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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Ajaccio

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)

March 17–18: Madunnuccia (local)

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 city hall, and a mass officiated by the bishop of Corsica.

March or April: Easter Monday (national)

May 1: Labour Day (national)

On the 1 May, it is customary to offer a sprig of lily-of-the-valley to friends and loved ones, so the streets fill with people selling them!

May 8 : Victory Day (national)

This 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 (national)

During this popular nationwide festival, many free concerts are held all over Corsica.

July 14: Bastille Day (national)

This holiday celebrates the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789, the key event marking the beginning of the French Revolution, and symbolises the end of the privileges enjoyed by the clergy and the aristocracy. Festivities include parades, concerts and dance parties, and at nightfall, dazzling fireworks displays light up the skies over many Corsican towns and villages.

August 15: Assumption Day (national)

This celebration, still very popular in Corsica, is marked by many religious ceremonies and processions.

Third weekend in September: European Heritage Days (national)

The aim of the European Heritage Days is to open up numerous sites and monuments such as castles and private collections, many of which are normally closed to the public. It's a great opportunity for a lovely stroll through the city to admire architectural treasures!

November 11: Remembrance Day (national)

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)

December 31: New Year's Eve (national)

On the night of 31 December, the atmosphere is particularly festive on the streets of Ajaccio, with families and friends coming together to celebrate the new year.

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Ajaccio

Ajaccio and southern Corsica enjoy a Mediterranean climate. Summers are hot and dry, with highs regularly above 30°, while winters are mild, with lows of 4° in January.. There are over 2,700 hours of sunshine here each year, making southern Corsica one of the sunniest spots in Europe. Storms are relatively frequent, especially in the autumn and spring. It rarely snows in Ajaccio.

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 Good period to go
June 14/57 25/77 23/0.9 Good period to go Good period to go
July 17/63 28/82 10/0.4 Good period to go Good period to go
August 17/63 28/82 10/0.8 Good period to go Good period to go
September 15/59 26/79 24/0.9 Good period to go Good period to go
October 12/54 22/72 92/3.6 Good period to go Good 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
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Airports in Corse-du-Sud

Ajaccio Napoleon Bonaparte Airport

The Ajaccio Napoleon Bonaparte Airport is located about 5 kilometres (3 miles) to the east of the city centre and is Corsica's busiest airport.
  • One terminal for both international and regional flights

Getting from the airport to Ajaccio city centre and back:
  • By car
    • Accessible via the N193
    • There are two carparks near the terminal
      - P1 (Nearby): the first 15 minutes are free, then EUR 2.50 for 30 minutes, EUR 11 for 24 hours, and EUR 9 for each additional day
      - P2 (Long Stay): the first 15 minutes are free, then EUR 2.50 for 30 minutes, EUR 11 for 24 hours, and EUR 5 up to a total of 7 days (EUR 4.50 for additional days thereafter).
    • Several car rental companies have counters at the airport.
  • By bus
    • A shuttle bus service runs from the airport to Ajaccio bus station, with buses departing the airport between 5:20 a.m. and 11:20 p.m. Monday to Sunday during the summer (between 6:30 a.m. and 11:20 p.m. during the off season), and Ajaccio bus station between 5:00 a.m. and 11:05 p.m. during the summer (6:00 a.m. to 10:45 p.m. during the off season). Travel time is about 20-30 minutes and a one-way ticket costs EUR 5.
  • By taxi
    • Taxis are available during the hours when flights arrive at the airport. The trip to the city centre usually costs between EUR 15 and 20.
  • Services: bars, restaurants, free Internet access (Wi-Fi) inside the airport, and interactive terminals providing tourist information.
  • Telephone: +33 (0)4 95 23 56 56
  • Website: www.2a.cci.fr/Aeroport-Napoleon-Bonaparte-Ajaccio.html

