Bonifacio (Corsica), France

The scented isle of Corsica, birthplace of Napoleon, was controlled for centuries by Genoa and did not become a region of France until 1768. As late as the last century, the rugged island was still a haven for bands of brigands. Today, the island's inviting beaches and scenic beauty attract an increasing number of tourists hoping to escape the much more hectic pace of the Riviera. Bonifacio, perched at the top of towering white cliffs, is a striking sight from the sea. Watch for the 15th-century staircase carved into the cliff face which runs right down to the water's edge as you approach the harbor.