Ajaccio

A cluster of ancient streets
Napoleon Bonaparte memorabilia
A XV century citadel

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Ajaccio/Corsica

Mild climate, relaxation and chic bars

During your cruise of the Mediterranean with MSC Cruises, how about a nice shore excursion to Corsica?


Ajaccio is a relaxed and good-looking place for a visit to Corsica, with an exceptionally mild climate, and a wealth of smart cafés, restaurants and shops. The core of the old town of Ajaccio – a cluster of ancient streets spreading north and south of place Foch, which opens out to the seafront by the port and the marina – holds the most interest.

Nearby, to the west, place de Gaulle forms the modern centre and is the source of the main thoroughfare, cours Napoléon, which extends parallel to the sea almost 2 km to the northeast. West of place de Gaulle stretches the modern part of town fronted by the beach, overlooked at its eastern end by the citadelle. Once the site of the town’s medieval gate, place Foch lies at the heart of old Ajaccio.

A delightfully shady square sloping down to the sea, it gets its local name – place des Palmiers – from the row of palms bordering the central strip. Dominating the top end, a fountain of four marble lions provides a mount for the inevitable statue of Napoleon. The south side of place Foch, standing on the former dividing line between the poor district around the port and the bourgeoisie’s territory, gives access to rue Bonaparte, the main route through the latter quarter. 


Built on the promontory rising to the citadelle, the secluded streets in this part of town – with their dusty buildings and hole-in-the-wall restaurants lit by flashes of sea or sky at the end of the alleys – retain more of a sense of the old Ajaccio than anywhere else.

Must see places in Ajaccio

  • Tortoises Protection Centre

    Tortoises Protection Centre

  • The old town

    The old town

  • Napoleon Monument

    Napoleon Monument

Discover our excursions

3 results found

  • CITY TOUR

    CITY TOUR

    AJA01

    Explore the most attractive areas of this lovely old town, founded by the Genoese in 1492. Ajaccio is best known for being the home of Napoleon Bonaparte who was born here in 1769; there is no street or building in town that does not pay testament to his life. Visit the lush Casone Gardens, one of the town’s many green areas and stop at Parata to admire the view over the “Bloody Islands”, a small group of islets dotted with guard towers. Our trip also includes a tour of Ajaccio’s historic district. Please note: the visit of the historical part includes a walk on uneven ground; we advise to wear comfortable shoes. In case of religious events, the Cathedral may close. This tour is not suitable for guests with walking difficulties or using a wheelchair.
      • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Easy

      • Duration
        3 h

      • Adults$65.00Price per person

      • Children$49.00Price per person

    • SIGHTSEEING TOUR AROUND VIZZAVONA FOREST

      NATURAL WONDERS

      AJA05

      Corsica is renowned for its natural beauty, so why not join this excursion and experience this wild and rugged island at its best. We will head inland, through the unspoilt splendour of the forests and the mountains. As we leave the coast, the scent of the “maquis”, the typical Corsican shrubland composed of a variety of sweet-smelling plants such as lavender, myrtle, cyclamen and wild mint, replaces the fresh sea air. You will travel through Bocognano, set on a plateau amidst a chestnut forest. The sturdy grey houses of this town provide a welcome respite from the summer heat and make this a popular summer destination for Ajaccians. The road then winds northwards for 6 km to the Col de Vizzavona, a forest of beech and laricio pines and one of the best hiking spots in Corsica. Invisible from the road, trees shield the little village of Vizzavona composed of a cluster of forested huts and a small train station. We will enjoy a little free time in this tranquil shady spot before driving back by the same road to Ajaccio. Please note: this tour is not suitable for guests suffering from vertigo or using a wheelchair. Due to different climatic zone on the mountain, we suggest to bring a warm jacket.
      • Limited seats

      • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Easy

      • Duration
        3:30 h

      • Adults$65.00Price per person

      • Children$49.00Price per person

    • TORTOISES PROTECTION CENTRE

      NATURAL WONDERS

      AJA04

      The A Cupulatta Tortoise Protection Centre, the only one of its kind in the whole of Europe, is an ideal destination for families and nature lovers alike. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to see around 3,000 tortoises and turtles that live in these spacious, 2.5-hectare parklands. The number is set to rise even further in the future if the park’s breeding programme continues to bear fruit. Opened to the public in 1998, the park has proved to be a popular tourist attraction. The 170 different species of tortoise and turtle that call the park their home are sure to delight and fascinate in equal measure. Watch out for the cutest of the park’s inhabitants: baby tortoises and turtles measuring only a few centimetres in length. You can purchase mementos in the park’s souvenir shop before your tortoise tour ends with your return to the port and your ship. Please note: as the tour involves about 1.5-2 hours of walking on uneven and rough ground, including some steps; not recommended for guests with walking difficulties or using a wheelchair. Comfortable shoes and a hat recommended.
      • Limited seats

      • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Moderate

      • Duration
        3:30 h

      • Adults$79.00Price per person

      • Children$59.00Price per person

    The excursions in the program above are intended to provide MSC Guests with an idea of the different tours that can be arranged in each port of call; this program is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise.
    Shore excursions programs and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.

     

    Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.

    France

    A discrete and slightly snobbish charm
    A discrete and slightly snobbish charm

    A holiday to southern France will take you to heaven. This Garden of Eden encompasses the snow-peaked lower Alps and their foothills, which in the east descend right to the sea, and to the west extend almost to the Rhône.


    The coastal hinterland is made up of range after range of steep, forested hills, while the shore is an ever-changing series of geometric bays giving way to chaotic outcrops of glimmering rock and deep, narrow inlets, like miniature fjords – the calanques. All these elements would count for nothing, however, were it not for the magical Mediterranean light. At its best in spring and autumn, it is both soft and brightly theatrical, as if some expert had rigged the lighting for each landscape for maximum colour and definition with minimum glare. A cruise to southern France is a good opportunity to visit the capital of the Riviera, Nice – a vibrant and intriguing blend of Italianate influence, faded Belle Époque splendour and first-class art.

    East of the city, the lower Corniche links the picturesque seafront towns of Villefranche, St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and Beaulieu; the higher roads offer some of the most spectacular coastal driving in Europe, en route to the perched village of Èze and the tiny principality of Monaco. The Riviera’s western half claims its best beaches – at jazzy Juan-les-Pins and at Cannes, a glitzy centre of designer shopping and film.  

     
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