For buying and selling property in Collioure
Collioure, which lies so far in the south of France that it is only a few kilometres from Spain, is a beautiful fishing village on the Mediterranean Sea. The charm of the town, coupled with the clarity of light and glorious sunshine which it enjoys, has long attracted artists to ply their craft here, committing to canvas snapshot images of colour. Matisse was one of the first to discover the inspirational qualities of Collioure, and he was swiftly joined by Picasso, Dali, Derain and others. Today too, you will find many an enthusiastic painter sitting with an easel and gazing out over the harbour where the little fishing boats proudly display their Catalan colours. Colour is a recurring theme in Collioure. The town is colourful in its own right both in the russets and creams of its buildings and in its flamboyant Catalan character.
The town of Collioure is as famous for its anchovies as it is for its artists. Everywhere you go, you will see places advertising anchovies for sale, and restaurants and cafés offer many dishes, such as the delicious Pissaladiere, which feature this salty, silvery little fish. Many locals refer to Collioure as 'the anchovy town'! Certainly seafood is a 'must eat' in Collioure, as the town has a long established economy and tradition based on the fishing industry. The harbour is full of fishing boats of all shapes and sizes, and many of the local ones are recognisable either by being painted in the red and yellow livery of Catalonia, or by flying the Catalan flag.
Collioure has plenty to offer on the restaurant front, and many of these not only serve delicious freshly caught fish, but are also idyllically placed on the beach or overlooking the harbour.
Some are better than others though, so choose where you eat with care! And there is always Port Vendres, Collioure's neighbour, which is definitely worth visiting for its excellent restaurants.
Locally produced wines should also be ordered as they are frequently very good and also cheap. The region is famous for its vineyards, which benefit greatly from the higher than average sunshine record experienced here.
Eating, drinking and painting are not the only possibilities to occupy you in Collioure, however attractive they may be. The town hosts numerous festivals, and if you are in town in mid-August don't forget to buy a ticket for the most extravagant festival of them all, the Festa Major de Collioure which takes over the hearts and minds of the townsfolk for a full three days.
Sports enthusiasts will find that Collioure makes a great base for trying out all kinds of sports which are available locally. Despite being known primarily as a seaside town, Collioure is actually close to the dramatic beauty of the Pyrénées, so all the mountain sports such as climbing, canyoning and skiing are on hand. Of course, the Mediterranean Sea provides excellent swimming and other activities, and you can also go horse-riding, cycling and hiking in the region.
Should you wish to visit larger cities you have several to choose from, each with its own flavour. The obvious choice is Perpignan, capital of the department, and it is certainly a vibrant and lively place to spend some time. Then there is ancient and lovely Carcassonne, with its fairytale Cité, or, of course, you can cross the border into Spain and pay a visit to the Catalan capital of Barcelona.
Reaching Collioure from the UK is very simple and cheap, thanks to the low cost airline, Ryanair. Ryanair operate flights from various UK airports into Perpignan, Carcassonne and Girona. Travel by rail is also not a problem, as you can take Eurostar from London, link to a TGV in Paris and arrive in Perpignan in less time than you would have thought possible!
Property in and close to Collioure is highly sought after, so prices can tend to be rather high. If you do spot a well priced property in the town be sure to snap it up, because it really won't stay on the market for long! Rental values are good on property in the town, and you should have no difficulty in letting the property for holiday times that you do not wish to use it yourself… if you can tear yourself away, that is!
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Collioure is found in the south-east of the Pyrénées-Orientales department in the far south of France. It lies just a few kilometres north of the Spanish border, on the Mediterranean coast.
Access: By air: Fly to nearby Perpignan, Girona or Carcassonne with Ryanair. By rail: Take the TGV from Paris to Perpignan.
Economy: The economy of Collioure was traditionally based on fishing, but today this is supplemented by tourism.
Interesting fact: Although French is the official language of the town, it is likely that you will also hear Catalan spoken, as many locals consider themselves Catalan first and French second!
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