I always enjoy the drive from Barcelona to Collioure and never find it tedious. The first 20 minutes or so takes you through the city of Barcelona, where you make your way to the autoroute (A7) that speeds you along towards the Pyrenees Mountains which form the natural border between Spain and France. As you get closer to the Pyrenees there are some great stopovers along the way.
Girona, one of the major Catalan cities with a population of nearly 100,000, is the half way point of the trip. You may want to stop here for a few hours and indulge in the cuisine at El Cellar De Can Roca, voted the number one restaurant in the world in both 2013 and 2015 by the Diners Club World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy. About a half hour past Girona, you can stop off and visit Figueras, the birthplace of prominent Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali who created a museum featuring his works in an old vacant theatre in his hometown. Leaving Figueras, you begin to ascend into the Pyrenees where the views that await you are quite spectacular, especially during the winter months where the tallest peaks of the white capped mountains look like giant frosted cupcakes.
It is at this point in the drive that the excitement and exhilaration always start to mount for me. As you begin the descent into France and cross the border there is only another 10 minutes or so to go before turning off the autoroute and beginning the last 20 minute leg of the journey to the Mediterranean Coast. It is usually approaching early evening when we get our first glimpses of the Mediterranean and long strands of pink and orange are filling in the sky where it touches the deep blue of the sea as we wind our way through the narrow streets of Collioure to our final destination - Chateau de la Rocasse.
Enjoy our short video of the winding roads at the foot of the Pyrenees leading to Collioure.