COLLIOURE, France | While growing up I was raised by the sea and during this time I cultivated a close relationship with the ocean. I have smelt her salt in my tangled hair, I have experienced the sensuous feel of sand between my toes and I have eaten from her table.
In Australia, most oceans are void of people and are scattered with a wild beauty that we often take for granted. It was for this reason I had little interest in visiting the Mediterranean Coast; so many people in such a small space.
We had driven through several quaint towns until at last we had arrived on the outskirts of Collioure. Flinging my backpack over my shoulders, we began our ascent up the dry walking path. We battled raging winds and passed crumbling ruins until we had arrived at the summit, peering down into the valley below. I had expected a surge of tourists but we were abandoned with our own thoughts. The sound of stray gulls sang with the breeze and the whiff of seaweed filled my nostrils overwhelming me with a sense of nostalgia and joy; It had been too long.
Afterwards, we found ourselves walking down the spiraling roads passing the colourful facades of buildings, art galleries, and the occasional soul. It was interesting, despite being so close to the Spanish border, Collioure not only had its own unique architecture and cuisine, but also it’s own dialect, Catalan. The wine was exceptional, as was the fresh seafood and romantic strolls along with beach.
Visiting Collioure was a delightful surprise and I am so grateful for our small weekend away. Isn’t it funny how we can develop such strong perceived notions on what we like but have not yet experienced?
Walk Tour de la Madeloc | Upon arriving to the region, drive to Tour de la Madeloc for an easy hike (6km) to view the countryside from above. (Remember to take a jacket because it can be incredibly windy)
Explore Collioure | Afterwards, explore the colourful and quaint streets of Collioure. For dinner, dine at Casa Leon, a romantic catalan bistro with a mouthwatering menu filled with an assortment of local seafood.
Hike to Cap Béar | Upon sunrise walk along the pebbly shore savouring a croissant and the quite stillness of the morning. Drive a little out of town to begin the rewarding Cap Béar Hike (10.8 km) filled with amazing coastal views, WW2 ruins, rolling vineyards and succulents!