Thanks to its stunning natural setting, the ancient fortress town of Bonifacio is an essential stop for all visitors to Corsica. Protected by vast smooth walls, the town itself stretches along a narrow, top-heavy promontory, undercut by creamy-white limestone cliffs hollowed out by centuries of ceaseless waves. Down below, connected by steep footpaths and a single winding road, and lapped by cornflower-blue waters, its harbour and modern marina shelters at the landward end of a snaking fjord-like inlet.
It’s down by the port where much of Bonifacio’s tourist trade is concentrated, including ferries across to nearby Sardinia, boat tours to Corsica’s southerly beaches and the Îles Lavezzi, and a busy clutch of bars, clubs and brasseries along the quayside. The old city, though, is what truly lingers in the mind, a ravishingly romantic web of alleyways lined by ramshackle medieval houses and chapels with faded pastel plasterwork.