From Bordeaux it was another long drive further south, to Cerbère. We were incredibly excited for the week ahead, finally having time to relax and indulge a little with family.
Cerbère is the last French town before Spain and is located in the famous Catalan region of the Vermilion Coast. Once a thriving fishing village, this coastal town showcases beautiful mansions and unique works offering breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea.
Banyuls-Collioure vines grow down the steep slopes, with gourmet traditions strongly present in dishes such as fideù (a noodle based paella), bols picolat (a typical dish of Roussillon-based meatballs) and botifarres (a type of sausage and one of the most important dishes of the Catalan cuisine). This also includes a number of festivals!
Driving into the small seaside town was no easy feat, and we had to take our time working our way along the long, windy roads that curved around hillsides, all with countless hairpin turns. It was a test, driving in a RHS car, on the ‘wrong’ side of the road, suffering from motion sickness. The stunning views looking out at sea, passing by countless hillside vineyards certainly proved a wonderful distraction.
The villa we were renting for the week was perched right at the top of the sleepy little town and had the most spectacular views I’ve seen! I kept pinching myself that we were really there.
While here, we spent our days by the pool, visiting nearby towns (including Banyuls-Sur-Mer), shared bottles of delicious French wine and platters of cheeses, prepared home cooked meals around the kitchen table and made the most of the quiet, laid back town getting plenty of down time. The pastel sunsets and fiery sunrises that rose and sunk behind the ocean there are ones that I won’t forget.
What and where:
- One spot that is worth a look in town is the Hotel Belvédère du Rayon-Vert. Designed in the art deco style, this hotel was built between 1928 and 1932 and has the appearance of a ship and featured a cinema and tennis court on the roof! Protected under the list of historic monuments, part of the building offers apartments for guests, with some original features still in place. The rest of the building is open to visitors most afternoons.
You can visit this site for some rather haunting images of this pretty unique space – https://renniep.smugmug.com/France/The-haunted-hotel/i-pQCWRmT