To access COLLIOURE from your campsite in the Pyrenees Orientales, take the coastal road along the Côte Vermeille. This narrow and winding road offers superb views of the Mediterranean Sea and the vineyards of Collioure or Banyuls. Once you arrive in Collioure, there are car parks at the entrance to the city. These car parks are served by free shuttle buses that connect them to the city centre. If, during off-peak periods, you will usually find parking in the city centre, during the summer, spring weekends or market days (Wednesday or Sunday morning and Wednesday evenings in July and August), do not hesitate to use these car parks. This will prevent you from turning for long minutes in the city centre of Collioure, which is often congested. Especially if you’re in a motorhome. The Collioure shuttle runs from May to September, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (10 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. in July and August). In July and August, if you can, even prefer the train, it allows you to avoid traffic and arrive directly in the city centre.
Fisherman’s village and fortified port
Collioure’s visit usually begins with its port and its iconic Notre-Dame-des-Anges church, nestled in the harbour, between two of the beaches of downtown Collioure. This is the inevitable souvenir photo of Collioure. Of course, this is THE photo that everyone has already taken, but it must be recognized that the view is pretty with the fortified church and the traditional Catalan boats in bright colors. These boats bear witness to a time when anchovy fishing was in full swing. Collioure anchovies remain very famous and remain an important component of Catalan cuisine. Be sure to enjoy it during your visit to Collioure. If you want to bring back salty anchovies from your stay in Collioure, you can go and buy them at Desclaux,a real Collioure institution.
Built at the end of the 17th century, the Church of Notre-Dame-des-Anges (« Our Lady of teh Angels ») owes its nickname to the statues of angels that surround the statue of the Virgin. His real name was Our Lady of the Assumption. Its bell tower, with its recognisable shape, was once the lighthouse of Collioure. Take a few minutes to admire its interior and in particular its nine beautiful wood-carved retables.
Collioure Castle stands on a rocky outcrop that separates the harbour into two coves. Once the summer residence of the kings of Mallorca in the 13th and 14th centuries, this castle was transformed into a citadel under Charles Qunit and Philip II before the architect Vauban razed the upper town of Collioure that surrounded the castle and built the outer walls. Vauban added to his defensive system the fort of Saint Elme, on the heights of Collioure. Classified as a historical monument before being turned into a prison, Collioure Castle is now visited and regularly houses temporary exhibitions. You can discover its underground, its round path or its chapel during guided tours.
After visiting the Church of Our Lady and the castle, discover the old district of Mouré, once the fishing district, which stretches over one of the hills of Collioure. With its steep streets lined with flowery balconies, this historic district is a delight. It is nice to stroll through the cobbled streets among the brightly coloured facades. In the summer season, it is also a bubble of tranquillity compared to the tumult of the seaside.
The city of Fauvism
With its bright colors and the lights that bathe the Côte Vermeille, Collioure had everything to seduce the painters. Under the spell, the first renowned painter to settle there was Henri Matisse in 1905. He was then joined by his friend André Derain. Collioure’s mix of colours and lights inspires them. Here, they invent a new trend, Fauvism marked by the use of bright hues. They are then joined by Braque or Friesz. Along the path of Fauvism (Chemin du Fauvisme) that runs through Collioure, 17 reproductions of Matisse and Derain await you in the old town. Other thematic tours are also organized by the House of Fauvism. To complete this colourful walk, the Collioure Museum of Modern Art will allow you to admire the works of great modern and contemporary painters such as Henri Matisse, Claude Vialla, Henri Martin, Jean Louis Vila or Jean Capdeville. Among the walks offered by the House of Fauvism, a playful interactive walk has been specially designed for children. An original way to discover Collioure with your family.
The beaches of Collioure
You can swim downtown in Collioure. The city offers several bathing spots just a stone’s throw from the NOtrde-Dameèdes-Anges church or the royal castle of Collioure: St Vincent’s Creek, a sandy and pebble beach with a beautiful view of the castle, Boramar Creek, between the castle and the Notre-Dame church, the beach of the Port of Avall, a sandy beach south of the castle , the balette creek or the Batteries Creek.
To learn more about Collioure, please visit the city’s website: https://www.collioure.com/
Our campsites near Collioure