Collioure France Tourism Information
Collioure France is a Catalan Fishing Port in Languedoc Roussillon, South of France
Collioure is a little gem of a place in the Catalan region of France on the Mediterranean coastline near the French and Spanish border. It has a little port full of fishing boats, leisure boats and now boats for taking a trip around the local coastline. The latter option comes highly recommended, not only can you get a different perspective on Collioure itself, but you will also get to see some of the neighboring towns and the wonderful scenery around Collioure. The Spanish border is not too far away and consequently neither are the Pyrenees Mountains. In fact many people asking how to get to Collioure by air will find that flying into Barcelona or Gerona is a very viable option for visiting the Catalan regions of France. The nearest French airport of course is Perpignan, which is only about 1/2 an hour to 3/4's of an hour away from Collioure.
If you did decide to take one of the Spanish options then a great way to get to Collioure is to take the coast road through the Costa Brava and over the Pyrenees into France. Wonderful scenery, not typical of the Spanish coastline as Costa Brava actually means rugged coast where much of the Spanish coastline is more typically wide open, sandy beaches. So Spain into France on its Eastern coast is a very nice option.
Collioure France Tourist Info - Get to know the best and worst bits of Collioure France
OK we will do the worst bits first, because it is short and sweet. Collioure is an extremely popular tourist destination. So if you decide to visit in the peak hoilday season i.e. July and August then expect some queueing and difficulty parking. So of course visiting at other times of the year would be preferable, especially say June or September; far less manic and still a very good chance of some great weather.
That said, if your only chance of visiting Collioure is July or August, then its still worth it. There is a good reason that all the Fauve artists made it their meeting place. Artists such as Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, AndrÃ© Derain, Georges Braque, Othon Friesz, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Tsuguharu Fujita have all been inspired by Collioure's royal castle, medieval streets and its lighthouse converted into the church of Notre-Dame-des-Anges. Plus the clarity of the blue skies and sea have to be seen to be believed.
For the tourist, you can wander down to the sea front and find a little cafe or restaurant that practically extends itself onto the little pebble beach and just sit down for the most wonderful lunch of fresh fish or seafood accompanied by a glass or two of the local vino, Collioure AOC being one of the smallest vignards in France . In a place like Collioure it would almost be rude not to. After lunch you can stroll over to the beach and just sit and watch the world go by, boats going in and out of the port and like I said after lunch has been digested taking a boat trip out along the coastline is a very nice way to while away a couple more hours.
The option of exploring those medieval streets is also available and you will find plenty of evidence of the artistic heritage of Collioure, there is an artist's studio or shop on practically every corner and plenty of colour in the architecture of the buildings, a feature of the Mediterranean influence.
Of course there is a pretty interesting history to discover in Collioure, the ChÃ¢teau Royal de Collioure and the Fort Saint-Elme stronghold being two of the most prominent fortifications. The fortifications exist mainly because of the toing and froing of the Spanish and the French as they struggled over the occupation of the Catalan regions. The Spanish lost Collioure back to the French for the last time in 1794.
There is a good chance you may fall in love with this part of France and decide you would like to build a new house here and settle. It's actually quite affordable, despite the fall in property prices in the UK property prices in France still compare favorably. So if you fancy a bit of 'Construction de Maison' French style, it's worth knowing it won't cost you an arm and a leg. Its not as cheap as it would have been had the Spanish managed to retain it, but it's not bad all the same.
French History Books - The Lauragais Story
If you want to venture further into the Languedoc Roussillon region of France you may want to consider heading towards Carcassonne or perhaps a little further even to Castelnaudary, the capital of the Lauragais region. Castelnaudary is very close to Issel where our holiday apartment is located and although it is not quite as grand as Carcassonne, it is a bit of a gateway to Cathar country and an area steeped in local history.
Living so close to Castelnaudary, the capital of the Lauragais, this really grabbed my attention. A chance to find out about and understand the history of the region, admittedly in English, where we live. It really is a chequered history, the region has had more than its fair share of heartache and misery, but has risen to be one of the most important parts of France. Toulouse is the centre of aerospace and the home of Airbus, but in days gone by it was wheat and woad that were the main generators of wealth in the region and where the funding for many chateaus was found. French history book
Collioure France PhotosClick thumbnail to view full-size
Lots to Do and See in the South of France
- A Day out in Carcassonne - South of France
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- Euro Traveller Holiday Destinations - France
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- Rennes le Chateau Hoax- South of France
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- Laroque des Alberes France, Self Catering Accommodation
Spacious self catering accommodation/gite for up to 4 people with a pool and close to Argeles sur Mer, Collioure and Perpignan.
© 2010 Brian Stephens