Côte Vermeille or vermilion coast is the name of the region near the border with Spain and stretches from Argelès-sur-Mer along the Mediterranean coast to the border village of Cerbère. We explored the towns of Port-Vendres and Banyuls-sur-Mer and spent quite a long time in Collioure before reaching the border and the start of the Costa Brava on our return to Barcelona airport.
Collioure is a beautiful little town clinging to the hillside around a picturesque Mediterranean cove. A former fishing port, full of history, charm and a little je ne sais quoi.
There is really only one word for it STUNNING – stunning scenery and such vibrant colours. Even the drainpipes are brightly coloured with faces and the rooftops with their warm orange tones do not disappoint. It is a lovely place to spend a few hours wandering through the quiet winding streets full of pastel buildings and feel the charm of the old town.
Collioure has a rich history, probably because of its strategic location, where you can still see around the historic harbour the impressive fort and castle. The Spanish have had their fair share of occupation and the town has only been part of France since 1642.
Even during the quiet season, life goes on and the tapas scene is active. Rows of tables and chairs line the front, making it the perfect place to sit back, in the sweltering sun sipping a café crème, relax and watch the world go by.
With approximately thirty art galleries Collioure is known as the “City of Painters”. It’s no wonder that so many artists set up their easels to try and immortalized the small Catalan harbour. They all see themselves as a would-be Matisse or Picasso who took much of their inspiration from this area who can blame them in such beautiful surroundings.