Collioure walking tour follows the Fauvism Trail. The Fauvism Trail leads to around 20 sites in the village where Henri Matisse and André Derain painted during their stay in Collioure. At each of these places, there is a reproduction of a painting so that tourists can compare the painting with the real scene on site.
We discovered this route on our third visit to Collioure. When we visited the village the first time, we were overwhelmed by the colourful scenes, the sun-kissed beaches, and the fresh seafood. During our second visit, we did hiking from Angeles-Sur-Mer to the village and had lunch in a famous hotel restaurant, Les Templiers. A friendly local people in the restaurant told us about the Fauvism trail. Therefore, we made this Collioure walking tour following the Fauvism trail. After our third visit, we have concluded that Collioure is more an artist town than a fishing village.
What is Fauvism?
The fishing village of Collioure was central to the inspiration of the Fauvist art movement in the early 20th Century. Matisse and Derain gave birth to the artistic movement of Fauvism in 1905, during their stay in Collioure. Fauvism is a style based on strong emotions and intense colours, emphasizing freedom and creativity. The painting style favours the use of bold. It applies non-naturalistic colours to an accurate representation of reality. To learn more features about Fauvsim, please read this article.
Other than Matisse and Derain, painters such as Picasso, Dufy, Marquet had also spent time in Collioure and painted there. Currently, many artists are still living and painting in the town.
Collioure walking tour, the beach part of the Fauvism trail
Our Collioure walking tour started from the main beach area, Plage de Port d’Avall. The main street next to the beach is Rue de la Democratie. The first part of the walk was just along the beach and towards the Château Royal de Collioure. Passing the foot of Château Royal de Collioure, crossing a wooden bridge (Place de la Republique), we arrive at the Plage des Pêcheurs, another beach area, where many restaurants line up.
There is a photo frame on the beach. The scene seeing through the frame is the lighthouse and the Church of Our Lady of the Angels. We saw two reproductions of Matisse and Derain’s works on the wall. From that position, most of the sites in the village are visible, such as Château Royal de Collioure, the Church of Our Lady of the Angels (Eglise Notre-Dame des Anges), and La Chapelle Saint-Vincent.
The path continued towards the Church. Behind the Church of Our Lady of the Angels and its bell tower, stone stairs lead the way up. There is also a reproduction of the artwork not far from the stairs.
Collioure walking tour, the hill part of the Fauvism trail
Walked up the stairs and before turned into Rue Bellevue, we stopped at the seaside and took several pictures. On the wall, there is a reproduction of Henri Matisse’s work. It was about a Japanese woman sitting on top of the seaside rock.
When we were on the Rue Bellevue, we could directly look over the sea from the clifftop. From there, I made many instagrammable pictures. Those of you who look at the photos know. As we continued walking along the street, the smells of the flowers wafted through the summer air, a truly delightful mix of fragrance. The Rue Bellevue is one of Collioure’s prettiest flower-filled streets.
At the end of the Rue Bellevue, there was a very silent living quarter, Rue de la Carranque. It is a dead end street. Among the blooming flowers and plants are the terraced houses. Beautifully decorated benches in front of houses, attracting people to take a rest. It is no doubt that these vivid colours had inspired the painters a century ago. There, we saw several reproductions of the artworks again.
To walk down the hill, we followed Rue Mirador. The narrow street goes through the brightly orange-coloured houses.
The Path of Fauvism is completely free to access. You can take a guided tour organized by the tourism office to discover the reproductions of their works displayed in the streets.
Collioure walking tour tips
The local tourist office ( provides a free map of the village including the Fauvism Trail (the Path of Fauvism). It is only available in French at the time of writing. Nevertheless, it is possible to follow its map to get around.
English guided tours are available at the House of Fauvism (10 Rue Prud Homie, 66190 Collioure). Please check the details here.
In the winter the climate is mild. However, in the summertime, the temperature can be very high. It was about 40 degree when we walked the trail. It is necessary to apply sun cream or bring a hat to avoid getting sunburned.
Collioure is around 25 minutes of driving from Perpignan and is 2 hours and 15 minutes of driving from Barcelona. So it is possible to make a day trip from both places.
Where to stay
As a popular tourist destination among the French people, there are many hotels in and around the village. But during the holiday seasons, most hotels have no vacancy. You need to book well ahead.
The first I would like to recommend is the Hôtel des Templiers. It features 2000 original artworks by 20th-century painters who stayed in the hotel. While I was eating in the hotel restaurant, I saw part of the original artworks on the wall. The restaurant specializes in Catalan cuisine. Hôtel des Templiers is located 200 m from the Château Royal de Collioure. Collioure Train Station is only 550 m away. In front of the hotel is a pedestrian street, and public parking is available 400 m from the property. If you plan to stay in Collioure for a few days, this hotel is very convenient not only because of its central location but also because of its cuisine and its history. To find a good rate, please check booking.com or hotelscombined.com.
How to get there
There is a detail description of this website about how to get there. You can reach there by planes, buses or trains. In case you arrive at Gerona airport, you can hire a one-way low-cost private transfer from Gerona Airport to Collioure. To book the transfer please click here for the further detail.
The easiest way is by car. However, the parking situation is difficult during the summer holiday seasons. Most likely you need to park a few kilometres away from the villages. Just follow the parking sign and you will get a parking place. But the good news is, that there is a free shuttle bus service at each parking area.