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Collioure1

Oh, Collioure!

Several years ago, a work colleague, Dick Strong, heard that on a 3 week tour of France, I would be visiting the coast near Perpignan.    All he said was, "Try Collioure, you'll like it there - it's lovely".

I thought no more about that comment until I arrived at the little rail station and walked the few hundred metres to my hotel.   

After checking in I wandered down into the "centre ville" and thought of Dick Strong's comments.    It was absolutely lovely!   

You know that comfortable, relaxed feeling you get when you are truly happy with a place?   You know it's somewhere you'll be happy to keep returning to time after time.   That's Collioure for me.

Collioure has a population of less than three thousand very fortunate souls.   I could spend hours providing masses of information on the place, but perhaps the best way to capture the flavour of this small, historic port barely 17km from the Spanish border, is to log on to the official Collioure web-site (Click the link below). Collioure2

There are numerous small restaurants where you can indulge in the local cuisine (Catalan) or just plain old French delights!

I found two delightful establishments very close together-Restaurant Le Puits (rue Arago) and Restaurant Le Tremail (rue Mailly).   Simple food beautifully prepared at tiny Le Puits includes Fillets of Rouget (Red Mullet) in a Sauce Banyuls with Saffron Rice, garnished with mussels.   Light, unpretentious and when followed by the coffee ice-cream creation, Cafe Liegeois, just about perfect.

At the very Catalan-influenced Le Tremail, nothing could compare with "Magret de Canard" which is a duck breast in a rich mushroom and red wine sauce or "Queue de Lotte" (monkfish in a delicious sauce).

I travelled to Collioure by train and there are several enjoyable small resorts nearby accessible by rail. However, the real highlight for a day out has to be the principal city of the Pyrenees-Orientales, Perpignan.

Collioure3

This is very much a City of the sun - a classical mediterranean metropolis, full of colour and life - lived very much outdoors. It's hot in summer and full of interesting surprises around every corner.

Great for an excursion, but I always find that I'm itching to get back on the train to return to Collioure and a less frantic way of life.

I am not trying to give the impression that Collioure is totally laid-back or comatose! However it is not a place to come if you want riotous nightlife. It is great for the more mature (agewise) and the very young. It's a place to relax with a drink - a place to sit on the beach - a place to have a fine meal - a place to go for a stroll - a place to chill out (I think that's the right expression!).

If you like hot - and I mean hot - weather, visit Collioure in July and August. If, like me, you prefer a more moderate climate, try mid to late May or even late September. Then it's like a perfect English summers day.

But whenever you come, relax and enjoy that wonderful French atmosphere which is elevated to new heights by that touch of Catalan. You won't regret it.

Thanks, Dick Strong, for now Collioure is my no.1 destination in France, and Hotel Madeloc my absolutely favourite hotel. Thanks for that recommendation back in the office all those years ago. You cannot possibly know what delight it has given me.

Oh, Collioure!

Collioure4

Click on above image for more information onCollioure (on-line web page)


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Hotel Madeloc View of Hotel Madeloc There is no doubt what-so-ever that a hotel can make or break a holiday regardless of how attractive a resort may be.

I am, therefore, exceedingly fortunate to have discovered the Hotel Madeloc in Collioure.

How did I come upon this friendly, unpretentious establishment?

By chance, really.    I travel by train and look for hotels just out of the centre of a town (usually quieter), close (but not too close) to the railway station, without a lift (many single rooms are next to noisy French ascenseurs!) and recommended in the "Michelin" or "Logis de France" guides.

Hotel Madeloc Room & Terrace There were only two hotels in Collioure that seemed to fit most of these criteria.

I contacted both hotels and the response I received via fax from Hotel Madeloc persuaded me that would be the better choice.

I made the correct decision, for of all the hotels I have frequented in France, the Madeloc is by far and away my favourite. It is not the most expensive and it is not the best appointed, but it is the friendliest, most homely and welcoming of hotels.

Hotel Madeloc Swimming Pool

I cannot possibly list all the kindnesses heaped upon me by the owners, the Pouchairet-Ramona family, but suffice it to say that I feel like coming home when I return for another stay.

Hotel Madeloc serves traditional, standard continental breakfasts either in your room or in a pleasant dining room. It does not serve other meals, but that is not a problem in any respect, as Collioure is chock full of eateries to accommodate all tastes and budgets.

Hotel Madeloc Swimming Pool

The rooms are bright and airy with views from a small terrace of the foothills of the Pyrenees or onto the gardens at the rear.

So, if you are intending to spend a few days in Collioure, I promise you that if you choose Christine & Jean-Gilles' hotel you will be treated very kindly and will definitely want to pay them a return visit.

Now, where's my diary?

 

Hotel Madeloc Web Site

Click on above image for more information on Hotel Madeloc, Collioure (on-line web page)

 

Hotel Madeloc



IN 2002, I PAID MY REGULAR VISIT TO COLLIOURE. BUT IN ADDITION TO MY USUAL STAY AT THE MADELOC, I EXPERIENCED A "JOURNEY TO REMEMBER" - CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW TO READ WHAT HAPPENED!!!

Collioure 2002






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