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Friday, 4 September 2015

Cerbère, where France meets Spain

'Au bout du monde' this little town is situated at the foot of the Pyrenean mountains, in fact, partly in them, the oldest houses ranked terrace upon terrace into the hills. 
This is not tourist country, and the town stays relatively quiet even in the height of holiday season. People do come for the beach (pebbles) and to sit in the cafés but many come to walk in the wild landscape, dive in the exceptionally clear water and just to spend time somewhere unspoilt and relatively undeveloped.

Cerbère expanded from a tiny fishing village to a larger town in the 1920s when the station was built and became an important freight and passenger terminal. One of the town's landmarks is the intriguing 'Belvédère du Rayon Vert' a large almost ship-shaped hotel that follows the curve of the railway.  

Collioure, Banyuls, Cadaquès and other popular (and parking-challenging) destinations are easily accessible by train from Cerbère making it a good base for exploring the region, and, with or without car there are wonderful walks all around the town.

Portbou - the first town of Spain is a ten-minute drive, a five-minute stop on the train or if you prefer, an invigorating 45 minute walk with fantastic views; Gerona an hour by train or car and Barcelona a couple of hours.

Cerbère is a place of sounds: trains whistles and rumbles, seagulls and wind. The tramontane, the wind from the north blows across the mountains causing the town's railings to sing and the sea to change from its tranquil blue to a restless mass of white-topped waves.

And a place of colour: the ever-changing sea and sky, grey-green of cactus, yellow of lemons and pink of bougainvillaea.
And a place of tastes: local Catalan cuisine, fresh fish, mediterranean fruits and local wines.

The town welcomes artists who visit inspired by the sights and history of this area; some to leave their traces on the walls of the winding alleys above the town.

Contact us for details of accommodation, restaurants, and places to visit.


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