Ajaccio's most popular beach, Plage de Ricanto (aka Tahiti Plage), is 5km east of town, just short of the airport. Dedicated beach bums tend to prefer the sands of Porticcio further east, which is 15km by road from Ajaccio, but only 6km if you sail straight across the bay, on the 20-minute ferry that runs six to nine times daily.

Heading west along the waterfront from the old town, on the other hand, the coast road leads past several smaller beaches – Ariane, Neptune, Palm Beach and Marinella – before culminating after 12km at the slender, rocky Pointe de la Parata. This popular hiking destination gives grandstand views of the Îles Sanguinaires (Bloody Islands), named for their vivid crimson colours at sunset.