its memorial to the boat named Semillante, shipwrecked off the coast of the island in 1855 during a wind storm and which for reasons that are difficult to understand left no survivors. The two cemeteries built in white stone also bear witness to this tragedy.