Collioure Walking Tour, the Fauvism Trail

Our Collioure Walking Tour followed into the Fauvism Trail, connecting key sites where Henri Matisse and André Derain found inspiration for their paintings during their time in Collioure. Each spot on the trail features a reproduction of one of their artworks, allowing visitors to compare it with the real-life scenes.

We discovered this route during our third visit to Collioure, a picturesque fishing village. The first time we explored the village, we were overwhelmed by its vibrant scenes, sun-soaked beaches, and delectable seafood. On our second visit, we hiked from Angeles-Sur-Mer to Collioure and had a lunch at the renowned hotel restaurant, Les Templiers. It was there that a friendly local shared the details of the Fauvism trail.

The local tourist office, situated at Place du 18 Juin, 66190 Collioure, provided us a complimentary map of the village, which included the Fauvism Trail (the Path of Fauvism). Please note that the map was only available in French at the time of writing; however, we found it sufficient for navigating our way around.

What is Fauvism?

During their stay in the village, Matisse and Derain ignited the artistic movement of Fauvism in 1905. Fauvism, a style rooted in strong emotions and intense colors, emphasizing freedom and creativity.

This painting style boldly employed non-naturalistic colors to convey an accurate representation of reality. If you’re eager to learn the features of Fauvism, I recommend checking out this informative article.

Notably, artists like Picasso, Dufy, and Marquet also spent considerable time in Collioure, creating numerous paintings inspired by its charm. Today, the town continues to host many artists who call it home, actively contributing to its rich artistic history.

Collioure Harbour
Map of Fauvsim Trail

Collioure walking tour, the beach part of the Fauvism trail

Our walk kicked off from the lively main beach, Plage de Port d’Avall. Meandering along the main street, Rue de la Democratie, right next to the beach, we set out on the first leg of our walking trail—a leisurely stroll along the waterfront, heading towards the Château Royal de Collioure.

As we passed the foot of Château Royal de Collioure and crossed a wooden bridge at Place de la Republique, we arrived at the scenic Plage des Pêcheurs. An interesting feature here was a photo frame positioned on the beach, framing a picturesque view that included the lighthouse and the Church of Our Lady of the Angels.

From this vantage point, we were treated to a panoramic view of Collioure’s prominent landmarks—Château Royal de Collioure, the Church of Our Lady of the Angels (Eglise Notre-Dame des Anges), and La Chapelle Saint-Vincent. Along the way, we spotted two reproductions of Matisse and Derain’s artworks, adding an artistic touch to the shoreline.

The path continued towards the Church. leading us behind the Church of Our Lady of the Angels and its charming bell tower. Ascending the stone stairs, we discovered yet another reproduction of an artwork not far from the stairs.

Collioure Walking Tour, the beach part of Fauvsim Trail
Rue Bellevue, Collioure Walking Tour

Collioure walking tour, the hill part of the Fauvism trail

Walked up the stone stairs, we stopped at the seaside and took several pictures before making our way into Rue Bellevue. On the wall, there was a reproduction of Henri Matisse’s work. It was about a Japanese woman sitting on top of seaside rock.

Rue Bellevue treated us to a direct, breathtaking view of the sea from its clifftop. As we continued our leisurely stroll along this charming street, the sweet scents of flowers wafted through the summer air, creating a truly delightful mix of fragrance. Undoubtedly, Rue Bellevue was the prettiest flower-filled street in the vill

Reaching the end of Rue Bellevue, we entered the tranquil residential haven named Rue de la Carranque. The terraced houses in this serene neighbourhood were surrounded by flourishing flora. Adorned with beautifully decorated benches, these houses invited passersby to pause and soak themselves in the surroundings. The vibrant colours of this locale clearly served as a wellspring of inspiration for artists a century ago.

Downhill, our chosen path was Rue Mirador, a narrow street winding through brightly orange-hued houses.

It’s worth noting that access to the Path of Fauvism is free. Alternatively, for a more informative experience, consider joining a guided tour organized by the tourism office to discover the reproductions of these celebrated works gracing the village’s streets.

Rue Mirador, part of the Collioure Walking Tour
Narrow street in Collioure, France
Glimpse of the sea from the Collioure Walking Tour Trail

Travel tips

Where to stay

As a beloved spot for French tourists, the village has a plenty of hotels. Yet, in the holiday seasons, booking a room can be quite a challenge. It’s advisable to secure your booking well in advance. 

Among the accommodation options, the Hôtel des Templiers hosts 2000 original artworks from 20th-century painters who once stayed in the hotel. During my lunch at the hotel restaurant, I couldn’t help but admire some of these original pieces on the walls. Conveniently located around 200 meters from the Château Royal de Collioure, and a mere 550 meters from Collioure Train Station, It’s a great place for people who love art and want to feel comfortable.

How to get there

There’s a comprehensive guide on their website on how to reach Collioure, whether by plane, buses, or trains.

The most convenient mode of transportation is by car, but do keep in mind that parking can be challenging, especially during the bustling summer season. You might find yourself parking a few kilometres away from the village. Just follow the parking signs, secure a spot, and then hop on a free shuttle bus to reach the village.

