Our5 essentials

The castle in the sky

Just a stone’s throw from the Spanish border, you cannot discover Collioure without visiting the fortress! It is Impossible to miss this vast château, first constructed in the 7th century, which stands in the heart of the town. This former residence of the kings of Majorca listed as a “monument historique” (a French designation afforded to national heritage sites) since 1922 has preserved all of its magnificence! From its ramparts, the panoramic view over the Mediterranean is matchless.

Throughout the year, shows and exhibitions liven up this timeless location. Don’t delay in joining in one of the daily visits over the entire royal château with commentary. Furthermore, there is no additional entry fee to pay. Through a recreational talk, having a wealth of information, you will have the history of this building at your finger tips.

Hiking in real conditions

Visible for miles around (or should we say kilometres?!), the emblematic summit of Catalonia bewitches all hikers eager for thrills! Reaching its highest point at 2,784.66 metres, this must-see panoramic viewpoint is easily accessible from Les Cortalets (being around 3 hours including the return trip). If you like high levels of difficulty, we advise that you leave from the Refuge Mariailles (a 7 to 8 hour hike). En route, your will climb the Pic Joffre peak and the Pic Barbet peak so a word of advice, do not forget your binoculars!

If you haven’t the courage to go all over these long kilometres of hiking paths, 4x4s used to driving on forest trails will enable you to discover the wonderful landscapes of this massif, which is unique in the world.

Like a fish in water

Sheltered at the heart of a heavenly bay, this out-of-the-ordinary underwater trail delights all adventurers curious to know a little more about the ecosystems of the Côte Vermeille. Equipped with a mask, a snorkel and a pair de flippers go off to explore the seabed of this natural Mediterranean park. During this journey on the seabed, you will encounter 5 stations equipped with a submerged explanatory sign. If you have the opportunity to hire FM-approved breathing apparatus, you will be able to make the most of a fully guided marine tour. Have your eyes wide open to see this amazing marine fauna.

The aquatic recreational trip, 500 metres in length, is entirely safe thanks to a continuous water line. This unique activity is solely available in July and August on the Plage de Peyrefite beach.

Gourmet trip

For the delight of the palate and your eyes, head for the Terre des Templiers winery. This cooperative wine cellar, which brings together 650 wine growers, is located in spectacular scenery. In the heart of a wine estate located on a hillside, be seduced by the AOC Banyuls; these natural sweet wines have been developed with a first-rate blend of grey and white Grenache and the Muscat grape.

After a quick tour of the vines, head for the panoramic viewpoint, with an exceptional view over the vines and the schist terraces. The free trail continues with a room of models illustrating the guide’s explanations upon all of the techniques for developing the Collioure wines and the Banyuls. The visit ends with the impressive walk through the bicentenary wooden Cuves (vats) display, and a generous wine tasting of the wines produced here. You will ask for more!

A timeless journey

Experience a unique journey at the heart of the Têt valley, surrounded by imposing mountainous landscapes. Climb aboard this Canari train to travel the 63 kilometres (40 miles) which separate Saillagouse from Villefranche de Conflent, or a slightly more than 1,200 metre difference in height. With delight, you will discover the 21 stations scattered along this route of nearly 3 hours. Riding at an average speed of 30km/hour (19 miles/hour), you will be able to take time to admire the countryside and in particular the numerous cultural sites which punctuate the journey such as the Cassagne bridge, the last remaining suspended railway bridge still in service in France.

Especially laid out for tourists, you will even be able to make the most in summer of two completely open wagons to best admire your surroundings. The railway line being open throughout the year, you will be able to observe over the course of the months very different landscapes sometimes with snow on the ground, wearing its colourful autumn coat or facing the lush countryside.

The small +

Land of inspiration

The Côte Vermeille is represented through the eyes of numerous painters and artists. Just as did Henri Matisse who created the Fauvism movement following his visit to Collioure. Characterised by the use of bright colours this art movement reflects the beauty of locations.

Côte Vermeille it’s:

320daysof sunshine per year
2,570,000 litres of Banyulsproduced each year
20kilometresof heavenly coastline

And if this were your nextBest holiday memory?