Figari Sud Corse Airport


The Figari Sud Corse Airport is not far from the centre of Figari (6 kilometres/4 miles), Porto-Vecchio (20 kilometres/12 miles), and Bonifacio (15 kilometres/9 miles).
  • One terminal for both international and regional flights

Getting from the airport to Figari, Porto-Vecchio or Bonifacio and back:
  • By car
    • Travel time is about 10 minutes to the centre of Figari
    • about 20 minutes to the centre of Bonifacio.
    • and about 25 minutes to the centre of Porto-Vecchio.
    • Parking: EUR 2.50 for 15 minutes (the first 15 minutes are free), EUR 11 for 24 hours, and EUR 9 for each additional day.
    • Several car rental companies have counters at the airport.
  • By shuttle bus
    • A shuttle bus service connects the airport with Porto-Vecchio and Bonifacio. A one-way ticket costs about EUR 4.
  • By taxi
    • Taxis are available at the airport.
  • Services: bar, newsstand, free Internet access (Wi-Fi) inside the airport.
  • Telephone: +33 (0)4 95 71 10 10
  • Website: www.2a.cci.fr/Aeroport-Figari-Sud-Corse.html

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GETTING AROUND Ajaccio

The best way to discover southern Corsica is to rent a vehicle.

By rail

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. For more information, head to the website: https://cf-corse.corsica.

By car and motorcycle

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 at the airport or in most large towns and cities in southern Corsica.

By taxi

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.

By bicycle

Cycling in Corsica is really only recommended for the most athletic visitors, as there are some pretty steep hills here! That being said, there are a number of bike hire shops to choose from. Something else to consider is that the island is spread out and there can be long distances from town to town, often with no cycle paths available.

On foot

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 incredible landscapes!

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in southern Corsica, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and help planning your stay.

Ajaccio Municipal Tourist Office

Practical information, recommendations (accommodation, public transport, sightseeing, tours, etc.) and tourist brochures.

  • Address: 3 boulevard du Roi Jérôme, 20181 Ajaccio
  • Opening hours from April to September: Monday to Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • Opening hours from October to March: Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (closed on Sunday).
  • Telephone: +33 (0)4 95 51 53 03
  • Website: https://www.ajaccio-tourisme.com

Porto-Vecchio Municipal Tourist Office

Tourist information, recommendations, and brochures.

  • Address: 17 avenue du Maréchal Leclerc, 20137 Porto-Vecchio
  • Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., closed on Sunday
  • Telephone: +33 (0)4 95 70 09 58
  • Website: https://www.ot-portovecchio.com/?lang=en

Bonifacio Municipal Tourist Office

Tourist information, recommendations, and brochures.

  • Address: 2 rue Fred Scamaroni, 20169 Bonifacio
  • Opening hours from April to September: every day from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. in July and August).
  • Opening hours from October to March: Monday to Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (5:00 p.m. in October).
  • Telephone: +33 (0)4 95 73 11 88
  • Website: https://www.bonifacio.co.uk/

French Travel Guide

The official tourism website of France is a goldmine of information on southern Corsica

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Currency and Exchange Rates

French currency is in Euro (EUR).

1 CHF = 0,96 EUR

1 EUR = 1,04 CHF

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

In order to travel in the best conditions and for your health and safety, we invite you to check all information regarding preventive measures and best practices to be respected, available on the official website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs: https://www.gouvernement.fr/info-coronavirus

Your comfort, well-being and health are at the heart of Air France's concerns, and we want to help you prepare for your trip in the best way possible. Find out more about the measures taken to ensure safe travelling on our website: https://www.airfrance.fr/FR/en/common/page_flottante/information/coronavirus.htm#notre-engagement-sanitaire

There are a number of hospitals and health clinics, surgeries and health specialists in Ajaccio. See your doctor before you travel, and make sure you have travel insurance that covers medical costs and medical repatriation.

Vaccinations

There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to France.

