The fortified city of Bonifacio (pop. 3,000) rises like a majestic sand castle atop jagged limestone cliffs; Marina Croisieres offers boat tours of the hidden coves and grottoes. ( 04 95 73 09 77. 11-21.) All the companies by the port run frequent ferries (30min.) to the pristine sands of lies Levezzi, a nature reserve with beautiful reefs perfect for scuba diving. To explore the haute ville, head up the steep montee Rastello, the wide staircase halfway down the port, where excellent views of the ridged cliffs to the east await. Continue up montee St-Roch to the lookout at Porte des Genes, a drawbridge built by invaders. Then walk to the place du Marche to see Bonifacio’s famous cliffs and the Grain de Sable.
Eurocorse Voyages (04 95 21 06 30) runs buses to Ajaccio (SVahr. 2-3 per day, 21) as well as Porto Vecchio (30min. 1-4 per day, 6.50), where connections can be made to Bastia. To reach the tourist office, at the comer of av. de Gaulle and r. F. Scamaroni, walk along the port and then up the stairs before the gare maritime. (04 95 73 11 88; www.bonifacio.com. Open May to mid-Oct. daily 9am-8pm; mid-Oct. to Apr. M-F 9am-noon and 2-6pm, Sa 9am-noon.) Finding affordable rooms is difficult in summer; avoid visiting in August, when prices soar. Try HStel des Etrangers O, av. Sylvere Bohn. ( 04 95 73 01 09; fax 04 95 73 16 97. Singles and doubles 50-72; triples 72; quads 82. MCV.) Camp at L’Araguina, av. Sylvere Bohn, at the entrance to town between Hotel des Etrangers and the port. ( 04 95 73 02 96; fax 04 95 73 57 04. Open mid-Mar. to Oct. Electricity 2.80. Laundry 5. 5.30-5.60 per person, 1.90 per car or tent.) Postal Code: 20169.