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Midi-Pyrenees is France’s largest region, spreading from the Dordogne in the north to the Spanish border in the south. Port Vendres, only 10 miles from the Spanish border, is located on the coast that is known as Cote Vermeille. The port had its heyday in the 19th century with colonial trade and ferries from North Africa. Port Vendres provides the opportunity to visit some of the prettiest areas of France. It serves as a convenient starting point for trips to Perpignan, Roussillon’s historic capital; Collioure, a picturesque harbor filled with brightly colored fishing boats; Banyuls, famous for its sweet wine and as the birthplace of sculptor Aristide Maillol; and the medieval town of Carcassonne. Port Vendres serves primarily as a starting point for trips into the surrounding areas. Five miles from Port-Vendres is the small town of Banyuls. It is known for its seafront aquarium and full-bodied Banyuls wine. The aquarium contains a comprehensive collection of the region’s fish and submarine life. The wine can be sampled at the Cellier des Templiers.

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