Historic Beach town in southern France on the Côte Vermeille with two fortresses, a historic harbour, town beaches and great restaurants
Updated: Jul 20, 2023by: Barcelona Travel HacksViews: 450
About Collioure Beach Town in France
Collioure is a French-Catalan town on the Côte Vermeille once being part of Spain. The town has multiple fortresses and is known for its outstanding beauty, rich cultural and artistic heritage.
Known as the City of Painters, artists, poets and writers have always been inspired by this pretty harbour town with its magical light and unique sunsets. Picasso, Matisse and many others have produced paintings of this town. Today Collioure has about 30 art galleries and small botique art shops.
Collioure is a historic walled city and former important Mediterranean trading port. The harbour has a pier with a stone lighthouse and plenty of seafront restaurants. Whenever I go to Collioure I eat in Chez Simone which is a small tapas restaurant with outside dining on the promenade offering views of the Royal Chateu, church and port. My favorite dish is the Patatas bravas sauce revisitee and a few glasses of wine.
Behind the walled part of the seafront is the El barri de Moure, the fisherman's village with small art galleries, boutique shops and beautiful houses in cobbled streets. I recommend exploring this part of town.
Collioure can be visited as a Long Day trip or as a Weekend break by train from Barcelona.
Collioure Fortreses and historic attractions
Chateu Royal is in the centre of the town on the edge of the historic port. it was built on the site of a former Roman castrum and converted between 1266 and 1344 to be home of the court of the Kings of Majorca. Occupied by the Spanish until 1642, the fortress then passed into the hands of the French. Listed as a historic monument in 1922, today it belongs to the Conseil General des Pyrenees Orientales, and is open to the public as well as being a setting for exhibitions and events.
Fort Saint Elme is a fortress situated on top of a hill overlooking the town of Collioure and offers spectacular 360 degree panoramic views. The castle contains an impressive collection of Renaissance armour, helmets, halberds and cannons. Additionally Ottoman weapons used by the Turkish sailors who ravaged the Spanish and Catalan coasts. The Fort is about a 40 minute walk through vineyards from the town centre.
On the way to Fort Sant Elme the path is via the stone windmill. The mill was built in the 14th century to grind grain into flour. It ceased activity in the 19th century and fell into ruin. The windmill was restored in 2001 and today is used to press olives to make Colliure olive oil.
Notre Dame des Anges Church is a beautiful stone church located just next to Boramar beach. It was originally built to serve as a lighthouse for the port with later additions over time to add the bell and dome. The original church of Collioure was within the chateu Royal but it was raised to build the outer ramparts. A new gothic church was built, reusing the lighthouse tower as the bell tower.
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Visiting Collioure Beach Town in France
I have visited Collioure on multiple occasions and it is a town that merits at least a day for exploration or better a weekend.
Collioure Chateu Royal Opening Hours
November to March: 10:00h to 17:00h
April to June: 10:00h to 18:00h
July to August: 09:30h to 18:30h
July to August: 09:30h to 18:30h
Collioure Chateu Royal Prices
General: 4 Euros
Discoveries pass in Catalan Country: 3 Euros
Groups of 15+ people: 3.50 Euros/person
Free: 1st Sunday of Month from October to June. Free for under 26 years of age.
Collioure Fort Sant Elme Opening Hours
1st February to 31st March: 10:30h to 17:00h
1st April to 30th September: 10:00h to 19:00h
1st October to 11th November: 10:30h to 17:30h
Christmas Holidays: 10:30h to 18:30h.
Closed: December 24th, 25th and 31st. January 1st
Collioure Fort Sant Elme Prices
Adult: 7 Euros
Discoveries pass in Catalan Country: 5 Euros
6-18 years old: 3 Euros
Students: 3 Euros
Groups of 10+ people: 5 Euros/person
Collioure Notre Dame des Anges Church Opening Hours
Normally open from 09:15h to 16:30h
Free Entry. It is not a tourist attraction but it is possible to go inside.
The Stone windmill is set in a small picnic area and can be viewed from the outside. There is a barred gate on the door so the inside can be seen.
There is no option to buy tickets online for the fortresses. I just paid at time of arrival.
Accessibility, mobility & Clothing for Collioure Beach Town in France
You may be asked to leave large rucksacks, suitcases and large bags in the reception of both fortresses.
Visits to both of Collioure's fortresses involve a lot of stairs and cobbled streets so is challenging for people with reduced mobility or pushchairs. The town of Collioure is is flat along the front but with narrow cobbled streets with ramps and steps into the historic town centre.
Neither fortress offers an audio guide.
Day Trip Rucksack
Small 10L day trip and museums rucksack
Lightweight convertible trousers that zip down to shorts
Lightweight comfortable trail shoes
Ankle spring/summer socks
Fleece jacket or Jersey
Light weight warm fleece
Mid layer Top
Light weight cotton quick dry T-shirt
0.8L water bottle
Reusable, refillable 1L water bottle.
Small folded lightweight Water proof poncho for emergencies
Address: Place du 18 Juin, Collioure, France. 66190
There are two ways of getting to Collioure from Barcelona by train:
Barcelona-Sants to Perpignan (1h 22min) then SNCF local commuter train from Perpignan to Collioure. (20 min)Slower Regional R11 train from Barcelona-Sants to Cerbère (France), passing via Barcelona-Passeig de Gracia, Barcelona-Sant Andreu Comtal, Sant Celoni, Girona, Figueres and Portbou terminating in Cerbère. (2h 37min) From Cerbère a SNCF local commuter train to Collioure. (15 min)
See the Collioure Train Map in the documents section for more information.
Free parking can be found at Collioure train station, Parking de la Gare, and pay parking, Parking Le Glacis in the centre of town.
Documents for Collioure Beach Town in France
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Wikiloc Trail for Collioure Beach Town in France
a0278 - Collioure Beach Town in France with Fortresses
An easy 8Km circular town route in Collioure via El barri de Moure, Historic Port and church, Chateu Royal and Fort Sant Elme and beaches