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About Ajaccio

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

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).

 

Shore excursions in Ajaccio

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Enchanting Vizzavona Forest & Countryside

Activity mediumRefreshments included

Duration: 3¾ hours

Head to the mountains to enjoy one of Corsica's most beautiful areas, located in the forest and sample some local delicacies.

Corsica is well-known for its natural beauty rather than its man-made attractions. Leave the coast behind and to head to the interior of the island, to discover the rugged and unspoilt grandeur of the forests and the mountains.

After a few miles you will notice evidence of the Maquis, the typical vegetation for which Corsica is well- known and which covers nearly three quarters of the island. The Maquis is composed of a variety of sweet smelling plants, including lavender, myrtle, cyclamen, wild mint and heather whose strong scent is said to be carry out to the sea during springtime.

You’ll pass through the village of Bocognano set on a plateau, amidst a chestnut forest and giving a perfect panorama of Monte d'Oro's grey needles (2389m). This area is also a popular summer retreat from Ajaccio and its heavy, grey houses provide a welcome refuge from the coastal heat of the summer.

The road then winds northwards to the Col de Vizzavona and the glorious forest of beech and laricio pines carpeting the valley below the pass. Vizzavona Forest is among the most popular walking areas in Corsica. Shielded by trees, the village of Vizzavona is a cluster of forestry huts and the small train station building is invisible from the road.

You’ll make a stop for a ''spuntinu'', the local word for a snack. Sample local delicacies including smoked ham and sausages, goat and sheep’s milk cheese, cake and wine.

Enjoy some free time, before returning along the same road to Ajaccio.

Essential information

This excursion operates by coach and on foot. This tour is not recommended for passengers who suffer from vertigo. Passengers are advised to carry a jacket or a sweater as it can be cooler in the mountains.Since October 2013 French decree no. 2011-1336 requires that providers of transport services, where the journey starts or ends in France or French overseas territories, are required to provide passengers with the carbon footprint for such services. We are pleased to be able to communicate the carbon footprint for our French tours. These have been calculated for us by our local operators. Each carbon footprint assumes that there will be 40 passengers on a coach,so your carbon footprint may vary from that published according to actual passenger numbers. The carbon footprint for this excursion has been calculated as 17.4kgs CO2 per passenger.

Bastelica and Little Train

Activity mediumShopping

Duration: 3½ hours

A scenic drive to a mountain village, followed by a ride on a “little train”.

Depart from Ajaccio along the sandy promenade where the Prunelli River flows gently into the sea. You’ll then ascend inland taking a rapid climb up to the village of Cauro.

You will be able to admire the Gulf of Ajaccio, followed by beautiful views over the Prunelli Valley, before reaching the Zipitoli Forest, where the mountains are covered by the heavily scented ‘maquis’. This particular vegetation is able to exist with virtually no soil, and resists temperatures ranging from sub-zero during the winter, to beating hot long dry summers.

You’ll continue your scenic drive up the mountain to the village of Bastelica, situated 800 metres above the Prunelli Gorge and at the foot of the Mountain Renosu, whose peaks are topped with snow in the spring time.

Upon arrival at Bastelica, you’ll board the ‘little train’ for a tour of this charming and typical Corsican village, which is full of history and legends. The little train will take you through the quaint streets passing by the Chapelle Annunziata, the bread oven Fottaccioli, the birth place of the Corsican hero Sampiero Corso and the village fountain.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately 30 minutes of total walking on this tour. Due to the mountainous terrain, this tour is not recommended for passengers suffering from vertigo. Since October 2013 French decree no. 2011-1336 requires that providers of transport services, where the journey starts or ends in France or French overseas territories, are required to provide passengers with the carbon footprint for such services. We are pleased to be able to communicate the carbon footprint for our French tours. These have been calculated for us by our local operators. Each carbon footprint assumes that there will be 40 passengers on a coach,so your carbon footprint may vary from that published according to actual passenger numbers. The carbon footprint for this excursion has been calculated as 17.4kgs CO2 per passenger.

Catamaran Adventure

Activity highRefreshments includedFamily

Duration: 3½ hours

Set sail on an unforgettable adventure, on board an Ocean Voyager 62 catamaran. Make this an absolute must whilst in Corsica!

