Medieval Ortaffa sits in a pocket of sunshine between the Pyrénées and the lively port of Collioure, and this big old winemaker’s château – once the Episcopal palace of the bishops, adjoined to historic residential buildings – perches on its ancient fortified walls. Large French windows open to the terrace, where breakfast comes with a stunning tableau of mountains and sea with village rooftops tumbling below. Slip into a beautifully restored house, luxurious and with a relaxed holiday feel, whose elegant, pastel-shaded library and guest rooms display your hosts’ love of antiques and fine art. Your room may have Picasso prints, bookshelves, an antique child’s bed, or quirky graffiti in the loo; one beauty, in pale greys and blues, reveals remnants of the former chapel. Alain (once in advertising) and Michelle (in antiques) are friendly, articulate and know their patch well. Roll down to the port for seafood, slide south along the coast to Spain… for Cadaques, Figueras, Girona. A special spot, away from the bustle of Collioure.