The Banyuls Aquarium is housed in the Laboratoire Arago at the end of the marina.
Look out in 2017 for the new, improved aquarium and , biodiversarium dedicated to 300 varieties of marine life to be found on the Côte Vermeille. At a cost of 10 million euros, it will be a big improvement on the present facilities.
In the meantime, the glimpse it offers is of local underwater life: bright corals, octopus, eels, fish of all shapes, sizes and hues, plus showcases of seabirds should inspire you to head off south along the coast road to the Sentier Sous-marin at Peyrefite.
The Reserve Marine Naturelle opened in 1974 and covers 650 hectares of sea between Banyuls and Cerbere.
It has successfully provided a protected space for threatened species of sea-life to flourish and to allow the public to appreciate and enjoy the richness of the 12000 fish and shellfish, plus 500 sea-plants that live in its 6.5 x 2 km coastal strip.
The “Sentier Sous-Marin” (Underwater Trail), organised by the Conseil General, is a sub–marine paradise.
The area is marked off, no boats may enter and no fishing is done.
Masks and snorkels can be hired the trail of 250 metres has bouys at intervals, each with an underwater notice listing the different species that may be seen.
Cliffs shelter the bay of Peyrefite from the Tramontane wind and the slope is gentle, making the start of the route well within one’s depth. On one side of the beach vineyards run to the cliff edge, on the other, cork trees provide shady picnic spots.
|Advice and information is available in the summer from a Reception Hut on site|