Meet your guide at the pier for a short walk to the catamaran, berthed close to the ship. Once on board, you’ll meet your Captain and his crew, to anchor up and begin your adventure! For the more adventurous amongst you, you’ll have the chance to participate in the sailing, tying the ropes and hoisting up the sails.

Sailing along the stunningly beautiful and untouched coast of the ‘Ile de Beaute’ and through the Gulf of Ajaccio, your Captain will put down the anchor off one of the most beautiful beaches. The clear, turquoise waters of Corsica are ideal for snorkel lovers.

The Gulf of Ajaccio is considered to be one of the most beautiful in Corsica. It is large and deep, with numerous sandy beaches, especially in the southern area of the Gulf. A group of small islands named the Bloodthirsty Islands, can be found here. It is believed the islands are named due to their reputation for causing shipwrecks over the years and claiming a lot of lives. But another explanation for this name could be their beautiful red colour when the sun sets on them.

Snorkeling equipment will be provided and during your tour you’ll be offered unlimited soft drinks and a Corsican aperitif will be served on the return journey.

Essential information

This excursion operates by catamaran. The catamaran may have to beach for passengers to wade the short distance to the shore. Water shoes or flat non-slip shoes are recommended. Please remember your swimwear, sunscreen and a towel. Depending on sea swells, an alternative anchorage/beach may be used. Please refrain from drinking alcohol prior to any swimming activities.

Corsica Kayaking

Activity medium

Duration: 4 hours

A coastal tour with a difference – kayak through crystal clear rippling waters, along the Corsican coastline.

From Ajaccio, you will travel south towards the sandy shores of the Ruppione Beach, where you will meet your guide and collect your trusty kayak. Your guide will demonstrate some paddling techniques before you hop aboard and set off for an hour’s paddling along the coast. Glide through the neon blue water, taking in views across the Iles Sanguinaires, until you reach the craggy Sette Nave peninsula.

It’s then time to take a break and cool off in the crystal clear waters before paddling back to Ruppione Beach.

Essential information

This tour is not suitable for pregnant women and children under the age of 12. Participants should be competent swimmers and physically fit. The kayaking will last approximately 1 hour. Please take a hat, sunglasses, shoes that can get wet, a towel and non-oil sunscreen. Personal belongings should be kept to a minimum as space in the kayak is limited. You’ll be required to wear a life jacket. There is a weight limit of 17 stone on this excursion. Since October 2013 French decree no. 2011-1336 requires that providers of transport services, where the journey starts or ends in France or French overseas territories, are required to provide passengers with the carbon footprint for such services. We are pleased to be able to communicate the carbon footprint for our French tours. These have been calculated for us by our local operators. Each carbon footprint assumes that there will be 40 passengers on a coach,so your carbon footprint may vary from that published according to actual passenger numbers. The carbon footprint for this excursion has been calculated as 10.15 kgs CO2 per passenger.

Corsican Coastal Hike

Activity medium

Duration: 4 hours

Corsica’s rugged beauty beckons you on this half day hiking tour, between the Sanguine Islands and Capo di Feno.

Corsica is an unspoilt island of majestic snow-capped mountains, deep gorges, cool pine forests, ancient hamlets perched on hillsides, and dazzling beaches - all in an area only one-fifth the size of Switzerland. It's a walker's paradise, crisscrossed by ancient footpaths and mule tracks.

Leaving the pier, you’ll travel by air-conditioned coach to Parata Point. Overlooked by a Genoese watchtower, it’s here that you’ll join your certified hiking guide.

Your guide will lead you along a trail, whilst explaining interesting facts about Corsica’s flora and fauna along the way.

As you travel along the trail, you’ll absorb the perfumes, colours and contrasting landscapes that have given Corsica its reputation.

Your next stop is a viewpoint that affords you spectacular panoramic views of the Iles Sanguinaires, and where you can walk down to the beaches of the large and small Capo di Feno. The turquoise waters and wild landscape make this place a favourite with surfers and it is sure to transport you miles away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Before returning to Ajaccio, you’ll have the opportunity to relax on a wild beach.

Essential information

This tour operates on foot. Children under 12 cannot participate. Trail length is approximately a 3 mile round trip. Participants have to walk comfortably uphill on uneven, but maintained trails. Please wear comfortable, walking shoes (trainers). The trail is not shaded so please wear sun protection, hats and bring water.

 

A selection of cruises to Ajaccio

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