How wonderful to be part of magical Collioure and not just a passing tourist, if only for a week. Sitting among pot plants ‘on the rocks’, the apartment is in the village’s prettiest pedestrian street, a festival of bougainvillea and geraniums. Home to a legendary colony of artists a century ago, Collioure still glows in the limpid light that inspired Matisse and his friends. The house, done in a pleasing mix of traditional and modern with bright spots of colour and reminders that you are in French Catalonia, is full of that light and a local artist’s work hangs on the living room walls. Your pot-planted terrace has a glorious view of the bay. Bedrooms are done in calm neutral fabrics; one has a large shuttered window, the other has no exterior window but is lit from a high glazed panel onto the kitchen. This again combines traditional décor with modern practicality, all fittings and equipment are brand new, as is the good tiled shower room. Both bedrooms and the “Orangery” are cooled by traditional ceiling fans. There are medieval marvels to explore, myriad water sports, bikes to hire, vineyards to tour – or you can sit and gaze at the sea and its changing moods.