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Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Southern Corsica

Ajaccio - Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Southern Corsica

All around the port and its citadel, the old town of Ajaccio offers pretty narrow streets with colourful tall houses. The Maréchal-Foch square is featuring a fountain and is very charming with its palm trees and its plane trees.

Napoleon Bonaparte's birth house is in one of the narrow streets of the old town, rue Saint-Charles. The Bonaparte house is today home to a museum exhibiting its personal souvenirs. Other pieces (documents and medals) are on display in the Salon Napoléonien in the town hall. Many other museums are not to be missed, such as the Fesch museum bringing together Italian paintings and the A Bandera museum tracing the history and culture of Corsica.

The Gulf of Ajaccio features beautiful beaches and seaside resorts like Porticcio.

Additional information

City of Art and History and first commune liberated of France during the Second World War, Ajaccio is one of the jewels of the Island of Beauty, Corsica. Former imperial city, it takes place to the south of the island, on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.

Very ancient, the commune of Ajaccio underwent a first development in antiquity, around the 2nd century BC, but it is mainly towards the end of the 15th century that it really takes off with the arrival Of the Genoese in its midst. The latter entirely rebuilt this abandoned city. It then passes under the bosom of France, and becomes chief town of the only department of the island under the orders of Napoleon I who originated there. The Corsican town is a popular vacation spot for the great people of this world in the 19th century and is still a popular tourist spot.

The economic center of the island, with Bastia, Ajaccio also has an important architectural, cultural and natural heritage that seduces visitors passing through this sunny and heavenly region.

Things to see and do

Tourist, the city of Ajaccio is mainly turned to its largest representative in the world, the Emperor of the French, Napoleon I. One can discover sites concerning it, like the monument commemorated on the Place d'Austerlitz. It unveils a statue full of Napoleon Bonaparte in his military dress of the Battle of Austerlitz. It can be reached by taking the stairs of a pyramid of granite. By the side, the cave Napoleon would have been the refuge of the great man during his childhood. You can also visit the youth hostel of Bonaparte which today serves as a museum. It takes place in one of the narrow streets of the old town, the Rue Saint-Charles. There are family memorabilia, as well as objects testifying to the Corsican heritage. Other objects, such as documents and pieces that belonged to the Emperor, are visible in the Napoleonic Hall of the Town Hall. Do not miss the Imperial chapel that still houses the burials of its parents, as well as its brothers and sisters.

Built in the sixteenth century, the citadel of Ajaccio takes place in a strategic location to defend the city from maritime attacks. Originally a Genoese castle, the building is today a property of the army and can only be admired from outside.

Baptism of Napoleon Bonaparte, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta dates from the Renaissance. Classified as Historical Monuments, it unveils a baroque style developed by the Italian architect, Giacomo della Porta. The church reveals a beautiful yellow facade, and one can admire in its interior a master-altarpiece of the seventeenth century, as well as a painting attributed to Eugene Delacroix, The triumph of Religion.

Other religious buildings line the narrow streets of Ajaccio, like the neoclassical church of Saint-Roch. The chapel of Saint-Antoine de la Parata or the church of Saint-Erasme also deserves a visit.

The Lantivy Palace, which is part of the Monuments Historiques, is now used as a seat in the prefecture. Built in the XIXth century, it takes place on the course Napoleon and takes its name from a former prefect of the island, Gabriel de Lantivy of Kerveno. While walking in the center of the city, one can also appreciate the "quarter of the strangers" and its dwellings dating from the Belle Epoque. Discovering villas and palaces that welcomed English tourists at this time. Now transformed into social housing, the Cyrnos Palace was a luxury hotel of the 19th century that still unveils its façade.

Ajaccio has several museums, like that of Fesch, labeled Museum of France. Created by a gift from Cardinal Joseph Fesch, uncle of Napoleon I, he unveils a fine collection of Renaissance Italian paintings, as well as one of the most important works of art of the Napoleonic period. The museum A Bandera, meanwhile, offers to learn a little more about the history of Mediterranean Corsica through various collections and varied.

The beauty of the landscapes seduces the visitors of Ajaccio who can particularly admire with happiness the archipelago of Sanguinaires. On the road of the same name that borders the south coast of the city, you can discover the charms of Saint Francis beach or discover the tomb of Tino Rossi, another great child of the country. Site Natura 2000, the archipelago hosts an important lighthouse, as well as natural reserves preserving the fauna and flora.

Hikes are available in and around the town, including the Crest Trail. The promenade offers beautiful views of the Gulf of Ajaccio and uncovers many coves and other quiet beaches.

Leisure activities

Last nameActivity typeRateCity
Cruise and hikes on the Corsican coast
Nature and the great outdoors3640 € Ajaccio
Hiking on Vizzavona Mountain – Leaving from Ajaccio
Nature and the great outdoors55 € Ajaccio

Places of interest

Information points
Leisure centres
Natural sites
Performance halls

Events and festivities

Weekly markets are held every day of the week, except on Mondays, in different parts of the city. A Christmas craft market is also offered in December. Every Friday in July and August, the city unveils a night market.

The Madunuccia is held every March. Prayers and a procession are in the spotlight.

The Saint-Jean is celebrated with lit fires in front of the citadel, every June.

The third week of June, the city unveils a jazz festival.

A contemporary art festival is proposed in July.

Ajaccio offers fireworks for July 14th and August 15th.

The Napoleonic days, in August, unveil costumed animations, shows and military re-enactments.

The Italian film festival takes place in September.

In October, the amateur theater festival offers different shows. At the same time, an international circus festival is organized.

A cartoon festival takes place in October.


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The Bloodthirsty views semaphore (© JE)
The Bloodthirsty views semaphore (© JE)
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The Bloodthirsty views semaphore (© JE)
The Bloodthirsty views semaphore (© JE)
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Sunset on the Sanguinary Islands (© JE)
Sunset on the Sanguinary Islands (© JE)
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Market on Sunday Ajaccio
Market on Sunday Ajaccio
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Sunset on the Sanguinary Islands ( © JE)
Sunset on the Sanguinary Islands ( © JE)
See photo
The Bloodthirsty views semaphore (© JE)
The Bloodthirsty views semaphore (© JE)
See photo
See photo

Visits, leisure and activities nearby


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