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Ajaccio is the capital of Corsica, the largest island in France. This sunny, mountainous island is a wildly popular vacation destination. Visitors come from far and wide to bask on the pristine beaches, hike the seaside cliffs, and explore the rugged mountains during the island’s almost 3,000 hours of annual sunshine. When you rent an RV in Ajaccio, you can explore it for yourself.
This important Mediterranean seaport city is both trendy and ancient. According to legend, Ajaccio was founded by and named after the Greek mythological hero Ajax. Built during the Pax Romana, the city is almost 2,000 years old. It was ruled by the Republic of Genoa, then became its own republic and was sold to Louis XV of France in the 1760s. It still has its own culture and national identity. Perhaps Ajaccio is most famous because Napoleon Bonaparte, emperor of France, was born here in 1769.
When you're ready to rent an RV in Ajaccio, you can travel there by air or by ferry from Toulon, France. Ajaccio is only 210 miles (337 kilometers) from Marseille.
Ajaccio is the perfect place to get outside and soak up the sun, especially on its over 20 beaches. Ajaccio is surrounded by white sand and blue waters. If you’re looking to escape the crowds and maybe catch a golden West Coast sunset, Plage de Capo di Feno is a more isolated beach a few minutes’ drive outside Ajaccio.
For extraordinary coastal scenes, hike to Pointe de la Pirata. This black granite peninsula juts out into the sparkling blue Mediterranean. Perched on its peak is a 400-year-old watchtower built by the Genoans as they guarded their city from Barbary pirates. To get to this pointe, take Route des Sanguinaires, a scenic, twisting seaside highway with green pine forests on one side and the rugged shores on the other. Cruise slowly and take in the vistas. If you prefer to park your RV rental from Nouvelle-Aquitaine and stroll through the scenery, you could hike down Sentier des Crêtes. This Crest Trail is an easy, three-hour hike from the city center along the gulf’s shores.
A couple of hours’ drive from Ajaccio, near Piana, is the Calanches, a coastal paradise that’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. An ancient volcanic eruption created the sharp, rocky landscape you'll see here today. You can enjoy the rugged lagoons, pristine beaches, and crystal blue water from the shore or from a boat.
Much of the island of Corsica is part of the Parc Naturel Régional de Corse. You can hike through the natural glory of this historically, biologically, and culturally rich park on the hundreds of miles of marked trails. Several of them, the Mare a Mare trails, stretch across the whole island and take up to seven days to complete. The GR20 also snakes through Corsica. Hikers who complete it receive certificates of success. You’ll also find plenty of mountain biking trails. The park is dotted with campgrounds where you can bring your RV or travel trailer rental from Ajaccio.
When you book an RV in Ajaccio, you’ll find plenty of places to stay (though in the summer you may want to make a reservation ahead of time). Camping du Soleil is friendly to RV rentals from Ajaccio – it’s just two miles from the Gulf of Lava beach, where you can paddleboard, jet ski, sail, and dive, as well as bathe in the gleaming Mediterranean sun.
Camping La Liscia is a lovely campground nestled in the rocky Corsican landscape and a short stroll from a beach. This is a baby-friendly, wheelchair-friendly site. If you bring your RV rental from Ajaccio here, you’ll have access to laundry rooms, shower houses, and even a pizzeria. You can also rent bicycles or purchase tickets for boat outings from here.
Ajaccio is a two-layered city, with the old town and the modern city existing side by side. If you amble through the old town streets, you can admire the pastel facades, marble monuments, and shading palm trees. You may pass Cathedrale Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption, the cathedral where Napoleon was baptized and a French national heritage site. If you make your way to the harbor, you’ll find lots of places to pause and sample some of Corsica’s staple seafood or a freshly baked pizza.
No visit to Ajaccio would be complete without acknowledging its most well-known citizen. The Maison Bonaparte, the house in which Napoleon Bonaparte was born, is one of Ajaccio’s most important historic sites. This four-story house contains original furniture and many of the family’s belongings. You can view more of their belongings, personal art collection, and portraits at the Salons Napoléoniens.
Fesch Museum, founded by Napoleon’s uncle Joseph Fesch, is an excellent museum endowed with Fesch’s abundant personal art collection. It’s one of the grandest collections of Italian Renaissance art in France. If you enjoy art, the Bonaparte family legacy is the place to find it in Ajaccio.