A sunny weekend at the other end of France: Collioure/Perpignan
Friday 5 p.m.: A flight from Paris to Perpignan, prefecture of the Pyrénées Orientales and one of the capitals of the Occitania and Catalonia regions.
Just 1h20 later, with 10° more than in Paris, a cloudless sky and the sea in view, we board our little rental car…
Friday 7:30 p.m.: Hotel des Roches Brunes
After a quick 25 km drive, we reach our hotel, a haven of peace and well-being, hidden from view in an exceptional location: the breathtaking view of the Mediterranean and Collioure village is truly unique. After dropping our suitcases in our room with a balcony enjoying a sea view, we head for the waterside terrace for dinner.
Saturday 10 a.m.: Discovering Collioure
We set off by foot to discover this historic town, a commercial port since Antiquity, a royal residence in the Middle Ages, a major fishing port and more recently a haven for artists. From Collioure on and heading south, the coast becomes rockier and more spectacular – the town resembles a little multicoloured St Tropez at the foot of the Pyrenees. Naturally, we buy the local speciality, some anchovies at the iconic Roque deli.
Saturday 3 p.m.: Wind surfing in Leucate
After a quick fish lunch at the 5th Péché in old Collioure, as the wind has picked up we head north to the department’s edge and La Franqui beach, renowned for Kite and Wind surfing.
After a dose of sea, sun, wind and sport, it is tired but exhilarated that we leave this sandy beach late afternoon.
Saturday 8:30 p.m.: Restaurant La Balette
In an idyllic setting overlooking Collioure harbour, we treat our tastebuds to Catalan cuisine, with oysters with basil from Leucate, red mullet with smoked onions, and octopus black pudding…).
Sunday 9 a.m.: Visiting Perpignan
A 30-minute drive takes us back to Perpignan, capital of the kingdom of Majorca during the 13th century, and its medieval centre steeped in Catalan history. We head south of the old town to discover the immense palace of the Kings of Majorca and its remarkable Gothic and Romanesque architecture, as well as its ramparts offering a view of the coast. Spanish specialties follow for lunch at La Catalina in the historic centre.
Sunday 2 p.m.: Argelès-sur-Mer
Before returning to Paris, there’s time for a stroll along Argelès’ 7km beach. Here, where the Mediterranean and the Pyrenees rub shoulders, the sun shines 300 days a year…
The end to a fantastic weekend that seems to have lasted a week!
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