People who want to challenge themselves a little more can wander up into the hills. There are easy walking trails progressing to far more challenging hikes when you start to move up into the Pyrenees. Many people walk up behind the Dominican Convent that is now the Art Museum and check out the views from the windmill – Moulin de la Cortina.
The windmill is driven by three different winds. Le mistral wind is a dry cold wind that comes from the north, La Tramontane is the dominant wind of the Languedoc region and blows from the northwest and finally the Sirocco winds that come across from North Africa.
Starting at the Art Museum you wind your way through cactus, native flowers and olive groves that have been planted on terraces. After walking for approximately ten minutes you come upon the stone structure. This unique building dates back to the 1300’s and is one of the oldest windmills in the Roussillon region. Originally used for producing flour, it has recently been fully restored and is now a mill that is used for crushing and grinding olives from the local groves to make a wonderful olive oil.
You can visit the inside on specific days and see how the windmill works. However the best thing about this area is the scenery. You can take in the entire town of Collioure with an unobstructed view from this vantage point. Be sure to take this walk and enjoy the history lesson, the exercise session and be sure to appreciate the lovely landscape that surrounds you.
Additional information regarding the Collioure windmill at:http://pyreneescatalanes.free.fr/Thematiques/Batiments/Histoire/MoulinDeCollioure.php
For another interesting article about windmills in France, check out this link: http://pocketcultures.com/2012/04/07/windmills-in-france/