Originally a fishing village that turned to wine-making and developed essentially with tourism, Banyuls owes its world reputation to its exceptional wines and its spectacular vineyards that plunge down into the sea.
Nourished and raised in the purest of Catalan traditions, at the crossroads of France and Spain, the city has managed to preserve its rich historical, cultural, natural and artistic heritage.
resort is well sheltered from the worst of the winds that whizz around this
part of France. The name Banyuls indicates the presence of a pond. In
fact, a pond did exist in Banyuls until the creek Vallauria was drained
in 1872. The term Marenda in Catalan or 'sur Mer' in French merely indicates
the proximity to the coast.
Banyuls wine complements the finest tables, and you can learn more about it at the Grande Cave, which runs guided tours.
Aquarium, Avenue du Fontaulé, 66650 Banyuls-sur-Mer.
Banyuls-Cerbère Marine Nature Reserve and underwater trail.
In the heart of the Catalan land, the particularity of the vineyards of Banyuls will surprise you. Handcraft shaped and maintained since the fifth century BCE, you'll find more than 6,000km of schist stone walls that support the terraces leading down to the Mediterranean.
From a distance, you can see from the green hills the drawings 'peus de gall' (rooster feet) – an ingenious system of dry stone channels, initiated by the Templars, to evacuate water after storms, rare but violent.
The vineyard of the Vermeille Coast covers 1,600 hectares for the production of certified wines ‘Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée’ and ‘de Pays’: AOC Collioure, AOC Banyuls Grand Cru, AOC Banyuls, IGP Côte Vermeille which come in red, rosé and white except for the ‘Banyuls Grand Cru’ which is produced only in red.
Today – despite the ‘agricultural industrial revolution’ – the vines are still handcrafted by a multitude of small winegrowers. They maintained a way of asserting a practice used in cultivation which dates from the ninth century and which has withstood all the wine crises in recent decades.