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Located on the Mediterranean coast of the Pyrénées-Orientales department, Collioure is a city popular with tourists. Frankly, once there, we understand why. This former fishing village, located less than an hour’s drive from the Spanish border, impresses with its topography as well as with its cultural and artistic heritage. Its colourful houses and marina offer endless charm and character. To encourage you to visit this hidden paradise in the south of France, here are some places to discover and things to do in Collioure.
Further north. Want to discover Provence? Here are our ten must-see towns and villages for an unforgettable stay.
🗒️ What you need to know before your trip to Collioure
Before we start our list of must-see attractions in Collioure, here are some tips for your next getaway.
How do you get to Collioure?
The nearest airport is Perpignan-Rivesaltes . From there, bus N°7 will take you to Collioure. Alternatively, there are taxis available. You can also reach the city from the Spanish airports of Barcelona and Girona via the Perpicat bus line. Simplest of all is the train: the city centre is very close to the station, accessible from Perpignan.
Where should you park to visit Collioure?
There are several car parks in the city centre or very close to it (Le Glacis, parking de la Rière, etc.). But they are expensive and often full in summer. Fortunately, in high season, there is the Cap Dourats car park, located a 20-minute walk from the historic centre. A shuttle service is even available. Another car park, the Château d’Eau, is located a little out of the way on the road to Madeloc.
Where should you sleep in Collioure?
When it comes to hotels in the region, there is choice. Do you want comfortable and central accommodation for your visit? Why not choose the Hotel Princes de Catalogne (from 60 euros per night), located in a quiet square just 400 meters from the beach? Alternatively, if you are more looking for authenticity, then opt for Le Mas des Citronniers which offers rooms from 92 euros per night in a traditional Catalan building.
🔝 The 9 essential things to see in Collioure
Let’s get to the heart of the matter, and the heart of your stay in the Pyrénées-Orientales. Without further ado, here is our selection of essential things to see in Collioure.
The Port of Avall
If there is one place you should not ignore in Collioure, it is its port. Formerly a merchant town with a flourishing fishing industry and bustling commercial activity, it has now been converted into a very popular marina. Tourists flock there to enjoy the beautiful view offered by the colourful boats of the anchovy fishermen. You will undoubtedly love its fine sand beach located in the city centre. A lively place where you are sure to enjoy yourself. Maybe even take a dip: the low slope of the beach allows you to walk quite far into the sea.
A good place to eat nearby? Try L’Amphitrion, east of the beach. The menu is filled with generous dishes from the sea and good meat.
L’Amphitrion | Port d’Avall beach, Collioure
The Mouré district
The Mouré district is the place to be for those looking for tranquillity, rest, and, above all, originality. Its charm and romanticism characterize it so well. Located north of the city, a little set back from the noise and entertainment generated by the influx of tourists, Mouré is a former village of sailors and fishermen. This district offers breath-taking views from its picturesque, cobbled streets. These houses, generally the former dwellings of fishermen with colourful and flowery facades and mounted with bougainvillea, delight tourists and painters who come to draw inspiration from them. Art lovers will have plenty to entertain them with the galleries located at the bottom of the district.
The Royal Castle of Collioure
During your walks in Collioure, take the time to visit the royal castle, a place steeped in history and memories. Built in the 13th century, this fortress served as a summer residence for the kings of Majorca. Situated on a rock, you will be able to admire the port, the beaches, and the city centre from afar, thanks to its terraces. This building, with its military architecture, is used today to house shows and exhibitions of all kinds. For a few euros, you can explore it from top to bottom with a guided tour.
The fort of Saint-Elme
Built between 1538 and 1352 by Charles V, this monument is a former military fort. Its six-pointed star shape with the tower in its centre will not leave you unaffected. Located on a hill just 20 minutes by car from the city centre, it separates two small beaches, thus offering its visitors a majestic landscape.
It is a place that young people and adults alike will enjoy visiting in order to better immerse themselves in the military past of the town. You will have the opportunity to admire an important collection of medieval weapons in the historical museum dedicated to the Renaissance. You will are certain to have a good time there thanks to a friendly and didactic welcome reserved just for you.
The Notre-Dame des Anges Church
One of the symbols of Collioure, the Notre-Dame des Anges Church, is located near Boramar beach. This southern-Gothic-style building, dating from the 13th century, has original features in the shape of a bell tower made from a lighthouse and its foundations bathing in the Mediterranean. Its richly decorated interior is hidden by a rather sober exterior, so don’t be fooled!
It would be a shame to go to Collioure without strolling through its market. A combined traditional and craft market, you will find all the local specialities you might hope to. When it comes to freshness, there is also everything you need: fruits and vegetables, ripened in the southern sun, are sold directly by the producers. Moreover, there are not only the stalls to enjoy: there is also the decor of the market, maritime and close to the city centre, which adds to the interest of the place. And why not take a break in one of the restaurants or bars that surround it?
The mill of Collioure
Renovated in the early 2000s, the Collioure Mill, also called the Cortina Mill, is a large-scale windmill which dates from the Middle Ages. It has now been converted back into an olive oil mill. The oldest in the region, you will love the pretty pines and olive groves through which you must pass to access it. It’s even surrounded by airy, green space where you can relax or have a picnic.
The heights of the Madeloc tower
Located at an altitude of around 650m in the Albères range, the Tour Madeloc dominates the Côte Vermeille. Accessible on foot, by bike, or by car, it now serves as a television relay station. For those who love mountains and hiking, this tower is definitely worth a detour. Moreover, you can find sound advice for preparing for the hike on L’Œil D’Eos.
Our small selection of must-see things to see in Collioure, in the south of France, is now complete. Do you have other activity ideas? Feel free to share them in comments for our readers.