In the long list of charming places in southern France is Ajaccio. A beautiful and historic city with the best Mediterranean treats. Called the ‘Imperial City’, the city is located in Corsica and boasts of a plush historical credential hugely influenced by Napoleon Bonaparte.Allow yourself to enjoy this phenomenal Mediterranean city and unwrap all the breathtaking things to do in.
>>Also Read: Is Ajaccio Worth Visiting?
Here Are The Best Things to Do in Ajaccio:
Checkout Ajaccio’s Historic Center
Situated in Ajaccio’s narrow alleys, which are delicately lined with bright facades and palm trees, the city center provides an original Mediterranean atmosphere, with something to discover on every corner. Relish getting lost in the olde worlde cobblestoned streets of the city. Among other things, still unravel the iconic citadel and its walls, the Imperial Chapel, and the Place Foch.
See the Pointe de la Parata
In a place where massive natural scenes are nearly commonplace, Pointe de la Parata will still bind a spell on you. Located close to the side of a resilient string of craggy apexes that extends offshore. This is black granite promontory that sets off the northern limit of Ajaccio’s Bay.
Measuring 55 m above water, the foreland is topped with a Genoese tower. It is built as a section of a network to fortify the coast from Barbary pirate attacks in the 1500s. Visit the restaurant nearby from where you can take the walking pathway to get a nearer look at the tower. You can as well set your feet to test the transparent seas.
>>Also Read: Is Corsica Worth Visiting?
Visit the Heart-Lifting Route des Sanguinaires
Away from Ajaccio’s south coast is a seaside pathway that proceeds to Pointe de Parata. It adds the “Corniche Ajaccienne”, an elevated, bending road that touches the rough shape of the jagged coast. Here, the views to enjoy are the Sanguinaires Islands and over Ajaccio’s finest beaches, like Plage de Marinella.
On the route is the Saint-Antoine Cemetery, where Tino Rossi, the celebrated Corsican singer, was laid to rest. Visitors can make a similar trip through the Sentier des Cretes, but only on feet. They will scamper along with the plow on top of the coastal constituents. In a spot of flourishing myrtle, prickly pears, and pines for impressive views of the sea.
Learn About the Bonapartes at Musée Fesch
The city’s Museum of Fine Arts is named after Joseph Fesch. Napoleon Bonaparte’s uncle, who was the former archbishop of Lyon. In the early 19th-century, Fesch founded this museum by donating his luxurious painting catalog. It is made of one of the biggest sets of Italian renaissance and baroque painting anywhere in the country.
Titian, Salvatore Rosa, Veronese, Giovanni Bellini, Cosme Tura, and Michelangelo are few of the most famous artists featured. The museum is also where visitors can commence tracing the history of the Bonaparte family, as there are hundreds of works from the 1st and 2nd Empires, and busts of the Bonaparte line.
>>Also Read: What is Corsica Famous For
Visit the Maison Bonaparte
General Napoleon’s birthplace is among the attractions that are rather about the importance of the spot than what is there. All there is to know here is you will be checking out the home in which served as the icons cradle on 15 August 1769.
The house has been festooned with the 1700s family furniture style. General Napoleon’s great-great-grandfather is the first Bonaparte to live in the quaint four-story building in the late 1600s, and until 1923, the house remained in the family’s control.
The general only spent his early days in the building. Therefore there is much to learn about the remaining of the imperial family and their relationship with the city.
>>Also Read: Is Corsica Expensive?
Adorn Salons Napoléoniens
At the city’s town hall is a lushly-decorated gallery furnished with paintings, medals, engravings, and sculptures linked to the French general and donated to Ajaccio by the Bonaparte family up to 1936. The drove of memorabilia and art is so massive that it runoffs into the Fesch Museum.
However, the most gripping pieces are in the town hall, where visitors can continue their short journeys through the city’s Bonaparte history by observing the register recording the French general’s baptism.
Paintings of Empress Eugénie, Napoléon III, and a full-length portrait of Napoleon are on damask walls. Also on the walls is Joseph, Napoleon’s brother, when he was made King of Spain in the course of the Peninsular Wars.
Enjoy the Bliss at Plage de Capo di Feno
In or near Ajaccio, there are over 20 beaches, mostly bubbling sides with smooth waters, white sands, and transparent. Visitors might oblige the urge to leave the crowd and if they can drive 10 km to the coast that is north of Pointe de la Parata.
