Of the four communes that make up what is known as the Cote Vermeille (The Vermilion Coast), Port-Vendres is at the centre. It is a busy little fishing port and the deep water of its lovely natural harbour means that large cruise ships can dock here, even though it’s a bit of a tight fit to get them in and out!


For swimmers, snorkellers and divers there’s a great choice of bathing beaches with even an ‘underwater path’ to follow in the marine reserve. The pretty coves along the coast nearby add to the beauty and diversity of this lovely spot.

Like Collioure, Port-Vendres has attracted many artists. Perhaps the best known to Anglo-Saxons is Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Port-Vendres is not especially big but it packs a lot of interesting activities into a small area. Try a ‘Promenade en Mer’, which is a seatrip and could be anything from a shuttle trip to Collioure or a luxury, private exploration of this beautiful coast. Antique and bric à brac shops abound, as do small art galleries, and there are some nice little boutiques, too. Don’t forget to sample some of the local wines either at a cave or in a restaurant with your meal. Even the most modest of restaurants will offer a selection of wines produced within 10 miles of where you are sitting.

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