Located on the southern coast of France, Collioure is a hotspot for those seeking a mix of coastal charm and unique architecture. This Catalan port and fishing village offers plenty of activities, from soaking up the sun on one of the beaches and alfresco dining in waterfront restaurants to exploring historic landmarks and art galleries. Here are the top ten best things to do in Collioure during your visit to this picturesque corner of Pyrénées-Orientales.
The Top 10 Best Things to Do in Collioure
- Stroll through Collioure’s Picturesque Streets
- Discover Collioure’s Landmarks
- Explore Art Spots in Collioure
- Enjoy the Best Beaches in Collioure
- Enjoy Water Sports
- Taste Collioure’s culinary delights
- Try Banyuls Wine at Cellier Dominicain
- Ride Collioure’s Little Train / Le Petit Train Touristique
- Explore Collioure’s Anchovy Shops
- Discover the Collioure Area
Stroll through Collioure’s Picturesque Streets
Explore Collioure’s picturesque streets, dotted with cosy cafés, gift shops, and art galleries (Collioure is known as the ‘city of artists’).
The pastel-coloured houses, charming squares, and balconies overflowing with plants are enough to make a trip worthwhile.
Enjoy a coffee by the sea while taking in the view of the glistening coastline.
Discover Collioure’s Landmarks
- Royal Castle of Collioure / Château Royal de Collioure
Step inside the Royal Castle to explore a maze of chambers and passageways, each with its own story. The castle was originally erected as a fortress in the seventh century and has undergone several modifications throughout the years.
It has been ruled by different powers, including the Knights Templar, the Kings of Majorca, and, most recently, the French monarchy. The castle overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and offers spectacular views over the harbour. Guided tours are available.
Address:Quai de l'Amirauté, 66190 Collioure
- The Church of Our Lady of Angels / Iglesia Notre Dame des Anges
Visit one of the most painted and photographed churches in France. The Church of Our Lady of Angels has its foundations in the sea and stands gracefully right next to a charming beach.
The church is a blend of Gothic and Romanesque styles. It is well-known for its fifteenth-century paintings and magnificent furnishings, including seventeenth- and eighteenth-century altarpieces.
What’s truly unique about this church is its bell tower, originally a lighthouse. Today, the tower adds to the scenic and natural beauty of Collioure Bay.
Address: 2 Pl. de l'Église, 66190 Collioure
- Chapelle Saint Vincent
Take a stroll to Chapelle Saint Vincent, perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
This tiny chapel was built in the early 18th century and is dedicated to St. Vincent. According to legend, St. Vincent was martyred here in 303.
From here, you will get stunning views of Collioure and the Mediterranean Sea. The best time to visit is at sunset.
Address: 2 Rue de l'Église, 66190 Collioure
- Fort Saint-Elme
Take the scenic walk up the hill to Fort Saint Elme. It is a well-preserved fortification boasting panoramic views of the surrounding area. There is a small museum within the fort that showcases the military history of the region.
Address: Fort St Elme, 66190 Collioure
- Windmill / Moulin de Collioure
Catch a glimpse of the 14th-century windmill, a charming and historical landmark overlooking the town. Access it via a scenic walk through olive and almond fields from Fort St-Elme.
Explore Art Spots in Collioure
- Museum of Modern Art / Musée Jean Peské
Collioure has a long history as a hub for artists, especially those associated with Fauvism, such as Mattise and Derain. You can see some of their works at the Museum of Modern Art.
The museum houses a collection of contemporary art by local and international artists. It also hosts temporary exhibitions and cultural events, providing a platform for both established and emerging artists.
Address: 4 Rte de Port-Vendres, 66190 Collioure
- Hôtel des Templiers
Walk in the footsteps of legendary painters and make a quick visit to the Hôtel des Templiers, where Matisse, Picasso, Derain, and Dali were frequent visitors. On Collioure’s guided and self-discovery tours, you may also find many other spots associated with these great artists.
Address: 12 Quai de l'Amirauté, 66190 Collioure
- Art Galleries
If you want to dive deeper into Collioure’s artistic scene, visit some art galleries to explore works by famous painters, sculptors, designers, and photographers.
Enjoy the Best Beaches in Collioure
Enjoy a peaceful seaside escape on one of Collioure’s beaches.
Collioure boasts many beaches unique to the Côte Vermeille. St. Vincent Beach, which is rarely crowded, is a haven for kayakers and windsurfers. Boromar Beach is a great spot for anyone who is looking to bask in the sun while being near harborside restaurants and shops. Boutique Beach is perfect for families, while calm Ouille Beach offers more privacy since it’s visited mostly by locals.
Enjoy Water Sports
If you like an active holiday, Collioure offers a variety of water sports and leisure activities, from paddleboarding and kayaking to snorkelling and diving.
Taste Collioure’s culinary delights
Collioure offers exquisite fresh seafood, such as grilled fish and lobster. Seafood lovers will enjoy fish parillades (grills), zarzuela (fish stew), and paella, or various Catalan dishes such as cargolada (grilled snails) and Catalan lamb. If you have a sweet tooth, you absolutely must try Crema Catalana.
- Seafront Cafes and Bars
Visit one of numerous seafront cafes and bars to try anything from aromatic coffee to exquisite local wines. There is no better way to spend a quiet afternoon than sipping a refreshing glass of rosé while soaking up the sea view.
- Local Cuisine at La Balette
Enjoy Collioure’s famous Catalan cuisine at La Balette. This Michelin-starred restaurant is known for its delectable dishes featuring fresh seafood made from locally sourced ingredients. You can pair your meal with a fantastic selection of regional wines.
Try Banyuls Wine at Cellier Dominicain
If you are into wine, be sure to visit Cellier Dominicain. This ancient wine cellar previously belonged to the Dominican monastery, which used it to store their fine wines.
In 1926, the Collioure winegrowers turned it into a cooperative cellar. It houses a wide selection of local wines from the region, including the sweet and velvety Banyuls, a mildly fortified dessert wine.
Address: Place Orphila, 66190 Collioure
Ride Collioure’s Little Train / Le Petit Train Touristique
Hop on the little train to Collioure for a scenic 40-minute ride that is anything but ordinary. It will take you through the picturesque roads and vineyards. The highlight of this adventure is a stop at a panoramic viewpoint. You will have the perfect chance to capture the breathtaking views of the Bay of Collioure and the Roussillon Plains.
Address: Place du 8 mai 1945, Parking de la Poste 66190
Explore Collioure’s Anchovy Shops
Collioure is well known for its deep-rooted anchovy fishing tradition, dating back to the Middle Ages. As you venture through the village, you will come across shops by renowned anchovy artisans like Maison Desclaux or Anchois Roque.
While exploring the shops, take the chance to learn more about the ancestral tradition of anchovy preparation and perhaps purchase a few tins of traditionally prepared anchovies. This local specialty is usually enjoyed in salads, atop crispy toast, or as a flavorful topping on pizzas.
Discover the Collioure Area
Spend a day exploring the vibrant city of Perpignan, the Museum of Modern Art in Ceret, or Catalan towns across the Spanish border like Girona, Cadaqués, or Figueres, home to the Salvador Dali Museum.
Visit nearby villages like Banyuls-sur-Mer, Argelès-sur-Mer, and Castelnou, hike in the Pyrenees, and enjoy water sports in Côte Vermeille‘s pristine waters.
Wine connoisseurs should visit local vineyards to learn about the winemaking process and taste the region’s finest wines.
Nature lovers will enjoy a hike to the historic Madeloc Tower for stunning panoramic views.
I’d love to hear about your experiences in Collioure! Please share your thoughts in the comments below.