Banyuls-sur-Mer is situated on the Mediterranean coast in Languedoc-Roussillon. It is a beach resort around a natural bay and is not far from Collioure and Port Vendres. We passed this picturesque fishing port on the way to the winemaker Domaine Tambour, which is located between Banyuls-sur-Mer and Cerbere.
Explore the Banyuls-sur-Mer
Unlike Collioure, Banyuls-sur-Mer is a quiet town. The beach is wide with sands and pebbles. There is a boardwalk along the seafront. Behind the beach, there are plenty of restaurants and bars. They offer set menus for lunch at an affordable price. For example, a typical menu with tuna tartar as a starter, fish fillet as the main course, and a dessert costs around 17 Euro. Grilled or smoked vegetables, grilled snails, and meatballs and olives in a spicy sauce are some typical food in the area.
Banyuls-sur-Mer is also the home town of the French sculptor, Aristide Maillol. Strolling around the stepped streets in the town, we noticed some artworks from Aristide Maillol, such as ” the young lady reclining” near the port. The house Aristide Maillol died is now a museum which dedicates to his life and works.
Shops spread among several pedestrian streets. It was in the mid of summer holiday season, but it was much less crowded compared to Collioure. All the houses seemed to be just freshly painted. On the upper floors, the colours of the balcony doors and the balconies are unified to give a comfortable visual effect.
This seaside resort is just a little north of the Spanish border. It is not only famous for its architecture and rich Catalan history and traditions but also famous for the best beaches in France, with several coves sheltered from the winds for bathing.
Fontaulé beach is the most central beach, with bars and restaurants, a carrousel for children, and the opportunity to do some water-sports, such as diving and kayaking.
Banyuls sur Mer’s Sana Beach is located at the Helio-Marin centre (also called Sana) and next to the beach of Elmes. The little-known beautiful stretch of sand with a quieter environment is an ideal place to escape the tourist crowds.
The Elmes beach is to the left side of the Helio-Marin centre. To get to Sana and Elmes beaches from Port Vendres, take the D914 towards Banyuls. Before arriving in the resort, near the seafront, on the left, you have to park at the roadside in the indicated places. Follow the road down to the beach.
The distance between the beaches is not far. It is possible to walk from one beach to the other within one hour.
The area is actually well-known for its various hillside wineries. Nestling at the foot of the famous terraced vineyard, Banyuls-sur-mer is very famous for its wine production. Wines are vinified after direct press or maceration and then matured in big glass bottles, oak barrels, and bottles. These wines will age slowly to develop delight colours and aromas. Banyuls are classified into dry, medium-dry, medium-sweet or sweet.
One type of Banyuls wines is Banyuls Blanc. It is a bright yellow wine, with floral notes with citrus and white fruits. Due to the limited production, Banyuls wines are sold typically by the winemaker directly. To buy this type of wines online is also possible.
The winemaker Domaine Tambour
We Left Banyuls-sur-Mer and drove to the south. Then followed the coastal road towards Cerbère, at a parking place on the hill, there is the wine maker Domaine Tambour.
In Paris, there is a wine competition. Only women, professionals dealing with wine or competent wine lovers, can taste wines. In 2018, it took place the 13th time, and the Doré Doux from Domaine Tambour won the Gold Medal.
When we tried their wines the first time, we liked the wine very much. Since then, as long as we are close to this selling place, we always make a stopover to restocked our wine storage. The wine is sold in a box of six. We bought two boxes to satisfy ourselves, one box of Blanc de Blancs, and one box of the winning wine Doré Doux, of course.
Côte Vermeille Helicopter Tour from Perpignan
Most tourists will stay in the Perpignan area. It is possible to make a nice day trip to Banyuls-sur-Mer, Collioure, or Port Vendres along the Vermeille coastal area. The landscape in the area is amazing, and the Côte Vermeille Helicopter Tour from Perpignan provides the opportunity to discover all the beauty of the Pyrénées-Orientales in a 30 minutes short trip. During this 30 minutes flight, you fly over Canet en Roussillon, Saint Cyprien and Argelès sur mer, enjoy views of Collioure, a charming Catalan Village, and see Valmy castle at the top of Argelès-sur-mer and the Raho lake.
Where to stay
As the popular holiday destination for the local French and Spanish, the hotels in Banyuls-sur-Mer is in high demand during the summer holiday season. My best selection is the Profitez De La Vue. It features a terrace and sea views. This property is situated on the beachfront. It has a tennis court, a garden, and a shared lounge. This apartment comes with 1 bedroom, a living room and a fully equipped kitchen with an oven. A flat-screen TV is offered. If you would like to discover the area, cycling and hiking are possible in the surroundings. You can find this hotel on the following platforms.
How to get there
From Carcassonne there are trains and buses go to Banyuls-sur-mer. Please check www.rome2rio.com for the detail connections.
The train from Perpignan to Banyuls-sur-Mer is very quick and sometimes the tickets are very cheap as well. Please check www.thetrainline.com for the detail prices.
The TGC from Barcelona to Banyuls-sur-Mer by train takes around 2hours and 17 minutes. Please check www.rome2rio.com for the schedule. Bus connections are also available from Barcelona.
To drive there, just follow the D914 from either south or north of the village.