Overlooking an adorable swath of bay, Ajaccio’s lovely city has the pride that comes with playing a role in world history. The city is famous as the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte and as the capital of the magnificent island of Corsica. Ajaccio is on the island’s west coast and is as intriguing as much as it is a diverse destination.
Many vacationers are likely to be based in the city- with the convenience of its airport- for their Corsica holiday. And there are lots of holiday hot spots near Ajaccio. The city cannot be overlooked for its stunning attractions and holiday hot spots- designed for every type of visitor.
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Here Are A Few Things Ajaccio Is Famous For
Ajaccio’s Historical Center
Situated in the middle of Ajaccio’s narrow alleys that are gorgeously lined with colorful frontals and palm trees, the city has an original Mediterranean ambiance with something to check out at every corner. Enjoy walking the old but beautiful cobblestoned streets of the city. Discover amid other the legendary Citadel and its walls, the Imperial Chapel, and the Place Foch.
The city is fondly called ‘the Imperial City’ because it was where Napoleon was born. The general’s childhood home is now a national museum in the old town where tourists can visit. Art lovers and history buffs will also enjoy the Fesch Palace that contains the Fine Arts Museum (Fesch Museum) with an exciting collection of paintings.
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Les ‘Îles Sanguinaires’
Also referred to as ‘Blood Islands’, Les Îles Sanguinaires are top destinations for lots of holidaymakers during their stay in Ajaccio. The collection of four protected and classified islands are indeed naturally beautiful with different types of wildlife.
Revel in the brilliant views on the way to the Genoese tower’s peak by taking the little hiking pathway. To see the islands more closely, take the ferry from the port and select the sunset cruise to make the trip more special. Some people say that the islands derive their name from the beautiful colors at that time of the day.
From the vast expanse of sand to small covered coves, the city of Ajaccio is the perfect destination to loosen up on the water’s edge. Among the most ravishing and wildest, the beaches of Petit Capo and Grand Capo (Capo di Feno) are an especially well-known place for surfers.
Take a break from the town to find out the mountains that encircle it. They can be reached from the Blood Islands through the Sentier des Douaniers, and you will love the incredible views across the land and sea. The superb views at the edge of the city at Saint-Francoise, Barbicaja, or Le Trottel beaches are also there to be enjoyed.
Ranking high among the most beautiful beaches in the entire Corsica is Silver Beach or Mare e Sole. It is situated on the city’s south shore with its clear waters and pristine sand.
The Ajaccio market is a nice place to explore Corsica’s local specialties, regardless of the time of the year. Also, at the market, the island’s gastronomy is revered, with locally made meats, local pastries (cakes, ‘frappes’, ‘ambrucciata’), and cheeses as well as honey, wines, liqueurs, jams, and spices.
The Sentier des Crêtes Hiking Trail
The starting point of the trails that lead to the center of the maquis (for about 9 km) is the Bois des Anglais. It will take you through myrtle, historical monuments, fig-trees, and lentisk. Unravel the astonishing landscape and impeccable views of the city from the Sentier des Crêtes as well as other sights like the old sheepfolds and Cupetta fountain. At the road’s end, visitors will get to the Route des Sanguinaires and Vignola solar station.
Palais Fesch Musée des Beaux-Arts
The cardinal Joseph Fesch was Napoleon’s uncle and is responsible for founding this musée beaux-arts that now houses the largest collection of Italian paintings in France after the Louvre. Masterpieces from icons like Bellini, Botticelli, and Titian are on display in the beautiful gallery.
Corsican and Italian art pieces from the 1600s-1900s are on display here. Still, the highlight is the collection of Napoleonic pieces, including sculptures. For those that want to get deep into the extra bit, there are guided tours, artistic workshops, and drawing lessons that are offered. Palais Fesch Musée des Beaux-Arts is located at 50-52 Rue Cardinal Fesch, Ajaccio, Corsica, France.
The cradle of the island’s most popular son, Napoleon Bonaparte, has emerged a site of great significance on Corsica. Serving as a museum, Maison Bonaparte is stuffed with preserved family’s personal possessions and period furniture. The Bonaparte family arrived in Ajaccio sometimes in the late 1400s and possessed a house from 1682 to 1923. Until the age of nine, General Bonaparte lived here, but his status as an important figure in continental history has led to the Maison being regarded as a historical monument. Maison Bonaparte is located at 1 Rue Saint-Charles, Ajaccio, Corsica, France.
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Pointe de la Parata
In a destination where big natural scenes are everywhere, Pointe de la Parata will still amaze you. Situated close to the edge of a long strip of rocky apexes that protrude offshore, this black granite promontory sets off Ajaccio’s Bay northern border.
Measuring 55 m above sea level, the headland is capped with a Genoese tower. It was built as part of a web of defensive structures to protect the coast from Barbary pirate incursions in the 16th-century. Step into the restaurant close by from where you can take a trail that leads to the tower.
At Ajaccio’s town hall are a well-embellished gallery with medals, paintings, sculptures, and engravings that are connected to Napoleon and donated to the city by the French general’s family up to 1936. The collection of art and memorabilia is much that the Fesch Museum lends a helping hand.
However, the most captivating works are in the town hall. Visitors can proceed with their short journeys through Ajaccio’s Napoleon’s history by studying the register that records the French statesman’s baptism.
On the damask walls are also paintings of Empress Eugénie, Napoléon III, and a complete picture of the general himself. Napoleon’s brother- Joseph, is also featured on the wall.
Plage de Capo di Feno
Near or in Ajaccio, there are more than 20 beaches, mostly brisk sides with fine waters and pristine sands. You might oblige the urge to step away from the crowd, and if you can drive 10 km to the coast (north of Pointe de la Parata), you will satisfy your cravings.
Plage de Capo di Feno is a beach with many natural beautiful elements. It has a forest and a sandbar just offshore where you can relax or take a break. Bear in mind that is place is not for novices in swimming, but you can still sunbathe on the pale sands. To have a full dose of Plage de Capo di Feno’s goodness, visit with blankets on an evening when the sunsets are just phenomenal.
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Tête de Mort
Tête de Mort is one place you should visit in Ajaccio. Go there on a summer morning and get past the heat for a walk above the town with terrific vistas. The trail curves from the Bois des Anglais to a tree, cacti, and a wild olive undergrowth of Corsican maquis. Then you can reach a dangerous-looking granite boulder, which, according to tales, is the deaden head of Satan himself. For a 90 minutes’ walk, the path courses back to connect the sea at Parc Berthault near the Plage du Trottel.
Just outside the city is a delightful protection and breeding center for turtles and tortoise from across the globe. Also, about 3000 animals of around 170 species reside here. The Corsican climate with the delicately designed tanks and enclosures makes up an environment to make the animals flourish.
The turtle hatchery and nursery is certain to delight visitors when they watch a baby turtle break out of its egg. It is interesting to watch how these animals from different parts of the world grow when you walk through Galapagos tortoises to short continental pond terrapins.
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What is Ajaccio Famous For? – Summary
On the impressive list of must-visit destinations in southern France, Ajaccio ranks high. This historic and beautiful city is not just popular for its strong link with the Napoleon family. It has some of the best of Mediterranean treats, animal protection center, finest beaches, art repositories, and breathtaking monuments. The Imperial City is always a delight for vacation.
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