For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:

  • Address: 38 quai de Jemmapes, 75010 Paris
  • Website: www.vaccinations-airfrance.fr (in French)
  • Telephone: +33 (0)1 43 17 22 00
  • To make a vaccination appointment:
    • online (click here)
    • call the centre at +33 (0)1 43 17 22 00

Water

Tap water is safe to drink in Ajaccio.

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Entry requirements for France

As a general rule, a visa is required to enter France. Foreign nationals in the two categories listed below are not required to carry a visa for stays of 90 days or less:

  • Citizens of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or the Swiss Confederation
  • Citizens or nationals of some foreign countries.

For stays of more than 90 days, a long-stay visa is required.

Travellers from all other countries must be in possession of a visa, regardless of the length of their stay. Visa applications must be submitted to the nearest French Embassy or French Consulate in their country of residence in advance of departure.

For further information, visit the website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs: https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/coming-to-france/requesting-a-visa/

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Useful addresses

Directory of foreign representatives in France

Contact information for your country’s embassies and consulates can be found in the directory published by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs: https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/country-files/

Travel advice
To make your trip to France as stress-free as possible, check the information and recommendations provided by your country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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Essential phrases

Here are a few basic French phrases that will make your stay in Corsica a little easier:

Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: Bonjour (morning) Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: <em>Bonjour (morning)</em>

Good evening: Bonsoir Good evening: <em>Bonsoir</em>

Goodbye: Au revoir Goodbye: <em>Au revoir</em>

Yes: Oui Yes: <em>Oui</em>

No: Non No: <em>Non</em>

No, thank you: Non, merci No, thank you: <em>Non, merci</em>

Thank you very much: Merci beaucoup Thank you very much: <em>Merci beaucoup</em>

Please: S'il vous plaît Please: <em>S'il vous plaît</em>

I don't understand: Je ne comprends pas I don't understand: <em>Je ne comprends pas</em>

Could you repeat?: Pouvez-vous répéter ? Could you repeat?: <em>Pouvez-vous répéter ?</em>

What time is it?: Quelle heure est-il ? What time is it?: <em>Quelle heure est-il ?</em>

Sorry: Pardon
Excuse me: Excusez-moi Sorry: <em>Pardon</em><br />
Excuse me: <em>Excusez-moi</em>

Airport: Aéroport Airport: <em>Aéroport</em>

Train station: Gare Train station: <em>Gare</em>

Taxi: Taxi Taxi: <em>Taxi</em>

Hotel: Hôtel Hotel: <em>Hôtel</em>

Hospital: Hôpital Hospital: <em>Hôpital</em>

Bank: Banque Bank: <em>Banque</em>

Telephone: Téléphone Telephone: <em>Téléphone</em>

I'm (…): Je suis (…) I'm (…): <em>Je suis (…)</em>

I'm looking for (…): Je recherche (…) I'm looking for (…): <em>Je recherche (…)</em>

How much is (…)?: Quel est le prix de (…) ? How much is (…)?: <em>Quel est le prix de (…) ?</em>

Do you have (…)?: Avez-vous (…) ? Do you have (…)?: <em>Avez-vous (…) ?</em>

Where can I find (…)?: Où puis-je trouver (…) ? Where can I find (…)?: <em>Où puis-je trouver (…) ?</em>

Where can I buy (…)?: Où puis-je acheter (…) ? Where can I buy (…)?: <em>Où puis-je acheter (…) ?</em>

I'd like (…): Je voudrais (…) I'd like (…): <em>Je voudrais (…)</em>

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Good to know

+33
+ phone number (without 0)
0 : 00
of time difference with
Geneva
Start of daylight saving time: last Sunday in March

End of daylight saving time: last Sunday in October

BANKS
Usually open Tuesday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
GOVERNMENT OFFICES
Usually open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
230 V / 50 Hz

Tipping
In southern Corsica – like anywhere else in France – a service charge is always included in the bill. If you are particularly pleased with the service, you may certainly leave a few extra euros on the table! But this additional tip is neither expected nor necessary.

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