04.23.2018

Beyond the French Riviera

West of the crowded Côte D’Azur is the lesser known and yet beautiful Côte Vermeille, gifted with breathtaking landscapes, great wines, and a lively local culture

  • Beyond the French Riviera
  • Beyond the French Riviera
  • Beyond the French Riviera
  • Beyond the French Riviera
  • Beyond the French Riviera
  • Beyond the French Riviera
  • Beyond the French Riviera
  • Beyond the French Riviera
  • Beyond the French Riviera
  • Beyond the French Riviera

Southern France is almost inevitably a synonym for the Côte D’Azur and its crowded beaches and millionaire hangouts in Cannes, Nice, and Saint-Tropez. Yet the western part of the Southern French coast has a lot to offer, too, and without all the crowds. Beloved by the group of French painters known as Les Fauves, who drew inspiration from its red rocks and warm Mediterranean light at the beginning of the 20th century, the Côte Vermeille sits between the Pyrénées and the Mediterranean sea from Argelès-sur-Mer to Cap Cèrbere, on the Spanish border. Neither France nor Spain, this Catalunian French corner has a rocky coastline broken by sandy beaches, hills covered in vineyards sloping towards the sea and dotted with the ruins of ancient castles, a delicious cuisine and some truly magnificent landscapes. In other words, the perfect mix for those who love enjoy a quiet, relaxed vacation surrounded by beauty and local culture.
 
Argelès-sur-Mer
A long sandy beach. Restaurants, cafes and beach clubs overlooking a turquoise sea. Stores selling bathing suits and buckets & spades. Argèles is as close to a classic family seaside resort as you can get on the Côte Vermeille. But there is more to it: castles, natural preserves, and a beautiful cathedral housing and ancient churches.
 
Collioure
Simply France’s most painted fishing village, which inspired Matisse and the Fauves with its cosy harbour, the unmistakable bell tower/lighthouse with the pink top, the castle, and the colorful houses with ochre roofs. In Colllioure you can still stay at the Hôtel-Restaurant les Templiers, a favourite of artists of the likes of Picasso, Matisse, and Chagall, now also housing a museum. To plunge into the town’s artistic past, we recommend that you walk along the Chemin du Fauvisme, a walking path that runs through the village’s most depicted views and landscapes, marked by the reproduction of the paintings they inspired.
 
Port Vendres
If you’re into water sports, be it surfing, snorkeling or scuba diving, this pretty and historic harbor city has everything you need. Also, do not miss the Saturday morning market, packed with colorful and fragrant Catalan spices and other local delicacies.
 
Banyuls-sur-Mer
The Côte Vermeille is also a very renowned wine region, with beautiful hills covered in vineyards and sloping towards the sea. Banyuls is surrounded by vineyards and dotted with wineries where you can taste and buy some pretty unique sweet natural local wines - Banyuls, Banyuls Grand Cru, and Collioure – paired with foie gras and blue cheese.
 
Cerbère
The last stop before the Spanish border, this colorful and picturesque postcard-perfect village is the ideal trekking destination. Trekking routes depart from the town centre and head to secluded, hidden beaches through beautiful landscapes. The solar lighthouse in Cap Cerbère towers over a high and steep cliff with its red top.
 

Author : The Slowear Journal

SlowearTags.

France  | Côte Vermeille  | travels  | holidays  | wine  | Fauves  | Collioure  | Banyuls  |

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