• Menu
  • Menu
Stadtstrand von Ajaccio, Bild: nito / shutterstock

Ajaccio – The capital of Corsica

The Corsican capital of Ajaccio still presents itself to visitors today as it was in past centuries. With narrow streets, the sea as a loyal companion and sprawling markets, the capital of Corsica has become a centre for visitors to the island. This is not least due to the many historical sights and the fact that it is the only really vibrant center on the island. The charm of the city also results from the rugged nature and from the fact that although it is the largest city on the island, it is not comparable to the metropolises of the mainland.

Probably the most vibrant legacy of Napoleon

Statue Napoleon in Ajaccio
Statue of Napoleon in Ajaccio, Image: Evannovostro / shutterstock

There isn’t much that you typically associate with the city, if you’ve even heard of it before. Ajaccio is distinguished by the fact that it is the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte and has always played an important role in his life. This heritage can still be seen everywhere in the city today and people like to associate themselves with the former emperor and general, whose ancestry from Corsica is also somewhat comparable to the breed of people that can be found on the fortified island in the Mediterranean.

Located on the south coast of Corsica, most visitors come to the city either for a day trip from the French coast or Sardinia, or they visit the capital as part of the general holiday on the rugged but beautiful island of Corsica. And it is not uncommon to be a little surprised by the impression made by this important city, which was once built by the Genoese and has now belonged to France for several centuries.

See also  Nancy – the city of charm and Art Nouveau

In addition to the omnipresence of the city’s most important son, the palm trees are particularly eye-catching. They shape the cityscape and can be found on the squares, promenades and streets, giving the city an almost tropical flair. Of course, it is helpful that you can enjoy the wonderful temperatures of the Mediterranean here from spring to late summer – if in doubt, also to one of the many beaches that surround the city outside the actual port area.

What are the main attractions of Ajaccio?

Port of Ajaccio
Port of Ajaccio, Image: El Greco 1973 / shutterstock

In general, when touring the capital of Corsica, you should already keep in mind that transport through the city should be mainly by public transport. Even if you have a rental car for the island, the search for a parking space in the city is likely to quickly drive you crazy – the parking problem is known beyond the borders of the island. It is therefore more worthwhile to travel by bus and then most of the sights can be reached with a short walk along the beautiful harbor promenade anyway.

The National Museum is definitely worth a visit. Not only is the eventful history of Corsica and Ajaccio discussed, but of course the island’s close connection with Napoleon Bonaparte, which you simply can’t escape here. In the Fesch Palace including the imperial chapel, you can also see very clearly the traces he left behind on the island during his reign in France and certainly one reason why the inhabitants are loyal to him to this day.

In general, the city center is very much designed to meet the needs of tourists. Many of the beautiful old palaces and sometimes centuries-old hotels can be admired in the narrow streets. Tour guides with groups of tourists are just as much a normality in the cityscape as the buses with the visitors who drive to the individual sights. If you like it a little less hectic and are looking for a little nature on the island, you should take a look at the beaches and coasts that stretch just outside the city center.

See also  Espace Lumiere – The ski area for the whole family

The beach directly at the citadel, for example, is particularly popular. By the way, the massive defensive structure cannot be visited – it is still used by the French army today and has no access for tourists. Instead, a visit to the Pointe de La Parata peninsula with its hiking and cycling trails is worthwhile. Awarded as one of the most beautiful spots in French nature, the unique fauna of Corsica meets the rugged coasts that make the island such a special sight as soon as you arrive by boat.

Experience the culture of Ajaccio with all your senses

It’s not just the sights, the beaches and the palm trees that make Ajaccio what it is. Everywhere in the city, for example, you can see the markets, where you can buy seafood, fruit and handicrafts of all kinds. The market culture is important for the city and you should not miss a walk there. Of course, the fresh goods always end up in the many restaurants that are spread throughout the city, but are particularly popular with a view of the harbour and the sea. The rustic cuisine of Corsica, with influences from Italian and French cuisine, is particularly popular with holidaymakers and offers a wide selection of stews and seafood. If you also dare to take a trip to the city’s nightlife, you will have discovered the city of Napoleon Bonaparte in the right way.