Spring has finally sprung, and with it comes longer days and milder weather – the ideal conditions for discovering the Île de Beauté by foot!
Sitting to the west of the island, Corsica’s capital boasts a dramatic rocky coastline that towers over romantic golden beaches, set against a backdrop of fragrant green foothills. The city is steeped in history, with every street corner seemingly reminding you of Ajaccio’s most famous son, Napoleon Bonaparte. However, the whole island lives and breathes nature, so what better way to feel a part of the place than to cover one of the most beautiful walking routes on the island, the Sentier des Crêtes.
The route begins just west of the city centre, opposite the Bois des Anglais woodland. At just under 10km, this leisurely route takes three hours and spans the coastline, offering breathtaking views of the gulf of Ajaccio and the Iles Sanguinaires archipelago ahead. At the end of your hike, reward your efforts at a local watering hole in the seaside village of Vignola, before either taking the same route back, or simply hopping on the number 5 bus to Ajaccio. Stop off for dinner at Le Bistrot d’Emilie on the way, indulging in the Corsican tasting menu featuring local charcuterie, cheeses, chestnuts and wine. And if you do ever fancy doing the journey again by foot, why not plan your trip in May and run the Napoleon Trail along this route with locals and sports-enthusiasts alike.
Want to get up close and personal with the Iles Sanguinaires? Then simply jump aboard one of Promenade en Mer’s boats, and take a day trip out to the islets. Departing from Ajaccio, you’ll sail the length of the coastline, taking in Ajaccio’s 15th-century citadelle as you go. There’s a 1-hour stop-over on Mezzu Mare, the largest of the four islets, so you can either splash around in the azure waters, or walk up to the Alphonse Daudet lighthouse and discover the ruins of a lazaretto. All this, plus the Genoese Tower of Parata in the background perched on the rocky peninsula, at the Pointe de la Parata.