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Ophorus Tours - Port-Vendres

Languedoc

Port-Vendres

Discover the small port town of Port-Vendres in the Roussillon region of France just north of the Spanish border on the Vermeille (Vermilion) Coast. This deep water natural port has been an important commercial stop since Roman times.

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Learn more about Port-Vendres

Port Vendres Travel Guide (Occitanie, France) Discover the small port town of Port-Vendres in the Languedoc Roussillon region of France just north of the Spanish border on the Vermeille (Vermilion) Coast. Port Vendres is a natural deep water port that has been an important commercial stop since Roman times. Port-Vendres The small town takes its name from Venus (Portus Veneris) and it is believed the town dates back to Roman times. During the Middle Ages Port Vendres was part of the kingdom of Majorca and was a main connection point between the mainland and the Balearic Islands. In 1659 the Treaty of the Pyrenees marked the entrance of the Roussillon region as part of French territory and so ...

Port Vendres Travel Guide (Occitanie, France)

Discover the small port town of Port-Vendres in the Languedoc Roussillon region of France just north of the Spanish border on the Vermeille (Vermilion) Coast. Port Vendres is a natural deep water port that has been an important commercial stop since Roman times.

Port-Vendres

The small town takes its name from Venus (Portus Veneris) and it is believed the town dates back to Roman times. During the Middle Ages Port Vendres was part of the kingdom of Majorca and was a main connection point between the mainland and the Balearic Islands. In 1659 the Treaty of the Pyrenees marked the entrance of the Roussillon region as part of French territory and so Port Vendres became French.

The Obelisk

This monument is without a doubt the most emblematic of the town with a hight of over 30 meters (100 feet). This is the unique Obelisk to be dedicated to King Louis XVI during his reign. It is made with white marble from Estagel and its base is composed of red and white marble from Conflent.

At the top, the Oblelisk is crowned with a globe and a Fleur de Lys, the emblem of French Royalty. Other than 4 bronze turtles there are trophies that represent the 4 continents. The base is also decorated with 4 low relief that commemorate highlights of the reign of Louis XVI - the Independance of America, the Navy relieved, the abolishment of Servitude in France and the freedom of Commerce.

One of the low relief of the Obelisk represents the Independance of America. The sculpture depicts a French Royal frigate bringing the treaty of Commerce signed by France in 1778 to the American Insurgents. This low relief created in 1780 was done before the signature of the Treaty of Paris of 1783 that recognized the Independance of America.

The Fanal Fort

In the 17th century, military architect Vauban considers the creation of a Naval Base and begins to have small forts built to defend the entrance. On the western side, Fort Fanal is built while to the South both Redoute Béar (destroyed in 1944) and Redoute Mailly are erected.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh

The Art Nouveau Scottish architect lived and painted in Port-Vendres from 1923 to 1927. While in Port-Vendres, he painted a number of watercolors including landscapes and architecture. There is a trail within the town that details his time in Port-Vendres and along which one can see the exact locations of where the painting were done.

Our Shore Excursions from Port-Vendres

We organize small group private shore excursions departing from Port-Vendres to all the major landmarks this region has to offer. If you are visiting Port Vendres during your Cruise, we will come and pick you up directly at your ship or Port of call and have you visit or experience some of the most significant sights of the region.

COLLIOURE VILLAGE & WINES

Visit the small village of Collioure

The drive from Port Vendres to Collioure is just over 10 minutes but the drive is stunning through the Languedoc landscape. Upon arrival in Collioure, follow your guide as you walk the narrow streets of this small fishing village.

 A fortified church so close to the sea that it seems to float, an old royal castle, colorful boats that seem ready to set out to catch the prized anchovies (a local specialty), this is enchanting Collioure. 

No wonder artists such as Picasso, Braque, Dufy, Chagall, Matisse, and Derain came here as the village, the birthplace of the Fauvism painting movement boasts more than 300 days of sunshine per year. Another famous sculptor, Aristid Maillol, originates from nearby Banyuls sur Mer.

Followed by a Wine Tasting session

After the visit to the village and some free time, participate in a wine tasting session of local wines. The wine production in Collioure includes reds, rosés and a few white wines. The main grapes varieties that are used here include Shiraz, Mourvèdre, Grenache and Carignan which are similar to the grapes used in Languedoc wines. 

Follow a locally guided tour of the winery and listen as the wine grower explains the techniques used here. After the visit, experience a wine tasting session of excellent wines of the region.

Wine making in the area began with the Greeks around the 6th century BP. For a long time under Spanish rule, the wines produced here have often been described as being more like Spanish wines than French. The red wines usually have softer tanins, and are full-bodied with spicy aromas. The rosés produced here have a nice raspberry color to them and can be very aromatic.

After the wine tasting session, it will be time to head back to your ship. Upon arrival in Port Vendres, we will drop you off at your ship and that will be the end of our services.

CARCASSONNE HALF DAY OR FULL DAY SHORE EXCURSION

Arrive in Carcassonne

Reach the Medieval City of Carcassonne that looks like some fairy-tale medieval city. Bathed in the late-afternoon sunshine and highlighted by dark clouds, La Cité, as the old walled city is known, is truly breathtaking.

The visit of the Saint Nazaire Basilica with its outstanding stained-glass windows that date back to the middle ages is a must during your walking tour.

After the visit to the Cité, enjoy some free time for personal discovery. On a half day tour, it will be time to return to your ship in Port-Vendres, on the full day tour your program continues with the itinerary below.

Return to your ship - Half Day Shore Excursion

Free time in the Cité for lunch (at own expense) - Full Day Shore Excursion

You will also have some time for lunch so why not try one of the most famous dishes or the area: Cassoulet!

Admire the Castles of Lastours

In the afternoon, you will then have the opportunity to admire the Castles of Lastours. The location is a splendid archaeological site, with its four castles: Cabaret, Tour Régine, Surdespine and Quertineux.

Below, the medieval village of Cabaret is nestled deep in the valley. Upon arrival, discover the stunning panoramic view from the Belvedere. After the visit, you will then be taken to the small village of Minerve that gives its name to the Minervois region.

Visit the most beautiful village of Minerve.

Completely surrounded by deep canyons, the small Cathare Village of Minerve is a mineral location set in the heart of the Languedoc garrigue landscape. A stroll through the village will clearly make you understand why it is classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France. Here you can shop for local arts & crafts, taste some delicious Minervois Wines or just wander in the village past bookshops or art galleries.

After the visit of Minerve, it will be time to head back to your ship in Port Vendres. Upon arrival at the ship, this will be the end of our services.

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Reviews from our Port-Vendres trips

  • ThunderDownUnder111

    23, May 2019

    We had a fantastic private excursion from Sète, France (where our cruise ship docked) to Carcassonne, France (fortified town which is a UNESCO World Heritage...
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