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"The Bois des Anglais" and the Ridge Trail in Ajaccio

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Balade des Anglais
Posted on 14/04/2023 | Updated 3 months
Sentier des crêtesGolfe d'AjaccioSentier des crêtesVue sur AjaccioVue depuis le bois des anglais
Balade des Anglais
4.91 km - 0h50 - Altitude : 79 à 329m - Elevation : 250m - Difficulty : 1/5
Randonnée en MontagneParcours FamilialAdapté aux chiensBalade des Anglais

The first tourists were English

English Wood Ajaccio Balade des Anglais
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Promenade des Anglais in Nice, Bois des Anglais in Ajaccio, and the Cascade des Anglais in Vizzavona, but why?

Although practiced worldwide, it is easy to forget that tourism is only a century old. Beaches under the sun and snow-capped mountains have not always been attractive destinations. It was the English aristocracy who initiated tourism, which emerged from the industrial revolution, combined with the evolution of perspectives through enlightenment figures such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau in the late 18th century.

Provence and the Côte d'Azur quickly became resort areas for the English, who sought a milder climate, especially during the winter. In Nice, they financed the development of the coastal road that they regularly took, which became the famous Promenade des Anglais.

Bois des Anglais

The name Bois des Anglais dates back to the mid-19th century, when a young Scottish woman named Miss Thomasina Mary Anne Elisa Campbell was struck by the charm of the Isle of Beauty, which she crossed from south to north during the year 1868. Her picturesque journey led her to write a book, published in 1872 by the Pompeani printing press in Ajaccio, entitled: Notes on the Island of Corsica in 1868: Dedicated to Those Seeking Health and Pleasure, which greatly facilitated Anglo-Saxon tourism on the island.

On the Heights of Ajaccio

The Bois des Anglais marks the boundary between urban development and nature, as the British landscaper Edward Lear stated in 1868. This has not changed for a century and a half. The ridge trail that starts at the Bois des Anglais is accessible through a small parking lot two streets above Place d'Austerlitz.

The dirt trail is easily walkable, although a bit narrow at times for passing two people. It is lined with strawberry trees, holm oaks, olive trees, and shrubs from the maquis, such as Montpellier cistus or prickly pears. It is a hiking trail that is very exposed to the sun, with some shady spots under trees and occasionally small streams.

Carte IGN et dénivelé - Balade des Anglais

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