A sunny day by the sea in a Mediterranean setting, between the blue sky and the sea, backed by green vineyards and small sheltered coves along a winding road, with 320 days of sunshine per year in the beautiful Pyrénées Orientales.

Head down the Vermeille coast between the beaches of Argelès-sur-Mer and the Costa Brava in Spain. A beautiful place full of surprises.

Between coastal landscapes, the internationally famous vineyards of Banyuls, old traditional fishing ports with their colourful Catalan boats, all with the backdrop of the Pyrenees as they throw themselves into the sea, the coast is twenty miles of discovery!

Starting with "the jewel of the Vermeille," the town of Collioure.

Losing yourself in the cobbled streets among colourful old houses, Collioure is like nothing you will ever see anywhere else. The intensity of the colours drew Henri Matisse here, where he invented Fauvism, launching the trend for art in the in the early 20th century. You can also follow the "Route du Fauvism" through the town, and see some of the best-known works reproduced at the exact spots where artists set up their easels.

Remember to visit the Chateau Royale overlooking the harbour of Collioure, followed by a visit to the Church of Our Lady of the Angels dating from the seventeenth century, including the iconic tower of the city, which was once the old lighthouse of the port.

For the best view of Collioure, take the coastal path along the Vermeille coast towards Spain and visit the Fort St. Elme. The 360° panorama is positively breathtaking.

Stay on the road, this time towards Port-Vendres, a small fishing port with lots of traditional charm. A few kilometres further on you come across the Anse de Paulilles, a protected site which once housed a dynamite factory (!) which is today a museum. The beach will take your breath away!

Next step, Banyuls-sur-Mer. Known for its sweet wine, which can be enjoyed with a variety of delicacies such as foie gras and blue cheeses. Why not take part in a wine tasting in cellars of the famous local vineyards of Banyuls-sur-Mer, Terres des Templiers and Coopérative de l’Etoile.

 

Banyuls was the birthplace of an artist named Aristide Maillol. You can visit a museum dedicated to his work and discover one of his masterpieces, "La Méditerranée".

 

There is no sky in the world more blue than that of Collioure. I only have to close the shutters of my room and I have all the colours of the Mediterranean at home.

Henri Matisse

What more could you ask for?