Collioure is close to the Spanish border, a charming little harbor in the heart of the Catalan country. On the edge of the Vermeille coast, located between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean Sea, the picturesque village is known for its anchovies, an ideal holiday destination in the Eastern Pyrenees. Collioure has always been a source of inspiration for artists, poets, writers, painters and singers. Famous for its bell tower that can be found on all postcards, this jewelery village is located directly on the coast, a guarantee for an unforgettable holiday. Visitors pay attention!, Here the spell begins …
The unique charm of a small Catalan harbor
In the middle of a beautiful landscape, Collioure is primarily a picturesque little harbor with on one side the royal castle and on the other side the harbor where the Catalan boats are. Never has a place inspired so many artists! Picasso, Matisse, Derain, Dufy, Chagall, Marquet and many others have set up their easels here and immortalized this beautiful village … Walking around in the Mouré district with beautiful alleys full of lights and multicolored houses, including the ocher-colored houses with flowery houses balconies, random painting workshops, stalls with local products to enjoy this Mediterranean lifestyle.
The cultural side … the discovery of a remarkable heritage
In terms of culture, you will find a beautiful Gothic church, Notre-Dame-des-Anges, in the Catalan village. The monument has some treasures such as nine altarpieces, especially those of the main altar, an immense triptych carved in wood and covered with gold leaf. You can also take a tour of the royal castle, more than 700 years old and fortified by Vauban. You learn not only about the castle, but also about the history of the village and its surroundings. From this impressive building, looking over the water to Notre-Dame-des-Anges, the view is simply magnificent! If you have time, go to the cemetery to see the grave of Antonio Machado, the “Spanish Victor Hugo”. A letterbox was specially installed on its grave, still covered with letters! The famous bell tower can only be viewed from the outside, due to its poor condition. A symbolic work of this small fishing village immortalized by the greatest painters, from Matisse to Picasso, the tower that lies directly on the sea can hardly stand the salt water and must be seriously restored.
The natural side of the city
Take a walk through the area, in particular to Fort Saint-Elme, a fort in a strategic location on a hill overlooking the village. Approximately 45 minutes walk from the village. The coastal path and the mountains of the hinterland offer many opportunities for hiking or mountain biking. About ten kilometers away you cannot miss the Paulilles site. This old dynamite factory from 1870 has been partially transformed into a museum to discover the life of the factory. Tours of the bay are also possible. The classified site of Anse des Paulilles is one of the most popular in the Eastern Pyrenees. A boat restoration workshop generally fascinates visitors of all ages.
Not to be missed, the traditional festivals
Since 1701, Saint-Vincent is celebrated on August 16, with beautiful fireworks in the bay of Collioure, the most popular fireworks in the area. St. Vincent is a large traditional celebration that once celebrated the arrival of the remains of the patron saint of the city. Already more than 3 centuries old, this party has become one of the highlights of local life. Thousands of visitors come every year to the various events offered, such as the arrival of the Catalan boats, water games, concerts, the dancing of the ‘Sardane’, art … Since 2016, the village of Collioure has had a new celebration, that of the anchovy ! This small blue fish emblem of the city is celebrated at the beginning of June with fillet demonstrations, tastings and drawing workshops for children.