|• Mayor (2008–2014)||Jean Rède|
|• Land1||42.34 km2 (16.35 sq mi)|
|• Population2 Density||110/km2 (290/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||66016 / 66650|
|Elevation||0–965 m (0–3,166 ft)
(avg. 6 m or 20 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
Banyuls-sur-Mer is neighbored by Cerbère, Port-Vendres, Argelès-sur-Mer and Collioure. The region is known for its wines, such as the sweet wine Banyuls. An aquatic museum with aquarium is located in the town. The foothills of Pyrenees, the Monts Albères, run into the Mediterranean Sea in Banyuls-sur-Mer, creating a steep cliff line.
Banyuls-sur-Mer was first mentioned in 981 as Balneum or Balneola. In 1074, the town starts being called Bannils de Maritimo in order to distinguish it from Banyuls-dels-Aspres, which lies 20 km (12 mi) away. In 1197, the town is mentioned as Banullis de Maredine and in 1674. In Catalan, it has been called Banyuls de la Marenda, since the 19th century.
The name Banyuls indicates the presence of a pond. In fact, a pond did exist in Banyuls-sur-Mer 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-sur-Mer is twinned with a small town called Settle which is in North Yorkshire, United Kingdom and also with town of Kralupy nad Vltavou located in Central Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic.
For nearly two centuries, the smuggling of goods to and from Spain was a major activity in Banyuls-sur-Mer. Depending on the needs of the time, salt, tobacco, silver, sugar, rice, textiles, and leather were smuggled through this city, almost always with impunity. Otherwise the inhabitants lived mainly from fishing and viticulture. Nowadays, tourism stemming from the wine industry plays a significant economic role in the town notably for delicious and rare red dessert wines. Under the Collioure appellation, the town is also a center of quality dry reds, rosés and whites, with a number of producers of natural wines.
- Jean de La Hire, writer born in Banyuls-sur-Mer.
- Aristide Maillol, French sculptor and painter, born and died in Banyuls-sur-Mer.
- Banyuls-sur-Mer is the eastern end of the GR 10 long distance footpath.
- Banyuls is a centre for scuba diving. The main dive site of the area is the marine reserve at Cap Rederis. Local dive schools offer excellent facilities.
- Sea Kayaking is also available here.
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