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France, Corsica, Ajaccio, Mediterranean sea, Corse-du-Sud, Sanguinaires Islands, view of the islands from Pointe de La Parata (Parata Point) with the Parata viewing tower

Ile-Rousse, Corsica, France

Located on the northwest coast of Corsica, L’Ile-Rousse was originally founded in the 18th century to compete with the Genoese-controlled port of Calvi. Snaking islets of red porphyry rock in the bay give it its name. Stroll the main square, shaded by plane trees and enormous 120-year old date palms, and quiet except for the click of petanque balls and the soft exclamations of the players. Or venture inland to the rugged maquis backcountry, refuge of the fictional Corsican Brothers.