On holiday in France in the summer we took some time out for a leisurely stroll around Banyuls. Banyuls sur Mer is overshadowed by its neighbour Collioure, but this makes it much more enjoyable to visit. Parking is less of a problem (or you can take the bus that runs along the coast during the season) and you don't have to negotiate gawping tourists wherever you go.
Banyuls has oodles of character and a charming sedate elegance. It has the gently buzzy vibe of a small beach resort, but you're always aware of the dramatic terraced vineyards and olive groves in the near distance. Here in deepest Catalan France, you never forget that Spain is only a few kilometres down the coast. However, strolling around the town is not as relaxing as it sounds as you'll see from the pictures – there are a lot of stairs involved. It's well worth it, though, as the views are so spectacular and there'll always be something delicious to sip afterwards.