Visit Ajaccio (Corsica, France)
Ajaccio, on the west coast of Corsica, is encircled by wood covered mountains to the rear of the town, and the port and citadelle towards the sea, on the Gulf of Ajaccio. The town is popular with tourists for much of the year around due to its consistently warm climate and its sheltered position.
Above all, Ajaccio's claim to fame is as the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte. In the town you can visit Napoleons birthplace, now the National Bonaparte Museum and the caves where he played as a child. Statues of Napoleon abound and there are streets and places named in his honour. The most impressive monument is the one in the Jardins de Casone.
Places to visit in Ajaccio
The centre of Ajaccio is based around the 16th century citadel (still in military use, so not open to the public), and spreads west and north of the citadel into the town - this part of Ajaccio includes the Place Bonaparte and the renaissance cathedral, and continues up to Place Marechal Foch a little to the north, and is the part that is of most interest to visitors.
The old town, around Place Marechal Foch, has narrow streets lined with attractive, typically Mediterranean, houses and is very picturesque. It is also here that you can see (and visit if you are so inclined) Napoleons birthplace. Note that it was in the unassuming cathedral, the Cathedrale Notre Dame de la Misericorde, that Bonaparte was baptised.
There are a large number of cafes, bars and restaurants around Ajaccio, and it is in these that you will find the true town - the laid-back casual approach to life that Ajaccio seems to adopt so well. Place Foch especially is a very popular place to sit under shady trees and do some people-watching.
The rest of central Ajaccio merits an explore as well, to see the grand prefecture (local government office) and the Quartier des Etrangers ('foreigners quarter').
Located 200 metres north of Place Foch, the Fesch Museum has a highly regarded collection of Italian Renaissance paintings, originally collected by Napoleon's uncle.
Other highlights and places to visit nearby
- The walk that follows the hills out of Ajaccio (the Route des Cretes) is well worth following for the views across the town and coast (signposted, starts from the Bois des Anglais)
- Visit the lovely botanical gardens and olive groves covering more than 10 hectares around the Bonapartes country house at Les Milelli, 5km NW of Ajaccio
- The region outside the town has several highly rated beaches, including those to the south-west of the town around Capo di Muru.
- A popular boat trip that starts from Ajaccio is to visit the Isles Sanguinaires (best seen at sunset)
- Another site not to be missed is the prehistoric site at Filitosa, 40 kilometres south of Ajaccio.
Photos taken within 10 km
Address: Ajaccio, Corse-du-Sud, Corsica, 20000 || GPS: latitude 41.926, longitude 8.7369
Map of Ajaccio & places nearby
Highlights close by
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Ajaccio, France
- Iles Sanguinaires - grand site of france (12km)
- Piana - most beautiful village (36km)
- Corse - regional natural parc (36km)
- Calanches de Piana - heritage site (37km)
- Capu Rossu - site of natural beauty (37km)
- Chapel de Sainte Marie Assunta (Quenza) - religious monument (38km)
- Sartene - town of art and history (39km)
- Lac de Melo - site of natural beauty (40km)
- Lac de Nino - site of natural beauty (40km)
- Gorges de la Restonica - site of natural beauty (42km)
The French version of this page is at Ajaccio (Francais)