The capital of Corsica and the largest city on the island, the history of Ajaccio is strongly linked to that of its most illustrious citizen: Napoleon Bonaparte, who was born there in 1769. In Ajaccio you can visit the home of the Bonaparte family, admire the baroque Cathedral of the Assumption of Saint Mary, where the little Napoleon was baptised or come out onto a square that takes its name from the mother of the emperor of France, Letizia.
Perfect for exploring on foot given the compact size of the old town centre, Ajaccio is a destination packed with culture that can be used as a base to explore its beautiful surroundings. Two things you really must not miss in the city are a visit to the Musée Fesch, which houses a majestic collection of Italian paintings second only in importance to that of the Louvre, with works by Botticelli, Tiziano and Bellini, and a stroll in the Citadelle, an ancient fortress that provides a wonderful view of the gulf.
If you prefer outings to art, you could opt for a visit to the spectacular Iles Sanguinaires (Blood Islands), a small archipelago that can be reached with a brief boat trip from the city; the best time to see them is a sunset, when the islands are lit up in shades of orange and red, putting on an unforgettable show.
The Ajaccio coastline has a wealth of beautiful beaches, including those of Ricanto, Cape of Feno and Barbicaja. Isolella, in the Porticcio seaside area, is perfect for a refreshing plunge before taking the plane home. If on the other hand you want to get away from the centre, the beautiful urban beach of St-François is easy to reach and perfect for getting away from the turmoil of the city.
Other tourist attractions not far from Ajaccio are the archeological site of Filitosa, with its ancient Menhirs, and the spectacular waterfall, Cascade du Voile de la Mariée.