If you’re looking for a destination this spring where you can live on the edge from the comfort of your hotel room, here are four cities that may fit your bill. These cities on the brink grew organically in ancient times, times when “cliff-side” meant one less side to defend from invasion. Nowadays, these once militarily advantageous locations are simply picturesque, and visitors are drawn by the scenic rather than strategic possibilities. And these places maximize their vertiginous locales, with promenades and accommodations near the view, and the void. Check out these harrowing hamlets below.

Ronda, Spain

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The drop here is about 328 feet to the Guadalevín River in El Taro Canyon. Image by WikiCommons

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This city of 36,000 occupies a perch that’s been inhabited since Neolithic times. Image by WikiCommons

Al Hajjarah, Yemen

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This 11th century village was built by the Ottomans in part for military purposes. Image by Ottoman & Turkish

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The village’s military roots are evident, as there is just one entrance to the city, which is closed off by a heavy wooden door. Image by WikiCommons

Castellfollit de la Roca, Spain

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Castellfollit de la Roca sits atop a basalt crag that is 164 feet high and more than half a mile long.  Image by WikiCommons

 

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With a population of just 1,000, it’s one of the smallest towns in Spain. Image by Castellfollit de la Roca

 

Bonifacio, Corsica

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Bonifacio’s cliffs are 230 feet high and are constantly being worn away by Mediterranean waves. Image by Justin Poulsen

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Located on Corsica’s only harbor, Bonifacio has historically been of great naval importance. Image by WikiCommons