Poster reproduction by kind permission of the magazine Terres Catalanes
The Côte Vermeille (now called, more and more, the Côte Rocheuse or the Côte Catalane) is accessible by train from Spain in the south, through Cerbère, and from the north, through Perpignan.
No problem arriving and departing from these resorts (Banyuls, Port Vendres, Collioure and Argelès) and if you are happy to arrive and stay-put and enjoy their undoubted delights you could dispense with a car, but what about the rest of the area? those trips up into the hills, the abbeys, the hot springs, the markets etc etc ....?
South to the frontier at Cerbère is spectacular and well worth the effort but beyond that some super fine timetable planning has to come into play as despite 120 years of railway operation the Spanish and French railway companies seem incapable of making their timetables coincide. A day trip to Figueres to see the Dali Museum is perfectly feasible but beyond that? Gerona has been achieved (and it is a little known gem awaiting discovery) but as the last train back from Barcelona leaves at 20h20 a day out by train to the big city would be quite difficult unless you are disciplined and determined, as were some of our visitors recently who went, knelt down and kissed the turf on the pitch at Camp Nou, then turned round and came back.....
Northwards you can visit in a day, Perpignan, Narbonne and at a push Carcassonne, but again, the timetable is primitive and the service is designed to make travel as unattractive as possible, even though a recent slogan almost sneeringly said "C'est à nous de vous faire préférer le train / it's our job to make you prefer to take the train".
Thus my reluctance to put anything more than - "almost car free" or "low car use" holiday possible here - on the descriptions.
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