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Port Vendres has been known to navigators since the 6th century, and there's no sign of it ceasing to be on the map for ships of all shapes and sizes for years to come. The rich heritage of this port belies a scenic beauty that won't be lost to any cruiser who sets foot upon its shores.
It's the only natural harbour on the whole of the Cote Vermeille, so it's very likely you'll see a colourful cornucopia of sailing yachts arrayed throughout the marina all year round. The bright red rocky slopes bookending the port are a majestic backdrop to an already splendid port, complete with red-roofed classical buildings displaying bright facades, all set within a lush swathe of greenery.
The Sidi Ferruch Museum
The Redoute Bear was built in the 17th century, in the middle of Sidi Ferruch in French Algeria, a bastion stronghold for the foreign legion for centuries. Unbelievably, a division of the French army brought the entirety of the Redoute Bear back with them to Port Vendres, and it now houses the Sidi Ferruch Museum, an intriguing exhibit that contains military weaponry, uniforms and memorabilia from the region dating between 1830 and 1962.
You can even find documents, postcards and photographs which bear witness to several conflicts throughout the decades displayed among the galleries.
The Madeloc Tower
Beginning its existence as Visigoth signalling tower in the 12th century, the site of this tower is an ideal place in which to get a rare panorama of the whole of the Roussuillon plain.
In the hills which surround this amazing monument, you can find a huge number of forts and national heritage sites to explore. A visit to the Madeloc tower can be seen as a starting point to a stirring cultural adventure, made all the more enthralling by the splendour of the French countryside.
The Bay of Paulilles
Heading 3 kilometres into the Alberes foothills from the centre of Port Vendres can reward you with the incomparable sight of not one, but three splendid beaches clustered together upon the coastline.
A wonderfully chaotic sprawl of terrace vineyards and vegetation lead to the main beaches, which are dotted with centuries old buildings fitted with red-brick chimneys. Make sure to take a trip onto the bright red rocky outcrops upon the edges of the beaches, for an inspiring view of the Southern shore you're unlikely to see anywhere else.
The Terre de Couleur Zone economique is the place to be if you're looking for authentic local art pieces that are fit to adorn any household. Make sure to explore the stalls on the fringes of this huge market, as you're bound to miss out on some unique curios if you don't explore all the delights it has to offer.
La Cote Vermeille is home to a sophisticated outdoor dining area that overlooks the main squares at the heart of town, with a spirited menu offering local delicacies, French favourites, and delicious desserts.
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