Plage de Capo di Feno has lots of natural beauty, with forest and a sandbar just offshore where surfers break. This place is not for casual swimmers, but visitors can sunbathe on the pale sands and paddle in the wash. To enjoy Plage de Cap di Feno, visiting with blankets on an evening when the sunsets are unmatchable is just brilliant.
Stop at Place Foch
Close to the town hall is an extended square surrounded by dazzling old palm trees. Sculpted by the Italian Massimiliano Laboureur and elevated on a pedestal overlooking the square to the port, is a statue of Napoleon like a Roman consul.
Zoom around the city’s vistas where visitors can use the Petit Train at Place Foch. Perhaps the best reason to stop by is the Marches des Producteurs de Pays on Saturday mornings, when the sheep’s cured meat, cheese, olives, and wine from the suburb close to Corsica are spread on the square stalls.
Witness Napoleon’s Baptism at the Ajaccio Cathedral
Back to the pathway of Napoleon, the city cathedral is the church where the French General was baptized on 2 July 1771. In addition, his mother, Letizia, started going into labor with him while going to the Mass of the Assumption on 15 August 1769.
Apart from its connection to Napoleon, this place is an impressive 1500s mannerist building. It has ochre walls that are lit by the sunshine. Take a brief stop in the Chapel of the Madonna of Pianto, festooned with murals by Eugene Delacroix and Domenico Tintoretto.
Adorn the Tête de Mort
When you visit, go early on a summer morning and escape the heat for a walk above the city, with phenomenal coastal vistas. The path curves from the Bois des Anglais through a shrub, wild olive undergrowth of Corsican maquis, and cacti.
After a while, visitors reach a dangerous-looking granite boulder. According to local stories, it is the petrified head of Satan himself. The trail then leads back to link the sea at Parc Berthault close to the Plage du Trottel, for a stroll of about 90 minutes.
Admire the Animal Life at A Cupulatta
Tortoises and turtles from different continents live in the research and sanctuary center 20 km northeast of the city. There are about 3000 animals there, from about 170 species. The Corsican climate and carefully designed enclosures and tanks at the two-hectare park allow them to bloom.
The nursery and turtle hatchery will definitely gladden visitors; if they come on the right day, they can watch a baby turtle break out of its egg. Treading through Galapagos tortoises to short diminutive European pond terrapins. It is refreshing to watch how the animals grow in various parts of the world.
Spend Time at Plage d’Argent
At the city’s port, visitors can board a speedboat that will take you to this perfect beach south of Ajaccio. Plage d’Argent is the fastest way to do it, taking visitors as the crow flies in about 0 minutes instead of a 60-minute-long car trip on rough zigzag roads.
As soon as possible, visitors will know why they how they made an effort when they step on the ribbon of perfect white sands that bends around the shallow bay for over a kilometer. The sea is clear and shallow at 10 m from the shore. And at the back, visitors are about a few restaurants and homes in hills doused with pine, myrtle, and pine.
Engage in Watersports
It would not be necessary to list the local companies offering water-based activities like kayaking, paddle boarding, surfing, snorkeling, and paddleboarding. Many beaches around the city have a watersports center, and at the port, there are many yacht charter firms offering bareboat rentals.
As with boats and motorboats, visitors will need a boat license to hire a jet-ski by themselves. You can avoid this not if you are with a certified supervisor. And various companies also offer guided tours to the most stunning coves close to the Gulf of Ajaccio.
Enjoy the Scandola Cruises
In the port, there is a large range of choice of cruise companies taking visitors on day-long trips. You can go up to Corsica’s west coast to the UNESCO-protected Scandola Nature Reserve. People like it for its granite and basalt rock formations.
The view of the park’s towering cliffs and creeks lowers into the sea from hundreds of meters will linger long after visitors reach their destinations. The captain on duty will drop visitors at a beachside café for food. With a bit of luck, they may see birds of prey, monk seals, dolphins on the cruise. Lots of tour operators will also make a stop at a cove. They let visitors spend an hour or thereabout swimming in crystalline rock-pools.
>>Also Read: Things To Do In Corsica
Things To Do In Ajaccio – Summary
Ajaccio is an exciting place to visit any time of the year, even on a budget. It offers a unique experience of southern France and the Mediterranean you will not find anywhere else. So for your next visit to southern Europe, Ajaccio should rank high on your itinerary for some thrilling traveling encounter.