Voyage to The Gateway of Historic Adventures
When you travel to Port-Vendres, be prepared for your imagination to kick into over-drive. Charming red roofs and stone buildings will invite romantic notions about how life once was in this important commercial port.
But if you really want to get lost in the fantastical qualities of the area, take a quick jaunt to some of the nearby towns like Carcassonne, where a medieval castle complete with 52 towers and nearly two miles of stone walls has stood for more than 2,500 years. When you walk the cobblestone streets of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, you can almost hear the clash of swords engaged in ancient battle.
You could also head to Cadaqués, a charming town just over the border in Spain that has hosted some of the most famous and influential artists of the modern era. In fact, Salvador Dalí lived here and his home has been turned into a world-famous museum. “Well, hello Dali!”
Or simply hang out in Port-Vendres and enjoy the local sights and perhaps a meal of fresh seafood like sea perch, tuna, or sardines paired with the region’s renowned Collioure wines, followed by a Banyuls dessert wine.
In Port-Vendres, the main museum is the town itself. Wander the city center and explore the monuments of famed military engineer Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, as well as the permanent exhibition dedicated to Charles Rennie Mackintoshb at the Dome Gardens. Make sure you cap the day off with a tasting of the region’s renowned Collioure wines.
The walled, medieval city of Carcassonne is truly a marvel. Cross the Auld River on the Pont Vieux to explore the fortified city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and be sure to discover the Basilica of St. Nazaire and the Carcassonne Cathedral.
Port-Vendres (Carcassonne), France At a glance