Napoleon was born here and, if you did not know that before, it would only take a few minutes after cruising into Ajaccio to cotton on as ‘Boneys’ name and likeness is everywhere.
The main shopping street is called Cours Napoleon and the wide tree-lined boulevards, parks and large squares in this newer part of town feature many statues of the great man, notably in the main square (ironically called General de Gaulle). The Old Town between the port and the imposing citadel on the cliff above boasts Napoleons House and the cathedral where he was baptised
Corsica is such a majestic, beautiful Island. Ajaccio is the capital of Corsica and if you did not know that Napoleon was born there you will by the time you leave. With a beautiful harbour area with boats and yachts, arriving from French ports such as Marseille, Nice and Toulon; it has a lovely Mediterranean feel, wander its narrow streets and the lovely, varied architecture and fabled cathedral.
The ship berths just in front of some lovely bars and cafes and it is only a three minute walk into the main shopping area. No need to do anything here. The town is beautiful with shops/markets and they also have a nice beach. The tourist office is very helpful and will give you plenty of maps.
The main marketplace is right by the port and here you’ll find lots of local craft goods and endless Napoleonic souvenirs. Nestling in the Bay of Ajaccio, halfway down the islands west coast, Ajaccio is an excellent base from which to explore Corsica and discover why it is called the ‘Scented Isle’ (because of the sweet aromas from the mountainside maquis vegetation).
There is a lovely little train, €7 (2014) that takes you around the town via a stop for photos at the statue of napoleon. You catch the little train at the docks.
In every park, and there are a few, there is free Wi-Fi. There is also free Wi-Fi in the shopping centre just outside the port.
The beach is a short walk around to the left passing the Citadel.
“Mountains and Maquis” this excursion is stunning. The scenery of the mountains and trees/flowers was fantastic and the Prunelli river gorge was just breath-taking. You stop in a restaurant for a drink and the views were amazing. The roads are a little narrow and the drop off the side of the road was immense. This wasn’t an excursion for people suffering from vertigo. The contrast between the mountains and the Port of Ajaccio is really great.
By Peter Dagnall
See our holiday photos click here.