Discover Corsica

Ajaccio, the best place to live in France

Corsica's largest town, Ajaccio is also the capital of the département of Southern Corsica in France. A few days ago, Ajaccio has been elected as the nicest place to live in France for families by the Figaro magazine in France. The "Imperial City" as we like to call it, is widely known as the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte. But it has so much more to offer that we thought it deserved a full article! 

A bit of history

Ajaccio, the best place to live in France


The modern version of the city was founded in 1492 around its citadelle by the Genoese. In 1739, Pascal Paoli, a famous Corsican patriot and military leader, launched his first campaign for an independent republic, but the Ajacciens (the inhabitants of Ajaccio) decided to stay faithful to the Genoese. However, in 1768, Corsica became French and the ramparts were demolished on the orders of Napoleon. Since World War II - when Ajaccio became the first town to be liberated in France - the tourist industry has become the most important income-provider. 


Things to do in Ajaccio

With its palm trees, street cafés and yacht-filled marina, Ajaccio looks like the classic French Mediterranean city. Its exceptional weather conditions make it one of the most sunny towns of France, with an average of 300 days of sunshine, and open the opportunity for tourists to enjoy many outdoor activities. 

  • The archipelago of Sanguinaires islands

These islands, which are part of the natural and cultural heritage of Ajaccio, are a real spectacle to the visitors coming everyday, with, in the foreground, the pininsula of Parata and its Genoese tower dated from the 16th century and built to protect Ajaccio in the first place. 
You can visit the "Iles Sanguinaires" (the bloody islands if we translate) by boat everyday in summer.
Ajaccio, the best place to live in France

  • Hiking on the "sentier des crêtes"
This path overlooks Ajaccio and follows the coastline from the city center to the Grand Site of La Parata and the Iles Sanguinaires. Lasting 3 hours in total (one way), this path is accessible to everyone and does not present any particular difficulty. Do not forget to take water with you if you decide to do the hike entirely. 

  • The beaches 
Coming to Ajaccio without going to the beach at least one time would be a crime. There are plenty of beautiful beaches there, from little coves along the Sanguinaires road, to the heavenly beach of Porticcio, on the other side of Ajaccio, with its white sand and turquoise water. 

Ajaccio, the best place to live in France

  • La Maison Bonaparte / The Bonaparte's House
It is widely known that Napoleon Bonaparte was born in Ajaccio. Well, if you want to visit the house where he was borned and raised, it is possible. The house, located in the city center, was listed as a Historic Monument in the 1920s before being turned into a national museum in 1967. You can visit the house everyday (except Monday), all year long. 

  • The Fesch Museum
For those of you who like museums, the Palais Fesch, which has been renovated a few years ago, is located in the center of Ajaccio. Officially designated as a "Musée de France", it unites three major collections: Italian painting, Corsican painting and the Napoleonic collection. It is especially recognised for its impressive Italian collection, the second largest after the Louvre. 
The museum is open all year long, every day except for Tuesday. 

What about you ? Have you ever been to Ajaccio ?