If you are looking for an island getaway while holidaying in the bustling resort towns of Cote d’Azur, then you are in for a treat. Only a ferry ride away is the beautiful Mediterranean island of Corsica. Choose to embark any number of the ferries conveniently located from the nearby cities of Toulon, Nice, Savona, Livorno, or Civita Vecchia. Upon arriving, you will surely be enchanted by Corsica’s stunning beaches, charming villages and scenic mountain trails.
Ajaccio, located on the west coast, offers the perfect glimpse to what Corsica has in store for you. It is the island’s capital and steeped in history, so expect to find several museums in the area—if you are on the lookout for one. There is also no lack of outdoor cafes for those who simply want to sit down, relax, sip a good brew and watch the typical laid-back Corsican day unfold before them.
If you are craving some history, take a lazy stroll around town and discover the vestiges of Napoleon Bonaparte who was born on the island. You will find plenty mentions of him in Corsica—from street names, impressive monuments and, of course, an entire national museum dedicated to his remarkable life story.
Continue your immersion in Corsica’s rich history with a visit to the prehistoric site of Filitosa, 25 miles out of town. Boasting statues dating back to the early Neolithic era, the museum will surely be an amazing experience for history enthusiasts. Explore the site and marvel at the prehistoric menhirs—human faces carved out of granite in all shapes and sizes.
For scenic strolls, walk around the Old Town’s Place Marechal Foch, and enjoy the beautiful houses that make it one of the most atmospheric places in the capital. If you are a fan of Renaissance art, then consider a stop to the nearby Fesch Museum where Bonaparte’s very own painting collection is on display, but if your idea of a scenic stroll involves breathtaking vistas, then head towards the hills of Ajaccio. Follow the Route de Cretes and treat yourself to sweeping panoramas of the town and the coast.
Those looking for beautiful sandy beaches where they can soak up the warm Mediterranean sun, may need to leave town—but only for a short drive or bus ride—to find an idyllic stretch of sand. Nearby beaches include the Ricanto and Porticcio areas. There are also several little coves to discover along the coastal highway (commonly referred to as “Route des Sanguinaires”), so be a little adventurous and make frequent stops if something interesting catches your eye. Also, visitors who simply want to stay in Ajaccio can make do with the small beach near the Citadelle called Plage St. Francois.
Finally, no visit to Ajaccio is complete without a boat ride to Iles Sanguinaires to catch sight of its fabulous sunset. The islets are inhabited by several species of birds, making it a perfect jaunt for avid birdwatchers as well.