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.


  1. I am French and I have not even been there yet, shame on me! It looks very charming and colorful! I would love to wander in those streets full of colors!

  2. I have no knowledge about the Fauvism art movement so reading your post was really interesting and educational at the same time. I like the idea of a walking tour that takes you through some of the key inspirational areas of an artist and compares their painting with the reality. The villages on the Collioure walking tour look so pretty!

  3. I have never heard of Collioure or Fauvism art before this. And though I might have not known this, I sure would have enjoyed this walk for the pretty cobbled stoned roads, colorful homes with those pretty flowers. With that kind of landscapes, I can well imagine why artists wanted to capture them on their canvas. I too, would want to – capture them through my lens.

  4. It is a great article. You have wonderfully shown the place which is a part of the history of painting. I would love to see it. I was several times in France, but not this part yet. But I add Collioure to my list. I would love to take all Fauvism Trail.

  5. Hi Mijia, am besotted by the pretty flower-lined streets and the beaches. I always take a walking tour whenever I travel and this is something I would totally do myself, I also like how you have suggested a Hotel that is easily approachable and centrally located.

  6. I’ve never heard of the Collioure walking tour but that’s really cool that there is a trail that takes you to sites where Henri Matisse and André Derain painted. I love that there is a reproduction of the painting at each site to compare it to the real scenery. It’s great that the trail is free and the visitor center offers a free map….hopefully I could figure it out without knowing French!

  7. I have never heard of Collioure in France. Nor have I heard of the Fauvism Trail. Such a pretty town and the views from Rue Bellevue were stunning. I also liked the idea of seeing copies of paintings from Matisse along the way. Definitely a place I would like to visit one day.

  8. I haven’t known all these interesting things about the Fauvism movement. It is so important that in France they promote this kind of tailored routes so that people can learn more while strolling those gorgeous narrow streets with picturesque angles. The places look fabulous and I would wander to discover every single corner and take lots of photos for hours. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  9. Such a beautiful place. It was great that you took a walking tour around the place. I really think that is the best way to explore a new city, town or village! The beauty of the place must have been the inspiration for such great work by well renowned painters and artists.

  10. Collioure is absolutely stunning! I mean really. The photos are so breathtakingly. This looks like such a great tour to do and the historical context is awesome. Thank you for sharing this experience with me!

  11. Collioure looks so charming and inviting! I’ve only been to Paris in France, but I would love to branch out and see more of the country. The walking tour looks like a way to take in picturesque views while learning more about the area at a slower pace.

  12. Thank you for sharing such a informative article with great photos! I hadn’t heard about this place until now but i will definiatley keep it in mind for future travels.

  13. I must admit I’m getting into walking tours and quite enjoying it. A great way to see new places and get to know more about it . Fun to know that At each of these places, there is a reproduction of a painting for tourists to compare the painting with the real scene on site. What a master strike. If I was in the area I would not miss this for anything. The architecture the natural beauty and your beautiful photos bring like into this post. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Mijia,
    I enjoyed reading this post. I have never been to France, so, I am adding this to my bucket list. You’ve given Collioure justice. It sounds and looks like a great and charming place to visit. Would you say this is a day-trip or is it worth staying a couple of days?

    1. Hi Moawia,

      It is worth to stay for a few days as there are more things to do in the area. I have another post about the general things to do in Collioure, maybe you could take a look as well.


      1. Hi I would love to visit and have sent your article to my daughter who lives in Canada (I live in Australia). So I have put Collioure on my place to visit on my next trip. I would love to receive you other post about general things to do . Thank you. Francesca

  15. The photo frame on the beach is pretty cool. I’m sure the view of the lighthouse and the church was even more beautiful when Derain painted it, because I think the beach was empty. The whole village is really amazing! All spots in your pictures say it all. I will like my stay here easily.

    1. Hi Corritta,

      Sure you can look at the google map how the area look like. Alternatively, you can book a helicopter tour to sea the area. You can easily spend the entire holiday there.



  16. What a charming town Colliure is. I had never heard of it before. But I love artist/creative towns like this. How amazing that an entire art movement originated here with some of the artists that painted there. I can imagine how much inspiration they got from the beautiful town. The scenery is breathtaking from the beaches with the beautiful turquoise waters to all the flowers and cobbled streets. I especially liked the view from Rue Bellevue – I think I could stare at that all day. I must see it for myself someday.

  17. I’ve never heard of the Fauvism Trail before reading this post. Walking tours are a great way to get to explore and know a new place. And the views are spectacular from the cliff view, and the streets very colorful. One to remember for when I next visit France.

  18. Its nice to have a theme when visiting a place like Collioure . The hunt for the painting spots on the Fauvism trail is something that I would very much like to do. I have never heard of this place but now its on my list.

  19. I see what a pretty little village Collioure is! An artistic village is the best kind and that with sun kissed beaches, fresh sea food has to be the best. The fauvism trail also looks like the kind of trail I’d like to take, its so scenic. The narrow streets are lovely and the view from Rue Bellevue is breathtaking!

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