At the gates of Spain
Everything about the birthplace of the sculptor Aristide Maillol is inviting: the beauty and diversity of the landscapes of creeks and peaks, the vineyards running down to the sea, the crescent-shaped beach... It's a charming little port that has retained many traces of its turbulent past, having been inhabited by Knights Templar, fishermen, smugglers, Spanish refugees ... Banyuls also has a rich heritage of chapels, watchtowers and churches. One example is the 12th century Rectorie, which is surrounded by cypress trees, and protected by a large gate decorated with sculptures. Another is Notre-Dame-de-la-Salette. Erected in 1863 at 200 metres above sea level, it offers fabulous views. Not to be missed in Banyuls is the Maillol Museum, which is located in the house where he lived from 1910 onwards. If the little harbour is the perfect place for day dreaming, it is also the ideal place to sample the delicious AOC Banyuls wines. There are many hiking trails around this beautiful area including a lovely coastal walk. It meanders along the coastline, crossing stunning coves and beaches with fantastic views and finishing at Cap Cerbère on the Spanish border.