Overlooking the exquisite Golfe d'Ajaccio and sitting right at the foot of the Corsican mountains, this charming, lazy town is an excellent base for those looking to relax and explore Corsica. Though imperial in its architecture, Ajaccio wears its Corsican identity on its sleeve and the town's proud character is unlike that of anywhere else in the Mediterranean.


Ajaccio has a surprising number of high quality, interesting museums. The Musée Fesch features a wide variety of Italian artists, including Boticelli, Titian and Raphael. The Musée A Bandera offers a good introduction to the history of the island while the Maison Napoleon Bonaparte is the best of many sites dedicated to the French Emperor.

On a more sporty note, head inland to villages such as Coti-Chiavari for excellent hiking in the maquis, with the island's GR20 being particularly popular amongst walkers. Head seaward to marvel at Corsica's stunning coastline or, otherwise, lounge on one of the bay's many fine beaches, for example the Plage d'Argent, literally, the 'silver beach.'

Day-trippers wishing to explore more of Corsica can also take in the prehistoric menhir statues of Filitosa, the cliff-top town of Bonifacio or austere Sartene, said to be "the most Corsican of all Corsican towns." (Mérimée)


Ajaccio is a good place to buy Corsican produce and delicacies. Famous for its charcuterie - figatellu, lonzu, copa - the island also produces excellent cheeses such as tomme or brocciu and good wines, especially rosés. Rue du Cardinal Fesch has many elegant shops and is well worth a stroll on Friday evening when the locals fill the streets for the shopping de nuit.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Dining out costs slightly more in Ajaccio than in other parts of France, due in the most part to the fact that Corsica is an island. The pizzas and pastas of local restaurants tend to be good value and very tasty. All restaurants serve plates of local charcuterie and cheeses and, for a little bit more money, some specialise in traditional Corsican dishes, such as cannelloni al brocciu or fiadone.

The old port is a lovely spot for evening drinks. The best nightclubs are on the other side of the bay in Porticcio, though in the summer look out for the paillottes with drinks and music on the beach.

Tourist Information

Ajaccio Office Municipal de TourismeCorse-du-Sud (2A) - Corse3 Bd du Roi Jérôme – B.P. 21, 20181 AJACCIO cedex 1 tel. 0033 (0)495 51 53 03fax. 0033 (0)495 51 53 01 www.tourisme.fr/ajaccio

For Information on Corsica more generally try Dorothy Carrington's Granite Island (1971).


Planes arrive at Campo dell' Oro airport, 8km outside Ajaccio, from all over Europe, including Nice, Gatwick and Paris. Otherwise, regular ferries leave for Nice, Marseille, Toulon and Sardinia while a network of buses covers a large part of the island. The Ajaccio-Bastia train route cuts across the Corsican mountains and offers spectacular views while stopping at many hard-to-reach villages.

All car hire locations in France