Located on the west coast of France, Ajaccio oozes sophistication. The city’s streets are filled with fine eateries and independent boutiques. Ajaccio has a myriad of galleries and museums, many of which feature the infamous politician Napoleon Bonaparte (1769 – 1821), a born and raised Ajaccio native.
Top tip – when to visit
Ajaccio has a mild Mediterranean climate, with temperature highs of 28 degrees during the summer.
How do I get there?
You can travel to Ajaccio by plane or by sea. There are cruises that sail from England to the Port of Ajaccio. Alternatively, EasyJet flies to Corsica’s Airport where you can transfer to Ajaccio by bus or car.
1. Ajaccio Citadel
The Ajaccio Citadel is an imposing military fortress situated on the coast of Ajaccio near Napoleon’s place of birth. The landmark was built in 1492 to defend the city’s port, which was a great source of wealth. The citadel is still used for naval purposes, so it’s often closed to the public. The landmark does not offer guided tours, but you can pick up a free guide to the citadel from the local tourism centre in the Jérôme district.
[Image of the Ajaccio Citadel is copyrighted by samthetax via Flickr]
2. A Nepita
Perfect for a romantic soiree, A Nepita is a high-class Michelin star restaurant on Rue San Lazaro, home to the chef Simon Andrews. Fresh, inventive cuisine is A Nepita’s speciality, as Andrews buys organic produce
from Ajaccio’s market stalls every morning to create his dishes.
3. La Maison Bonaparte
If you want to experience the Napoleon era in all its elegant glory, make sure you visit La Maison Bonaparte, Napoleon’s childhood home. Now a prestigious museum, the house features the room that Napoleon grew up in, with detailed accounts of his early thirst for power.
4. Couleur Corse
Couleur Corse offers a range of adventure packages that are not for the faint hearted. A favourite among customers is Couleur’s hikes, featuring a climb up a 2007 metre mountain called Capu u Tozza. Once you’ve got your breath back, you’ll walk along the beautiful Lake Ninu (known as Lac de Ninu in French), breathing in the fresh scents of exquisite wildlife and plants. Sensible footwear is a must, so pack your walking boots!
5. Musée Fesch
Do you enjoy the finer things in life? Take a trip to the Musée Fesch, a small gallery in the Borgu d’Ajaccio quarter. The gallery showcases fine Renaissance paintings, as well as some more contemporary pieces. It was created by Cardinal Joseph Fesch (1763 – 1839), the Archbishop of Lyons who gave 16,000 pieces of fine art away to several institutions in Ajaccio before his death.
[Image of Musée Fesch is copyrighted by Yvette Gauthier via Flickr]