- The Region

Canigou

The Pyrenées-Orientales form the spectacular northern part of Catalonia, which stretches from just north of Perpignan down to the border with Valencia in Spain at Alcanar in the south; the Catalans have for centuries prided themselves on their distinctive culture and traditions, which set them apart from both the French and the Spanish.

 

 

This part of the region is defined by the towering presence of the mighty Pyrenees to the West, and the shimmering Mediterranean coast to the East.

Beaches near Argeles

To the north of Collioure, the Alberes hills retreat from the sea, and the coastal plain widens; there are long stretches of sandy beach at Argeles, Canet Plage and St Cyprien.

Fort St Elme

The Region is rich in history and architecture (Romanesque, Baroque and military). The stunning Chateau in Carcassonne, the vertiginous Cathar Castles, the Romanesque cathedral at Elne,  that at Narbonne made famous in Verdi’s “Don Carlos”, and the unique fortress at Salses are all within 2 hours drive of Collioure.  Perpignan, once the capital of Roussillon and now a lively commercial centre, is the nearest city; you can explore its bustling Arab quarter with its spice shops, or visit the Palace of the Kings of Majorca.

Dali Museum, Figueras

It has also been home to many artists, especially the Fauves, Derain and Matisse. There are 3 Dali museums, in northern Spain,  2 Charles Rennie Mackintosh galleries, one in Port Vendres and one near Amelie les Bains and the museum of modern art at Ceret to visit.

 

If you do not have a car,  there are excellent train and bus services which enable you to visit many places in the Region. Sometimes you may need to finish your journey by taxi.

The local tourist office has details of organised trips to, for example, Carcassonne too.