Ajaccio is a city that definitely has a certain je ne sais quoi and is rich with Gaelic class and seduction. With an attractive city centre area, spattered with buzzing cafes and colonial buildings, and not to mention large marina, there’s plenty here to entertain a family or a couple on a romantic getaway.
Corsica’s great general, Napoleon Bonaparte was born in Ajaccio in 1769, and his image is immortalised in and around the city, in the form of statues, museums and street names. Ajaccio’s Mediterranean climate adds to the cool vibe, which has more than a hint of the Cote D’Azur about it.
The often congested roads in and around Ajaccio are best suited to a small, nippy economy car. So that you have the best chance at negotiating the limited parking spaces.
Fine art enthusiasts should pay a to the Palais Fesch-Musee des Beaux Arts, which boasts Frances largest collection of paintings outside the Louvre. Established by Napoleons uncle, the works featured are mostly of minor or anonymous 14th-19th century artists. It’s also worth noting that a smaller collection of charming Renaissance paintings can be found at Musee Fesch.
Thrill seekers might want to try a spot of canyoning, which is one of Ajaccio’s most popular attractions. With a range of hikes available to suit all levels of skill, Couleur Corse is currently the company of choice. For the more adventurous, the town is great for windsurfing and diving. There are many fantastic beaches on offer, the most visited being Plage de Ricanto.
Like many parts of France, eating out in Ajaccio is not especially cheap. However, foodies will love A Nepita, who have won awards for their fine French cuisine. Prices here are not dissimilar to other, much inferior restaurants and as a result of this, you must book in advance.
For food that’s even more beautiful than its surroundings, head to Le Duplex on the Marina and dine al fresco, just perfect for whiling away a few hours on a hot summers day.
Ajaccio has a high urban density, meaning that major traffic and parking problems are rife during holiday season. Be aware of this and plan your journey carefully to avoid being inconvenienced.
A new bypass through several neighbourhoods was nearing completion at the time of writing.
The two main routes into and out of Ajaccio are the NR194 and NR193, the former from Bastia and latter from Bonifacio.
The town is served by Ajaccio Napoleon Bonaparte Airport, which has connections to major French cities including Paris, Nice and Marseille. It‚Äôs a reassuringly short, 15 minute drive to the town centre.
By road, you can access the N193, which goes towards the centre of Ajaccio in a westerly direction or north via the same road to Bastia.