Yearning for an escape to the French Sud-Ouest? Look no further than Collioure, France! Just a short 30 minutes by car or 25 minutes by train from Perpignan and nestled on the Spanish border, this picturesque city is encircled with vineyards and boasts heavenly turquoise waters. It’s as though you’ve stepped into a postcard – come experience it in person today!
Collioure, France is the perfect place to escape and relax, situated in between land and sea at the crossroads of two majestic mountain ranges. With 320 days of sunshine a year, it’s no wonder this mesmerizing French retreat has been so popular throughout history! Come alone or with loved ones for an unforgettable adventure beneath sunny skies – take flight now and live your dream vacation in Collioure!
In this article, we created a comprehensive list of the most remarkable sites to explore in Collioure and beautiful Southwest France (more specifically, the Languedoc-Roussillon wine-producing region of France). Furthermore, our partners offer delightful wine estates to visit and activities that you can do there. You definitely don’t want to miss these amazing opportunities during your stay!
Let’s get right into it!
1. The Notre-Dame-des-Anges Church
Make sure to make Notre-Dame-des-Anges church your first stop in Collioure; this 17th century treasure overlooking the Mediterranean is a symbol of the city.
When you approach its exterior, which may appear modest, be prepared for an incredible surprise as soon as you step inside! The interior will captivate you with Spanish Baroque influences such as rich decorations and magnificent panoramic views that showcase all of the coast’s beauty.
2. The Saint-Vincent chapel and the pier
We suggest you visit a chapel as a second stop, that of Saint-Vincent. The patron of Collioure, would have been martyred in 303 on the old islet at the very location of the chapel. The building you see today dates back to 1701, and its construction made it possible to accommodate the new relics of the saint, the old ones having been lost during the War of the Reapers (1640-1659). Next to the chapel, Christ is immortalized on the cross.
3. The Royal Castle of Colluoure, France
Step back in time and explore the majestic Royal Castle! This grand fortress, classified as a historical monument in 1922, stands proud above the tranquil Baleta Cove.
Built during the early Middle Ages on castrum foundations, it has weathered Franco-Spanish border wars and two catastrophic world wars – even serving as a prison during this period. Through its many centuries of existence, multiple counts and kings have made their residence here. Wander through its vaulted rooms to experience one of the last royal castles from Medieval times!
4. The Mill of Collioure, France
For mountain climbers, the Castle is an ideal locale! In only fifteen minutes by foot you’ll find Mill perched on top of the town. Not just impressive to behold, this location provides a stunning view between sea and mountains that’s totally worth any extra effort it takes to get there. So put on your walking shoes and take a climb up – you won’t regret it!
5. Fort Saint-Elme
This fifth destination is Fort Saint-Elme, a fort perched atop its hill that served to watch for the arrival of potential attackers. You could get there by taking a 30 minute walk from the royal castle or you can opt for an even more immersive experience and take the little train! For those who like to stay active, it also offers great possibilities such as climbing up with family/friends.
6. Towards the city center of Collioure
Along the quays, sit down at one of the restaurants to sample local dishes. To immerse yourself more in the atmosphere of Collioure, we advise you to walk along Boramar beach before entering the narrow streets of the Mouré district and its houses with multicolored facades. With its dazzling colors and its flowery alleys, the Mouré district will delight your trip.
7. Maison du Fauvisme
Are you an art enthusiast looking for something special to experience in Collioure? Then the Maison du Fauvism and the Modern Art Museum are must-dos.
Moreover, partaking in a distinctive cultural tour of Collioure’s streets will thrill your senses! For example, “Le Chemin du Fauvisme” takes guests on a journey through history and reveals how Matisse and Derain gave life to fauvism back in 1905. Touring this vibrant city is like walking around inside an open-air museum; it’s sure to be unforgettable! The tours commence at 10 Rue de la Prud Homie so don’t miss out!
8. The port of Avall
As night descends, come and enjoy the vibrant port of Collioure – a place renowned for inspiring painters with its majestic beauty. The Catalan-inspired colorful boats of anchovy fishermen illuminate the harbour in bright hues that stir up a sense of energy and joyousness. Revel in this magical landscape!
Extend your stay by touring to Collioure’s neighboring city, Banyuls! This place holds a special place in our hearts for its incredible selection of aged Banyuls wine.
9. Collioure France: vineyards and wine tasting
Banyuls and Collioure’s vineyards are a marvel to behold, situated between the sky and sea on treacherous hill slopes that give these landscapes an undeniable je-ne-sais-quoi.
Different types of wine are produced in this vineyard (red, white, rosé), but what makes it famous are the “natural sweet wines”, the production of which is unique and similar to Portuguese wines.
You can taste them at the Domaine Terres des Templiers cooperative cellar, which has breathtaking cellars. It is a cooperative cellar bringing together 650 winegrowers in the Collioure and Banyuls appellations. A wide choice of wines and an impressive visit to the cellars.
Furthermore, there are also a lot of other wine tourism activities to do around Collioure! Book the one you’d like most on Winalist!
10. The delicacies of Collioure
To visit Collioure without tasting regional products would be quite a pity.
Allow us to introduce you to the renowned Collioure Anchovies! With its iodine-rich flavors, this small IGP fish is perfect for appetizers and entrees alike. Whether eaten on its own or paired with oils, salt, or brine – it’s a true delight!
And of course don’t forget to pair your meal with AOC Collioure wines that come in reds, whites and rosés all bursting with fruity yet powerful notes. Experience Mediterranean cuisine at its best today!
Enjoy your Mediterranean stay in Collioure!
Collioure France FAQs & useful resources
Where to settle in Collioure?
Here is a small selection of hotels with a rather advantageous quality/price ratio:
– Le Mas des Citronniers located behind the Royal Castle.
– The frigate is located right next to the latter.
– The Bona Casa
– A great address for a special romantic weekend, the good port
How to get to Collioure?
Car: from Perpignan, first take the D914 then the D114. Car parks are available in the city, near the old center.
Train: from Perpignan station, the TER takes you to Collioure station in 20 minutes. Then walk 7 min to go to the royal castle.
Bus: in Perpignan, go to the Mercader stop. Bus line 540 of the Sankéo network criss-crosses the region via Collioure. After 45 minutes, get off at the Square Marceau Banyuls stop. Only a 6-minute walk separates you from the Port d’Avall beach.
Plane: From Perpignan-Sud de France airport, take bus 6 to the Abbé Pierre stop, then get off at the Gare SNCF stop. This trip takes about 30 minutes. Then take the TER.
What to visit in Collioure?
Visit the vineyards of Banyuls and Collioure to taste the different types of wines produced locally. There is something for everyone: red, rosé, white… The renowned and traditional wines of the region are those known for being “natural sweet wines”. Their production is unique and is comparable to Portuguese drinks. Not far from there, discover the towns of Argelès-sur-Mer and Port-Vendres. They are full of treasures to discover!
What’s most typical delicacy of the city?
The famous Collioure anchovies, which can be eaten as an aperitif as well as in a dish