The Avions war memorial at Port Vendres quotes the now legendary tribute from Winston Churchill to the heroic pilots and aircrews who, from June to October 1940 fought the Battle of Britain.

Did you ever read Tintin? Maybe you still do…or have children or grandchildren who follow the adventures of the intrepid reporter-turned-explorer and his faithful dog Snowy, (or Milou in the French edition).

Céret is the undisputed cherry capital of the P-O, and probably the whole of France, its cherry trees the last of the spring fruits to blossom but the first to bear fruit. By May, the first cherries of the season are on their way to the President of France, and stalls, trestle tables, and rickety makeshift benches laden with the fruit appear on every street corner, in garages, lay-bys and the Saturday market.

Gégants are enormous painted figures, several metres tall, constructed on a wooden framework with heads made from paper maché and plaster of paris – a tradition which goes back to the Middle Ages, depicting religious figures in parades.

Walter Benjamin, (1892 – 1940) German-Jewish literary critic, fierce critic of Nazism and posthumously one of the twentieth century’s greatest philosophers, has a plaque dedicated to him in Banyuls-sur-Mer.

This is a moderately easy walk up to and round a circuit in the wooded hills above Valmy Chateau. The views back down to Argelès and over the plain are beautiful, and the cork-oak forests are peaceful and full of birdsong as you follow the winding footpath.