Saint Raphael, France
One of the oldest resorts on the Cote d’Azur, Saint-Raphaël was evidently used by Romans for sun-and-sand vacations 2,000 years ago. The town is dominated by the domed, neo- Byzantine Basilica of Notre Dame de Victoire, built in the 19th Century when the town outgrew its original church. The original, the 13th century church of San Rafeu, is nearby, and now holds an archaeological museum. The foundation is rooted in two earlier churches, and incorporates a medieval watchtower as a campanile. Climb that for a panoramic view of the town and the surroundings, from the Massif d’Esterel to the nearby ports of Fréjus and Saint-Tropez, and the privately owned Ile d’Or in the bay. Napoleon Bonaparte landed here on his return from Egypt, enroute to his coup d’etat in Paris, and later sailed away to his exile from the same port.