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Collioure! An escape to an impossibly picturesque coastal town.

TTC's Collioure
©Tan's Travel Club

Dare we start believing that normal life can now slowly resume?! It feels like emerging from a long dark winter and we remain fearful that it is perhaps too good to be true. In the old region of southern France in the Languedoc, it seemed that the obvious place to escape to was the impossibly picturesque coastal town of Collioure, the undoubted star of the rugged Côte Vermeille. Normally teeming with tourists in the summer months, it was inevitably going to be quieter than usual, even for this pre season time of year.

TTC bar/restaurant Collioure
© Tan's Travel Club

We were constantly expecting to be rudely shaken awake from our 'dream'. How could we be allowed access to bars and restaurants (only outside terraces for now) when we have been denied such simple pleasures for so long?

One evening, sitting at a quayside bar with a view over to the Château Royale and the old harbour, a pod of dolphins swam past, jumping and playing as if to join in the contagious spreading of sheer joy to be out in the world again.

This section of coast is basically where the chain of the Pyrenees meets the sea. The Sentier Littoral is, in places, more reminiscent of the Devon coast than the Mediterranean with plunging cliffs and little coves. It's only the flowering cacti that gives the game away.

TTC's Cote Vermeille
© Tan's Travel Club 2021

If you're looking to step outside of Collioure and explore the Côte Vermeille, walking the coastal paths here is made easier by a constant (roughly hourly) shuttle bus which charges a token €1 for any journey between Perpignan and Cerbère. (Click here for bus timetable) If you wish to go all the way to Cerbère then you will have reached the last town before the Spanish border. You can choose to walk the entire costal Sentier Littoral, all the way to Argeles, but if this 32 km seems a little far for your liking you can simply choose to do a shorter section. We highly recommend the picturesque 11 kms between Baunyuls-sur-Mer and Port-Vendres.

There are beautiful coves and beaches along the way so don't forget to bring a picnic and of course plenty of water, sun protection etc. Wear some decent walking shoes - there are plenty of ups and downs - but it's worth it! This section is a good 4-5 hours.

© Tan's Travel club 2021 (Photos: Sentier Littoral between Banyuls-sur-Mer et Port-Vendres)

And of course if you just have that ambling feeling, meandering the tiny pedestrian lanes among the colourful houses of Collioure, its old fishing port and exploring what must be one of the most beautiful coastal towns anywhere in the Mediterranean, might just be more up your street! This historic port town, strong in its Catalan culture, is ready to welcome you - we can confirm their arms are wide open :)

© Tan's Travel Club 2021 (Photos: Street scenes in Collioure)

We found the area very safe and respectful of Covid rules and regs. It is obligatory to wear masks in the town and on public transport at this time. As the world opens up, there's a real buzz in the air. So voila! Enjoy the escape, it's a little bit emotional!

TTC Collioure scene
©Tan's Travel Club 2021

If you've ever visited Collioure or the Côte Vermeille, tell us all about it - we'd love to hear your stories😁.

Happy travelling and stay safe :)


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