A Traveller's Guide to Ajaccio - Corsica, France
Ajaccio is a must-see when visiting France
Where is Ajaccio, France?
The capital city of Corsica, Ajaccio is situated on the island's west coast. Corsica is located in the Mediterranean Sea to the southeast of France, approximately 210 nautical miles from Marseille.
How to get to and around Ajaccio
Depending upon where you departure point is, there are two options for reaching Ajaccio by boat - NGV (Navire à Grande Vitesse) high-speed services as well as regular ferry services available. The NGV connects Nice in Italy to Ajaccio as well as the island’s other major cities of Bastia, Calvi and l'Ile-Rousse. The regular ferry services depart from Marseille and Toulon in France as well as other cities in Italy including Genoa, Naples and Sardinia.
Aéroport d’Ajaccio-Campo dell’Oro is located 8km from the center of Ajaccio where the Gravona River meets the ocean. There are three other airports on Corsica, located at Bastia, Calvi and Figari. To reach Ajaccio city from the airport, take the N193 motorway which links directly to the city center. Hiring a car and driving yourself into the city is the only option for travelling between the airport and Ajaccio, since public transport and taxis are very limited.
Once you arrive in Corsica, there is a train and bus service, however since services are infrequent and only run between the major cities, it is best to rent a car. The local bus service provides routes within Ajaccio and to the city’s immediate surrounds. The train connects Ajaccio with Corte, Bastia and Calvi as well as stopping at Gare des Salines near the airport to the city's north.
If you are avid fan of long-distance walking there are several trails throughout Corsica of varying lengths and degrees of difficulty, with the most difficult being Grande Randonnee which takes around 17 days to cover. There are trails that go around the island as well as across it, some through the mountainous regions.
What is there to see and do in Ajaccio?
Corsica’s most renowned and popular tourist attraction is its beaches which are a great place for simply relaxing and soaking up the Mediterranean sun as well as enjoying an array of activities including swimming, scuba-diving, snorkeling. There is also a large selection of restaurants, bars and cafes on the beachfront or in close proximity to the ocean.
Other sights to see during your visit to Ajaccio include:
- French National Museum of the Bonaparte's House, the house where Napoleon was born.
- Napoleon's Salon featuring sculptures, paintings, frescoes featuring the former imperial family as well as medals and coins dedicated to them.
- Museum Fesch, housing the art collection that Cardinal Fesch gifted to Ajaccio.
- A museum displaying relics of Corsican history.
- The Municipal Library dating back to1868.
- The 16th century Cathedral of Ste-Marie.