Car hire in Ajaccio
Hiring a car in Ajaccio
The capital of Corsica, Ajaccio attracts visitors from all walks of life due to its beautiful location and bustling city. Offering gorgeous beaches, atmospheric cafes and a stunning marina, it is easy to see why Ajaccio is a popular holiday destination and how it differs from mainland France.
Driving in Ajaccio is a great way to explore, especially if you want to explore wider Corsica. Hiring a car allows you to see what the stunning Mediterranean island has to offer, although it is worth noting that some roads may not be as straightforward as they seem so journeys should be measured in time, not kilometres.
What you need to know
As driving is the best way to get around Ajaccio and Corsica, hiring a car is a great option. There are a few car hire companies operating in Ajaccio with a number of different vehicle types available.
Find the right car for your trip by using our online booking tool, which lays everything out simply for you with no hidden costs. Booking through Holiday Autos also means you get free cancellation and around the clock support.
Where to pick up your car
You can pick up your car at Ajaccio Airport (AJA), which some car hire companies refer to as Ajaccio Campo Dell Oro Airport. You'll find a few car hire desks in the arrivals hall, while some companies - including Avis and Europcar - have an external building where you collect your car. You'll find this on the other side of the car park from the terminal. A number companies also offer city centre car pick-up, so you will need to check the address before you travel to ensure you know where you're going.
“The pick-up was easy, it took 5 minutes from arriving at the desk to driving out the car, and the return took even less time.”
Where to go
Hiring a car means that you can go anywhere in Ajaccio or Corsica that you like. Ajaccio offers a large and gorgeous marina that is worth a walk around, while the city centre is the perfect place to embrace the atmosphere of the city. Head to one of the busy cafes and enjoy outside seating to do a spot of people watching or visit the Sanguinaires area, which is arguably the trendiest place in Ajaccio. You can also learn a lot about Napoleon Bonaparte, who was born in the city in 1769, as there are numerous historical sites to visit, including the house he was born in.
Just 10 minutes away from the centre of Ajaccio via the N193 is Les Milelli, which was the Bonapartes' country house. As well as featuring a lovely building, the property also boasts more than 10 hectares of olive groves and botanical gardens. These are perfect to walk around if you want a quiet and relaxed few hours.
Slightly further afield is the village of Porticcio, which is just 30 minutes away via the N193 and D55. The seaside village is famed for its beautiful beaches, which feature fine, white sand and unbelievably blue waters. From the coast of Porticcio, you'll be able to view Ajaccio from afar on a clear day, allowing you to fully appreciate how stunning it is. Porticcio is linked to the village of Grosseto Prugna, which is further inland and definitely worth a visit.
The island of Corsica has so much on offer that it is definitely worth driving further afield than Ajaccio if you get the chance. One place you should head to is the village of Piana, which is an hour and a half away from Ajaccio via the D81. The mountainside setting is known as one of France's most beautiful villages and is at the entrance of a dedicated UNESCO World Heritage site. With narrow streets, pastel-coloured houses and amazing views, Piana may be quaint but it has a lot to offer visitors.
You may also want to drive the almost three hours - via the N193 and N197 - to the ancient town of Sant'Antonino. The town is perched at almost 500 ms on a hillside, ensuring fantastic views and almost blending into the natural landscape due to its architecture and the colour of the stone buildings. You'll also find an old castle to explore, as well as a 15th-century monastery just to the north of the town.
Top attractions to visit in Ajaccio
Hiring a car allows you to see everything that Ajaccio has on offer, including some of its top attractions that you really can't miss.
Eating and drinking
Food and drink in Ajaccio are taken very seriously, as it is throughout the rest or Corsica. In fact, you're likely to see locals taking their time over a multi-course lunch in the middle of the day. Once you taste the food, it is easy to understand why and you're likely to do the same.
As well as fish and seafood caught fresh each day off the coast of Ajaccio, you should also give wild boar - sanglier - a taste, which is the most celebrated dish throughout Corsica. Wine produced on the island is also excellent, so make sure you enjoy a glass or two at a seaside restaurant to enjoy beautiful views as well as a tasty tipple.
Things to do
Even just milling around the city will offer great experiences and plenty to do, ensuring you're never bored while in Ajaccio. However, you can also make the most of the beaches in the area for a spot of swimming and sunbathing. If you want to head away from the busier beaches of the city, take the small ferry trip to Plage de Porticcio and enjoy seeing the city by boat before relaxing on the sand.
Even if you don't know a lot about Napoleon, you should head to at least one of the museums dotted around Ajaccio in his honour. Maison Bonaparte and the tiny Salon Napoleonien are great options, offering a rich history in beautiful settings. You may also want to go to Palais Fesch - Musée des Beaux-Arts, which holds the second biggest collection of Italian paintings in France. Established by Napoleon's uncle, the museum has permanent and temporary exhibitions that should be explored.
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