There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in southern Corsica each year. The main ones are listed below.January 1: New Year's Day (national holiday) March 17–18: Madunnuccia (local event)
This festival honours Ajaccio's patron saint, the Madunnuccia. Infused with faith and tradition, the celebrations include a huge procession through the streets of the city, a concert at the city hall, and a mass officiated by the bishop of Corsica.May 1: Labour Day (national holiday)
On the first of May, it is customary to offer a sprig of lily-of-the-valley to close ones. Many vendors occupy the pavement on that occasion!May 8 : Victory Day (national holiday)
Commemorates the Allied victory in Europe that ended World War II on this day in 1945. Various ceremonies are held around town.June 21: Fête de la Musique (celebrated nationwide)
Also celebrated internationally as World Music Day, for this festival many free concerts featuring all types of music are held in the streets and at various venues around Corsica.July 14: Bastille Day (national holiday)
This holiday celebrates both the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789, the key event marking the beginning of the French Revolution, and the end of the privileges enjoyed by the clergy and the aristocracy. Festivities in southern Corsica include concerts and dance parties. At nightfall, dazzling fireworks displays light up the skies over many Corsican towns and villages.August 15: Assumption Day (national holiday)
This celebration, still very popular in Corsica, is marked by the faithful with several religious ceremonies and processions through the streets.Third weekend in September European Heritage Days (celebrated nationwide)
Held in major cities, the aim of the European Heritage Days is to open up numerous sites and monuments, many of which are normally closed to the public: public and private buildings, castles, museums, etc.November 11: Remembrance Day (national holiday)
On this day, French citizens gather at war memorials to commemorate the signing of the 1918 Armistice officially bringing an end to the First World War.December 25 : Christmas (national holiday) December 31: New Year's Eve (national event)
On the night of December 31st, the atmosphere is particularly festive on the streets of Ajaccio, with families and friends celebrating the new year.
|Month||Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Average Rains (MM)||Best Time to Travel|
|January||4/39||14/57||62/2.4||Not the best period to go|
|February||4/39||14/57||56/2.2||Not the best period to go|
|March||5/41||15/59||57/2.2||Not the best period to go|
|April||7/45||17/63||64/2.5||Not the best period to go|
|May||11/52||21/70||39/1.5||Good period to go|
|June||14/57||25/77||23/0.9||Good period to go|
|July||17/63||28/82||10/0.4||Good period to go|
|August||17/63||28/82||20/0.8||Good period to go|
|September||15/59||26/79||24/0.9||Good period to go|
|October||12/54||22/72||92/3.6||Not the best period to go|
|November||8/46||17/63||95/3.7||Not the best period to go|
|December||5/41||15/59||68/2.7||Not the best period to go|
Ajaccio Napoleon Bonaparte Airport
Ajaccio's Napoleon Bonaparte Airport is located about 5 kilometres (3 miles) from the city centre and is Corsica's busiest airport in terms of passenger numbers.
The best way to discover southern Corsica is to rent a vehicle.
Although trains can be used to get around Corsica and admire the island's magnificent and varied landscapes, they have two main drawbacks. The first is that they run rather slowly and the second is that the rail network does not serve southern Corsica from west to east. Trains connect Ajaccio with destinations in Northern Corsica, such as Bastia and Calvi, via Corte.
In both northern and southern Corsica, renting a car or a motorcycle is the best way to get around the island. Both types of vehicles may be easily rented on the airport property or in most large towns and cities in southern Corsica.
If you would rather not rent a vehicle, taxis are sometimes the only other way to get around Corsica, whether to return to where you are staying in the evening or to get to the airport.
Bicycling in Corsica is really only recommended for the most athletic visitors. The island is spread out and there can be long distances from town to town. If you head almost anywhere in from the coast, you can be guaranteed that your ride will involve some climbing. There are a number of bike rental shops in the island's main towns and cities.
Of course, walking is without doubt the ideal way to visit the historic centre of towns and villages in Corsica and to admire the island's landscapes.
Upon your arrival in southern Corsica, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organise your stay.Ajaccio Municipal Tourist Office
Offers practical information and many useful recommendations (accommodation, public transport, sightseeing and tours) as well as brochures and maps.
Offers sightseeing recommendations, tourist information and brochures.
Offers sightseeing recommendations, tourist information and brochures.
See your doctor before you travel. Ajaccio counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists. It is recommended that you obtain insurance covering health care expenses as well as medical evacuation or repatriation before you leave home.Vaccinations
There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to France.
For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:
There are no specific food safety risks. French government authorities promote good hygiene practices and put in place strengthened control procedures for sites especially frequented by tourists during the summer months.Water
Tap water is safe to drink in Corsica.
Directory of foreign embassies and consulates in France
The directory made available online by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in French only) includes addresses and contact details for all foreign embassies and consulates in France:
To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Ajaccio and France, be sure to check with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your home country for the latest travel information and recommendations.
Here are a few basic French phrases that will make your stay in Corsica a little easier:
Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: Bonjour (morning)
Good evening: Bonsoir
Goodbye: Au revoir
No, thank you: Non, merci
Thank you very much: Merci beaucoup
Please: S'il vous plaît
I don't understand: Je ne comprends pas
Could you repeat ?: Pouvez-vous répéter ?
What time is it ?: Quelle heure est-il ?
Excuse me: Excusez-moi
Train station: Gare
I'm (…): Je suis (…)
I'm looking for (…): Je recherche (…)
How much is (…)?: Quel est le prix de (…) ?
Do you have (…)?: Avez-vous (…) ?
Where can I find (…)?: Où puis-je trouver (…) ?
Where can I buy (…)?: Où puis-je acheter (…) ?
I'd like (…): Je voudrais (…)
In southern Corsica like elsewhere in France, a service charge is always included in the bill. Still, if the service is appreciated (in restaurants, hotels, at the hairdresser...), you may leave an extra 5 to 15%.