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41°55.18′N, 08°44.68′E Chart icon.png
Ajaccio old harbour

The port of Ajaccio, the administrative capital of the island of Corsica, is situated in a sheltered bay roughly halfway down the west coast of Corsica. Although not a particularly attractive town, it has two sheltered marinas and is a good base for exploring the dramatic west coast and interior of the island.

Originally a Genoese settlement founded in the 15th century, the town, along with the rest of the island, was formally ceded to France in 1780. Ajaccio's most famous citizen, Napoleon Bonaparte, was born in the town in 1769, although most of his early military career was spent on the mainland of France.

When the Corsican assembly under its leader Pasquali Paoli rebelled against the new French Republic in 1793, however, the recently promoted Napoleon was dispatched to attack the Corsican forces in their fortified citadel of Ajaccio. The ensuing campaign resulted in one of Napoleon's few military defeats and he and his family were forced to flee to the French mainland. The future emperor never forgave the Corsican rebels for his defeat and, while Ajaccians today are outwardly proud to claim him as a local boy made good, there is little genuine affection for the Corsican who was later instrumental in crushing their dreams of independence.

Note: Ajaccio is pronounced by French as a-jak-sio (with j like in jazz, [aʒaksjo]), so don't be surprised if you wouldn't hear there the Italian-style a-yha-cho ([aˈjattʃo]).


Give charts applicable to this port or refer to a Chart section of another page (Country or Region) that lists the charts.

Chart Number - Chart Name
Chart Number - Chart Name
Chart Number - Chart Name


The Gulf of Ajaccio is very sheltered from most directions. However, strong SW winds send a swell into the old harbour; equally, in the less likely event of a strong NE wind, there is a fetch of around a mile across the bay and the old harbour could again become rather uncomfortable. The new marina is well sheltered from all directions.

See also Corsica.



Les Iles Sanguinaires (details needed).


Also see World Cruiser's Nets.


From the north, the approach is round the Pointe de la Parata, off which lie the so-called Iles Sanguinaires (Bloody Islands). The Gulf of Ajaccio is around eight miles due east of the islands. The old harbour is due east of the citadel and is protected to the south by a natural peninsula. The newer Port Charles Ornano lies in the NW corner of the bay and is entered from the NE.


Ajaccio is a port of entry/exit to France.

For entrance details see France.


There are two options in Ajaccio, the marinas of Port Tino Rossi and Port Charles Ornano. For berths in both marinas:

call on channel 09 or
telephone +33 4 95 51 22 72 for Port Tino Rossi or
+33 4 95 22 31 98 for Port Charles Ornano

Marinas & Yacht Clubs

  • Port Tino Rossi in the old harbour has 250 berths, of which 120 are for visitors, with a further 25-30 berths along the breakwater. The marina offers all the usual facilities plus reportedly a laundrette. It can be entered in all conditions, although strong winds send in a slight swell. There are cranes here which can lift up to 40T.
  • The new marina of Port Charles Ornano has 850 berths, of which 160 are for visitors, and all the usual facilities. Shelter is better here than in Port Tino Rossi and the marina can be entered in all weathers. There is a 20T crane and 50T travel hoist.


Anchorage is possible in the NE corner of the Gulf of Ajaccio, although it is very noisy here from road traffic. The bottom is sand and weed. The sandy bay immediately to the east of the Gulf of Ajaccio may offer better conditions, although a busy motorway runs past it.

Yacht Repairs and Services

List services. If no services are available on the island write "None" and remove all the subsections (Marine Stores, & Repairs/Yards, & Fuel, Water, & Electricity.

Marine Stores

Submit addresses and contact details of marine related businesses that are of interest to cruisers.


Fuel, Water, & Electricity

Water and electricity in both marinas. Fuel can be ordered for delivery.

Things to do ashore


In the town of Ajaccio, the 16th century cathedral, in which the infant Napoleon was baptised, is worth a visit.

The famous man's birthplace on the Rue St-Charles is now preserved as a museum with a few relics of the Bonaparte family.

The Fesch Museum on Rue du Cardinal Fesch has a good collection of Italian paintings from the 14th to 19th centuries.

Ajaccio is also a good place to hire a car and explore the amazingly rugged landscape of Piana on the southern side of the Gulf of Porto; the sleepy mountain village of Ota with its ancient Genoese bridge; the riverside walk through the Gorge de la Spelunca, and the spectacular Col de Sevi, a 1,100 metre high pass on the D70 back to Ajaccio. En route, you will see plenty of wildlife in the skies: buzzards, kites, kestrels as well as all the local livestock on the roads – goats, pigs and Corsican cows.

Ajaccio is also the westernmost terminal of the picturesque, narrow-gauge mountain train that chugs through rock-cut defiles, along mountain ridges and across trestles and viaducts until it arrives at the old capital of Corte, surrounded for most of the year by snow-capped mountains. Rather than returning straight to Ajaccio, it is worthwhile interrupting the train journey at Vizzavona, from where a walk along the GR20 through beautiful mixed woodland takes you to the Cascade des Anglais, a series of waterfalls and pools in a wild setting just under Monte d’Oro.

Grocery & Supply Stores

In the town.





Washing machines at Port Tino Rossi.

Motorbike & Car Rentals

Garbage Disposal

Bins in both marinas.


Transportation (local and/or international)


Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)



See France.


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

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