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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.

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.

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.

Mountains and Maquis

Activity lowRefreshments included

Duration: 3¾ hours

Discover the natural attractions of Corsica, its wild rugged landscapes, mountains, forests and the scented maquis.

Heading away from the coastline, you’ll soon be transported deep into the Corsican countryside. Much of the island is covered by maquis, a dense undergrowth of aromatic shrubs, flowers and low trees. In spring, the maquis produce the rich aroma, which has earned Corsica the title of ‘The Scented Isle’.

You’ll pass the village of Cauro and head through the Pineta Forest before winding your way along the Prunelli’s river gorge. Red granite cliffs plunging to the river, high mountain peaks and distant ranges are a sight to behold. At the artificial lake and dam of Tolla, you’ll have the opportunity to stop for photographs. The return journey allows you to appreciate views of typical Corsican hill villages with their tall granite houses, heavy slate roofs and narrow windows.

A stop will be made at a local café for a refreshing drink. Here you’ll have an opportunity to buy postcards or some of the wonderful local produce.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach. This tour involves a limited amount of walking. There is the possibility of steps or a slight incline over uneven ground leading to the refreshment venue, which passengers must be able to negotiate. The tour involves some winding roads and is therefore unsuitable for passengers with vertigo. Euros are required for purchases.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 14.5kgs CO2 per passenger.

Tortoise Time

Activity lowFamily

Duration: 3¾ hours

Don’t just hibernate away – come along and have a tortoise-tastic time.

Take a coach to see the ‘slowcoaches’ as you leave Ajaccio and enjoy a 40 minute drive through the Corsican countryside to a Tortoise Protection Centre, one of just 3 worldwide. Here you’ll have approximately 1 hour to see more than 130 different species of land and water based ‘cupulattas’ (Corsican for tortoises) and turtles.

You’ll then leave your new shell-covered friends behind and travel to the small seaside resort of Porticcio, nestling on the south side of the Gulf of Ajaccio. Upon arrival, you’ll have around 1 hour of free time to explore independently. You may choose to spend time on the beach, or purchase some refreshments and simply relax in one of the many cafés and restaurants that line the promenade.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The terrain at the Tortoise Centre is rough and uneven in parts. There may be independent suppliers on the beach that offer watersports. These are provided by parties unconnected to P&O Cruises. 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 10.15kgs CO2 per passenger.

 

A selection of cruises to Ajaccio

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