- Castles & History

The area is rich in history and architecture (Romanesque, Baroque and military).  Places our guests have visited include  ……

Salses

Fortress at Salses

A fortress which in mediaeval times guarded the French frontier against incursions from the south,  with fascinating military architecture.

48 minutes (47 km) by car or go by train from Collioure to Salses.  It is a 5 minute walk from the station.

http://salses.monuments-nationaux.fr/en/

 

 

 

Elne

The Cloisters at Elne

A former capital of Roussillon built on a roman site, with wonderful views over the plain of Roussillon.

Visit the Romanesque cloisters with their wealth of detailed carvings and the two nearby Museums.

20 minutes by car (15km) or take the 1€ bus or the train.

http://www.pyrenees-decouverte.com/en/visites/artroman/cath-elne/index.php

 

Palace of the Kings of Majorca Perpignan

Palace of the kings of Majorca

Palace of the kings of Majorca

Outside of the Palace

Outside of the Palace

By car 53 minutes (30 km) or you can go by train or bus.

There are other things to see in Perpignan too and it has a good mix of  shops for those who enjoy retail therapy!

 

 

 

Cathar Castles Peypetruse

Cathar castle

 

An hour and a half (80km) by car.

Guest comments

“the path up is not for the faint hearted …….”

“We went up the Tech gorge to the Cathar castles. They were spectacular, particularly in sheeting rain and booming thunder!!”

http://www.catharcastles.info/peyrepertuse.php?key=peyrepertuse

 

 

St Martin de Canigou

St artin

St Martin de Canugou

pillars St Martin

About 1 hour 20 minute (90 km) drive.  The Monastery of Canigou is simply out of this world.  Be prepared for a fairly strenuous 40-60 minute walk up the mountain, rewarded by one of the most serene and beautiful places imaginable, stunningly situated on on rocky pinnacle of the Massif of Canigou.  The tour itself, even if you can’t follow all the French, is fascinating but equally not to be missed is the scramble up the rocky path above the Monastery for the breath-taking view of the whole of the Monastery and its extraordinary setting.

http://stmartinducanigou.org/infos_visites_UK.php

 

Carcassonne

Carcassonne

By car the journey is 1 3/4 hours (150 km).  You can also  go by train from Collioure,  changing at Narbonne.  It is a fortified town which has been hugely restored; its spectacular site means that it dominates the surrounding plains.

There are organised trips – ask at the tourist office.  One guest said  “Went to Carcassone on a local excursion – wouldn’t recommend as you don’t get enough time to look around properly.”  So perhaps an add-on to the holiday.

 

Narbonne cathedral made famous in Verdi’s “Don Carlos”,

Narbonne catherdral

Narbonne is about 1 1/4 hours drive (100km).   If you are travelling to Collioure by train Narbonne is one of the stops along the way.

 

Castelnou

Castelnou

 

A mediaedval village; by car 50 minutes (48 km),

http://www.castelnou.com

 

 

Paulilles

Paulilles

 

18 mins 13 km by car.  The 1 € bus stops here.

The site of a dynamite factory, now an excellently presented museum, showing the social history of the dynamite factory. There is also a Catalan boat museum and restaurant. All this is  set in delightful surroundings by an unspoilt beach

Le Sentier Littoral foot path passes through the site.  Following this northwards,  it is possible to walk back to Collioure.

 

 

 

 

 

Walter Benjamin at Portbou

Walter Benjamin memorial

He was a German jewish philospher who died at Portbou fleeing from the Nazis. This is the memorial to him by Karavan.

 

Walter Benjamin memorial

Walter Benjamin memorial

It is about a half an hour drive (26 km) or you can take a train to Portbou in Spain.  http://walterbenjaminportbou.cat/en/content/el-darrer-passatge

A useful general site is

http://www.pyrenees-decouverte.com/en/visites/artroman/cath-elne/index.php