Collioure

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Colliure

Campsite near Collioure

Collioure, pearl of the rocky coast

This charming little seaside town on the gorgeous Vermeille coast has an incredible culture and history. Once a fishing village and less than 30 km from the Spanish border, Collioure is nestled next to a narrow bay that cuts into the rocky coast, at the foot of the mountains. The silhouette of a majestic royal castle from the 12th century overlooks its small harbor, sheltered in a creek. The walkway offers a breathtaking view of the entire bay. Facing the castle, on the other side of the cove, the bell tower of the Notre-Dame-des-Anges church and the old medieval lighthouse have become emblems of Collioure.   The “pearl of the Vermeille coast” is also know for its anchovies: anchovy fishing and conservation have been practiced at the port of Collioure since the Middle Ages. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the town’s entire economy depended on this specialty. Over 2,000 people were employed by the industry. At the end of WWII, there were still 30 salting factories in Collioure. There are two left today. You can visit the Maison Roque factories all year round.   Also called the “town of painters”, Collioure has charmed generations of artists with its picturesque setting, variety of landscapes, and unique light. It is also known for the impact it had on painter Henri Matisse, a leader in fauvism. Sought after by artists, the royal town of Collioure is home to many galleries and studios in its flower-filled streets. Don’t miss the Maison du Fauvisme, which houses exhibitions, conferences, and workshops on this artistic movement, its influences and specificities. A Collioure fixture, the Maison du Fauvisme is a stop on all guided tours of the town.