A nice little hike that is rewarded with a wonderful view of beautiful bays.Älgbert Elgson
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The Cap Béar is a rocky outcrop near the fishing village of Port-Vendres. The place is mainly known for the walking path along the coast and the lighthouse.
The lighthouse and the surrounding area are ideal for a hike followed by a picnic.
The first lighthouse was built in 1836. It was a small cylindrical tower on a 9 meters high pedestal with a permanent white light. The height was about 23 meters above sea level. In 1905 the first tower of the lighthouse was abandoned due to the constant fog and a second lighthouse with a height of approx. 27 meters was built at the same location as it is now which is at a height of approx. 50 meters above sea. So its height reached about 80 m above sea level.
The guard quarters and the service buildings are located at the foot of the lighthouse. The interior is said to be particularly beautiful for a lighthouse with blue interior walls, pink marble stairs and bronze handrail.
Today the lighthouse is automated, it has no permanent crew and is classified as a French historical monument, together with its extensions and its surroundings.
The town of Port-Vendres was occupied by German soldiers from November 12, 1942 to August 19, 1944. The fortifications east of the lighthouse also date from this period.
Like the nearby Fort Béar, which was built between 1877 and 1880 at the top of the mountain, they are still used today by the French armed forces as training grounds. However, the bunker facilities are accessible outside of practice hours and can be visited.
Unfortunately, for security reasons, most of the entrances were filled up, which means that the interior of not every building can be visited.
How to get there?
From the village of Port-Vendres, a single-track and very winding road leads up to Cap Béar. Especially in the summer months, it can get very tight here when two vehicles meet.
With a camper, we would advise against driving directly to the lighthouse due to the narrow street and the lack of reversibility. It is better to leave the vehicle at the bottom of the large parking lot at Redoute Béar and walk the remaining 3 kilometers.
The cliffs are very rugged, steeply sloping and many birds nest in the rock gaps. You have a wonderful view of the sea and can enjoy the tranquility of the landscape in the relative seclusion.
Once at the lighthouse you only have to look for a quiet and shady spot to enjoy a picnic with breathtaking sea views.
The bunker systems are by no means a children’s playground. Here and there you can still find the laid barbed wire behind the bushes and you should also be sure-footed when you visit.
We would also have liked information boards to get more information on site.
We were here: 2019